The battle for the planet of Arrakis is underway in the breathtaking new trailer for Dune: Part Two. Directed by Denis Villeneuve, the movie adapts the second half of Frank Herbert's landmark 1965 tome, and things are getting especially personal for outcast hero Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet).
If you thought Dune: Part One was a spectacular piece of scene-setting, you ain't seen nothing yet. The remnants of the Atreides lineage are now set to go head-to-head with the venal Harkonnens as several important characters emerge from the shadows to influence the narrative.
Here's what we spotted in the trailer.
1. The Harkonnens are back on Arrakis
Having wiped out House Atreides (or so they think), the colonial exploiters known as the Harkonnens, headed by the gluttonous Baron Vladimir (Stellan Skarsgard), hastily pick up their spice mining operation again. However, they will soon experience several thorns in their collective sides...
2. Paul Atreides teaches the Fremen new ways of fighting
The relationship between Paul and his Fremen lover Chani (Zendaya) lies at the heart of Dune: Part Two. As Paul is accepted as the Fremen 'Mahdi', or saviour, he finds himself a child of two worlds, positioned between his fractured Atreides lineage and the potential of leading a new clan into battle.
Chani is his moral lodestone throughout, and she also serves a pragmatic purpose in the battle against the Harkonnens.
3. Paul adapts to the Fremen way of life
"This isn't a prophecy. It's a story." Paul's wise words indicate the subtle difference between a theoretical hypothesis and an active series of events in which numerous participants have important roles to play.
Naturally, the Fremen are suspicious of this outsider at first and Paul must convince them that he is, indeed, the prophesied 'Mahdi' who will make good on his legend and actively lead the Fremen to victory.
4. Josh Brolin returns as Gurney Halleck
"You young pup." One of the book's most memorably emotive lines is nailed by actor Josh Brolin who returns as Paul's former weapons master Gurney. Presumed dead during the attack on Arrakeen in the previous movie, Gurney has instead gone to ground in the sand-blasted wastes of Arrakis.
He eventually reconciles with his former protege who, as Gurney soon finds out, is a pupil no more but a leader in the making.
5. Stilgar is awed by Paul's abilities
One can practically see the moment when Fremen sietch leader Stilgar (Javier Bardem) is convinced of Paul's 'Mahdi' status.
It occurs when... actually, if you haven't read the book, we won't spoil it here. Suffice to say, if Denis Villeneuve does it justice, it will be an utterly spectacular scene, and the trailer more than indicates he has it in the bag.
6. Lady Jessica imbibes the Water of Life
Paul's mother, Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson), is a member of the secretive Bene Gesserit sect, as established in Dune: Part One. The sect has been experimenting with a breeding program to bring about the birth of the 'kwisatz haderach', an all-powerful super-being.
In the following shot, Lady Jessica hastens her transformation into a Bene Gesserit Reverend Mother by drinking the Water of Life, an offshoot from the infamous Arrakis sandworms. What happens next will change the course of history for everyone in the known universe.
7. Paul's destiny darkens
The central thesis of Frank Herbert's Dune novel, and, more specifically, its sequel Dune: Messiah, is that perceived heroism and a messianic status are very much a double-edged sword.
Gurney is puzzled by Paul's refusal to lean into his prophesied abilities. However, Paul realises that his journey toward becoming the 'Madhi' portends dreadful violence, represented here by the shot of his bloody crysknife, one of the pivotal symbols of the Fremen way of life.
8. Emperor Shaddam makes his first appearance
Oscar-winner Christopher Walken takes on the pivotal role of Emperor Shaddam, father of Princess Irulan (Florence Pugh). As the most powerful man in the universe, Shaddam conspired with the Harkonnens to have Duke Leto Atreides (Oscar Isaac) murdered – but Shaddam never reckoned with Paul Atreides surviving and taking on such important emblematic status.
9. Feyd-Rautha is the hope for House Harkonnen
Feral Feyd-Rautha (Oscar nominee Austin Butler) is the nephew of the scheming Baron Vladimir Harkonnen. Feyd-Rautha possesses formidable, animalistic savagery in gladiatorial combat and is being positioned by Baron Vladimir to take over the Harkonnen operation. However, this will involve deliberately setting the former against his brother, Glossu 'Beast' Rabban (Dave Bautista).
10. Feyd-Rautha versus Paul Atreides
The future of the universe rests on the conflict between the remnants of two warring families. Paul wields his Fremen symbol, the crysknife, and goes head to head with his nemesis Feyd-Rautha, flanked by the Fremen, his mother, the Emperor, Princess Irulan and the Bene Gesserit, all of whom have a stake in what happens next.
11. Paul becomes the Fremen leader
As already mentioned, being embraced as an archetypal messiah does not necessarily make one a hero. Paul's ascendance to the role of 'Mahdi' is one that's bathed in death and destruction, and in the following shot, he delivers one of the most famous lines from Frank Herbert's text, boldly instigating the conflict that will determine the future of Arrakis.
12. Paul disrupts the spice-mining operations
As per the book, Paul is able to bring the seemingly invincible Harkonnens to their knees by mustering the Fremen and engaging in devastating stealth attacks on the family's spice-mining equipment. It's a dramatic course of action that ultimately brings everything to a head.
Dune: Part Two is released at Cineworld on November 3rd. For a more in-depth analysis of the characters and situations in the movie, click here to read our previous trailer breakdown.