Director Denis Villeneuve is at least open about it. The opening title card for his film Dune Part 1 is a warning that you won't see the entire story. By the end you will be intrigued to find out what happens next, regardless of whether or not you enjoyed the film.
These answers are easy to find. You can simply go to Frank Herberts Dune and get a copy. It was first published in 1965, but has been modified in full many times. It is not an easy task, but I have read Dune many times and managed to get through 30 pages. Even adaptations sometimes leave a lot to be desired. Fortunately, io9 is here for you. Below is a teaser of Dune Part 1 and the potential sequel. It also reveals what happens if Warner Bros greenlights it. This is not yet confirmed, but it seems likely.
Where does Dune Part 1 finish?
Let's start with the basics. With Paul only meeting the Fremen, why not end Dune Part 1 there? It's Paul's story. Villeneuve's Dune adaptation focuses mainly on Paul Atreides (Timothe Chamet), a young man who is forced to leave his homeworld Caladan for the desert planet Arrakis. Paul, the son and daughter of Oscar Isaac and Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson), is a member of Bene Gesserithas powerful religious group. He sees the inherent danger and possibility on this planet. These visions are reaffirmed throughout the film and some come to pass. After losing his father and his Atreides army to the Harkonnens, Paul finds safety in Arrakis, an unknown, wild land inhabited by the Fremen. Through tradition and discipline, the Fremen thrive in the desert. Paul is forced to kill Jamis (Babs Olusanmokun), a member their group, because of his traditions. Paul's victory ensures that he and his mother will have a place at the Freman, if they so choose. He believes that the desert is his future.
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That's Dune Part 1. Paul, his mother and a group Freman, including a leader named Stilgar, (Javier Bardem), and a young girl named Chani (Zendaya), set off into the desert. Paul sees Chani throughout the film. This vision seems to have played a major role in his decision not to join the Freman. This is why the film ends in the way it does. Paul's character development is the key. He has been unclear about his purpose throughout the movie. He is supposed to be the military leader and political leader of House Atreides, like his father. Or a significant religious figure, as his mother suggested. Paul's decision to join the Freman is a pivotal moment in his life. This is when he takes charge of his destiny.
What happens in Dune Part 2
Part 2 will see Paul fulfill his destiny. The first movie contains hints towards what's next. Paul speaks of a plot against the Emperor to marry one of his daughters. Paul fights with Fremen, where he sports their signature blue eyes. He had many dreams of Chani and him frolicking on Arrakis in search of some type of romance. Paul tells his mother that he believes she is pregnant and whispers of ancient prophecies about a boy and his mom coming to their planet.
Dune Part 2 should bring all of these things to light. Villeneuve made some changes to the story. The ending is slightly different in the book (Paul defeats Jamis at the Freman home, called the Sietch, but not immediately after they meet). Part 2 will likely pick up with Paul at the Sietch dealing with the consequences. The Freman is not a small man and Paul will need to deal with Jamis' family, which includes his wife and children, as well as his business. It is a difficult subject that he struggles with but he also accepts it. This is just one of many, many acts that have continued to make him a Freman favorite. The ancient prophecies about a great spiritual leader start to come true.
Paul embraces Freman life and quickly rises up the ranks to become their leader. This scene, which is one of the most iconic scenes in the series, sees Paul finally riding a sandworm. He and Chani fall in love, and they have a baby. Paul's Freman full life gives him the confidence and ability to devise a plan to overthrow not only the Harkkonen leader who was placed on Arrakis by the Emperor after the Duke Letos murder but also the Emperor. It works after a huge battle. Paul and the Fremen win, but Paul and Chanis' child are killed in battle. Paul forces the Emperor to marry his daughter Princess Irulan, which guarantees his rise to power. Paul sees a rise in the galaxy that could prove to be devastating.
What are the most important characters in Dune Part 2:
The second half will feature many more exciting things, including the focus on existing characters and new ones. Bardems Stilgar plays a major role in this half. Josh Brolins Gurney Halleck returns, and most importantly, Pauls sister Alia is birthed. Because she was born with the mind of every Reverend Mother, she is one of the most interesting characters in the series. This makes her somewhat creepy and very important for the final ending of Dune and all the books to come.
Is there a Dune Part 3?
There are many more books so there might be. The majority of Dune Part 2 is about Paul fulfilling his destiny and rising to the position of Emperor of the Galaxy. However, that's a bit of a cliffhanger. What happens to him once he is granted that power? Villeneuve said Villeneuve would like to write Dune Messiah, Herbert's second book, if both films do well. The story of Paul Atreides is the focus of that book, as well as Dune Part 1. It's even more complicated than that (cough, reincarnated Duncan Idaho cough). Dune as a franchise continues with many other books, but Pauls story ends in Messiah. It seems Villeneuve is more interested in the entire story of Paul Atreides. We know a lot about Villeneuve, but not much else.
Dune Part 1 can be seen in theaters now and on HBO Max. Part 2 will likely be shot next year, if the greenlight is granted.
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