In the mini-series adaptation of Frank Herbert's Dune (2000), Muad'Dib (Paul Atreides) does not become godlike by the end of the movie. At the end of the 1984 movie

Muad'Dib became god-like, e.g he could control the weather with his mind amongst other powers. However, in the 2000 mini-series, Muad'Dib, although divinely destined, was more human-like, and in the following Children of Dune he even went crazy and died. Why is this?

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    The mini-series was FAR more faithful to the novels than the 1984 movie. Both are good, but the series is more accurate. – Omegacron Sep 15 '15 at 17:17

I have never seen the series, but it sounds like it is closer to the novels than the 1984 movie ever was. The movie did not stick very closely to the original novel at all. In the novel:

  • Due to his genetic heritage and the spice he is consuming, he is prescient. I would not go as far as saying he is omniscient, but as he can look into the immediate future too, he can see events happening far away from him too.

  • He has had an incredible upbringing as the heir to a Major House, with the finest tutors - schooled in literature, music, diplomacy, politics, tactics and fighting skills in particular. He is designed to be the perfect leader of a Major House - a ruler of a planet in a time where political assassinations and war seem common.

  • He has had Bene Gesserit training, so has an uncommon understanding of his own physiology and psychology - able to control himself in a way that is unusual to someone that has not met a Bene Gesserit, and able through reading subtle signs what people are thinking and able to control them for very short periods through voice commands "the Voice".

  • As a result of his fighting and Bene Gesserit skills, coupled with his growing prescience, he is able to fight and best anyone in one-to-one combat.

  • The Bene Gesserit seeded particularly rough planets like Arrakis with legends that a Bene Gesserit visiting the planet could take advantage of. Paul and Jessica use these legends explicitly to gain an advantage on Arrakis.

So Paul was not 'god like', but had specific advantages over others around him that enabled him to manipulate an entire culture (the Fremen) to rally to his cause, and coupled with his training in fighting skills and tactics, the Fremen rise to be the dominant fighting force in the galaxy, exceeding the Emperors Sardaukar. Coupled with his control over the spice, this is the reason he rises to be Emperor - not some mysterious godlike powers.

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    I have read the first three books in the Dune series. Indeed the two Sci-Fi Channel miniseries were much closer to the books than the David Lynch movie. The Lynch movie made some very questionable changes, like the "weirding modules", but I can't think of any major changes made by the miniseries. If you are a fan of Dune you should watch them sometime. – steveha Mar 13 '14 at 4:29
  • @steveha - thanks for the recommendation – iandotkelly Mar 13 '14 at 20:21
  • See "Jodorowsky's Dune" for some more interesting background to cinematic versions of Dune. imdb.com/title/tt1935156 – user23715 Apr 2 '14 at 17:10

The 1984 film was much more a stand-alone concept. It had been in development for many years, taken away from Jodorowsky, and then Lynch ran out of money and had to just wrap it up. This can be seen in the narration gloss that skips ahead in the story; and in a tendency to re-use action shots in the battle scenes.

But the 2000 mini-series had a goal to be more faithful to the source material and give more of the story. In the novel, Paul acquires many "godlike" powers, but psychic control of the weather is not among them.

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    Here's a great story from Jodorowsky about developing Dune duneinfo.com/unseen/jodorowsky – CamelBlues Apr 19 '12 at 17:10
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    Jeez, Dali was such a **********! – luser droog Apr 28 '12 at 23:11
  • It's probably unfair to say that Dali totally derailed the project. But it's clear that he didn't help matters one jot. – luser droog Sep 20 '13 at 9:52

In the books, the most talked about power that the Kwizatz Hadarach possessed was prescience, and limited omniscience. Really, I think that's as close to "godlike" status that he got. I believe most of the rest of his abilities were because he had undergone mentat training for most of his life, had been taught the weirding way of battle, and underwent Bene Gesserit training.

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The mini series are far closer to the books although they did a terrible job showing the type of boy Paul Atreides was. The scene when Paul takes over hosting duties in for his father early on in the series is a discredit to the character and shows him as a petulant child rather than the human weapon he was crafted into.

The 84 movie final cut was the decision of the producers and not David Lynch and nearly all the questionable changes were forced upon him. That's why Lynch doesn't even like taking credit for the movie and sometimes you'll see it listed as directed by Allen Smithee as Lynch removed his name from several cuts.

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  • I fail to see how this answers the question,. – Wrzlprmft Feb 14 '15 at 8:54
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    @Wrzlprmft - The first line contains an answer (of sorts) to the question; e.g. The 2000 mini-series was closer to the books (in which he's not god-like). – Valorum Feb 14 '15 at 9:57

Apart from the original film not being entirely true to the book, some people got the wrong impression from it. Muad'Dib was a near to godlike as a mortal can get due to his use of spice and his consumption of the Water of Life. Lynch went a bit over the top with his depiction of Muad'Dib influencing the weather. The book says that one of the Fremen was creating several oases of plants that would ultimately change the weather of Arrakis forever. This would never be in the lifetime of anyone currently alive though.

Maud'Dib went mad in the Children of Dune miniseries which wasn't entirely true. In the books, he did however express deep concern that he was being elevated to the status of a god by those trying to profit from his legacy. The "Golden Path" that his son Leto took was more of a depiction of the "God Emperor" book, but not at the behest of his father and the captured worm was from "Chapter House". The miniseries tried to tie up the rest of the books in a very rushed ending.

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