As one of the best-known and best-selling science fiction novels of all time, Frank Herbert's Dune series has inspired many works both inside and outside the SF genre. The series makes use of the Hero's Journey, as do many of the works that it inspired.

Dark Angel[]

Manticore and, appearing later in the series, the Conclave are very similar to the Bene Tleilax and the Bene Gesserit respectively. Manaticore using science and genetics to produce their ultimate warrior, and the Conclave doing the same through selective breeding. The main difference would be that the Conclave, in contrast the Bene Gesserit, are breeding primarily males, whereas only the Bene Gesserit ultimate, the Kwisatz Haderach, is male.[citation needed]


Series producer Carl Macek cites Dune as one of the inspirations for Robotech in his 1987 book Robotech Art III.[citation needed] Protoculture, like the spice melange was a multipurpose substance obtained from a dangerous organic source (the Arrakis sandworms in the case of melange, the Invid flower of Life in the case of protoculture. Protoculture served as an energy source for Robotechnology and was vital to the survival of the Robotech Masters Empire. In the Jack McKinney novels, protoculture also served as a drug or narcotic that could boost awareness and cause clairvoyant episodes (briefly seen in an episode of the Robotech Masters segment when Dana Sterling is almost electrocuted by a protoculture chamber). The novels also expanded protoculture to metaphysical levels introducing the ability to influence the course of events via "The Shapings" and the ability to influence the Shapings is similar to the Bene Gesserit ability to "pass within". Dr. Emil Lang's (and later Lazlo Zand's) initial exposure to protoculture turned his eyes completely black; similar to the blue within blue eyes of Dune's Fremen who are continuously exposed to the spice.

Star Wars[]

The Star Wars universe is also said to be heavily influenced by the Dune novels.[1][2] This is a hotly debated topic among fans, as many of the themes present could be said to be archetypes of science fiction and fantasy novels, as well as of world mythology; other fans contend that the Star Wars films are only action films, with almost no deeper meaning. Thus, by this logic any ties between Star Wars and Dune would be very much superficial and coincidental. However, George Lucas himself acknowledged Herbert's influence by naming vehicles sandcrawlers and by noting that the snake-like skeleton in the original film was meant as a nod to Herbert's sandworms. Biographers of Lucas have noted that Dune was one of several science-fiction texts explored by Lucas while he was developing Star Wars in the early seventies.


The film Tremors features desert worm creatures, informally called Graboids, that bear a distinct resemblance to the Sandworms of Dune,[3] though on a far smaller scale. The graboids' mouths consist of four opposing jaws (described as looking like a "grotesque flower" in the screenplay), which are similar to the triple-jawed mouths of the sandworms in David Lynch's earlier production of Dune (the sandworms in the subsequent Sci Fi Channel production of Dune possess more conventional-looking paired jaws). However, in the Bonus Features to the Tremors DVD, Collector's Edition, director Ron Underwood states that care was taken to make the graboids look distinct from sandworms.[citation needed]

Warhammer 40,000[]

The Imperium of Games Workshop's Warhammer 40,000 (WH40K) universe shares many similarities with that of Dune.[citation needed] Warhammer itself has been described as "Dune meets Starship Troopers".[4]

Wheel of Time series[]

A number of similarities to Dune are noted by readers of Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time fantasy book series. In particular his Aiel are nomadic desert dwellers (similar to the Fremen) influenced by an external power of female mystic tradition, the Aes Sedai (similar to the Bene Gesserit), who imparted many customs, such as a legend concerning the appearance of a saviour or messiah (Rand al'Thor (like Paul Atreides in Dune) Wheel of Time FAQ 3.11: On similarities between The Wheel of Time and other SF (including Dune).

Spongebob Episode[]

The Spongebob episode in which a giant worm attacks Bikini Bottom can be seen as inspired by Dune. Some references are made such as the "wormsign," found by Sandy or riding the worm at the end.


See also[]

  • Doon

External links[]