The Award Winning Newspaper Of Pace University


The Award Winning Newspaper Of Pace University


The Award Winning Newspaper Of Pace University


Setters advance to NCAA Quarterfinals
Dylan Brown, Managing Editor • May 16, 2024

Pace is one step closer to repeating. The Setters defeated the Bentley University Falcons today, 17-10 to advance. Initially offense-filled,...

On field celebrations begin at Northwell Stadium following Pace WLAXs NE-10 Championship game victory on May 11, 2024 (pacewlax and paceuathletics/IG)
Pace WLAX Win NE-10 Title, Hosts NCAA East Regional
Dylan Brown, Managing Editor • May 14, 2024

The title defense marches on for the Setters. Pace Women's Lacrosse defeated Adelphi University 16-14 last Saturday to win the Northeast-10 Championship....

Challengers (2024) official poster
Challengers Review
Evan MahannaMay 10, 2024

Challengers, directed by Luca Guadagnino, is a new romantic sports drama that brings a fresh approach to both genres. It’s a tale of a toxic...

Review: Is Dune 2 Denis Villeneuve’s The Empire Strikes Back?

Dune: Part 2 Official Poster. Credit: Warner Brothers and Legendary Pictures. 2024. 

Dune: Part 2, directed and co-written by Denis Villeneuve, is the highly anticipated sequel to 2021’s six-time Academy Award-Winning Dune. The film was released in theaters on March 1st in the United States and met an instant wave of hype from fans and newcomers alike. The film is being praised as a science fiction masterpiece.   

Critically acclaimed director Christopher Nolan, in an interview with Letterboxd, said that the film is, “Denis Villeneuve’s The Emperor Strikes Back.” A huge statement, given the cultural and cinematic significance of the Star Wars film. Is Nolan right? I think yes. 

That’s not where the Star Wars comparison ends. Fans have begun comparing Dune’s characters and storylines to those of the Star Wars films; particularly comparing Dune’s Paul Atriedes to Star Wars Anakin Skywalker. The first Star Wars film, Star Wars: A New Hope, was released in 1977, and the almost 900-page seminal novel Dune, written by Frank Herbert,  was released twelve years prior in 1965. It is no secret that George Lucas drew inspiration from Dune for Star Wars, but now almost 60 years after Dune was published, people are finally waking up to this reality. 

In Dune: Part 2, young Paul Atreides; played by Timothée Chalamet, comes into his own in the desert of the planet Arrakis. He and his mother Lady Jessica; played by Rebecca Furguson, have joined the native people of Arrakis called the Fremen in their sietch hidden deep in the desert. Paul Atreides, thanks to the drug Spice native to Arrakis and the mind training he received from his mother, gains the ability to see past space and time. His abilities combined with a Fremen prophecy of a messiah, the “Lisan Al Gaib” (voice of the outer world), positions Paul in a place where he has a choice to become more powerful than the emperor himself or to reject the prophecy entirely and live among the Fremen. If he becomes the messiah, he will dictate the entire future of the known universe; he must choose wisely.  

Before Denis Villeneuve’s Dune films, Dune was regarded as “the most unadaptable sci-fi novel of all time”. The first Dune adaptation attempt was the most ambitious and was doomed because of it. In the 1970s, cult film director Alejandro Jodorowsky wrote and planned a Dune adaptation, but it was never put to the screen because of funding issues. Before even beginning production, the film ran out of money. Following this was David Lynch’s infamous Dune film adaptation in 1984, which because of production issues and disagreements with the studio, was a poor excuse for a Dune adaptation. David Lynch has even publicly disowned this film.  

In 2021 with Dune, and now again with Dune: Part 2, Denis Villeneuve has proven critics wrong, it is possible to adapt Dune on the big screen with the right creatives and a large studio budget. A key part of Villeneuve’s success was splitting the book into two films rather than squeezing the entire plot of the 900-page book into one. Dune is an incredibly dense novel in terms of both its plot and its world-building, there is much that didn’t make it to the screen.  

Visually, Dune: Part 2 is massive. Using IMAX cameras, cinematographer Greig Frasier creates an expansive universe audiences have never seen. The sheer scale of sets, landscapes, mechanisms, explosions, and more are jaw-dropping. For the sandworms and explosions, the visual effects in Dune: Part 2 are far better than most modern action films with similar or larger budgets.  

Seeing Dune: Part 2 in the cinema is a must for anyone who wants to see the film and has the opportunity to see it in theaters. This film is begging to be seen on the largest screen possible. 


Paul Atreides, played by Timothée Chalamet, walks through a crowd of Fremen in Dune: Part 2. Credit to Warner Brothers and Legendary Pictures, 2024.

Hans Zimmer’s score elevates the film immensely, and the main love theme written for Paul and Chani, titled “A Time Of Quiet Between The Storms” pulls the heartstrings every time it is played in the film. This softer ballad in contrast to the epic battle and Harkonnen themes grounds the film in the love story between Paul and Chani.  

Some book fans may leave the theater a little disappointed as Dune: Part 2 made massive changes from the source text. Without getting into spoiler territory, characters are missing from the film and there are changes within key plot points from the novel. Additionally, the timeline of Dune: Part 2 is much shorter than the novel. The entirety of Dune and Dune Part 2 is within nine months, whilst in the book these events happen over the span of years.  

The best change Denis Villeneuve made was allowing Chani, Paul’s lover, to maintain her own opinions about Paul’s terrible destiny, and his relationship to the Fremen people. Her character is much further developed in Dune: Part 2 than in the novel. Chani and Paul’s love story is at the heart of the film and is the lens through which all the horror and beauty of Dune: Part 2 is seen. The love story between these characters makes the finale of Dune Part 2 all the more planet-shattering. 

The standout performances of Dune: Part 2 were Austin Butler’s portrayal of Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen, the sadistic nephew of Baron Vladimir Harkonnen; and Javier Bardem as the Fremen leader and fervent believer of the “Lisan Al Gaib”. Timothée Chalamet gives his most commanding performance to date, and arguably his best. His portrayal of Paul Atreides in Dune 1 as a meek but intelligent teenager, to his transformation into an all-powerful religious figure in Part 2 is career-defining.  

Dune: Part 2 is the best science fiction movie of the 2020s so far. Denis Villeneuve is no stranger to science fiction; his previous sci-fi films, Arrival (2016) and Blade Runner 2049 (2017) are some of the best of the 2010s. Dune (2021) is no competition to the massive scale and action of its sequel, but Dune’s exquisite world-building and sound design set a new precedent for what modern science fiction films can do. Although Dune: Part 2’s shrunken timeline may feel rushed, the film is nonetheless an extraordinarily powerful cinematic experience.  

Denis Villeneuve has revealed he’s started writing the third Dune film, based on Dune Messiah, the literary sequel to Dune. If and when Dune 3 is greenlit, it may be several years until this final installment is released. Nonetheless, fans will wait. 

Long Live The Fighters. Score: 94%. 








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