Jodorowsky's Dune Uncovered

Jodorowsky's Dune.

Scenes 10-19 : The History of Humanity

The robot eyes project the history of mankind to the Dog-beings, narrating the events before them : "The history of man begins with the destruction of his mother-planet Earth. There remains no record of the earlier period."

The robot goes on to explain that man conquered all the planets, but was trapped within the galaxy itself by a barrier surrounding it. With nothing left to achieve "Triumph killed ambition" and mankind became lazy, with machines doing everything.

At this point we are back into familiar Herbert territory, with the eventual "bio-revolution against the machines", or the Butlerian Jihad (although the script never calls it such).

With the eventual victory the planets agree that they will not "...construct machines imitating the human mind" as well as outlawing wars and atomic weapons, and the burning of flags. Three hundred years later the good intentions were eventually forgotten, and planets organized into Houses and elected an Emperor for a newly established Senate.

After thousands of years it was discovered that the spice on Dune "could enable a person to see into the future, and could also prolong life", making Dune the most important planet in the galaxy.

A ship lands on Dune and two people come out, a member of the "Missionaria Protective" from the Bene Gesserit who has come to "create a religious myth among the natives" and Pardot Kynes who is studying geological forces. They walk off in opposite directions as the robot proclaims that "These two people are going to change the course of human history !" and the film's titles overlay the scene.

Wow - That is some prologue! It has a few similarities to that of the TV Edition of Lynch's Dune, but it is pretty different to the usual Dune chronology. The 1975 French press kit doesn't contain any Moebius storyboards for these scenes, but it does contain a script summary that pretty closely follows the above scenes:

"There are already more than 20,000 years that the Earth burst... Man conquered the Galaxy, but he realizes that he still lives in an Island: the Galaxy itself is encircled by an insuperable Magnetic Wall. No one could pass through it. Having nothing more to discover to conquer, the Man engages himself completely in pleasure, give its power to machines and degenerates in luxury.

"Rising generation, all Genetic Monsters, Makes the Revolution against the Machines, destroys the gigantic Central Computer, burns the flags, symbols of the Constitutions of each Planet and organizes the Great Galactic League of United Planets.

"Mo more atomic weapons. A Universal Law. Eternal prohibition against who build machines able to replace human labor. The computers are substituted by Mutants with hypertrophied brains.

"One creates a Neo-Medieval society. An Emperor is crowned, one creates a Senate of Planets which has the ability to elect and depose Emperors. The value of money is restored.

"One discovers in a Planet lost in the borders of the Galaxy, Dune, a kind of Mushroom, who extends Life during several centuries and allows to see the Future."

In the next part we'll look at how the story of the Atreides and Harkonnen picks up, and starts to mirror that of the Moebius storyboards seen in the Jodorowsky's Dune documentary.

Continue to Part 3: Leto in the Senate