Dune: Part Two trailer breakdown – everything we know about the next chapter

Austin Butler as Feyd-Rautha in Dune: Part Two trailer

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...

The Harkonnens return to Arrakis in Dune: Part Two trailer


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.

Timothee Chalamet as Paul Atreides and Zendaya as Chani in Dune: Part Two trailer


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.

Timothee Chalamet as Paul Atreides in Dune: Part Two trailer


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.

Josh Brolin as Gurney Halleck in Dune: Part Two trailer


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.

Javier Bardem as Stilgar in Dune: Part Two trailer


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.

Rebecca Ferguson as Lady Jessica in Dune: Part Two trailer


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.

Paul Atreides wields the crysknife in Dune: Part Two trailer


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.

Christopher Walken as Emperor Shaddam in Dune: Part Two trailer


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).

Austin Butler as Feyd-Rautha in Dune: Part Two trailer


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.

Austin Butler as Feyd-Rautha in Dune: Part Two trailer


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.

Timothee Chalamet as Paul Atreides in Dune: Part Two trailer


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.

Timothee Chalamet as Paul Atreides in Dune: Part Two trailer


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.