Star Wars vs Dune, which is better?

by Trailerman Sam

When Dune Part 1 was released on October 22, 2021, someone insisted that this movie could be the next Star Wars. Maybe, I thought so.

But after watching Dune Part 2, which was released on Feb 15, 2024, I could only say that this 2 hours and 46 minutes of sci-fiction is blended heavily with some sort of religious doctrine grinding it to be nothing but a desert of dust in comparison to Star Wars.
The setting in both Star Wars and Dune Both are fictional lands and advanced civilisations having the capability to travel between planets. In Star Wars, the combination of science fiction and fantasy elements makes Star Wars a very universal franchise, capable of chronicling disparate genres.

There’s just something about the cinematography and sound design that makes you want more of it. The excellence of the cinematography tends to make you soak and soak to the extent of creating a lust to be there in the movie as a Jedi Knight.

Whereas in Dune, it’s plain rocky hills, some sand storms and a few desert worms thrown in. Even the backdrop of the villainous Vladimir Harkonnen’s planet of Giedi Prime is in dull black and white. Definitely a far cry and a different picture from Star Wars’ top villain, Darth Vader, who’s in a super shining black armour outfit.
Star Wars is essentially a roller coaster ride, a family drama played out over decades and inter-planetary wars. On the other hand, Dune is essentially about a battle of ideologies and power.

No doubt Frank Herbert, the author of Dune, is a master of incredibly building a world with original thinking. On the contrary, his writing is difficult to digest. Like most people, I didn’t succeed in finishing Dune on the first and second try.

The talk is that both Dune and Star Wars share an enormous amount of DNA, so much similarity that Herbert complained that George Walton Lucas Jr (creator of Star Wars) “stole” from him.

Star Wars is about finding spirituality in a galaxy void of it. It’s very much universal and more optimistic than Dune. Luke from Star Wars saves the galaxy by helping to save his father’s soul.

Whereas Paul, the hero of Dune, over-emotionally takes control of the galaxy by manipulating a religion he knows is fabricated. Very different stories.

The themes of philosophy, ecology and free will are very much present in Star Wars, as are many, many, many other political, social and personal themes.

In Episode I alone, the themes one talks about are heavily reflected when it comes to the invasion of the planet Naboo, the Gungan and the Jedi. A corporation attempting to colonise a planet, letting its technological, dystopian, soulless aberrations run rampant on the planet’s flora and fauna.

The Jedi’s outlook and connection to life itself, the Jedi’s views on Anakin, Anakin’s incapacity to find actual freedom because most of his life he just hops on from one slave master to another in the form of Watto, the Jedi and Palpatine. I could go on all day.

An easier way to see Star Wars more profoundly is by re-watching the movies with actual attention, not just glancing at them.

In terms of tone, Star Wars is far less pessimistic, incorporating more “Asian sorts of influences” in terms of the Jedi and echoes of Buddhist and Samurai culture, and is fundamentally a visual story.

Star Wars has achieved truly mythic status in our culture, which is a stunning achievement. Dune is influential, but not mythic.

Dune ideas are incredibly hard to visualise and to digest. The sheer processing power of a mental, whose mind moves faster than Henri, the Nvidia-based supercomputer. How do you show a character with cellular memory of all their ancestors?

Dune fell short of showing the extent of the powers of mankind. It’s an epic parable to discuss multitudinous complicated issues that are difficult to connect with.
Dune is trying to sell as a parable of the dangers of oil dependence, religious dogmatism and environmental destruction. Doesn’t that sounds rather sombre?

Another main reason why Dune isn’t as popular as Star Wars is because of its minimal combat. There was combat on a grand depressing scale and it’s barely given details. Even the personal combat in Dune was mystifying. Personal force shields, guns and lasers were useless and people used daggers!

That sounds boring next to an epic lightsabre battle in Star Wars. Lightsabre is the ultimate weapon of a Jedi Knight and the followers of the dark side of The Sith Lords.

Finally in Star Wars, the phrase “May the force be with you” has earned a place in everyday life as it is seen as a nice way of saying goodbye, good luck, may you be protected or come back safely. Because the force that guides the moon, stars and planets can also guide you if you are a believer.

[Trailerman Sam (, who watches movies intently from Lunas, Kedah, often has a thing to say about motion pictures, be it from Hollywood or Bollywood]