I've watched David Lynch's Dune, the 3-hour cut (complete with expository animation sequence) and overall I think it holds up pretty well aside from the strong homophobic bent.

However, one of the scenes that bothers me, in fact, the one bothering me the most, is the part of the final scene where Paul makes it rain on Arrakis

Who chose to take this specific diversion from the original novel, and why?

  • 2
    Isn't it obvious? It's because HE IS THE KWISATZ HADERACH!!! Commented Jun 19, 2014 at 20:24
  • 1
    Fun fact: That creepy little girl is a very young Alicia Witt making her big screen debut. Commented Jun 19, 2014 at 20:27
  • @Richard - I need to bleach my brain.... Commented Jun 19, 2014 at 22:43
  • Why? Because why wouldn't the messiah of the fremen finally make it rain on Arrakis?
    – user66079
    Commented May 13, 2016 at 15:28
  • 1
    @user66079: Umm, because 1. Messiah's are myths and 2. Because he just wouldn't? i.e. this belief is not suggested in the books; and what are all the sietches for then?
    – einpoklum
    Commented May 13, 2016 at 23:41

2 Answers 2


The concept of the rains coming at the end seems to have crept in somewhere between the 6th and 7th version of the script.

In the 6th Draft, the film ends with a closeup of Paul's eye, followed by this scene;

enter image description here

Precisely one year later, the script entered its final revision and this scene was inserted;


Paul opens his mouth and issues an ever increasing wind. Lightning and thunder begin. Clouds begin to form over the Palace. In the half-light of dusk, thousands of Fremen watch the sky. Giant golden lights are illuminated and their rays shoot far into the sky illuminating the growing clouds. Five tremendous bolts of lightning suddenly unleash a downpour of RAIN ON ARRAKIS. The Fremen stand awestruck as they are drenched with water falling from the sky.

The 'who?' of "who came up with the idea?" is pretty easy. The script was written by David Lynch.

The "why?" of "why the heck did they do this" is much harder to pin down. Although I personally suspect that this was intended to portray the words at the end of the Dune novel

"The Fremen have the word of Muad'Dib," Paul said. "There will be flowing water here open to the sky and green oases rich with good things.

As to why this decision (to have it rain) was ultimately taken, the very best answer I can give is Lynch's own words

"this film was my one big failure...it was a nightmare...an absolute nightmare...stupid...awful..."

  • 3
    Wow. Didn't know Lynch felt so strongly about the movie. Commented Jun 19, 2014 at 22:44
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    I would say the "why" is probably because making rain and implying that the freemen will become free farmers is a more "nice" finale that Paul Atreides'freemen launching their jihad across the galaxy.
    – SJuan76
    Commented Jun 20, 2014 at 8:40
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    @Sjuan76 - I've seen some speculation that he did it on purpose in order to kill off any possibility that he'd get stuck doing a sequel.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jun 20, 2014 at 8:54
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    @einpoklum - I think it's fair to say that he regretted making it.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jun 20, 2014 at 11:33
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    It's unfortunate Lynch feels that way. It's a pretty enjoyable movie and not a bad adaptation of the book.
    – DCShannon
    Commented May 13, 2016 at 15:35

It is established that the planet can only support spice production because it is dry.

Paul says to the Fremen that they must destroy all spice production on Arrakis.

By making it rain, Paul has accomplished the objective he declared.

By inserting this event into the (1984) movie, it provides a logical ending - Paul learns his destiny, seeks a goal, and by movie's end, he's done it. This makes the movie a self-contained story.

Compare to Star Wars (1977). The very first movie ends with the destruction of the Death Star - a nice neat happy ending which doesn't call for a sequel. Obviously, its commercial success demanded sequels. Empire Strikes Back (1980) ends almost abruptly because it is a given that another installment is to come. Return of the Jedi (1983) again ends with a happy ending to properly close out the trilogy (no further installments contemplated at the time).

Consider also Back to the Future. The first movie was written as a stand alone, despite the hook ending (and the "To Be Continued" which was added to the home video release). The second movie truly ends in mid-story with Doc in the old west and Marty in the 1950s because parts 2 & 3 were shot together.

The studio probably anticipated that Dune would not do well at the box office, and may have wanted to close the door on the possibility of anyone pitching for sequel, hence the nice tidy (rain)bow on the story.

  • 1
    Your're just guessing, though, right? Also I don't find it reasonable within the story arc.
    – einpoklum
    Commented Jul 1, 2016 at 23:10
  • @einpoklum Speculation yes, but not without justification. It's exactly the sort of thing a studio would do, and such things are always motivated by either profit or politics.
    – Anthony X
    Commented Jul 1, 2016 at 23:41

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