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Writers Brian Herbert And Kevin Anderson On How Dune Is More Relevant Than Ever - Exclusive

It's a rare feat for a work of art to withstand the test of time. Many fall to the wayside, never to be reflected upon again after their initial release, but the "Dune" series isn't like most works. The original novel, which came out in the 1960s, still has relevant messages society can learn from to this day. 

As evidence of its longevity, the novel was adapted into a feature-length film of the same name as recently as 2021. It's even getting a sequel due to come out in 2023. With advancements in modern filmmaking, the story takes on greater pertinence to audiences who can take in the same story as readers did decades ago. 

This fact hasn't been lost on the modern-day torch bearers of the "Dune" legacy. Brian Herbert (son of the book's original author Frank Herbert) and Kevin J. Anderson have written many of their own stories set within the universe of "Dune." Their most recent work is the second volume of a graphic novel adaptation of the original book. They did an exclusive interview with Looper where they discussed the myriad of themes that still hold up in contemporary society. 

From geopolitical to ecological issues...

"Dune" is a story about a man navigating a massive planetary conflict over the limited resources of an otherwise barren world. Based on that one sentence alone, it's easy to see how the story could have modern-day implications, starting with the story's protagonist — Paul Atreides. Herbert spoke of how the character could stand in for any number of leaders, but at the time the original book came out, there was one at the forefront of Frank Herbert's mind: "He gave the example of John F. Kennedy, who was a decent enough person, but his followers would follow him right off the edge of a cliff. Dad was very concerned about a charismatic leader like that."

While he wouldn't go into any modern names, the conversation soon shifted into other pertinent issues addressed by the story, mostly related to the ecological. Whenever there are limited resources, there will be people trying to control it, and we're seeing that now with water, as Kevin Anderson explained, "I saw a report a couple nights ago about how the water rights to the Colorado River, that it's basically oversold three times what the amount of water is. It's having devastating effects here in the American Southwest."

The fact that "Dune" has messages that expand well into the modern day isn't lost on the writers. Anderson went on to say, "You read it at one point and you go, 'Wow, this is so relevant to whatever news story I just watched.' Then you read it five years later and [you say], 'Wow, it's so relevant to an entirely different way to an entirely different news story.'" It would seem like all the great myths, "Dune" rings eternal. 

"Dune: The Graphic Novel, Book 2: Muad'Dib" will be available on August 9. You can pre-order from Abrams Books ahead of time.