"Dune" is a long-time science-fi classic by American science fiction writer Frank Herbert, first published as two separate serials in Analog Magazine. It won the Hugo Award for Best Novel and tied for the second best Hugo Award with William Shatner's "The Omega Syndrome." For the time being, "Dune" remains the only science fiction novel to win the Hugo and Nebula Awards, and remains one of the best science fiction novels ever written.
A decades-long space war rages across the planet of Dune, as the two sides vie for control of the mineral-rich desert world of Midgett. An Emperor from the planet Raxus has been appointed as head of state, with the Imperial Guard called forth to defend the capital from rebellious elements of his own race, the reptilian species called the Ankari. Meanwhile, on the ground on Dune, the rebellious planet earthlings wage psychological warfare against the Imperial Administration. The Reptilians, who are the evil inhabitants of the planet, are represented by the evil changeling menace. This film adaptation of the classic science fiction novel has received several awards and is often considered a cult science fiction classic.
In 1984, the film adaptation of Dune received wide acclaim, not only for the stunning special effects but also for the social message it conveyed. In Dune the chief virtue is that it tells the story of a planet where the people have evolved technologically, but there is still a primitive force striving for freedom and domination who have nevertheless taken hold of the government. The movie explores the themes of prejudice, intolerance, and war; all aspects which are present in the modern world. While some might consider this message to be anti-American in nature, others view it as a futuristic expression of tolerance, peace, and understanding that had manifested in human societies throughout the history of the human species.
Because of its complex and intriguing plot, it was initially difficult for the film rights company to market it successfully in America. When the company executives finally agreed to license the film rights to the work of Frank Herbert Curtana, they hired him as the director because they felt he had the vision to realize their vision of a futuristic science fiction film. One reason that the company originally did not want to license Dune to the domestic market was the language issue. According to the original contract, any changes to the script were unacceptable.
During the late sixties and the early seventies, Dune became a sensation all around the world. It was even made into a popular feature length film by NASA. As it turned out, however, this popular movie had deeper political underpinnings. The Emperor Dune is, in essence, the hero of the story; a young, rebellious planetarium who rise to power through a revolution against his own people, and establishes a rule that will last for generations. The film thus becomes a symbol of resistance to the autocratic rule throughout the ages.
Despite the popularity of Dune, it also received a number of mixed reviews. Some critics found it too slow and ponderous, while others found it an enjoyable and exciting sci-fi movie. Most of the critics found fault with the less technical aspects of the movie, which they felt were far removed from the quality of the work of Frank Herbert Curtana. However, the overwhelming majority of reviewers found the movie to be far more entertaining than the original version, which gave dune a negative review that has stood the test of time. Today, the movie remains widely praised for its unique take on the tale of the ancient and powerful ruler of the sands.