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Dune: Part Two Second Trailer: Breakdown, Small Details, And Big Reveals

After the disappointment that followed David Lynch's adaptation of Frank Herbert's science fiction masterpiece "Dune," director Denis Villeneuve had the unenviable task of righting the ship with regard to one of the most beloved books ever written. Fortunately for fans, however, the filmmaker's take on the legendary tale of Paul Atreides ended up being incredibly well-received, even earning a Best Picture nomination at the Oscars.

However, all of that great news came with a small caveat: "Dune" only told the first half of the story. While this wasn't a big surprise, especially as the title card for the film called it "Dune: Part One," that still meant that the film would have to end with the story only roughly at its halfway point, leaving the film without a very satisfying ending.

Still, "Dune: Part Two" is on its way to help its predecessor leave a lasting legacy as one of the all-time science fiction greats. 

The pulse-pounding second trailer for the upcoming sequel comes in at over 3 minutes, and as a result, fans have plenty to parse through along the way. With that in mind, here's what we noticed as we locked our keen eyes on the screen for the latest trailer.

Recap of Dune Part 1

Firstly, for those of you who have a fuzzy recollection of what happened in the first "Dune" film, let us catch you up real quick. The Atreides family is a royal house in space with a vast galactic dominion. As a result of their outstanding reputation and the love of their subjects, they're given the desert planet of Arrakis, which they can mine for one of the most valuable resources in the universe: Spice.

However, all is not as it seems. House Harkonnen, who previously oversaw Arrakis, launches a devastating surprise attack that kills thousands, including Duke Leto Atreides (Oscar Isaac). This leaves young Paul Atreides (Timothee Chalamet) and his mother, Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson), as seemingly the only survivors of the royal family, and they must learn how to survive the harsh deserts of Arrakis if they hope to regain what they've lost.

Still, things are not as dark as they may seem, as Paul seems to be the figure at the heart of two different legends. The first is a calculated plan that the Bene Gesserit have been overseeing for centuries, and the second is a prophecy that the tribal Fremen, who Paul is growing to lead, believe with regard to the young ruler, who they call Muad'Dib. 

Now, with both seemingly coming true, Paul becomes a messianic figure, but with his new powers, which include foresight into the future, he dreads that he may leave the universe worse off than he found it.

Enter Emperor Shaddam IV

Of course, the biggest draw of the "Dune: Part Two" trailer is the reveal of Emperor Shaddam IV, brought to life by the legendary Christopher Walken. While mentioned in the previous film, the trailer gives us our first look at Paul's galaxy-ruling adversary, who will play a vital role in the sequel.

Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV is the man that set the events of "Dune" in motion. Ruling over all of the Known Universe, he fears anything and anyone that threatens his power. Unfortunately for House Atreides, Duke Leto was one such threat. Leto's growing popularity led Shaddam to grant him control over Arrakis, using the desert planet's wealth to disguise his attack on House Atreides. As seen in "Dune," Leto understands that Arrakis is a trap, but he ultimately fails to defend his house from the combined forces of Shaddam's Sardaukar and House Harkonnen, leading to his death and to Paul and Lady Jessica's exile into the desert.

In "Dune: Part Two," Shaddam's secretive ploy against House Atreides will come to a head as he learns of Paul and Jessica's survival and subsequent rebellion with the Fremen, eventually arriving on Arrakis to confront them himself.

Guerilla warfare tactics are getting heated... literally

As seen in the film's trailer, arguably the central plot of "Dune: Part Two" is that Paul will now be leading the Fremen and, as a result, the young warrior will see that the Harkonnens receive payback for their disreputable treatment of both House Atreides and the people who have been native to Arrakis since time immemorial.

Fortunately for Paul "Muad'Dib" Atreides and the Fremen, House Harkonnen and the Emperor greatly underestimate their threat, as we see in the new trailer. Not only do the Fremen have a better understanding of desert warfare than their royal hosts, but they also have better battle stamina and the ability to ride the massive sandworms of Arrakis.

Still, the trailer for "Dune: Part Two" sees plenty of more traditional guerilla warfare, as Paul, Chani (Zendaya), and others are seen launching fiery retaliatory strikes on the duplicitous royal Harkonnens. In fact, Chani in particular is seen as a major part of the conflict in the upcoming sequel, something that definitely wasn't the case in the first film.

Her unflinching response to the fiery warfare being waged will make her an especially valuable ally to Paul in "Dune: Part Two," as her and Stilgar's (Javier Bardem) knowledge of Arrakis' history and the ways of the desert are key to Paul's struggle to take back his rightful place in the galaxy. 

Chani enters the battle

"Dune: Part Two" therefore features much more Zendaya after her lack of screen time in the original disappointed some fans. Thankfully, not only is Chani back for the sequel, but her role looks to be even bigger than in Frank Herbert's original novel.

Director Denis Villeneuve wasn't lying when he said he wanted to make Chani the protagonist of "Dune: Part Two." In the trailer, she and Paul are in the spotlight, as their growing relationship will be the driving force behind the sequel. However, unlike in the book, Chani will do more than just sit around and wait for Paul to come home, as we see her participating — and maybe even leading — the Fremen rebellion against the Harkonnens. We even see her take out a member of the Emperor's Sardaukar, showcasing her warrior skills. 

In the book, Chani's already a great fighter, but after training with Paul and Lady Jessica, she becomes a deadly warrior, and it looks like that's on its way in "Dune: Part Two."

Although Chani states she's fighting for her people, not Paul, their growing relationship will muddle those waters. Other developments, including Paul accepting his role as Muad'Dib, put their relationship to the test, which "Dune: Part Two" will likely showcase, putting the spotlight on Zendaya's performance as Chani.

Is Dave Bautista's Harkonnen baddie getting a narrative bump in Dune: Part 2?

It is a very good time to be Dave Bautista, as the former WWE superstar is carving out one of the more impressive careers in Hollywood. And his A-list status has led to several collaborations with A-list directors, including Denis Villeneuve, whom Bautista first worked with on "Blade Runner 2049." The pair reconnected for the first part of Villeneuve's adaptation of Frank Herbert's epic sci-fi saga "Dune," with Bautista claiming the role of the sadistic Glossu Rabban Harkonnen — a role he will indeed reprise for the upcoming sequel "Dune: Part 2."

If the film's new trailer is any indication, the character may see a bigger role in the action than he did even in Herbert's source material. Glossu (AKA The Beast) was hardly a minor player in Herbert's legendary tome, but he was largely sidelined in the story after leading Harkonnen forces in their attempt to destroy the whole of House Atreides. Part of his second-act arc, however, is to seek out and kill the desert-dwelling Fremen. And if there's room to expand The Beasts' journey in "Dune: Part 2," it may be in his mission to cleanse the desert of Harkonnen enemies.

Of course, given Bautista's fame, his increased presence in the trailer may just be a marketing move to build hype for "Dune: Part 2." But it could mean Villeneuve wanted to beef up the role to make use of Bautista's seemingly boundless talent. And if anyone can help make a more three-dimensional character of The Beast, Bautista is the actor to do it.

Paul's growing unease with Messiah-like powers

Though Paul Atreides is the promised figure at the heart of two separate prophecies, both of which span centuries, his coming isn't necessarily the ray of desert sunshine that it appears to be. In fact, the further Paul looks into the future with his powers, the worse things seem to get.

This is heavily reflected in the trailer for "Dune: Part Two" through Paul's conversations with Gurney Halleck (Josh Brolin). Though Gurney thinks Paul is afraid of losing control, the young Atreides heir points out that he will instead gain power, a power so absolute that it will lead to the deaths of millions of people across the galaxy, no matter how he tries to wield it.

While these factors are some of the most fascinating parts of Frank Herbert's "Dune" novel, fans can accept right now that this story will not have a cut-and-dry happy ending as a result. This is a story about leading during difficult times and trying to pick the least bad of many increasingly awful outcomes.

In fact, how "Dune" reflects the terrible consequences that follow any uprising based on religious belief is related to many real-life "holy wars," such as The Crusades or The Spanish Inquisition. As such, though this might seem like a smaller part of the trailer for "Dune: Part Two," it's a massive part of the lore of the series.

A glimpse of Reverend Mother

A glimpse of the Fremen Reverend Mother confirms a major plot development

At the 1:14 mark in this latest "Dune: Part Two" trailer, a rapid series of three shots progresses from an extreme close-up of a finger touching a blue liquid to Paul's mother Lady Jessica gasping as her eyes glow blue before landing on an elderly, glossy-eyed woman who appears to be in some sort of trance. While this sequence lacks the context to mean anything to fans of just Denis Villeneuve's first "Dune" movie, those familiar with its source material — or even David Lynch's 1984 adaptation — will recognize this as a major story beat.

That blue liquid, as "Dune" aficionados are aware, is called the Water of Life. While normally a poison, through a ritual called spice agony a Bene Gesserit like Jessica can attain the powers of a Reverend Mother, which is a title granted to spiritual leaders who have access to their ancestors' memories embedded in their genetic code. The woman in the third shot in this series is the Fremen's current Reverend Mother.

Jessica's involvement in the spice agony ritual means big changes are coming to the Fremen's social order. This key scene's inclusion in the film likewise means that Paul's place in the Fremen tribe, as well as Chani's role as the member of the tribe closest to Paul, are going to become increasingly complicated.

Paul riding a sandworm emphasizes his growing importance to the Fremen

Throughout this latest "Dune: Part Two" trailer, various characters refer to Paul as a messiah. As the conclusion of the previous "Dune" film makes clear, Paul will have an important role to play in the Fremen tribe despite his outsider status. Notably, at the trailer's 0:59 mark, Paul is riding one of planet Arrakis' gargantuan sandworms. Then, Lady Jessica asks Fremen leader Stilgar if he believes in Paul. Stilgar claims Paul is showing signs — presumably of being the Fremen messiah — as another shot of Paul atop a sandworm begins on-screen.

In the "Dune" universe, riding sandworms is exclusively a Fremen practice, and typically something members of the tribe start doing at a younger age than Paul. Nevertheless, he learns to ride a sandworm despite his advanced age and unique background, emphasizing that he's right for this role of Muad'Dib referenced throughout the trailer.

Following this footage of Paul riding the sandworm, Stilgar watches in awe, suggesting that Paul's worm-riding competency is one additional sign of his importance to the Fremen. Furthermore, at the 0:41 mark, Chani is about to translate the Fremen language for Paul before he stops her, having fully understood what was said to him — this drives home how rapidly he's learning Fremen culture. As a sandworm rider, then, Paul is capable of one of the hardest and most significant feats necessary for his acceptance into the Fremen of Arrakis.