The Big Atreides (or, The Dune Abides)

So there was a brief discussion of a twofer of Dune-related posts over on Metatalk, and it quickly unraveled into a series of questionable Frank Herbert vs. The Coen Brothers jokes when Metafilter user Eideteker said:

The Dune Abides.

You can read through the thread to see the raw output as folks put it together. Fun real-time riffing, people pushing in a few different directions with it over a couple of hours.

Here’s a neatened-up arrangement of my take on it, in the general style of an IMDB “Memorable Quotes” digest:

The Big Atreides

PRINCESS IRULAN [voiceover]: Way out in the stars there was this fella… fella I wanna tell ya about. Fella by the name of Paul Atreides. At least that was the handle his loving parents gave him, but he never had much use for it himself. Mr. Atreides, he called himself “The Dib”. Now, “Dib” – that’s a name no one would self-apply where I come from. But then there was a lot about the Dib that didn’t make a whole lot of sense. And a lot about where he lived, likewise. But then again, maybe that’s why I found the world so darned interestin’.

They call Arrakis “the Spice planet”. I didn’t find it to be that, exactly. But I’ll allow there are some colorful folks there. ‘Course I can’t say I’ve seen Caladan, and I ain’t never been to Ix. And I ain’t never seen no Reverend Mother in her damned undies, so the feller says. But I’ll tell you what – after seeing Dune, and this here story I’m about to unfold, well, I guess I seen a purpose every bit as turrible as you’d see on any of them other planets. And in Galach, too. So I can die with a smile on my face, without feelin’ like the God Emperor gypped me.

Now this here story I’m about to unfold took place back in the early 10190s – just about the time of the conflict with Vlad Harkonnen and the I-treides. I only mention it because sometimes there’s a man… I won’t say a madhi, ’cause, what’s a madhi? But sometimes, there’s a man. And I’m talkin’ about the Dib here. Sometimes, there’s a man, well, he’s the man for the place the Bene Gesserit dare not look. He fits right in there. And that’s the Dib, on Dune. And even if he’s a prescient man – and the Dib was most certainly that. Quite possibly the most prescient in Arakeen, which would place him high in the runnin’ for the most prophetic galaxywide. But sometimes there’s a man, sometimes, there’s a man. Aw. I lost my heighliner of thought here. But… aw, Shaitan. I’ve done introduced him enough.

THE DIB: I’m the Muad’dib. So that’s what you call me. You know, that or, uh, His ‘Dibeness, or uh, ‘Diber, or El Muad’diberino if you’re not into the whole my-name-is-a-killing-word thing.

THE DIB: Yeah, well, that’s just, like, my terrible purpose, man.

CHANI: What do you do for recreation?

THE DIB: Oh, the usual. I jihad. Ride worms around. The occasional prescient spice trance.

DUNCAN IDAHO: Facedancers! Fuck me. I mean, say what you like about the tenets of the Bene Gesserit, ‘Dib, at least it’s an ethos.

FEYD-RAUTHA [to THE DIB]: What’s this day of rest shit? What’s this wormshit? I don’t fuckin’ care! It don’t matter to Feyd. But you’re not foolin’ me, man. You might fool the fucks in the naib, but you don’t fool Feyd. This bush league wheels-within-wheels stuff. Laughable, man – ha ha! I would have killed you Saturday. I kill you next Wednesday instead. Wooo! You got a date Wednesday, baby!

THE DIB: Mind if I do a water of L?

STILGAR: You have got to buck up, man. You cannot drag this negative energy in to the jihad!

THE DIB: Fuck the jihad… Fuck YOU, Stilgar!

STILGAR: Fuck the jihad? All right, I can see you don’t want to be cheered up here, ‘Dib. Come on Guerney, let’s go get us a worm.

IRULAN [voiceover]: I guess that’s the way the whole durned Golden Path keeps perpetuatin’ itself.

CHANI: Do you like sex, Usul?

THE DIB: ‘Scuse me?

CHANI: Sex. The physical act of love. Coitus. Do you like it?

THE DIB: I was talking about the waters of my homeworld.

STILGAR: Jamis was a good fighter, and a good Freman. He was one of us. He was a man who loved the desert… and killing Harkonnens, and as a wormrider he explored the sands of the Great Flat, from Tuono Basin to Habbanya Ridge and… up to… Gara Kulon. He died, like so many young men of his generation, he died before his time. In your wisdom, Shai-Hulud, you took him, as you took so many bright flowering young men on Salusa Secundus, on Giedi Prime, on Bele Tegeuse. These young men gave their lives. And so would Jamis. Jamis, who loved fighting. And so, Jamis of Sietch Tabr, in accordance with what we think your dying wishes might well have been, we commit the water of your body to the tribe, which you loved so well. Good night, sweet prince.

THE DIB: Just say the Litany Against Fear, man.

STILGAR: I’m perfectly calm, ‘Dib.

THE DIB: Yeah, waving the fucking crysknife around?

STILGAR: Calmer than you are.

[The Baron Vladimir Harkonnen and his mentat aid Piter De Vries interrogate Duke Leto Atreides.]

VLADIMIR: Is this your uniform, Leto? Is this your uniform, Leto?

DE VRIES: Look, Baron…

VLADIMIR: Piter, please? Is this your uniform, Leto?

DE VRIES: Just ask him about the signet ring.

VLADIMIR: Is this yours, Leto? Is this your uniform, Leto?

DE VRIES: Is that your thopter out front?

VLADIMIR: Is this your uniform, Leto?

DE VRIES: We know it’s his fucking uniform! Where’s the fucking signet ring, you freaking’ duke?

VLADIMIR: Look, Leto. Have you ever heard of Giedi Prime?

DE VRIES: Oh, for CHOAM’s sake, Vlad…

VLADIMIR: You’re entering a world of pain, Duke. We know that this is your uniform. We know that you had a signet ring.

DE VRIES: And your fucking heir.

VLADIMIR: And your fucking heir. And, we know that this is your uniform.

DE VRIES: We’re going to feed you your uniform, Leto.

VLADIMIR: You’re killing your lady, Leto!

IRULAN: I like your style, ‘Dib.

THE DIB: Well, I dig your style too, man. Got the whole galactic princess thing goin’.

IRULAN: Thankee.

IRULAN [voiceover]: Sometimes you ride the worm and sometimes, well, he rides you.