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History lesson

Did you spot these Dune references in pop culture?

Film

  • Star Wars: Herbert’s influence is evident in Star Wars, with similarities between Tatooine and Arrakis, the concept of "spice", and the Force's resemblance to the Voice.
  • Phantasm: Features a bar named Dune and a scene reminiscent of the Gom Jabbar sequence from Dune.
  • Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind: Influenced by Dune, with parallels between the protagonists and the giant sand worms.
  • Beetlejuice: Features giant sand creatures, a visual nod to Dune.
  • Moonrise Kingdom: Contains a map of Arrakis from David Lynch’s Dune adaptation.
  • Trolls: References the iconic Dune line, “He who controls the spice controls the universe!”
  • Ready Player One: Mentions the planet Arrakis as a virtual destination.

  Television

  • The Simpsons: Features animated Dune book covers and references to the spice's time-seeing properties.
  • Futurama: Contains several Dune nods, including a stillsuit and a giant sand worm.
  • Star Trek: Mentions planets like Arrakis Prime and Giedi Prime.
  • Adventure Time: An episode set in a sand city with a giant sand worm.
  • The Venture Brothers: Contains direct references to characters from Dune.
  • Robot Chicken: Features a skit set on Arrakis with the sand worms.
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy: An episode heavily influenced by God Emperor of Dune.
  • Chuck: Contains multiple Dune references, including a poster and the line “fear is the mind-killer”.
  • SpongeBob Squarepants: Features a giant sand worm creature and a wormsign reference.
  • Law & Order: SVU: Quotes the Litany Against Fear from Dune.
  • Wilfred: Uses the famous Dune line, “I must not fear, fear is the mind-killer.”
  • South Park: Contains several Dune references, including a play on the line about controlling the universe.
  • Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated: Mimics the opening sequence of David Lynch’s Dune.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: Contains numerous Dune mentions.
  • Rick and Morty: Features a line reminiscent of Dune's themes.

Books

  • Name of the Wind: Contains a scene referencing Arrakis and the Fremen.
  • National Lampoon’s Doon: A parody of Herbert’s Dune.

  Games

  • World of Warcraft: Features an item named Jom Gabbar, referencing the Gom Jabbar from Dune.
  • Space Craft III: The Pirates of Pestulon: Contains a Dune Easter egg.
  • Fallout: Features a drug called Mentats, reminiscent of Dune's Mentat discipline.
  • Far Cry 3: Mentions a drug called Spice, referencing the spice melange in Dune.
  • Sudden Strike 4: Contains a Dune reference involving blue-eyed men, giant worms, and spice.

Music

  • Fatboy Slim’s “Weapon of Choice”: Contains a line straight from Dune.
  • 30 Seconds to Mars’s 30 Seconds to Mars: Explores themes with multiple Dune references.
  • Iron Maiden’s “To Tame a Land”: A track based entirely on Dune.
  • Grimes’ Geidi Prime: A concept album based on Dune.
  • Lady Gaga’s “Telephone”: The music video lists “meta-cyanide” from Dune as an ingredient.
  • Tool’s “Liatnie contra la pour”: Title translates to “Litany Against Fear”, a reference to Dune.
Jake, Heywise Staff

Quiz WriterJake, Heywise Staff

<p>Jake didn’t think he’d become a writer when he was growing up in southern Saskatchewan, Canada, but fate had another idea. After barely squeaking through grade 9 English, by the luck of the draw Jake found himself with the most inspiring literature instructor his small town had ever known, and grade 10 English changed his life! Suddenly, evenings once spent at the hockey rink were spent curled up on the couch with the best of Hemingway, Dickens, and John Grisham. A valedictorian address and English degree at the University of Regina later, Jake is proud to call Heywise his favorite place to pen informative quizzes about all his passion projects. If you’re reading a post and pick up a hint of classic English literature, you’re probably reading something by Jake - especially if you come away feeling like a slightly better person for it.</p>

Did you know?

What's the subtext in Dune?

"Dune," written by Frank Herbert, was published in 1965. The novel went on to become the best-selling science fiction book in history. Why is it so popular, and what are some of its themes? Well, it is escapist fantasy fiction, for starters. When Dune was released, Star Trek and Star Wars didn't even exist yet. The grand space opera was still a germinating seed in George Lucas's mind. Anticolonial movements were well underway, so the concepts of empire and exploitation were topical. Then there are the various nods to religion. There's Arabic vocabulary in the Fremen language and talk of jihad, and the holy book is called the "Orange Catholic Bible." Because "Dune" is set in the distant future, familiar elements and religious syncretism exist. Thematically, the books are about how politics and religion intersect, how tech can encroach on our lives, and the material impact we have on our natural environment.

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So, stop stressing. Just click on the answer that suits you best, and enjoy the ride. These quizzes are just for fun but who knows – you might just learn something about yourself along the way!

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