Dune Messiah: Part 3 Movie Explained – How Part 2’s Ending Sets Up Third Film

Dune Messiah: Part 3 Movie Explained – How Part 2’s Ending Sets Up Third Film

Dune Messiah: Part 3 Movie Explained – How Part 2’s Ending Sets Up Third Film




With Dune: Part 2 out worldwide, fans now have a better idea of what to expect from the eventual third film based on Dune Messiah.

While it is yet to be officially confirmed by Warner Bros., early progress is already underway on the threequel. Although it may unfortunately be some time before fans get to see it, director Denis Villeneuve confirmed his script for Dune 3 is almost finished and composer Hans Zimmer is getting a headstart on the score.

Whether the record-breaking reception to Dune 2, the promising early box office numbers, or the runaway success of the tie-in popcorn bucket will be enough to conjure a threequel remains to be seen.

And although the second film could certainly bow out on its own terms, a number of plot points tease elements of what’s to come.

Dune: Messiah Story Set-Ups In Part 2

Paul Atreides’ Holy War Begins

Dune Messiah: Part 3 Movie Explained - How Part 2's Ending Sets Up Third Film

“Your brother attacks the great houses. The holy war begins.”

Timothée Chalamet’s Paul Atreides finds himself in line to take on the role of Emperor of the universe, but he has a few roadblocks ahead. Dune: Part 2 sees the remaining noble houses rejecting Paul’s ascendancy, prompting Muad’dib to rally his fellow Fremen and “lead them to Paradise.”

Dune Messiah begins with a time jump, set 12 years after the end of the first novel and showcasing an ascended Padishah Emperor Paul, who has already laid waste to the other houses and countless lives across the universe. Due to his power of foresight though, this outcome seems to be a much better fate than his alternative.

Dune 3 could potentially fill in the gaps of Paul’s holy war, displaying a bit about the steps he had to take to secure his place on the throne. Both Dune movies hinted towards this future, with Paul mowing down enemies in a vision seen in the first movie and the second indicating that he would follow his mother Lady Jessica (played by Rebecca Ferguson) past starving followers.

Villeneuve also refrained from using large time jumps for his Dune movies, meaning that Messiah could be closer in timeframe to Part Two‘s story in comparison to the novels’ depiction and allowing for more of an exploration of the holy war itself.

Anya Taylor-Joy’s Alia Atreides Awaits

Dune Messiah: Part 3 Movie Explained - How Part 2's Ending Sets Up Third Film

A pervasive force in the Dune sequel comes in the form of a murmuring fetus. Paul Atreides’ yet-to-be-born sister, Alia, is rarely seen in Part 2 but has a constant presence as she whispers in Lady Jessica’s ear.

Alia is a major character in Dune Messiah and, luckily, she’s already been cast, thanks to Anya Taylor-Joy’s brief flash-forward cameo. With a big name already attached to the character, it’s almost a guarantee that Taylor-Joy will be back in the role in a potential third Dune flick.

It’s unclear how much of Alia’s storyline from the original Messiah novel will be carried over into the third movie, largely due to her narrative being, to put it bluntly, weird. One plot point involves Alia becoming romantically involved with Hayt, who also happens to be a resurrected Duncan Idaho (played by Jason Momoa in the first Dune).

Perhaps the threequel will still incorporate the two’s pairing without the strange implications.

Paul & Chani’s Unseen Child

Dune Messiah: Part 3 Movie Explained - How Part 2's Ending Sets Up Third Film

One excised element from Dune: Part 2 is another unborn child, this time belonging to Paul and Chani.

In the original novel, Paul and Chani get married as Fremen and eventually conceive a son, Leto II Atreides the Elder. Tragically, the child is killed in his infancy by Sardaukar during a siege of the Fremen’s home base.

Leto II is entirely absent from Dune 2 though, despite a somewhat steamy scene between Paul and Chani that might’ve suggested an ankle-biter on the way.

It’s possible that this element of the story was removed to give more narrative weight to Paul and Chani’s two other children, Ghanima and (another) Leto II, who are introduced in Dune Messiah and could crop up in the third film.

Léa Seydoux’s Margot Fenring Has a Contingency

Dune Messiah: Part 3 Movie Explained - How Part 2's Ending Sets Up Third Film

Never count the Bene Gesserit out. Dune newcomer Margot Fenring, portrayed by Léa Seydoux, sets out to do what Lady Jessica initially refused to: bear a daughter for the Sisterhood’s cause.

In the film, Fenring seduces Feyd-Rautha to acquire his genes as a backup plan, while their previous hope, Paul Muad’dib, conspires against them.

Fenring’s daughter, Marie, wouldn’t come into play in the books until the original Dune novel was almost 50 years old though, making her debut in 2008’s Paul of Dune as a hybrid between a Bene Gesserit and an assassin. Did we mention that she’s also only six years old?

Despite the novel’s late release, it actually takes place as an interquel between the events of Dune and Dune Messiah and sees Marie making an attempt on Paul’s life in true child assassin fashion.

While not integral to Messiah‘s narrative, the timeframe potentially allows for Denis Villeneuve to incorporate Marie into Dune 3, and could make for an interesting follow-up to Seydoux’s brief appearance as Fenring.

Chani’s Departure from Paul

Dune Messiah: Part 3 Movie Explained - How Part 2's Ending Sets Up Third Film

A major departure, in many senses of the word, comes in the form of Zendaya’s Chani leaving Paul and the other Fremen behind on the back of a sandworm.

Chani’s exit at the end of Part Two strays heavily from how the original Dune novel ends, with Paul still marrying Princess Irulan out of political necessity while making Chani his concubine.

This leads straight into Messiah‘s plot, where Paul and Chani are attempting to produce an heir to the Atreides bloodline. Paul is fearful of the consequences of this though, having foreseen Chani’s death if she goes into childbirth.

Dune: Part 2 places Chani in a more active position in comparison to her more subservient role in the novel, rejecting the holy war that Paul is about to embark and prioritizing herself. There’s no doubt that Chani will find herself opposite her former lover at some point in the future, particularly given Paul’s words to his mother that he’s seen Chani’s potential change of heart.

However, all bets are off as to whether Dune 3 will see the pair pursuing children together as the original story does.

Dune: Part 2 is now playing in theaters worldwide.

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