MOVIES

Small Details You Missed In Dune Part 2

If you’re a fan of Frank Herbert’s “Dune,” then you probably had one big question about “Dune: Part Two”: How would the movie handle Paul’s younger sister, Alia? In the book, about five years pass between the death of Duke Leto Atreides (Oscar Isaac) and Paul’s victory over the Harkonnens and Emperor Shaddam IV. Alia is four years old in the climactic battle of the first novel, and as a fully conscious mind with centuries of knowledge — thanks to being exposed to the Water of Life in utero — she’s already a competent leader, referred to for her viciousness as “Alia of the Knife.”

Creating a convincing four-year-old murder princess with deep cosmic knowledge is no easy feat for a live-action movie. To avoid this dilemma, “Dune: Part Two” truncates Paul’s desert chapter to less than nine months, allowing Jessica to stay pregnant for the whole movie. Alia persists as a vocal agent in the plot, but she does so from within her mother’s womb. In one scene, though, we do see her appear to Paul as an adult woman, played by Anya Taylor-Joy.

If you haven’t read the books, this all may be a bit confusing. Alia is incredibly important in “Dune Messiah” and “Children of Dune,” and because she possesses powers of prescience similar to Paul’s, she’s able to commune with him both cognitively and out of time. Both siblings exist on a shared frequency of future-sight, and Alia’s brief onscreen cameo foreshadows a much larger role in the potential sequel.

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