Jodorowsky's Dune Uncovered
Scene 73-75 : Beggar Army
Gurney Halleck is trying to train the beggars - "Children, old men, the sick, mothers with their babies and emaciated men".
The beggars, however, no longer know how to fight, and eventually Halleck realises that "they need someone behind them."
He stands in the middle of a group and yells "Charge!" and urged on by Halleck, the beggars attack the Atreides soldiers they are training with.
Meanwhile, in space, the Harkonnen ships have arrived at Dune and are forming a ring around the planet.
Back on Dune, Gurney is showing Leto his strategy, the troops form a giant circle - "The first line contains the old men and the sick, then come the children, the freaks, the blind and the madmen ; then, there are the mothers using their children as shields. The following line is made up of the women and the half-starved men." In the middle of the group are the Atreides soldiers.
On a command the group splits into two, then into four etc, each time the group keeps the same system of Atreides in the centre protected by multiple lines of beggars.
Halleck explains that the Atreides can fire arrows from within the group, protected by a wall of bodies, enabling the solider to kill many Harkonnes until they can get to him.
From the Moebius storyboards we have a single image that appears to show the Harkonnen ships forming a ring around Dune as described in the script, and later on we'll see that the Atreides do appear to use children in their defenses.
I wonder what Frank Herbert made of the honorable Duke Leto having his men shielded by a human wall of young, sick and weak beggars?!?
Continue to Part 27: Battle for Dune