NOTE: This spoiler was submitted by Mike R.
In voiceover, Chani (Zendaya), a young native Fremen woman, explains that “the outsiders” who have come to her planet of Arrakis [also known as Dune] have treated her people cruelly as they’ve colonized the planet for its supply of spice. A group of Fremen attack spice harvesters before being beaten back. In v.o., Chani says the Harkonnen family had come to the planet long before she was born, and spice had made the family even wealthier than the Emperor. While the Fremen have been unable to repel the outsiders, one day the Harkonnen’s and their people left by order of the Emperor. She questions why the Emperor gave this order, and wonders who the next oppressors will be.
Paul Atreides (Timothee Chalamet) awakens on Caladan, the homeworld of House Atreides. He breakfasts with his mother, Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson), who is a member of the Bene Gesserit. [The Bene Gesserit is a social, religious, and political order whose members train their bodies and minds to obtain powers and abilities that can seem magical to outsiders.] Paul tries and fails to use “the Voice”, a Bene Gesserit skill, and she tells him that such skills take years to learn. Lady Jessica asks if he’s had more dreams. We see that he’s dreamt of Chani, but he lies and says no.
Paul studies up on the planet of Arrakis. The world is hot and dry, plagued by powerful sandstorms. Only the native tribes, known as the Fremen, have adapted well enough to survive on their own. The Fremen share the deep regions of the desert with giant sandworms, which they call Shai-hulud. Long exposure to spice has given the Fremen their characteristic blue eyes. The Fremen are considered dangerous, and their attacks make spice harvesting dangerous. The Fremen consider spice to be a sacred hallucinogen that preserves life and has many health benefits. The Imperium uses spice to help navigators of the Spacing Guild to navigate through safe paths between the stars. Without spice, interstellar travel would be impossible, making spice the most valuable substance in the universe.
Paul and his parents, including Duke Leto (Oscar Isaac), welcome the Herald of the Change, who has arrived with members of the Imperial Court, representatives of the Spacing Guild, and a sister of the Bene Gesserit, to relay orders from the Emperor: House Atreides will take control of Arrakis and serve as its steward. Duke Leto accepts on behalf of House Atreides.
Paul meets with Duncan Idaho (Jason Momoa ), the swordmaster of House Atreides. Paul asks for Duncan to take him with him when Duncan leaves for Arrakis with an advance team. Duncan declines, saying he’d be court-martialed. Paul tells Duncan about premonitory dreams he’s had of Arrakis: of the desert, a mysterious Fremen girl, and Duncan himself with the Fremen. In his dreams, he also saw Duncan lying dead in battle. Duncan still refuses to take Paul with, not believing in the dreams.
Paul goes to see his father, Duke Leto. He requests to be allowed to accompany Duncan to Arrakis, but Leto refuses, telling Paul that he is the future of the House. Leto says that he will need Paul at his side when he himself arrives on Arrakis. He believes that, in taking Arrakis away from House Harkonnen and giving it to House Atreides, the Emperor has set the stage for a war that will weaken both powerful Houses and strengthen his own position of power. Duke Leto has sent Duncan ahead with an advance team to establish contact with the Fremen and forge an alliance against the Harkonnens. Paul casts doubt on whether he’s meant to be the leader of House Atreides someday. Duke Leto says that he had such doubts himself when he was young, but that no matter what Paul chooses, he will still be his son.
Paul trains at sword-fighting with Gurney Halleck (Josh Brolin), the weapons master of House Atreides. They use a type of forcefield shield to prevent the blades from penetrating. Paul is reluctant to train, but Gurney pushes him on, and they fight to what would have been a mutual death if not for the shields. Paul doesn’t seem to take the training seriously. Gurney warns him of what Hosue Atreides will soon face. The Harkonnens were in control of Arrakis for eighty years, the spice giving them immense wealth, and control of the spice has now been taken from them. Guney tells Paul that the Harkonnens are inhuman and brutal.
On Geidi Prime, the homeworld of House Harkonnen, Beast Rabban (Dave Bautista), nephew of Baron Harkonnen (Stellan Skarsgard), meets with his uncle to tell him that all of their ships have left Arrakis. He asks the Baron how they could let this happen, how the Emperor could take the planet from them and give it to House Atreides. The Baron says mysteriously that a gift is not always a gift; House Atreides is on the rise, and the Emperor is a dangerous, jealous man.
Back on Caladan, Lady Jessica wakes her son, telling him to dress and follow her. When he’s ready, she tells him that the Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam (Charlotte Rampling), her teacher at the Bene Gesserit school and now the Truthsayer to the Emperor, is there and would like to meet Paul and learn about his dreams. Dr. Yueh, in the employ of House Atreides, checks Pauls’ vitals before the meeting with the Reverend Mother. Dr. Yueh whispers to Paul that while the Bene Gesserit claim to serve the greater good, they also serve their own designs. He tells Paul to proceed with caution. He then declares so Lady Jessica can hear that Paul’s heart is strong. Before taking Paul to meet the Reverend Mother, Lady Jessica uses sign language to tell him to remember his training.
The Reverend Mother says Paul has defiance in his eyes, just like his father. She orders Lady Jessica to leave them alone; Lady Jessica tells her son that he must do everything the Reverend Mother tells him before hurrying out of the room. Paul is angry that the woman gave an order to his mother, but she uses the Voice to draw him to her and force him to his knees. The Reverend Mother instructs Paul to place his right hand in a box as she holds a poison needle to his neck. If he takes his hand out of the box before she tells him to, she will pierce him with the needle, killing his instantly. She tells him that his other is outside the door and will let no guards past her. As the pain sets in and he starts to groan aloud, Lady Jessica recites the Litany Against Fear outside the door:
“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past, I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”
Paul passes the test and is allowed to take his hand from the box. He sees that his hand is uninjured. The Reverend Mother tells him that if he had been unable to resist his impulses, like an animal, she would have had to kill him because he has inherited too much power. He thinks she means because he is the son of the Duke, but she corrects him: because he is the son of Lady Jessica. She says he has inherited more than one birthright. She calls Jessica back in. The Reverend Mother asks about Paul’s dreams. He says he had one that night. In the dream, he saw a girl from Arrakis [Chani], and says he’s dreamt of her many times. The Reverend Mother asks if he’s ever had dreams that happened later just as they had in the dream. He says not exactly, and she gets up to leave, telling him that she hopes he lives. As they walk out together, Lady Jessica asks the Reverend Mother if she had to go so far, but the Reverend Mother says that Jessica chose to train Paul in the way of the Bene Gesserit, in defiance of their rules, and so Paul had to be tested. The Reverend Mother laments that so much potential was “wasted” on a male. Jessica had been instructed to bear only daughters, but her pride had led her to believe that she could give birth to the Kwisatz Haderach, a sort of Messiah figure. The Reverend Mother says that if he is the “chosen one”, he has a long way to go, and that while his sight has barely awakened, he now “goes into the fire”. The Reverend Mother tells Jessica that the Bene Gessert has other prospects if Paul fails to live up to his promise.
After the Reverend Mother and her retinue leave on a ship, Lady Jessica finds that Paul has overheard their conversation. He accuses the Bene Gesserit of steering the Imperium’s politics from the shadows, but his mother tells him there’s more to it than that. The Bene Gesserit has worked for generations to bring forth “the one”, a mind powerful enough to bridge space and time, the past and the future. She hints that they believe he may be that person, and Paul seems saddened that he’s just “part of a plan”.
Paul and House Atreides leave Caladan and arrive on Arrakis. They are greeted by cheers from Fremen onlookers. Paul sees Thufir Hawat, the Mentat of House Atreides. [Mentats are people who’ve been specially trained to mimic the cognitive and analytical ability of computers.] Thufir warns Paul not to trust the warm welcome by the Fremen. As Paul boards an ornithopter [an aircraft that flies with the use of insect-like wings] with his mother, he asks her what the Fremen were shouting. Lady Jessica says they were shouting “Lisan al Gaib”, meaning Voice from the Outer World, their term for “Messiah”. She says this shows the Bene Gesserit have been working on Arrakis to prepare the way, and that the natives have been waiting for centuries for the Lisan al Gaib. She says they see the signs in Paul. Paul says the Fremen merely see what they’ve been told to see. They fly to the city of Arrakeen, which is protected by a wall from the weather and the sandworms. Surveying the city, Duke Leto points out what he thinks are vulnerable points to Gurney: a spaceport and a spice refinery. He tells Gurney to guard them well; if they can’t refine spice and ship it offworld, they are finished.
Lady Jessica interviews several candidates for a housekeeper, all of them Fremen. One woman has a knife, which the woman says is meant as a gift. She unsheathes the blade and asks if Lady Jessica knows what it is. Jessica says that it is a crysknife. When the woman asks if she knows its meaning, Lady Jessica signs to her guard to prepare for violence before answering that the knife is a “Maker”, one of the Fremen terms for the sandworms. The woman reacts dramatically, sheathing the knife and handing it to Jessica, confirming that it is indeed a tooth of Shai-hulud.
Paul meets a man who is watering date palm trees. The man explains that each tree drinks the water of five men each day. Twenty trees, one hundred lives. Paul asks if they should get rid of the trees, but the man says the trees are sacred.
Alone in his room, Paul learns more about the planet of Arrakis. The most dangerous organism on the planet is the sandworm, which can grow to over four hundred meters in length. To avoid attracting sandworms, the Fremen cross the desert using the “sand walk”, a special walk using an irregular rhythm that mimics the natural sounds of the desert. The scant plant life that exists on the planet is thanks to the Fremen, who’ve cultivated several hardy plant species. Paul then notices a hunter-seeker, a tiny floating machine used by assassins, entering through a small hole in the wall. The device finds Paul and flys at him, but stops before it can reach him. As a servant enters the room, Paul grabs the device in his hand, destroying it. He says the operator of the hunter-seeker must be nearby.
They find the assassin, who is now dead, in the wall. He’d been cemented into a crevice in the wall weeks before, biding his time until he could send the hunter-seeker through a water pipe to kill Paul. Thufir Hawat claims to have failed to protect Paul and offers his resignation. Duke Leto does not accept, telling him that if he wants to find absolution, to find the spies in their midst.
A Bene Gesserit sister meets with Baron Harkonnen and his Mentat, Piter De Vries (David Dastmalchian). He asks what the message is from the Emperor. She tells him that the Emperor will strengthen Harkonnen’s forces with his own elite military force, the Sardaukar, but that nobody can ever know about it. Harkonnen says there are no satellites over Arrakis, and that the Atreideses will die in the dark. The sister tells Harkonnen that he may kill Duke Leto, but that he must allow Lady Jessica and Paul the dignity of exile. Harkonnen gives his word that he will not harm Lady Jessica or Paul. However, after she leaves, the Baron makes it clear to his Mentat that he has no plans to let either the woman or her son live. The Baron, a very large man, floats up into the air.
At a strategy meeting, Thufir Hawat informs the Duke that he has gotten his hands on the Harkonnen’s account books, and they were taking 10 billion Solaris [the currency of the Imperium) out of Arrakis each year. He says that House Atreides won’t see those kinds of profits for a while with the equipment the Harkonnen’s left them. The group goes out to see the spice silos, many of which were sabotaged by the Harkonnens. Paul says there is supposed to be a Judge of Change to oversee and arbitrate the transition of Arrakis. Thufir says the Emperor appointed Dr. Liet Kynes, an eccentric Imperial ecologist, to this position. Leto requests to see the harvesting fields, saying he’ll take Kynes with to ensure their safety.
Duncan arrives and tells about his mission to find the Fremen. He lived with the Fremen at a community [called a sietch] for four weeks. The Fremen were difficult to find; they watched him without his knowledge for days before sending out a warrior to kill him. Duncan says it’s the closest he’s ever come to being killed, and that the Fremen fight like demons. He’s learned that there are millions of Fremen on Arrakis, some located in tunnels belowground, far above the Harkonnen estimate of fifty thousand. Duncan has brought Stilgar, the leader of a Fremen tribe, to meet the Duke. Leto’s guards are wary of letting Stilgar in because he has a crysknife that he refuses to hand over. After Duncan tells them that the crysknife is sacred to the Fremen, Leto allows the man in. After Leto greets him, Stilgar spits on the ground. Leto and his guards take this as a sign of disrespect until Duncan makes it clear that this is a sign of respect, that Stilgar is offering the “gift” of his body’s moisture. Leto and his people respond in kind, spitting on the ground. Stilgar tells them that they are outworlders who take spice and give nothing in return. Leto says he knows the Fremen have suffered under the Harkonnens but that he will give them what is in his power to give. Stilgar asks only that they stay out of the desert, that they don’t seek out the Fremen sietches or bother them, and to just take the spice and go. Leto says he cannot promise to stay out of the desert, but that he will leave the sietches alone. Stilgar says this is honorable and turns to leave. Paul speaks up, asking Stilgar to stay. Stilgar says he cannot stay but says in his native tongue that he recognizes Paul. He then leaves. Thufir says that their plan is bearing fruit, but will take time.
Duncan shows them some of the technology he’s borrowed from the Fremen, including a paracompass, which can tell direction despite magnetic interference from the planet’s moons which prevents a traditional compass from working correctly. Gurney jokes that Duncan has “gone native”, and Duncan admits that he admires the Fremen.
Duke Leto and his people meet Dr. Liet Kynes. The woman inspects the integrity of the stillsuits of Leto and Paul, explaining that the heat of the Arrakis desert would kill them in less than two hours if they didn’t have the suits. The suits help to keep the wearer cool while recycling the body’s moisture lost through sweat, allowing the wearer to drink the recycled water. Dr. Kynes is impressed at the way Paul is wearing his suit in a non-standard fashion. She asks who taught him to do this, but he says it just felt like the right way. Dr. Kynes says something in the native Fremen tongue. Paul asks if she’s a Fremen, and she says that she’s been accepted by them.
Kynes takes them to see the harvesting fields aboard three ornithopters. She shows them one of the harvesting crawlers as it does its job harvesting spice from the surface. She points out spotter aircraft on the lookout for wormsign, a sand wave moving toward the crawler. She explains that worms travel deep but get closer to the surface when they prepare to attack. The worms are attracted by noise and vibration and will try to attack the harvesters. Paul asks why they don’t just shield the machines, but Kynes says shields are a death sentence in the desert as they attract the worms and drive them into a killing frenzy. Duke Leto spots a sand wave and Kynes calls out the sighting to another craft, explaining that they’ll call for a caryall to retrieve the crawler, which will harvest spice up until the last minute. The carryall arrives, but a malfunction prevents it from being able to lift the crawler. As the crawler can’t be lifted out, its crew is in danger. Kynes says the crawler has a crew of about twenty-one, and Leto decides that the ornithopters will take six men each. Paul points out that this still leaves them three men short, but Leto says they’ll find a way before steering his ‘thopter for the crawler, with the others following his lead. Landing near the crawler, Leto orders his men to throw out the ‘thopter’s shield generators to make room and reduce weight. He then calls out over the radio for seven men each to be put aboard the three ‘thopters. Paul disembarks with some of the others, setting foot in the desert. The caryall disengages and flys away as the worm nears. The crew of the crawler comes running out. Paul directs some of them to his ‘thopter, but then falls into a trance. The worm gets ever nearer, and Leto is about to take off when they realize Paul isn’t on the ‘thopter. Paul is on his knees near the crawler, whispering to himself. He is pulled from his daze when Gurney comes to retrieve him. They make a run for the ‘thopter but are knocked to their feet as the worm starts to break the surface, causing the sand to shift and begin sinking in. They regain their feet and make it to the ‘thopter, and they all watch from above as the sandworm swallows the crawler whole. Back at the base, Duke Leto warns Paul that he can’t take such risks and Paul apologizes. Leto then tells Kynes that she must realize that the Harkonnons left them faulty equipment to ensure that they fail, but she says the caryall was merely old. She tells him that she is not there to take sides, and that men like him have come and gone. She tells him to take good care of his family.
Paul is examined by Dr. Yueh. Yueh says that spice is a psychoactive chemical, and that Paul seems to be sensitive to it but that he’ll be fine. Dr. Yueh leaves. Paul tells his mother that what he experienced wasn’t an allergic reaction, but that he had a vision. Jessica asks what he saw. His vision was of Chani, the girl he’s been seeing in his dreams for some time. He says the vision was confusing, that he also saw what he thought was his death but it wasn’t, and that a knife was important somehow. He says that someone will hand him a blade, but he doesn’t know when or where. He says that he knows that Jessica is pregnant and she is shocked. She says he can’t know that, that she only realized herself recently that she was pregnant.
On the harsh Imperial planet Salusa Secundus, the Sardaukar prepare to depart. Piter De Vries walks with a Sardaukar warrior who assures him that the Sardaukar outnumber the Atreides forces. De Vries counters that the Atreides legions are well trained, some of the finest in the Imperium. The warrior clearly thinks the Sardaukar are superior, stating that those who oppose them find only death.
Lady Jessica speaks with Duke Leto. She says she needs to tell him something about Paul, but he doesn’t want to hear it. He says that Paul has been distracted ever since Jessica brought the Reverend Mother to see him. He asks if something happens, will she protect their son. Lady Jessica says she’d protect him with her life, but Leto counters that he isn’t asking her as a mother but as a Bene Gesserit. She asks why he’s having these thoughts; he says he thought they’d have more time.
Dr. Yueh stops in Paul’s room that night, leaving him something to drink and wishing him good night. In their bedroom, Leto and Jessica lie down for the night. He says he should have married her. [Though they are partners and have a son together, they are unmarried.]
Later, some guards hear a figure approaching; the figure shoots the guards before entering a room and lowering the base’s shields. Duke Leto awakens and realizes something is wrong. He walks the halls. Noticing a fallen figure, Leto calls for security but receives no response. He activates his body shield. Turning the fallen figure over, he finds a servant woman with a dagger in her chest. A poison dart comes out of the darkness, penetrating Leto’s shield and knocking him unconscious. The mysterious figure reveals himself: it’s Dr. Yueh.
Gurney is awakened and told that the shields are all down. He rushes outside to find a large enemy ship hovering in the sky, and he gives orders for the Atreides forces to get their own ships off the ground. There are explosions as the enemy forces begin bombing the base while anti-aircraft weapons return fire. Enemy transport ships land, disembarking soldiers. Gurney and his men engage in close-quarters combat with them. Elsewhere, a group of Atreides men is surrounded and annihilated by Sardaukar.
Leto is awake now but incapacitated. Dr. Yueh tells him that he’s made a deal with the Baron to turn over Leto because the Harkonnens have Yueh’s wife hostage. Yueh slips Leto’s ducal ring from his finger, saying he’ll give it to Paul and do all he can for the boy. Yueh implants a false tooth in Leto’s mouth. He explains that if Leto bites down on it, it will fill the air with poison gas. It will kill Leto, but if he picks the right time, it will also kill Baron Harkonnen. Outside, Harkonnen’s men kill Atreides prisoners. Inside, Duncan Idaho takes on a few enemies, dispatching them with ease.
In the chaos, Paul and Lady Jessica have been kidnapped aboard a ‘thopter. Their captors debate killing them. Duncan kills a few enemy soldiers before commandeering a ‘thopter of his own. On the ‘thopter with the captives, the Harkonnen men discuss raping Lady Jessica, lamenting that they’ve never had a “high born”. Paul warns them not to touch his mother, and one of them smacks him. Lady Jessica signs to Paul that he isn’t ready, but Paul attempts using the Voice to manipulate one of the men to remove his mother’s gag. It doesn’t work, and the man tells him to shut up. The Harkonnen men decide they’ve gone far enough into the desert and decide to throw Paul out of the ‘thopter. As one of the men prepares to do just that, Paul uses the Voice again, instructing him to remove Lady Jessica’s gag. It works this time, and the man removes the gag. Lady Jessica uses the Voice to command him to kill one of his fellow Harkonnen soldiers before moving to release her from her restraints. A third soldier tries to stop this, but Lady Jessica uses the Voice on him before killing him herself. After killing the last soldier, she frees Paul. The ‘thopter lands but the Harkonnens manage to cripple the aircraft remotely. Paul and his mother climb a sandhill and see the city on fire in the distance.
Duke Leto awakens in restraints in the presence of Baron Harkonnen and a few of the Baron’s guards. The corpulent Baron dines on a meal.
In the desert, Paul and Lady Jessica open a Fremkit [a desert survival kit] they found on the ‘thopter. Inside is a note from Dr. Yueh letting anyone who finds the Fremit know that it contains an Atreides beacon.
Dr. Yueh is escorted to join the Baron and Duke Leto. Yueh says that he disabled the Atreides comms and lowered their shields. He reminds the Baron that their deal means he must release Yueh’s wife. The Baron floats over to Dr. Yueh and tells him that he promised to set the doctor’s wife free and that the doctor would join her. He says, “so join her”, before killing Dr. Yueh. Harkonnen tells the Duke that his family is dead and that his House has fallen. As Paul finds his father’s ducal ring in the Fremkit, Leto whispers something. The Baron activates his shield and leans in to hear what he’s saying. Leto bites down on the false tooth and blows out the poison gas in a cloud, killing several of Harkonnen’s men before the last ones alive manage to shut the door to the room.
Dr. Kynes watches as Duncan Idaho lands his ‘thopter. He is angry because he thinks she knew what was coming. She says that she is commanded to say nothing, to see nothing. Duncan says House Atreides was sent to Arrakis to die.
Men in protective suits enter the room where Duke Leto let off the poison gas. They find the Baron alive.
Out in the desert, Paul and his mother take shelter under a tent found in the Fremkit. Paul has another vision of Chani. In the vision, the Fremen girl is watching a great battle in which Paul, clad in a full-body suit, is a participant. Lady Jessica asks what else he sees in the vision. He becomes agitated as he tells her that he sees a “holy war spreading across the universe like an unquenchable fire”, a war of religion fought under the Atreides banner and in Paul’s name. Lady Jessica tries to calm him, but he reacts angrily, telling her that the Bene Gesserit made him a freak. He then allows her to embrace him; he says he knows that his father is dead. They wait together as the Atreides beacon sounds regularly. Together, they leave the tent, which has been covered in sand. Paul sees a muad’dib, a desert mouse, running away. He helps his mother climb out of the hole in the sand. Just then, a ‘thopter comes roaring overhead before landing. It’s Duncan, who has followed the beacon.
On the ‘thopter [Dr. Kynes is also aboard], Duncan tells them that the Harkonnens hit every population center on the planet at once, and that the Harkonnen forces were bolstered by the Sardaukar. Lady Jessica says this means the Emperor has taken the side of the Harkonnens. She asks what Kynes, the Judge of the Change, has to say about this. Kynes claims she is forbidden to say anything at all, but Paul points out that she risked her life to help them.
They arrive at their destination, where they need to take cover from an oncoming sandstorm. The site is the location of an old ecological testing station. Long ago, the harsh Arrakis climate was meant to be “tamed” and the water locked beneath the sands freed. Work had begun to transform Arrakis into a paradise but then spice was discovered, and nobody wanted the desert to go away.
Paul tells Dr. Kynes that the Great Houses fear precisely what just happened to the Atreideses, that the Sardaukar would pick them off one by one. Only together could they stand a chance against the Imperium. He asks if Kynes will testify that the Emperor moved against House Atreides, but she says that even if she were believed, it would only lead to general warfare between the Great Houses and the Emperor. Lady Jessica agrees, saying the result would be chaos. Paul suggests that he could make the Emperor an offer to marry one of his daughters, but Kynes doesn’t think this is realistic. The Emperor tried to kill Paul, and now Paul is hiding in a hole in the ground. Paul says that the Fremen speak of the Lisan al Gaib, who they think will lead them to paradise. Kynes says this is just superstition, but Paul tells her things about herself he can’t know and says that he’s seen her dream. He says that, as Emperor, he could make Arrakis into a paradise with a wave of his hand.
The enemy has found the station, and soldiers lower themselves down onto it. Battle commences between them and the Fremen guards. In the room where Paul and Lady Jessica converse with Kynes, Duncan hears fighting. He gets his sword and opens the door to see a battle in the hall. He goes out into the hall and salutes Paul as the door closes. Paul tries to follow but the door is locked. Duncan fights bravely but is vastly outnumbered, and he eventually falls. Kynes has a back way out and urges Paul and Lady Jessica to follow her. The enemy soldiers fire lasguns through the locked door and, as the lasers cut through the room, those inside try to avoid being hit. In the hall, an injured Duncan is still alive. He attacks the soldiers, giving his friends a chance to escape before he finally dies. Kynes tells Paul and Jessica to find a ‘thopter and take off, to fly into the storm and climb above it, where it’s mostly dust, after which they should head south and find the Fremen. She says she can’t go with because the ‘thopter only seats two, so she plans to find another station from which she can get in contact with the Landsraad [the body that represents all the Great Houses] about the Sardaukar attack. Paul and Lady Jessica find a small ‘thopter and escape on it.
Dr. Kynes plants a thumper in the sand. The device beats the sand, the vibrations attracting a sandworm. She has two hooks ready, and it’s apparent that she means to attempt to ride the sandworm. As the worm nears, Kynes is stabbed from behind by Sardaukar soldiers. As the soldiers ready to execute her, Kynes bangs on the ground. The sandworm arrives, swallowing all of them from below.
Paul and Lady Jessica flee toward the sandstorm with enemy ‘thopters in pursuit. Missiles are fired at them, but Paul flies directly into the storm. The missiles follow but are unable to stay locked onto their target and explode harmlessly. As the storm starts doing serious damage to their ‘thopter, Jessica recites the Litany Against Fear.
Beast Rabban goes to see his uncle, Baron Harkonnen. He tells the Baron they chased Paul and Jessica but the pair disappeared into a sandstorm. He assures his uncle that nothing could survive such a storm and that they must be dead. The Baron tells Rabban to inform Geidi Prime to start selling spice reserves. They don’t want the price to fall because they need money to cover the expenditures of the attack on Arrakis. Rabban asks what to do with the Fremen; the Baron tells him to kill them all.
Paul and Jessica make it out of the sandstorm in their damaged ‘thopter. The wings begin falling off and they make a crash landing. They get out and run for some rocks. They get to the rocks and put on stillsuits. A sandworm passes near. The duo set out over the rocks to look for the Fremen. When they stop to rest, Paul has another vision of Chani. In the vision, she tells him that he’ll need to face his fears. He also sees another Fremen in the vision who tells him that he has much to learn. Paul and Jessica continue on, searching for the sietch where Duncan lived for a while, using a paracompass to guide them. Jessica sees some greenery in the distance, and Paul says that means Fremen live there. Paul says they will wait until after dark to cross the sands, which is worm territory. He tells her about the sand walk, the way the Fremen have of crossing the desert to avoid attracting worms.
They set out. As they sit atop a sand dune, exhausted, they see a sand wave: worms are near. They continue on. Things are fine until they step on drum sand which, as its name suggests, makes a loud noise when people walk over it. A worm heads in their direction and they run. They watch as the huge sandworm lifts itself out of the sand. There is a tense moment until someone sets off a thumper that attracts the sandworm’s attention away from Paul and his mother. They climb atop some nearby rocks and Jessica is relieved. Paul says that someone “called” the worm away. He senses something and signs to Jessica that they are not alone. They realize they are surrounded by Fremen. Stilgar is among them, and he tells them not to run because they’d only waste their bodies’ water. Paul reminds Stilgar that they’ve met before. Stilgar tells his people that Paul is the boy he told them about and that they can’t touch him. The Fremen wonder if he can really be the Lisan al Gaib. A Fremen man, Jamis, says the boy looks like a weakling, but Stilgar counters that they made a brave crossing, and Paul does not speak or act like a weakling. Jamis argues that it was only his thumper that saved Paul’s life and that Paul is not “the One”. Stilgar states that Paul is young, and could learn their ways, but Lady Jessica is too old. The Fremen attack. After a short scuffle, Jessica takes hold of Stilgar, putting a knife to his throat. Paul takes out a Maula pistol [a poison dart gun]. The Fremen back off. Stilgar asks why Jessica didn’t tell them she was a “weirding woman” and a fighter. [The Weirding Way is a combat style developed by the Bene Gesserit.] Lady Jessica takes the blade away from Stilgar’s throat, letting him go. Stilgar says the sun is about to rise and that they must reach Sietch Tabr, where he is from. He says Paul’s and Jessica’s fate will be decided there and until then they have his protection. Paul hears a voice behind him telling him that she would not have let him hurt her friends. He turns to find that Chani, the girl he’s dreamt about, is there. She says that some say he is the Mahdi (another term for the Messiah figure of Fremen legend), but to her, he looks like a little boy.
Paul and Chani join the others. Stilgar demands that Paul hand over his Maula pistol, saying he’ll get it back when he’s earned it. Paul hands the weapon over. Jamis speaks up, objecting to taking the strangers with them. Stilgar says that he’s already spoken on the matter. Jamis says Stilgar talks like a leader, but the strongest leads. Lady Jessica bested Stilgar in combat, and now Jamis challenges her to a fight. Stilgar says Jamis cannot challenge a Sayyadina [a wise woman or priestess], and Jamis asks who will fight in her name. Stilgar warns Jamis not to do this. Jamis asks where her champion is and Paul steps forward. As they prepare for combat, Paul has another vision, hearing a female voice saying that Paul Atreides must die for Kwisatz Haderach to rise. The voice tells him not to be frightened and says that when you take a life you take your own. Chani comes over and tells Paul that, while she doesn’t believe he is the Lisan al Gaib, she wants him to die with honor. She lends him a crysknife given to her by her great aunt. Paul recognizes it as the knife he saw in an earlier vision. Chani tells him it will be a great honor to die holding it. The Fremen and Lady Jessica look on as Paul and Jamis face each other. Jamis says, “May my knife chip and shatter”, and Paul gives the man the same salute that Duncan Idaho gave before his final battle. The two men fight. Paul quickly takes an advantage, putting his blade to Jamis’s throat and asking if he yields. Stilgar says there is no yielding and that one of them must die. Jamis fights ferociously, but time and again Paul winds up with his knife at the man’s neck without killing him. Stilgar asks Jessica if her son is toying with his opponent, but she says that Paul has never killed a man. Jamis knock Paul down. When Paul gets up, Jamis charges and Paul deals a killing blow.
Stilgar says that Paul is one of them now. Lady Jessica insists that Paul needs to get offworld. Paul demurs, saying that his father came to Arrakis not for spice or riches, but for the strength of the Fremen people. He says that his own road leads into the desert and that if the Fremen will have them, they will come. The group heads into the desert, carrying the body of Jamis with them. Paul and Jessica stop, watching as a Fremen rides a sandworm using hooks. Chani tells Paul that this is only the beginning. They continue onward.