Did Dune inspire George Lucas for Star Wars?
Star Wars would never have become Star Wars without the existence of Dune. Frank Herbert’s novels, released from 1965 on, represented a whole revolution in the genre science fiction. They would also serve as inspiration for Game of Thrones and hundreds of other works, but probably Star Wars is the most direct descendant of Dune, due to its proximity in time.
Lucas for his part never tried to hide the influence of the work that made him who he is today. There are multiple references to Herbert’s novels in his movies. One of the winks funniest that exist were clearly seen by those viewers who had read Dune and saw the premiere of A new hope. In a shot of the desert, C-3PO finds a huge, elongated skeleton of something that looks like a worm, but with a tiny dinosaur head. The reference would become distorted with the launch of the original Dune film in 1984, but George Lucas’s wink was caught by many viewers.
Dune’s influences on Star Wars
The Hero’s Journey and The Chosen One
The “Monomito” or “Hero’s Journey” is a concept developed by the American mythologist Joseph Campbell. It’s about a 12-phase narrative pattern that is repeated in a multitude of works.
The evolution of Paul Atreides follows the hero’s journey to the letter, as is present in other works such as Matrix, The Lord of the rings or Harry Potter to mention a few well-known sagas.
George Lucas has spoken many, many times about The hero’s journey. The author, so methodical and perfectionist knew how to recognize the pattern in Herbert’s novels. Therefore, he knew how to decipher that if he took the same dune scheme and he created his work on that canvas, not only would it be original, but it would also work. This leads us to see that not only Luke’s development is similar to Paul’s. Anakin’s would also be in the prequels, since he repeated that formula, which is guarantee of success.
The idea of a galactic empire that strikes down all opponents and subjugates entire planets is a common link between Dune and Star Wars. In Star Wars, Palpatine he betrays the Jedi to become an all-powerful tyrant. Something similar to what he would have done earlier in the Dune novels the Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV, who uses the Harkonnen to destroy House Atreides, who pose a threat to his position of power.
There are also similarities in their armed arms, that is, their armies. Would the Stormtrooper exist if the Sardaukar? The design of these characters aside, their role in the galaxy is exactly the same.
The power of the Jedi
“Make me give you the glass,” Lady Jessica says to Paul at breakfast. It puts you to the test to put your mental control through the voice.
In Star Wars, control is through force. In the prequels we can see how Anakin uses this power for his own benefit, disobeying the rules that had been made clear to him during his training as padawan.
Nevertheless…Exists the power of paul and jessica in the star wars universe? Absolutely, although Obi Wan doesn’t even need to raise his voice to achieve it. “You don’t need any identification,” says the old Jedi to the stormtrooper who holds them at a security checkpoint on Tatooine, manipulating their mind and leaving the encounter totally unscathed.