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The Mind-Blowing Connection Between Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker And Dune

Fans of both franchises are probably already aware of the connections between "Star Wars" and "Dune." There are numerous references to author Frank Herbert's 1965 novel in the original "Star Wars," including C-3PO's allusion to "spice mines," and Tatooine is generally redolent of Herbert's well-known fictional desert planet, Arrakis, where most of "Dune" is set.

Additionally, both George Lucas and Herbert were interested in using the tropes and trappings of the space adventure genre to tell more sophisticated, politically-aware stories. Now that "Dune" has finally been adapted into a successful feature film franchise of its own as well, you can likely expect many more comparisons to be drawn between it and "Star Wars" for the foreseeable future.

As it turns out, there's even a connection between Denis Villeneuve's "Dune" and 2019's "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker," one that may come as a surprise even to the biggest fans of both films.

The Rise of Skywalker and Dune filmed in the same place

The connection between "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" and "Dune" was revealed in a piece that recently ran in The Hollywood Reporter about the making of the latter film. The story goes that, during a location scout in June 2018, "Dune" director Denis Villeneuve and production designer Patrice Vermette were flying above the Wadi Rum desert in Jordan in order to decide if it could pass as Arrakis for their film. While in the air, the two saw the last thing they likely wanted to see given the circumstances: a caravan of black SUVs.

Vermette says he remembered telling Villeneuve that the SUVs "really looked like a big tech scout." When the duo later landed on the ground, Vermette apparently texted his friend, Paul Inglis, who was working as the supervising art director on "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" at the time. Vermette said he texted Inglis asking, "Do you happen to be in Wadi Rum right now?" to which Inglis responded, "Yup, was that you who just flew over us?"

With the "Star Wars" franchise already casting such a big shadow over Villeneuve's planned "Dune" adaptation, it's easy to see why there might have been some concern about the two films shooting in the same locations. However, everyone involved managed to reach a satisfactory compromise. According to Vermette, he and Villeneuve ended up meeting with Inglis and several other people involved in "The Rise of Skywalker" to ensure that they weren't filming in the same parts of the desert. In the end, Vermette says, "It was all cool."

All of this is to say that "The Rise of Skywalker" and "Dune" ended up using the same area in Jordan to bring the desert planets in their stories to life. By doing so, the "Dune" and "Rise of Skywalker" crews just added yet another connection between the two titles for fans of both franchises to obsess over.