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Why Dune Fans Won't Stop Roasting Jason Momoa's Character On Twitter

Denis Villenueve's "Dune" finally premiered on Oct. 22, 2021, and so far, the reception has been mostly positive — it currently sports a 83% Fresh rating among critics on Rotten Tomatoes, and among the audience it's an even more robust 91%. "Dune" is a box office success, too: As reported by Variety, Dune took in $40.1 million over its first three days, making it the most successful premiere for Warner Bros. since the company began its "day and date" release strategy in April 2020 (that is, releasing movies simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max).

All of which is to say that a lot of people are experiencing Frank Herbert's surreal science fiction world for the first time. To a newcomer, the universe of Dune is pretty wild, even by sci-fi standards. It takes place about 20,000 years in the future, in a society that barely resembles our own. Powerful families fight for control of a mind-bending substance called "spice," on a desert world populated by massive sand worms. Most of the characters and organizations have the kinds of wacky names you'd expect, like Thufir Hawat, Gurney Halleck, or Gaius Helen Mohiam, just to name a few.

But there's one character's name that stands out for the exact opposite reason: Duncan Idaho, who's played by Jason Momoa. Duncan Idaho is a powerful warrior for the ruling Atreides family, and an older brother figure to the main character, Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet). On Twitter, though, it seems that fans just can't get past the name.

Duncan Idaho sounds like the home of a fiberglass World's Largest Potato

Since the release of "Dune" in theaters, fans have been roasting Duncan Idaho on social media. TV writer Mike Drucker summed up people's reactions with a tweet joking that while he was fully willing to get onboard with weird concepts like space drugs that also fuel space travel, a dirt planet with giant worms, and a messianic character, the existence of a character named "Duncan Idaho" was one step too far. 

Others have echoed these thoughts: It's not so much that "Duncan Idaho" doesn't really fit with the other names. It's that the name itself sounds so weird and fake. For example, as Twitter user @pbarb wrote, "If I told you Dune was out this weekend AND a new Wes Anderson film, which one would you think included a character named Duncan Idaho?" Another tweeter, @claresrey, compared the name to Disney's Hannah Montana (though at least the former doesn't rhyme, right?). 

Others went even further. "I know I'm, like, 50 years behind on DUNE Discourse, but have we talked about how 'Duncan Idaho' is totally a porn name? Especially when attached to Jason Momoa?" wrote Twitter user @suleikhasnyder. Others were less severe, arguing that the name is no more silly than that of a certain other action hero. "Duncan Idaho is not a fundamentally different name to Indiana Jones," said Twitter user @joshy206.

But as Twitter user @noahpinion put it, maybe Frank Herbert picked the name for a reason. "One way Dune manages to create an exotic, irreducibly weird setting is that it has names like 'Gom Jabbar' and 'Bene Gesserit' with names like 'Duncan Idaho.' You can never quite tell if this is supposed to be our future or some bizarre alternate universe."

Makes sense to us.