Dune v. Star Wars

It’s the New Year 2020 and Start Wars is gobbling up audience everywhere, sweeping them to a galaxy far, far away for thrills and spills as heroes and heroines race to save their universe from evil; but I wonder how many in these vast audience know about the similarities with another science fiction which, rumour tells, was its inspiration? Do you know much of Star Wars is owed to Dune?

Let’s compare…

Starts with two children?

Dune
Yes, Paul & Alia
Score: 1

Star Wars
Yes, Luke & Leia
Score: 1

Ends with two children?

Dune
Yes
(upto Children of Dune)
Score: 1

Star Wars
Yes
(but the saga will continue…)
Score: 1

Set on a desert planet?

Dune
Yes
Score: 1

Star Wars
Yes
Score: 1

Involves mystical forces?

Dune
Yes
Spice
Score: 1

Star Wars
Yes
The Force
Score: 1

Involves magical fighting skills?

Dune
Yes
The Weirding Way.
Score: 1

Star Wars
No
(The Forces doesn’t count, it’s already been counted once.)
Score: 0

Foreboding Prophecies?

Dune
Yes
The Mahdi Will Come.
Score: 1

Star Wars
Yes
To Bring Balance.
Score: 1

Killed millions of people?

Dune
Yes
But only those who resist Our Way.
Score: 1

Star Wars
Yes, Yes, Yes!!!
Whole Planets!!!
Wow, this is FUN!
We’re gonna need a Bigger Gun!!
Score: 1

Becomes a Universe of Peace for thousands of years?

Dune
Yes
For it is told, it is thus on the Golden Path.
Score: 1

Star Wars
No
Duh, when there are so many sequels to plan?
Score: 0

Power from generations of ancestors?

Dune
Yes
For those who have taken the Water Of Life, and survived.
Score: 1

Star Wars
Yes
Light or dark, whatever, the Sith/Force are with you.
Score: 1

Original Idea?

Dune
No
Inspired by Islam.
Score: -1

Star Wars
No
Inspired (according to rumour) by
Jodorowsky, who was inspired by
Dune, which was inspired
by Islam.
Score: -3

World-wide fame?

Dune
40%?
Score: 0.4

Star Wars
80%?
Score: 0.8

Good Writing?

Dune
Yes(ish)
if you love all the religion, politics, intrigue, murder and mysticism and Big Thick Books.
Score: 1

Star Wars
Maybe(ish)
if you enjoy mindless childish fun, and BIG Spaceships!!!
Score: 1

Entertaining?

Dune
Yes
For Those Who Know.
Less for the public.
30%
Score: 0.3

Star Wars
Yes
For mass popular fame and spectacle.
80%
Score: 0.8


Total scores (marked in a purely biased personal fashion)

Dune
Score: 9.7

Star Wars
Score: 6.6

I’ve not weighed this on box-office results. Dune will never likely match the sheer mindless entertainment value of Star Wars, but if you, like me, savour original and deep grown-up ideas, and consider Star Wars to be a first rate rip-off of Dune, then you will lean in favour of the original literature and not the knock-off copy. But what an achievement over the last four decades.

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