‘Dune’ Survival Guide. Everything you need to know about Arrakis before the Denis Villeneuve movie

The film that adapts Frank Herbert’s novel is directed by Denis Villeneuve and starring Timothée Chalamet. The film hits theaters on September 17.

Walk through the vast deserts of Arrakis it is dangerous. Not only because of the giant worms that live under the sand, but also because of the hot climate and the lack of water. The September, 17th, Denis Villeneuve will make us move through the dunes, the threats and the political strategies that this planet hides. That’s the day Dune, the film that adapts the first part of the homonymous novel by Frank Herbert, lands in Spanish cinemas.

The story tells of the journey of Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) and his family to Arrakis so that their father, the duke leto (Oscar Isaac), oversee the extraction of the coveted spice drug melange. There they will meet the Fremen, the indigenous people of Dune, and the threats of the ambitious and evil Harkonnen. Also with a planet with completely different conditions to its place of origin, the mountainous and humid Caladan.

The world created by Herbert is full of traditions, prophecies, mythology, political and religious organizations, and terms and objects that every fan of fantasy and science fiction will delve into with great pleasure. But it doesn’t hurt to prepare for the dangers of Arrakis before setting foot in its sands. In order to prevent you, we have prepared a survival guide with everything you need to know before Dune hit the movie theaters.

The Bene Gesserit teachings won’t hurt you if you don’t have the skills of the Fremen in the desert. We also advise you to take a hammer, be careful with the steps you take and make sure that you have put on your stillsuit. Ready for the trip?


Also know as Dune, Arrakis is the third planet of the Canopus System. It is here that the Atreides family is sent to supervise the extraction of the prized melange spice. This is the only place where this substance is found. Arrakis is a desert planet whose sands are inhabited by gigantic worms and in which water is a very precious commodity.


Main family. The Duke Leto Atreides, his concubine Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson) and her son Paul Atreides are chosen by the Padishah emperor to supervise the extraction of the melange in Arrakis. The Atreides must leave Caladan, their home planet, and move to Dune. In the entourage of the Atreides there is also the Master of Arms Duncan Idaho (Jason Momoa), the Warchief Gurney Halleck (Josh Brolin), el doctor Wellington Yueh (Chen Chang) and the Mentat Thufir Hawat (Stephen Henderson).

Well done

Very powerful and old matriarchal organization made up exclusively of women that is key in the political, religious and social spheres. Its members are trained, mentally and physically, for years. Among his abilities are: espionage, combat, prophetic powers, the ability to manipulate the process of conception and aging and the manipulation of substances such as poisons. Also The Voice, which allows them to control others by modulating their vocal tones.

All Bene Gesserit actions are calculated to achieve an end. They even carry out genetic selection by placing their members in the most powerful families as concubines or wives. Lady Jessica, the mother of Paul Atreides, is one of them. Despite being ordered to have a daughter – like the rest of her companions – Lady Jessica disobeyed and had Paul.


Planet of the Atreides for 26 generations. Unlike Arrakis, Caladan describes himself as a mountainous place with rivers and rich underwater and terrestrial ecosystems.


Organization whose acronym stands for Combine Honest Ober Advancer Mercantiles. It is a universal corporation whose goal is business development. The people who control it are the emperor and the Big House (the ruling clans). Also involved, albeit without voting rights, are the Brotherhood and the Bene Gesserit.

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Space Guild

The Bene Gesserit are not the only ones with a physical and mental training school, so is the Space Guild. This organization, key in political development, has the monopoly of space travel, transportation, and interplanetary banking.


In the universe created by Herbert, a concubine is a consort of a ruling member of a Great House. In this way, the leaders could marry someone from another of the most important families in the face of political alliances and strategies.


Created from one of the teeth of a dead sandworm, the crys is the holy knife of the Fremen. About 20 centimeters in length, crys can be stable or unstable. The former are treated to prevent their disintegration and thus be able to be stored. The latter, untreated, must be kept close to a human body to avoid deterioration.

The Fremen maintain an important tradition regarding these knives: if it is removed from its sheath, it cannot be put away until blood has been drawn with it. In addition, the crys could not show themselves to people outside their tribe. If this happened, they would have to die for it or undergo a ritual to “cleanse” them.

Truth Decider

Within the Bene Gesserit are the Truthsayers. They are Reverend Mothers with the ability to go into a trance and find out if someone is lying or not.


Very important and key clothing in Arrakis to be able to move in its desert areas. A stillsuit is a sophisticated clothing that covers the whole body and whose objective is to maintain and recover moisture that is lost through sweat, urine and feces. It also has a mask with which to collect the moisture expelled during breathing. In turn, the stillsuit has a tube connected to a bag of water to be able to drink.


Fremen are the free tribes of Arrakis. Among the characters that belong to this group are Chani (Zendaya) and Stilgar (Javier Bardem).

Gom Jabbar

Also described as “the enemy of the high hand”, the Gom Jabbar is a needle with a poison on its tip. Each House has a different one and it is used to kill enemies.

Important is also the test of the Gom Jabbar that Paul Atreides undergoes at the beginning of the story – and of which you have been able to some moments in the different trailers of the film. The Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam (Charlotte Rampling) does it to the protagonist. This consists of Paul putting his hand in a mysterious box in which he will only find tremendous pain. In turn, the Bene Gesserit places the poisoned needle into Paul’s neck. If he puts out his hand, he will stick himself with the needle. The objective of this test is detect human consciousness in the subject. If it does not pass it, then it is considered an ‘animal’ and dies poisoned. If he exceeds it, he is considered ‘human’, since they are the only ones who can dominate any nerve in the body.


Term for the sandworms that inhabit the sands of Arrakis. These beings live for many years, they are dangerous and the water is a poison for them. Some reach 400 meters in length. The Fremen learn to survive them in the desert. They are even capable of mounting them. They are also known as Shai-Hulud, the “Old Man of the Desert”, the “Old Father Eternity” and “Grandfather of the Desert”.


The Harkonnen are one of the Great Houses of the Empire. Known for being malicious and ambitious, they are the enemies of the Atreides. Its leader is the barón Vladimir Harkonnen (Stellan Skarsgård), a morbidly obese man that forces him to wear jockstraps tied to his flesh in order to walk. Among the members of the Harkonnen is the twisted Mentat Peter de Vries (David Dastmalchian) and the Baron’s nephew Glossu Rabban (Dave Bautista), also known as The Beast.

Kwisatz Haderach

Term used by the Bene Gesserit, whose translation is “the shortest way”. Under this name also hides “The unknown”, the human being that the organization tried to achieve through genetic manipulation: a Bene Gesserit man. The arrival of Paul Atreides makes them think that he could be the Kwisatz Haderach, who will be able to bridge space and time and see the future. Also access other male memories, restricted to Reverend Mothers.

Lisan Al-Gaib

Term belonging to the messianic legends of the Fremen. It translates as “The Voice of the Other World” -on some occasions even as “Giver of Water” – and it is used to name their prophet, who will lead them to their freedom. The arrival of Paul Atreides makes them think that he is the Lisan Al-Gaib.

A liter

One liter container for transporting water in Arrakis.

Hammer hammer

Utensil that sticks into the sand to hit it and so on produce a noise that attracts sandworms. It is shaped like a cane.


A coveted spice drug found only on Arrakis. Its price is very high and it is produced by giant worms. He who consumes it gets a longer life expectancy, vitality and elevated cognition. Another of its effects is to release foreknowledge and gain powers of vision of the future. With geriatric qualities, it is very addictive if consumed in large doses. It is used throughout the universe and is a symbol of wealth. Although the flavor is similar to that of cinnamon, each time it is tasted it has a different flavor. The bright blue eyes is a consequence of its consumption.

Melange is used by the Space Guild and the Bene Gesserit. The latter consume an overdose during the ritual known as Agony of the spice. The process confronts the consumer with her inner self and that of all her female ancestors. If she overcomes it, she becomes a Reverend Mother.


Imperial citizen trained to reach the heights of logic. They are described as human computers, since they are like thinking machines. Their training must begin in infancy without knowing that they are being trained for such a profession. Their capacity for logic, calculation and ability to process large amounts of information made them political advisers to the Great Houses. The Mentat of the Atreides is Thufir Hawat.

Reverend Madre

Within the Bene Gesserit, those who have passed the test of transforming a poison to acquire a higher degree of consciousness.


The Sardaukar are the Padishah emperor soldiers. These are men who come from a very harsh environment and their training, which began in childhood, values ​​brutality and teaches them to use cruelty as another weapon. It is said that her cunning in combat can be equated to that of a Bene Gesserit.


Term used by the Fremen to designate any cave inhabited by one of their tribes.


Used by the Fremen, the term Usul can be described as “the base of the pillar”. The name is given to Paul Atreides. Another of the names that the Fremen give to the protagonist is that of Muad’Dib. This is what the Arrakis tribes call the desert mouse, a creature associated with earthly and spiritual mythology and admired by the Fremen for its ability to survive in the harsh conditions of the planet.