"The Worlds of Frank Herbert (1977)" by admiral.ironbombs is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

3 Interesting facts about the creator behind “Dune”

Who exactly is Frank Herbert?

The futuristic, action-packed film called Dune is well regarded as a masterpiece and it was relatively popular in 2021. As much as the witty and dorky fans admire the Denis Villeneuve directed (with Hans Zimmer commanding the orchestra) piece, it wasn’t the highest-grossed film in this COVID spewed year. Dune, which was the 10th highest-grossed film in 2021, was shown in 17 countries across the globe. 

Outside of Dune being popular, entertaining, and filled with unique themes, what else do we know about the big hit? Well, I certainly know one underappreciated aspect of the film. The hidden gem of Dune is none other than the creator of the piece: Frank Herbert. In this outlook, I’m going to share three interesting facts about the genius fiction writer. 

  • Frank Herbert never graduated from college

What does Herbert have in common with Steven Spielberg, Quentin Tarantino, and James Cameron? Well, the late widely recognized cinematic mind behind Dune didn’t garner a degree from college. According to his brother, Herbert wanted to only study “what interested him”. He did attend college, but the lack of inspiration didn’t drive him to pick up a degree from the University of Washington. Outside of film writers and filmmakers, Herbert joins a long list of successful people to ignore the golden arches of university doors. 

  • Frank Herbert wrote six Dune books

Just as Star Wars shares similarities in the film as Dune, the 2021 blockbuster film shares six prime stories — just as Star Wars composed from 1977 – 2005. Herbert wrote and published Dune in 1966. Herbert wrote his last section of Dune in 1986 — the same year that he died from pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer dealt the former Apple and Pixar CEO Steve Jobs an unexpected death, as well.

  • Dune and Star Wars share many similarities (is it that obvious?) 

George Lucas deserves to be recognized on the mount rushmore figure of entertainment/movie gold. Lucas and J.K. Rowling both created pieces of work that will continue to inspire billions. Every filmmaker or artist will take different ideas from unique pieces of work and mesh it together to make their own story. Still, it is clear that Lucas might have had a favorite idol in Frank Herbert. Here are a few similarities that Lucas’s Star Wars and Frank Herbert’s Dune share: the main setting of Dune (Arrakis) takes place on a desert wasteland planet and the original setting of Star Wars: A New Hope rests on an enormous desert planet called Tatooine. Both pieces of work deceipit villain stars that showcase greedy, simple nature, and weigh a thousand pounds as well. In Star Wars, we are given “Jabba the Hutt”, and in Dune, we’re gifted with “Vladimir Harkonnen”. Then of course, both prolific pieces of work, field main characters that are emotional, fearless young males, and emperor like figures that are mysterious to the audience early on. 

Our green planet knows that Dune is another inspirational, creative, rewatchable piece of film. Star War fans, Star Trek nerds, maybe Bastille stans, and nerds of all types can celebrate that Dune has arrived. Nonetheless, it’s important to acknowledge the true genius behind this classy experience.

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