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101 votes
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Roughly how large is the population of Sandworms on Dune?

1.6 Million* The only real information we have to go on is a line by Dr. Kynes about the size of a worm's territory. From Dune: “Big ones may control three or four hundred square kilometers. Small ...
Vanguard3000's user avatar
  • 8,906
86 votes
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How does Arrakis maintain a breathable atmosphere without vegetation?

Pardot Kynes, the Imperial Planetologist noticed that too. “Water overshadows the other problems,” Kynes said. “This planet has much oxygen without its usual concomitants—widespread plant life ...
Valorum's user avatar
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78 votes
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In Dune, how do people cope with the lack of computers?

Mentats don't replace computers. They replace computers that "are made in the likeness of the human mind" - that is, Artificial Intelligences. So computational devices exist. Just not ...
WOPR's user avatar
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69 votes
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In Dune, what were the benefits of becoming a Guild Navigator?

If we take the Dune Encyclopedia as a source of information, then we learn that the reality is that Navigators (and their accompanying Steersmen) are bred by the Spacing Guild solely for the purpose ...
Valorum's user avatar
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62 votes
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Why didn't House Atreides stay on Caladan?

In brief, Leto has received a legitimate order from his Emperor. For all that he suspects that this is a trap, he has no good excuse to refuse and his only other option is to declare his House '...
Valorum's user avatar
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58 votes
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Why "In politics, the tripod is the most unstable of all structures"?

The tripod is truly the weakest political structure The balance of power in a political tripod is only stable as long as everyone wants to win and all players would rather prefer the status quo to a ...
Falco's user avatar
  • 1,033
56 votes

Why didn't they notice the invasion in Dune?

There's a few false assumptions there. First are foremost: the Atreides are not capable of space travel, they just have access to it via the Spacing Guild and their heighliners (those mind bogglingly ...
Kris's user avatar
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55 votes
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Where was the missing spice harvester carryall?

In the source novel, the mystery of the missing carryall was solved later. “You’ll all be delighted to know,” she said, “that our Duke sends his reassurances. The matter which called him away has ...
Valorum's user avatar
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55 votes
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How did the Tleilaxu in Dune master the "Language of God"?

In Heretics of Dune (1984), the Tleilaxu leader Waff thinks to himself: No other people have mastered the genetic language as well as have the Bene Tleilax, he reassured himself. We are right to call ...
agent seven's user avatar
  • 1,374
52 votes
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Why do they fight with knives and not with assault rifles in Dune?

It is because of the personal shield worn by warriors, except in the desert on Arrakis. A slow moving object will penetrate a shield. A fast moving projectile will be blocked by it. Paul grew up ...
Judith Jones's user avatar
  • 8,466
52 votes
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Was the appearance of the sand worms in David Lynch's Dune (1984) completely original to that film?

The first depiction of a sandworm with 3 radially-symmetrical mouth flaps I can find is an illustration by John Schoenherr for the first part of the serialized "The Prophet of Dune" in ...
DavidW's user avatar
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50 votes
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Why don't the sandworms attack outworlder cities in Arrakis?

The Shield Wall, a large natural mountain feature, protects Arakeen and Carthag, the two major cities on Arrakis from both worms and the storms that make life much more dangerous on the rest of the ...
suchiuomizu's user avatar
  • 8,882
49 votes
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Why didn't the Atreides family extensively watch this character in such a period of tension?

In brief, Yueh is a person who is supposedly above any consideration of malice or duplicity toward his patients, the house Atreides, because of the conditioning that Doctors from the Suk School ...
Valorum's user avatar
  • 702k
48 votes

Why don't stillsuits protect/retain fluid from the wearer's eyes?

From a filmmaking context, it's simple: to allow seeing the actors' faces. A real stillsuit would kill you faster than dehydration, by cooking you -- unless it has some alternative method of dumping ...
Zeiss Ikon's user avatar
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45 votes
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What was the official story of the Harkonnen invasion of Dune?

The two houses are ancient enemies. The Baron has recently offered to meet with the Duke to discuss a rapprochement. The Duke fell into the trap of openly snubbing him, which then gives the Baron ...
Valorum's user avatar
  • 702k
44 votes
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Why was Paul expected to kill/challenge Stilgar?

The incident occurred a few pages earlier. Paul, now officially a man, is riding the worm and says they go south. Stilgar asks what will happen if he says otherwise. Paul insists and Stilgar takes ...
Valorum's user avatar
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44 votes
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In Dune Messiah, why should blind fremen walk off in the desert?

According to the Dune Encyclopedia, the custom of exposing the blind to the desert was deeply ingrained into their society and was an 'ancient custom'. Blindness was seen as an especially unpleasant ...
Valorum's user avatar
  • 702k
43 votes

In Dune, how do people cope with the lack of computers?

From the glossary in the original Dune, about the Butlerian Jihad: Its chief commandment remains in the O.C. Bible as "Thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of a human mind." Now, ...
Kakturus's user avatar
  • 1,165
42 votes
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Why would the Emperor send his personal troops to help the Harkonnen?

There are schemes within schemes going on here. The Emperor fears Duke Leto and his heirs as possible contenders to the Corrino throne, the Harkonnen want their ancient enemy (the Atreides) dead and ...
Valorum's user avatar
  • 702k
41 votes

Why "In politics, the tripod is the most unstable of all structures"?

You actually have the answer in your question. Three legs together are very stable, yes, and two sides will act to balance out the third. In Dune, there are three groupings that keep one side from ...
Dranon's user avatar
  • 4,186
40 votes

Roughly how large is the population of Sandworms on Dune?

To be technically correct, while being not at all helpful, at the time of God Emperor of Dune there was exactly one sandworm on Arrakis. All other time periods, your mileage may vary.
Broklynite's user avatar
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40 votes
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In Dune, how is the spice mélange used for space travel?

The Dune sequel books expands on how the navigators perform their function. Essentially, the ships have a Holtzmann (the same person behind shields and lasguns) drive which is used to "fold space&...
HorusKol's user avatar
  • 46k
40 votes
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Why does Paul's fight with Feyd-Rautha take so long?

In Paul's thoughts, as he is preparing to fight Feyd-Rautha, he admits his prescience isn't working for this short period of time. From chapter 48 of Dune: They’re [the two Guild Navigators observing]...
nebogipfel's user avatar
  • 7,021
39 votes

What did Herbert think of David Lynch's Dune?

This does seem to be the case. Quoting from a 1984 People magazine article (web archive copy): It's rare to find an author who feels that a director hasn't massacred his work, but after seeing a ...
DavidW's user avatar
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39 votes
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Why did House Atreides have to give up Caladan, while the Harkonnens were allowed to stay on Geidi Prime while also controlling Arrakis?

The Harkonnen were simply under contract to supervise the mining of the spice on Arrakis whereas the Atreides family were given the planet entire, including the responsibility for mining the spice. ...
Valorum's user avatar
  • 702k
38 votes
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Use compact protective field generator to attract sandworms instead of bulky tam-tam device

Thumpers are used to only attract the sandworms, a shield on the other hand attracts the sandworms and drives them into a killing frenzy: "According to Idaho’s report," Hawat said, "...
fez's user avatar
  • 17.6k
38 votes

At the start of Dune, who knew about the Spacing Guild's dependence on spice?

The Great Houses are unaware. Leto is one of the most powerful people in the Landsraad and hasn't the faintest idea what a Guild Navigator looks like or actually does. All of his interactions are ...
Valorum's user avatar
  • 702k
37 votes

What was the official story of the Harkonnen invasion of Dune?

Kanly Houses Atreides and Harkonnen were engaged in a formal feud and the Harkonnen invasion was (except for the Emperor’s involvement) wholly within the rules of the Great Convention.
Dale M's user avatar
  • 5,025
37 votes
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Was the Holtzman Shield gas permeable?

When Gurney Halleck fights with Paul in the beginning of the book, Paul notes that the air within the shield bubbles starts to "grow stale" as the fight goes on. He attributes it to the &...
fez's user avatar
  • 17.6k
36 votes
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Why did the Baron and Piter de Vries fear the Truthsayer?

It's not that the Baron doesn't want to watch them die, it's that he wants plausible deniability as to the reason and manner of their deaths. He wants to be able to stand in the presence of the ...
Valorum's user avatar
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