The rivalry between the massive franchise Star Wars, and the one that has started taking shape after the 2021 film, Dune is a well-known narrative. With Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation now in the spotlight, it is crystal clear that Frank Herbert’s sci-fi novel Dune has served as a great inspiration for George Lucas to craft a cinematic masterpiece spanning over forty years. Despite all the alleged differences between the two, the striking similarities are what bind them together eternally.
During an interview with The Playlist, the director of the blockbuster Dune did not hold back on his candid remarks about the Star Wars franchise, despite being aware of the ruckus his words might cause. He criticized the franchise even after openly admitting to being a childhood fan of the masterpiece and crediting it as one of the main inspirations that led him to the world of filmmaking in the first place.
Denis Villeneuve Believes Star Wars Left Him
While Denis Villeneuve was a massive Star Wars geek, he slowly grew apart from the franchise. Which later led him to direct the definitive adaptation of the novel that started it all. As many might now know Frank Herbert’s sci-fi novel Dune has had a huge impact on this genre particularly. And if 2021 Dune is to be considered as the adaptation meant to be as the descendent of this famous novel, Star Wars would most certainly be seen as the distant cousin in the imaginative family tree. Thus, in an interview with The Playlist, Villeneuve stated,
“It’s a very delicate thing to talk about “Star Wars” because everything will be dissected [laughs]. And I will say that I was also a big “Star Wars” fan. The first two “Star Wars” films and the, one that became “A New Hope” later on and “The Empire Strikes Back,” were by far, movies that had a massive influence on me when I was young—they are probably one of the reasons I’m a filmmaker now.”
The director then soon shifted to state his own personal opinion on the massive franchise, he stated,
“Science fiction is serious stuff for me; it’s something that I love when it considers life and existence serious. That’s what I have so much reverence for “Blade Runner,” the original, of course, and “2001: A Space Odyssey.” When people are taking sci-fi seriously, it’s so powerful. So, there was something in “The Empire Strikes Back,” in its darkness, in the way it was approaching the psychological path of Luke Skywalker. And I just feel like they lost that after. They lost that elegance.–You must not publish that; I’m going to be crucified [laughs]. But I totally believe that. I never left “Star Wars,” “Star Wars” left me.”
Despite showering the saga with praise and comparing it with some iconic films including Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece. He confessed with a very heavy heart that in his view, it reached its pinnacle of glory with The Empire Strikes Back. Beyond that he admitted to personally losing his connection to the material, gradually drifting away from it as time went by.
Star Wars vs. Dune
As previously stated, if one had to keep tabs, the two sagas are part of the same family tree. Although believed to be birthed from the same source material, the two have taken their distinct shapes in the universe. With Star Wars running wild with numerous sequels, prequels, and spin-offs, Dune has just now started taking shape with some big future plans chalked out for now.
But when one takes a closer look, the similarities between Star Wars and Dune outweigh the differences. While they are in fact distinct universes with different focuses as stated before, the intriguing parallels fascinate many. Both sagas feature complex family dynasties and similar landscapes, the philosophies of destiny and power all sign towards the two being the two pillars of the sci-fi fantasy genre.
Source: The Playlist