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of inconsistencies and the futility of discussion


Guest Ibad
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First I would like to greet the fans in this forum, and rejoyce in the zeal different opinions lend to the Herbert legacy. This discussion was made known to me by a friend of mine, Greek-Fire and I must say It has been somewhat of a theme of discussion amongst friends of mine. First thing one must have in mind in taking sides, in my opinion, is to

understand the basic differences between an adaptation to the big screen and on to the tellie. The screenplay is writen

with different goals. And that

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How can you honestly say costumes, in a book with sparse details about clothing, are more important than making Paul a god in the lynch movie?

That is absolutely absurd. It totally defiles the meaning of the book, whereas costumes do not.

"As a adaptation, they both take liberties, but those in the series are more grave. Irulan doesnt have that much importance and Lady Jessica behaves unlike a Bene Gesserit, when she panics at the moment Paul drinks from the water of Life."

Irulan took over Lady Fenring's role, and she most certainly did more in the Miniseries than she ever said or did in the Lynch movie. In the book Jessica is sometimes caught with her bene gesserit guards down.

"The most impossible to forgive is Paul

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And if you really want to get into the details of those blatent inconsistencies made by Lynch:

1.) Where did Count Fenring disappear to?

2.) Why didnt Irulan marry Paul in the end?

3.) Why was Shaddam IV said to be over 200 years old?

4.) Why was Reverend Mother Mohiam bald when she was described as having hair like matted spiderwebs?

5.) Why didn't Feyd make an assasination attempt on the Baron?

6.) Why did the Emperor have Rabban killed? That never happened in the book.

7.) Where did the weirding modules come from?

8.) Why was everyone using projectile guns? That certainly wasnt from the book.

9.) Where in the book was Thufir forced to milk a cat to keep from dieing from the latent poison?

10.) Why was there absolutely no use of shields on the Emperor's ship nor the Sardaukar?

11.) What happened to Paul's child Leto? Did he mysteriously disappear like Fenring......

12.) Please explain to me how Paul made it rain on Arrakis in the movie, that was most certainly NEVER in the book.

13.) Why were the Sardaukar running around in garbage bags all covered up and breathing green gas when they are clearly described of having typical blond hair and chiseled features with black and gray uniforms?

14.) Why was the Emperor meeting with a Guild navigator even though the Guild never permitted ANYONE from seeing them?

15.) Where did the Harkonnen heart plugs come from?

16.) Why were the Sardaukar not in Harkonnen livery in the Harkonnen invasion of Arrakis? Gee the Emperor must not care about the Landsraad discovering his secret dealings....

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Guest Greek Fire

Well, well, well... Let's truly talk about the title of this topic. "Of inconsistencies and the futility of discussion": At first this seemed like an interesting topic to start a mature discussion but all falls down when people start "roleplaying" too much the closeness of vision of their nicknames. In this case the topic, ironically guesses the future of this discussion. But well let's get on with it.

First, I have to agree with my friend Ibad in the sense that the storytelling liberties taken by Harrison were the worst possibly conceived in adapting a work so profoundly deep in meaning and it's consequent implications. One of the many themes of Dune is of course the one of Religion and future of an entire race laid in the shoulders of one man. One of the greatest failings of Lunch's movie is the somewhat superficial treatment of this theme: religion. Due to time limits and the early misconception that the general public whouldn't understand the full scope of the movie, Lynch (and Herbert in matter of fact), decided to sacrifice the cleariness of the script in favor of more symbolic imagery that far surpassed some of the dialogues. In my opinion it was a bold move and a quite understandable one. On the other hand, did the overly constantly announced six-hour lenght of the mini-series truly explored this theme in all it's importance? In my opinion? Not quite! One of the first things I was baffled with in the mini-series was the horribly caractherizing of the Bene Gesserit "witches" in Harrison's translation of one of the most memorable scenes of the book : the testing of the Box by Mohiam. All of us who have read the book clearly understood that Mohiam tested Paul to part the waters of human racionalism and bestial instincts. This two elements constitutes the whole of our nature as rational animals. The Bene Gesserit Prana Bindu training consists in very large strokes of the total control of the nervous and empathic systems to cross the borders of our "savagerie" so omnipresent after 10.000 years! In Harrison's version of Herbert's work, Mohiam tests not the duality I've just refered but the extent of the power of the so commonly accepted (as I was wrongly led to perceive in watching this scene) "weirding ways" inerent to Paul Prana Bindu's Training by Jessica. Thus, does this scene makes some kind of sense? Of course not.

Likewise, I could list an entire group of incoherencies and mistakes done by Harrison but as I've understood by the reading the posts of the other topic, "The Big Debate", this doesn't seem like the best method to elevate a discussion to an other level of maturity and significance.

After all, we only saw the mini-series to get the oportunity to revisit some of the omitted scenes from the book and in the end we only liked the series because of this fact. The Lynch's version by far surpasses Harrison's. And don't try do deny it, ok? LOL

And other little thing concerning the visual concepts (designing of sets, equipment and clothing) explored in Lynch's movie Why did Herbert's not so quite descritive workings of the setting followed the creative sensibility of this version in the consequent novels?

With all the respect...

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The Lynch movie does not surpass the miniseries by far. There, I have denied it.

Both versions have their inconsistencies, and I agree with you I liked the box scene better in the Lynch movie. But Lynch's are those involving themes from the books, and Harrison's are more superificial.

"Why did Herbert's not so quite descritive workings of the setting followed the creative sensibility of this version in the consequent novels?"

I don't understand what you're trying to say here.

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Ibad I agree with you when you talk about the essence of the scene with the hunter seeker in Lynch's version compared to the Harrison version. It was closer to the book in it's essence. When we speak of Paul being as a Messiah to the Fremen it was a reality but Paul chose NOT to be that Messiah that the Fremen wanted (Dune Messiah and Children of Dune). As we see later in the Chronicles Leto (paul's 2nd son) does what he wouldn't do become one with the worm so to speak. The look of the costumes were not very interesting they seemed to be copys of something from the Middle Ages not 10,091. Paul never mocked the Fremen faith in the book he chose to become a part of it. Although his mother did not want him to he would anyway under the events what would you expect. Irulan was what she was a "ghanima" because Paul would never love her she was not his "desert spring" that would be Chani. "Star Wars" special effects mean nothing when it is not exciting and unaspiring. Greek Fire you made mention of the visual concepts explored in Lynch's version are you saying that they held to the creative sensibility along with the rest of the novels. Lynch's visuals in my opinion represented what Dune should look like on the screen besides the differences with book desciptions of certain characters. Could you explain what you are saying so I could better understand where it is your coming from? You also mention the symbolic imagery in Lynch's version did make a far greater impact than some of the dialogues. Alot of people I think kinda miss that when they look at the movie. Religion is not an easy subject to talk about when dealings with something like Dune. What I mean is when you read the whole Dune Chronicles it is put on the table for autopsy you might know this John Doe but you don't because he is a "John Doe" you really don't know who he is. I am not saying that my opinion is the best or that I am right and anyone is wrong because I joined to discuss Dune as a whole also not just as a movie.

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"The look of the costumes were not very interesting they seemed to be copys of something from the Middle Ages not 10,091."

The Duniverse was a technologically backwards feudalistic society that closely parallels the Middle Ages, the costumes should reflect that. In the miniseries you have the wealthy aristocrats and nobles wearing exotic outfits and the peasant population wearing dirty rags (as seen in the groundcar ride with Jessica, Paul, and Dr. Yueh). We only get to see the aristocrats in the Lynch film, never the lower classes.

I think the Lynch film attempts to show the fanaticism of the Fremen with Paul as their leader/messiah but totally misses the whole point of the story, that this was a situation thrust upon Paul, and he used to his fullest advantage to survive on Arrakis, and not in any way was he a god. The whole prophecy the Fremen had was just a Bene Gesserit hoax created by the Missionaria Protectiva. The conversations between Jessica and Ramallo in the miniseries, as well as the one with Jessica and Paul accurately portray this point from the book.

Religion in Dune, IMO, is the largest and most important theme of the entire story, the intricacies and essence of which were lost in the Lynch film.

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think it says anywhere that Romallo was Bene Gesserit in the book, jsut that she was a reverend mother, and I don't think it says anywhere that the religion WAS planted by the Bene Gesserit, just that Jessica thought it was.

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It seems like the prophecy regarding Paul was originally two different religious thoughts that blended into one. One of which was the prophet, the Lisan al giab, and the other the messiah, the Mahdi.

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Ah-h-h-mm-m-m yes, Shaddam the Duniverse was a technologically backwards feudalistic society that closely parallels the Middle Ages but time has pasted it's 10,091 would the the "costumes" not change? You graft the entire Middle Ages (the look and the system) and put them in the year 10,091. The look that Lynch had IMO was more of how I saw Dune being that it was the year 10,091. I already understood about the feudalistic society but to me with all the other influences (asian, native-american etc.,etc.) that would also change the way it looks in the Duniverse. What is your opinion on this and the mixture of all the different religions and how they influence the look of the film and mini-series?

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Mahdi: The Missionaria Protectiva sent representatives of the Bene Gesserit to dangerous places like Arrakis to instill religious prophecies in the event of a member being stranded there. Ramallo was one of a long line of successors of these Bene Gesserit Reverand Mothers.

Taken from the Terminology of the Imperium:

Missionaria Protectiva- the arm of the Bene Gesserit order charged with sowing infectious superstitions on primitive worlds, thus opening those regions to exploitation by the Bene Gesserit.(see Panoplia Propheticus)

Reverand Mother- originally a proctor of the Bene Gesserit, one who has transformed an "illuminating poison" within her body, raising herself to a higher state of awareness. Title adopted by Fremen for their own religious leaders who accomplished a similar "illumination".

Taken from Appendix III- Report on Bene Gesserit Motives and Purposes

"(It may be argued here that the Bene Gesserit sent their Missionaria Protectiva onto Arakis centures earlier to implant something like this legend as a safeguard should any members of the school be trapped there and require sanctuary, and that this legend of "the voice from the outer world" was properly to be ignored because it appeared to be the standard Bene Gesserit ruse..."

About the costumes: There is very little detail given in the books about their style of dress aside from the Fremen and, later the Corrino's on Salusa Secundus. I think the consistency given in the miniseries of Middle Age govt., dress, and social structure was closer to what Herbert had in mind.

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It doesn't actually say Rommallo is a Bene Gesserit or a descendant of the Bene Gesserit, jsut that Fremen have named those who have the same powers as Reverend Mothers Reverend Mothers. And it doesn't actually say that the legends were planted, just that it could be argued that they did.

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"Jessica sighed, thinking: So our Missionaria Protectiva even planted religous safety valves all through this hell hole. Ah, well...it'll help, and that's what it was meant to do."

Further down on that same page:

"The revelation shook him, and Jessica thought: If only he knew the tricks we use! She must've been good, that Bene Gesserit of the Missionaria Protectiva. These Fremen are beautifully prepared to believe in us."

~ p.284 paperback DUNE

"Pass within, she thought. An odd way of putting it. But the rest of it fitted into the cant well enough. And she felt a cynical bitterness at what she had done. Our Missionaria Protectiva seldom fails. A place was prepared for us in this wilderness. The prayer of the salat has out our hiding place. Now...I must play the part of Auliya, the Friend of God...Sayyadina to rogue peoples who've been so heavily imprinted with our Bene Gesserit soothsay they even call their chief priestesses Reverand Mothers."

~ p.294-295 paperback DUNE

Unless Jessica is a compulsive liar to herself and completely oblivious to the workings of the Bene Gesserit, I think these quotes are pretty clear.

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She is thinking that Shaddam, it is her opinion, no one from the Bene Gesserit ever actually said that the missonaria protectiva was sent there.

Just like it is someones opinion that Adolf Hitler hated Jews because he once visited a Jewish prostitute that gave him gonheria.

Just like many people think that the sinking of the lusitania was the USA's goal all along, and that they even leaked info saying it was carrying amunition to be sure that the germans would sink it.

Just like it is the opinion of some that the USA did the same thing at Pearl Harbour, that is why all of there carriers had left the base before the bombing.

Just like its some people's opinion that a shadow government rules the world.

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Seriously Mahdi, you think that Frank Herbert would put in all these thoughts and actions from one of the main characters in the book, all for nothing?? And on top of that, creating this whole organization who's purpose is to indoctrinate native populations on dangerous worlds and have it NOT tie in to the story somehow?? Doing so is a sign of very poor authorship, you simply don't fill a book up with junk that has no meaning to the themes of the story. Authors rarely give direct evidence that leads to a theme of their story.

Logical reasoning dictates that the Missionaria Protectiva, an arm of the Bene Gesserit, prepared the Fremen in case one of their own was stranded on the planet. A Reverend Mother started this and passed down her other memories generation after generation until it got to Ramallo, that was why she was able to pass them to Jessica during the Water of Life Ceremony.

Not only are these the thoughts of an expert and a member of the Bene Gesserit (Gaius Helen Mohiam proclaimed Jessica was her best student!), she KNOWS these for a fact because she has been trained to look for minute details (ie. the code on the leaf in the conservatory that contained a message from Margot Fenring) that give her signs her Sisterhood has been there.

Until you offer evidence to support your claims this is the only logical explanation! Simply saying "There is never anyone who actually said the Missionaria Protectiva indoctrinated the people of Arrakis" does not hold water against all the quotes and indirect evidence from the story.

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"Missionaria Protectiva" and "Panoplia Propheticus" those are basically what you call life insurance policies. They basically protect the "good" missionaries from getting eaten by the "bad" natives. Bene Gesserit with their ruses and such but alls fair in control and domination. The Spanish Inquisition anyone?

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He put those thoughts in her head to explain HOW she knew what to do, and also to show how she and Paul knew how to manipulate the Fremen's religion. Therefore they were not in there for nothing.

Once again, she KNOW this for a fact becuase she followed minute details? Once again you can use that arguement to say that Adolf Hitler hated Jews because he once visited a Jewish prostitute that gave him gonheria. Those people are experts in his life too, the fact that they beleive it does not make it fact.

Same with the theory of the Lusitania. People have spent there professional lives studying WW1 and that ship, and they are experts on it, and they beleive that the USA had planned for the Germans to sink the boat, but the fact they beleive so DOES NOT make it fact, just theory.

What you are saying is a theory Shaddam, not fact.

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"He put those thoughts in her head to explain HOW she knew what to do, and also to show how she and Paul knew how to manipulate the Fremen's religion. Therefore they were not in there for nothing."

And she knew HOW to do it because she was given the training necessary to recognize the Missionaria Protectiva's signs of indoctrination. There is NEVER any doubt in Jessica's mind that the signs she sees are false. If Herbert says she's an expert, that knows her stuff then it is true, and it is proven by Gaius Helen Mohiam's regarding her as her best student.

You didn't answer my point:

"And on top of that, creating this whole organization who's purpose is to indoctrinate native populations on dangerous worlds and have it NOT tie in to the story somehow??"

This is a fictional book Mahdi created by an author to teach an increasingly important lesson, the evidence supports his themes and is clear and not clouded by time and hearsay. Unlike the Lusitania and Adolph Hitler. These situations simply cannot be compared.

The evidence given by a member and an expert on the Bene Gesserit (by her teacher's testimony no less) proves that the Missionaria Protectiva indoctrinated the people of Arrakis as a means to protect future generations of Bene Gesserit should they become stranded. All the thoughts and actions of Jessica show this connection. You still have not showed anything from the book that would suggest or prove otherwise.

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If I may say something just for a minute. MahdiDLA you have a good point but the thing is Shaddam is not a abstract thinker in those terms. Shaddam do not take offense it's not ment to be an insult. You are a concrete thinker if's and's and but's do not matter to you just the facts on paper. As for Lady Jessica and Paul manipulating the Fremen it would have been more of Jessica than Paul because as we see Paul he embraces the Fremen even as Jessica tries to stop him Bene Gesserit knows best. As for Gaius Helen Mohiam saying that Jessica was her best student she also says she is her worst failure. "A Bene Gesserit axiom came to Jessica's mind Survival is the ability to swim in strange water. and Jessica thought: Paul and I , we must find the currents and patterns in these strange waters ...if we're to survive"

~Page 311 DUNE

Yes, Jessica was an expert she knew what she was talking about and MAYBE the M.P. did indeed find it's way to Arrakis but it is not really said for sure. It plays out as part of the story. Remember the scattering people were sent out but never were heard from again? It could go either way based on how Herbert tells the story. With respect to both of your opinions.:)

"Paul sat silently in the darkness, a single stark thought dominating his awareness: My mother is my enemy. She does not know it, but she is. She is bringing the jihad. She bore; she trained me. She is my enemy."

~Page 321 DUNE

From that part of the book we understand now that Paul and his mother on are on different sides about their place on Arrakis. This also goes back to statement that Mohiam makes about Jessica. Remember what Mohiam also says after the Gom Jabbar test "Could he be the one but will he be OURS to CONTROL". I know that is off the subject that you guys are discussing but to me it ties into the whole picture. My point being both of you have good points each of you are just looking at it from different angles.

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"Yes, Jessica was an expert she knew what she was talking about and MAYBE the M.P. did indeed find it's way to Arrakis but it is not really said for sure. It plays out as part of the story. Remember the scattering people were sent out but never were heard from again?"

That's only in the later books, we're talking about the first one specifically since it deals with Paul being accepted as a Messiah and how he manipulated the Fremen religion (with the help of his mother and associates). By the time of the scattering Paul is dead and gone. Since the books after Dune were written later than the original, except CoD and parts of Messiah (or at least so I read), I think it would be best to keep the books seperate in the discussion. Was it really even the Missionaria Protectiva involved in the Scattering for sure? Meaning that there is sufficient indirect and possibly direct evidence :) I can't remember exactly. If there is just say so and I'll take your word for it so we don't get caught in a side discussion.

"As for Gaius Helen Mohiam saying that Jessica was her best student she also says she is her worst failure."

Mohiam is talking about how Jessica betrayed the Bene Gesserit by bearing a daughter, doesn't mean she was a failure in her training.

Frank Herbert is a very subtle man, who wrote a very intricate book, and undoubtedly there will be gray areas for discussion due to the lack of direct evidence. In light of this, I still believe the evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of the Missionaria Protectiva indoctrinating the Fremen before Paul and Jessica got there.

Another example of this would be the Baron Harkonnen. The book never openly comes and say he's homosexual, just that he wanted his slave boy drugged so he wouldn't have to wrestle, and of course the assasination attempt by Feyd with the needle in the slave boy's leg.

Compliments will get you everywhere with me :)

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I never admitted I could be wrong, I said I believe the evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of my explanation.

No one has yet to deliver concrete evidence to disprove my "theory", while I have delivered an expert witness with impeccable reputation, and until someone does there is no cause for reasonable doubt. I will admit I could be wrong when someone can establish cause for reasonable doubt through evidence, and there is absolutely nothing from the book that can do so.

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Absolutly nothing from the book.

Virtually all Bene Gesserit have female children, correct? It is incredibly rare for them to give birth to male children, true?

Then wouldn't it have made sense for the Missonaria protectiva to have planted a legend concerning a Bene Gesserit and her DAUGHTER, not her son?

Otherwise, it would ahve jsut been a waste of time and man (excuse me) woman-power, and the Bene Gesserit don't seem to be the wastefull kind.

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