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Dune 2: Paul & Chani's Flirting Was One Of The Biggest Challenges For Zendaya

Even if 2021's "Dune" successfully established the world and characters of the Frank Herbert-created universe, its upcoming sequel, "Dune: Part Two," still has its fair share of challenges as it further explores the desert world of Arrakis. This was especially true for Zendaya, who encountered her own set of difficulties while trying to further explore her role as Fremen fighter Chani.

Speaking with Variety, the actress explains that one of the most challenging aspects of working on the new film was trying to decipher how to depict the evolving romance between Chani and Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet). "It was funny trying to figure out in this futuristic space talk, like, how do they flirt?" Zendaya says. But this would only be the tip of the iceberg for the "Spider-Man: No Way Home" star, whose initial concern birthed even more questions such as, "What does that look like for a space warrior and the young duke of a planet? How do they show that they like each other? What does that even sound like?"

Trying to crack the code to make it all work was certainly a hurdle. However, Zendaya was ultimately able to relate the handling of this ordeal to Chani's journey. "I think it's just as foreign to us as it probably is to the characters," she tells Variety. It's safe to say Zendaya's efforts won't be in vain, as Chani and Paul's journey has plenty to look forward to.

Paul will need help to become the messiah

"Dune" may have seen Chani's appearance primarily relegated to Paul's visions, but its follow-up will have more in store for the character. As "Dune: Part Two" will see Paul Atreides rise to be seen as the savior of the Fremen, both characters will have crucial roles in helping one another achieve greatness.

The first 2021 film saw a major difference from the book towards its ending. In the original novel, when Paul must fight Fremen Jamis (Babs Olusanmokun) to be accepted amongst the desert dwellers, it is Chani who aids him with her knowledge and counseling, as opposed to the film, where she simply views the battle. Given this rich knowledge — and the sequel's heavier focus on romance — Chani will have an important role in the sequel as she further helps Paul acclimate to Fremen society. Similarly, as Paul's ways will have him eventually revered as the messiah, he and Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson) will also teach Chani the martial arts technique known as the Weirding Way.

In the second book, "Dune Messiah," the two also have a child, Leto II, named after Paul's father (Oscar Isaac). However, as "Dune: Part Two" acts as more of a continuation of the original story, it's unknown if this element will also be included. Either way, it's clear that both Paul and Chani have much developing to get through as their battle against House Harkonnen wages on.