Dune: Part One still beats Dune: Part Two for these reasons

Warner Bros.

Warner Bros.

After several years of hype and anticipation, Dune is back. Denis Villeneuve’s mammoth adaptation of the Frank Herbert novel of the same name has gotten the sequel treatment, and Dune: Part 2 is receiving many of the same plaudits and praise that Part 1 received when it was released in 2021. It grossed over $80 million in its opening weekend, and is on the path to outdo its predecessor.

But now that we have two components to contrast, it only makes sense to wonder which is superior. Here are several reasons why Part 1 might still be superior, even if Part 2 is undoubtedly more action-packed and builds on much of the first part's setup.

Dune gave us our first look at Arrakis

One of the things that Part 1 excels at is creating a world. Few blockbusters are able to match the grandeur and scope of this film, and much of it is achieved when we are initially exposed to Arrakis' arid landscape.  

Although Part 2 maintains much of the world-building that makes this series feel so distinctive, none of it feels quite as impressive as the totally new world that we’re introduced to in Part 1. Perhaps because we are so accustomed to these settings, Part 1 was the first to do the world-building and did it more well.

Dune has more time for its characters than Dune: Part Two

Warner Bros.
Warner Bros. Pictures

The movie has a little less time to concentrate on building its characters and their relationships because Part 2 is primarily concerned with the mechanics of Paul's rise to power after his banishment at the end of Part 1. 

While there are similar moments in Part 2, none of them compare to the opening sequences in Part 1, which give you a complete picture of Paul's life when everything was going well. Part 2 jumps us right into a crisis, and while its character beats are compelling, they wouldn’t work at all without the more careful work done in Part 1. 

Jason Momoa’s Duncan Idaho is a scene-stealer (and is missed in Part Two)


Warner Bros.

It's not a spoiler to say that Duncan Idaho, Jason Momoa's charismatic renegade, dies in Dune. In a heroic battle to the death, Duke Leto's right-hand man defeats the invading Harkonnens and saves a fleeing Paul and Lady Jessica.

That's unfortunate because Momoa brought a much-needed burst of vitality to the first film, cutting through Paul's glum wallflower appearance and the story's ponderous portentousness. Duncan recalls another similar sci-fi scene-stealer, Star Wars‘ Han Solo, and both of them were needed to give levity to the story and lighten things up a bit with some humor. Dune: Part Two is serious, sometimes to its detriment, and you really feel the absence of his character in the film. 

Rebecca Ferguson had more to do in the original 

Warner Bros.

Warner Bros. Pictures

Both installments of Dune are carried by their remarkable casts, but the stealth MVP of this franchise to date remains Rebecca Ferguson, who plays Lady Jessica. In the first movie, Jessica is essentially a co-lead, and it’s clear that it’s because of her machinations that Paul is positioned the way that he is as a potential messiah.

While Jessica remains an important player in Part 2, she’s given a little bit less to do, and seems a little bit less human than she is in Part 1. Movies are better when they let Ferguson cook (just witness any of the last three Mission: Impossible movies, which excel because of her), and on that score, Part 1 gets the edge.

Like Dune 2? Then watch these 3 great sci-movies for free right now 

Like Dune 2

Warner Bros.

Dune: Part Two is set to dominate theaters this weekend as hordes of moviegoers (who’ve endured the worst two months of movies in recent memory) eagerly return to the dusty world of Arrakis to catch up with Paul, Chani, Lady J(essica), and the rest of the gang. And who can blame them? The movie is already critically acclaimed and will surely be the blockbuster to watch in coming weeks.


Denis Villeneuve’s big-budget sequel isn’t the only sci-fi game in town, though. Streamers like NetflixHulu, and Amazon Prime Video have tons of sci-fi movies, but you have to pay for a subscription to access them. Do you want to watch great sci-fi movies that are just as good as Dune: Part Two for free? Digital Trends has compiled a list of three exceptional sci-fi films that are currently streaming on Tubi and YouTube. So sit back, tune in, and prepare to have your mind expanded beyond all comprehension.

Logan’s Run (1976)

Logan’s Run (1976)


It’s not wrong to say that Logan’s Run, a 1976 movie set in a dystopian future, hasn’t aged that well. Its gender politics are dubious (Jenny Agutter’s Jessica is too much of a pushover), the sets look cheap, and most of the acting is dialed way too high. Yet there’s aa earnest corniness to the movie that’s also oddly charming; it’s a cheesy sci-fi movie that reminds you how much fun the genre can be. 

Michael York plays Logan, a glorified police officer (referred to as the "Sandman") who upholds a severe rule that requires anybody over 30 to give themselves up to Carousel, a complex ceremony wherein mass suicide occurs. Your other options are just as grim: be hunted and killed in the giant enclosed city Logan’s Run is set in or become a Runner and seek refuge outside of civilization. Logan is compelled by a sequence of circumstances to transform into a Runner and seek safety outside the dome-shaped metropolis. What he discovers there might bring about the end of the world or the start of a new one.

Logan’s Run is streaming on Tubi.

2010: The Year We Make Contact (1984)

2010: The Year We Make Contact (1984)


Although many people agree that Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey is a masterpiece film, few people believed 2010:  The Year We Make Contact could be in the same class when it was released in 1984. How could it? However, several detractors have revised their assessments of 2010 to be more positive in recent years. When set apart from its well-known predecessor, 2010 is a compelling science fiction film that explores complex philosophical issues while combining stunning graphics. (The visual effects are still impressive.)   

Nine years after the events of 2001, Dr. Chandra and other members of the new scientific team visit Jupiter to find out what happened to Dave, the primary character of 2001, and to restart HAL before a rival group of Russian cosmonauts can. Once there, they discover the reason why the mysterious monolith keeps appearing throughout humanity’s existence, and how it will change mankind forever.

2010 is streaming on Tubi.

A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)

Artificial Intelligence

Warner Bros.

Regarding Kubrick and 2001, the renowned director passed away in 1999, shortly before the film's premiere, and was unable to complete one of his dream projects, Artificial Intelligence (A.I.). Steven Spielberg decided to do it, and he released the movie in the year In the future-set film, a humanoid robot named David is placed with a family who is mourning the loss of their sick human kid, Martin. David quickly becomes a member of the family, but when Martin recovers and rejoins them, David is disregarded and is scheduled to be deactivated. Evading certain destruction, David sets out on an epic quest to return to his adopted human family at any cost.

A.I. Artificial Intelligence is a fascinating combination of both directors’ styles and sensibilities. There’s Kubrick’s trademark aloofness in the material and some of the visuals (the future cityscapes have a coldness to them that resemble the sets in 2001), but there’s also Spielberg’s signature sentimentally in David teaming up with other discarded robots to find his way home. This is a Pinocchio story set in the near future, and there’s even a Blue Fairy voiced by Meryl Streep! The ending is unexpectedly bold, and your heart might break a little after the credits roll.

Watch A.I. Artificial Intelligence on YouTubeDune: Part 2


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