What does this 2021 film adaptation of the 1965 Frank Herbert novel attempt to portray in terms of the predestination of Paul Atreides and his evolving attitude toward the leadership role toward which he is being groomed? Do Paul’s visions of his own future raise moral questions for him as to whether he should take on the leadership role he is apparently destined to take? How does the story capitalize on the “block theory of time” in the person of Paul? How does the story serve as a cautionary tale for charismatic political leaders? Does the story in some way support fascism? How does the story of Paul resemble the story of T.E. Lawrence? Does the weight of the novel’s political setting overburden both it and the film with exposition? What historical inspirations did Herbert have in mind when writing the novel? How does the film remind us of Saudi Arabia’s history and relations with the United States, Britain, or the USSR? How do the Fremen reflect the stresses of environmental factors upon human populations as they attempt to survive in harsh climates?

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