No one actually knows what the hell is happening in ‘Dune’

But these memes might provide a bit of clarity.


The thing about Dune is that even if you’re an expert on it, you still have no idea what the fuck is going on. The universe built by Frank Herbert in the classic 1965 sci-fi novel is notoriously confusing, the sort of densely wrought world that requires a Wikipedia tab open whether you’re reading it for the first time or the tenth. This source material has proven difficult for even the most talented filmmakers over the decades. David Lynch famously disavowed his own 1984 film and before that, psychedelic auteur Alejandro Jodorowsky had his ambitious dreams of a 14-hour adaptation dashed after financing realities caught up with his lofty vision, in the end having to settle for a documentary about the failed film.

Yet, a new Dune is finally here, a big, capital-m Movie from Denis Villeneuve, rife with a deafening score from Hans Zimmer, gigantic sand worms, gigantic buildings, gigantic ships, and gigantic blobby Stellan Skarsgård. Appropriately, it has engendered polarizing takes: some praising it as an immediate, awe-inspiring classic, and others saying, well, not exactly that. Villeneuve’s adaptation, the first entry to a planned two-parter, might be sliced up in terms somewhat similar to the book: overlong, confusing in all its alien terminology, and over-the-top in its otherworldly grandiosity (the film snobs are right, you really should see it on the big screen).

Of course, the best and funniest way, then, to process an esoteric, bombastic, and contentious film is in the form of hilariously terse memes. Whether you’ll never see the movie, or you saw it and are still scratching your head, let this curated selection help summarize what exactly Dune is.

Dune is a complex allegory about the self-searching expanse of the desert:

The central motif of Dune is a metaphor for the duality of sexual repression and freedom:

Dune is what happens when Oscar Isaac and Rebecca Ferguson produce offspring that is Timothée Chalamet:

Dune is live-action Spongebob:

Dune is live-action Shrek:

And now you understand Dune.