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Science FICTION Reviews
“We are the secret of the Universe. We know of spice… the spice called melange… the greatest treasure in the Universe. It exists on only one planet… ours Arrakis, Dune. We know of spice and the Bene Gesserit sisterhood’s selective breeding plan of ninety generations to produce the Kwisatz Haderach, the one the spice will awaken.”
36 years ago David Lynch brought Frank Herbert’s Dune to life supported by Emilio Ruiz del Río and his team. This was world building on a grand scale, royal families, tribes, galactic conflict and interesting technology.
On the ship side we had the Carryhall, an atmospheric ship used to carry spice harvesters, moving them away from the sandworms when an attack was anticipated. In the book they are depicted as a quite slender winged ship that fit around the harvester. The film made the ships much more robust and larger with a wedge shape that included an area to scoop up the harvesters.
The Atreides Frigate was 250m across, the ship consisted of a core section where all ship functions would take place with two long conical shaped arms. Landing struts came down from the arms where the arm and core meet and a section of the core then lowers, allowing the occupants and cargo to egress. A larger version of this ship seen in the film was the Harkonnen Flagship, around 50m wider with a much longer tail section, and all components were rounder with no conical points.
However the Frigate pales into insignificance when compared with the Heighline, at 20km wide they can fit tens of Frigates inside, along with thousands of passengers and cargo. These ships are described in the book as globular shaped (I’m imagining Death star) but the film depicted them as cylindrical and with a Guild Navigator using the spice to fold space they could instantly go anywhere.
The Hutment was a Pyramid shaped ship, used to carry soldiers as an instant fort at the moment of landing. Once landed the ship was easily defensible with limited access, which meant it was the perfect landing platform for a Starship Lighter, specifically in the film for the royal spaceship of the Padishah Emperor Shaddam Corrino IV.
The main change on the technology front brought in by Lynch was the voice powered guns, replacing the martial arts for a more instant visual effect.
Concept Art – The Prop Gallery and Dune Special Edition
Images – Dune Wiki
Size Comparison – DirkLoechel

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