Dune: Part Two trailer breakdown and key reveals

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

The distant planet of Arrakis reveals more secrets in the upcoming Dune: Part Two. Director Denis Villeneuve adapts the second half of Frank Herbert's classic sci-fi novel and if you thought the first movie was spectacular, then just wait to see where the story goes next.

Once again, we revolve around the outcast Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) whose destiny is intrinsically tied to the sand-blasted wastes of his new home, where he has taken shelter with the indigenous Fremen. Expect fresh character introductions, shocking betrayals, internecine struggles and a jaw-dropping sense of scale as the battle for Arrakis and the coveted spice melange intensifies.

The brand new trailer has been revealed so take a look and try not to squeal with excitement.


Curious to know what any and all of that means? We know that there's a lot to unpack from that trailer so we've tried our best with the following (spoiler-free) breakdown. Here are the key reveals to get you primed for Dune: Part Two's release in 2024.


1. Paul has nightmares of an uncertain future

Those who've read Frank Herbert's Dune novels will know that they don't trade in conventional ideals of heroism. Rather, they explore how messianic status is akin to a double-edged crystknife, which in the case of Dune: Part Two threatens to expose the known universe to both glory and pain in equal measure.

In Dune: Part Two, the ascendant Paul Atreides is ready to adopt his destiny as the Fremen 'mahdi', or chosen one. And yet, as per the opening of Dune: Part One, he's racked by visions and dreams. These dreams now start to turn darker, foreshadowing his emergence as the 'kwisatz haderach' superbeing who will instigate a gruesome galaxy-wide jihad.

Paul's conflicted identity and ideology allude to his journey in Dune: Messiah, the next Frank Herbert novel that Denis Villeneuve is set to adapt. In the last few days, Villeneuve has said his Dune: Messiah script is "almost finished", although he suggests a new film project may come in between for the purposes of his sanity.


2. The Water of Life is ready to be imbibed

We can't give away too much about this. Suffice it to say, if you're a Dune newbie, then you can't possibly imagine the significance of this seemingly innocuous blue substance. It shapes the destiny of both Paul Atreides and his mother, Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson), sending the future of the galaxy careening in bold and entirely unexpected directions.


3. Paul arms the Fremen against the Harkonnens

Paul reminds his Fremen lover Chani (Zendaya) that the Fremen conflict against the Harkonnens on Arrakis is a relatively recent phenomenon. In stark comparison, the battle between House Atreides and House Harkonnen has been raging for centuries and it now all comes to an explosive head in Dune: Part Two.

Key to Paul's plans is the arming of the Fremen. By equipping the desert nomads with weapons and attacking the spice harvesters on which the Harkonnens base their power, Paul aims to bring his mortal enemies to their knees.

The Fremen are set to unite behind Paul in a show of unity and help him realise his destiny of becoming the 'mahdi'. As in the first film, they are led by the impassive Stilgar (Javier Bardem) who bears witness to Paul's remarkable transformation.


4. Lady Jessica ascends to become a Reverend Mother

Once again, we need to be careful what we say here. But if you were startled by Lady Jessica's bold new get-up, including striking face tattoos, rest assured all will be explained. It's all part of her destiny as she ascends from mere Bene Gesserit member to full-blown Reverend Mother status. (As a reminder, the Bene Gesserit is the secretive sisterhood that has been experimenting with bloodlines to bring about the super-being known as the 'kwisatz haderach'.)

We won't tell you exactly how that happens but rest assured it promises to be one of the movie's most transcendent and memorable sequences. Dune: Part Two is as much Lady Jessica's story as it is Paul's. We can't wait to hear how Hans Zimmer emboldens and enhances the female vocals on the soundtrack to suggest Lady Jessica's emergent abilities.


5. Paul's heart is stolen by Chani

Paul Atreides may belong to Fremen warrior Chani but their relationship is set to eddy and swirl in the manner of an Arrakis sandstorm. If Paul is devoted to Chani then another figure (naming no names) is set to come onto the scene to complete Dune: Part Two's political triage and anticipate the events of Dune: Messiah.


6. Emperor Shaddam IV conspires against Paul

Who better to portray a scheming, ailing ruler than expert eccentric Christopher Walken? The Oscar-winning veteran plays Emperor Shaddam IV of House Corrino, the ruler of the galaxy and the man who made the deal with the Harkonnens to depose and destroy House Atreides after he feared the latter's influence.

Many were struck by Shaddam's absence in the first Dune movie, especially since so much of the plot revolved around his influence. However, he now steps out of the shadows as he starts to feel the pressure of the insurgent Paul's campaign on Arrakis. House Atreides is down but not out and Shaddam must resort to desperate measures to cover his own back.

Dune: Part Two also introduces Shaddam's daughter Price Irulan (Florence Pugh). In Frank Herbert's book, she acts as the retrospective chronicler of Paul's story but she's no mere pen-pusher. Instead, she has an active role to play in Paul's destiny, and indeed the destiny of all the players on Arrakis.


7. Feyd-Rautha poses the biggest threat to Paul's dominion

There are a lot of striking characters to be introduced in Dune: Part Two. We've already mentioned the Emperor and his daughter, Irulan. Lurking in the shadows we also have Bene Gesserit member Lady Margot (Lea Seydoux, unseen in this latest trailer) who becomes a pawn in the sisterhood's plans for the 'kwisatz haderach'.

The most striking of the new additions has to be the ferocious and animalistic Feyd-Rautha, played by an unrecognisable Austin Butler. Feyd is the nephew of Baron Harkonnen (Stellan Skarsgard) and possesses ferocious gladiatorial fighting abilities that make him a deadly rival for Paul Atreides.

Yet despite his fearsome strength, Feyd is as much a pawn in this saga as anyone else. His uncle the Baron deliberately sets Feyd against his cousin Glossu 'Beast' Rabban (Dave Bautista) as a test of manhood and leadership savvy, which promises to add yet more intriguing political dimensions to the ongoing narrative.


8. The sandworms lead the assault on Arrakeen

Denis Villeneuve has promised Dune: Part Two will be very different in tone from the first instalment. He tells Total Film: "The first movie was more meditative and contemplative. We were following a young man discovering a new planet, a new culture. The second movie… it’s more of an action film than the first part. It’s more muscular."

Judging from the trailer's money shot, he's not kidding. We see Paul and the Fremen leading the assault on the Harkonnen stronghold of Arrakeen – with more than a little help from the venerated and feared Arrakis sandworms. Dune: Part One teased the involvement of these terrifying and gargantuan beasts. We're now set to get the thrilling and cathartic payoff.


9. The Reverend Mother Mohiam fears Paul's power

No-one does icy like quite like Britain's finest, Charlotte Rampling. The veteran performer made an impact in Dune: Part One as the imperious and inscrutable Gaius Helen Mohiam, the Bene Gesserit Reverend Mother. It was Mohiam who put Paul to the test with the 'gom jabbar', in the process exposing his latent powers as the 'kwisatz haderach'.

Mohiam now stands on the sidelines greatly fearing what Lady Jessica has done to the sacred Bene Gesserit bloodline. The former now schemes with her own plans for the galaxy's prophesied messiah but it's safe to say there are more than a few twists and turns coming relating to Paul, his mother and other characters we don't want to mention here.


10. Paul uses the 'voice'

Dune: Part One began with Paul attempting to master the Bene Gesserit ways. The new trailer for Dune: Part Two shows how far he has come when he uses the 'voice' against Gaius Helen Mohiam, reinforcing the fact that he is much more than just a boy and an outcast fugitive from a dying noble house.

Instead, he now holds in the palm of his hand the chance to reshape the course of human history. The final shot of Paul emerging from the Arrakis desert suggests how he has become simpatico with his hostile new home and is no longer the disposable pawn the Harkonnens believe him to be. 


Dune: Part Two is released in Cineworld on March 1st, 2024. If you need more Timothée Chalamet in your life right now, then click the link to book your tickets for new family release Wonka.