The third trailer for Dune: Part Two was released last month, adding to excitement surrounding the upcoming sequel, which finally lands in cinemas on March 15.
Not only does the new clip flesh out a lot of the upcoming plot, but it provides longer glimpses of the film's new characters, such as the Emperor's daughter Princess Irulan, played by Florence Pugh, and Harkonnen Feyd-Rautha, played by Austin Butler.
But who are these characters? And what’s their importance in the upcoming film? Here we break down who's who in Dune: Part Two – there is a lot to unpack.
And, if you like the look of Dune, but have no real idea what’s going on – or think it’s too late to just on the bandwagon now, we have you covered, with our definitive guide to everything that’s going on with Dune: the characters, the plot, the book and the movie.
Christopher Walken as Shaddam IV
Shaddam IV of House Corrino is the Emperor of “the Known Universe”, therefore a very powerful man. He’s rather shady: getting jealous of House Atreides’ growing in power, he asks the noble family to take over from the evil House Harkonnen in running the desert planet of Arrakis.
It’s a trap: House Atreides’ move to run Arrakis is their undoing. Space travel is now possible thanks to Spice, a commodity which can only be mined on Arrakis. But because Spice is so valuable it means that the family that rules Arrakis comes under intense pressure from rival houses.
In part one, House Harkonnen, financially backed by the Emperor, launch an attack on Arrakis. Paul and his mother Lady Jessica manage to escape, but Paul’s father Duke Leto Atreides is killed and House Atreides is all but wiped out.
Shaddam’s appearance in the trailer suggests a lot of trouble is heading Paul’s way.
Florence Pugh as Princess Irulan
Princess Irulan is Shaddam’s eldest daughter. In Frank Herbet’s books, she is described as having a noble beauty, which makes Florence Pugh a perfect casting choice.
Just like Paul, her mother is a Bene Gesserit (an all-female powerful religious order) which means she has a set of magical powers which she can tap into. She has also been thoroughly trained in the Bene Gesserit ways, though in the book she never fulfils her potential.
“Irulan had never been the most accomplished adept in the Bene Gesserit,” says Lady Jessica (who is also a Bene Gesserit). “Valuable more for the fact that she was a daughter of Shaddam IV than for any other reason; often too proud to exert herself in extending her capabilities.”
Austin Butler as Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen
The Harkonnens just aren’t the friendliest of folk, so it’s no surprise that the youngest nephew of Baron Vladimir Harkonnen (the head of the House) is a cruel and terrible man.
He’s a skilled fighter, and we catch glimpses of his talents in the trailer. He’s the closest thing to a direct rival of Paul: just like the Atreides heir, Feyd is young, highly educated, and has been bred by the Bene Gesserit. He becomes the Baron’s heir.
Léa Seydoux as Lady Margot
While we don’t get a visual of Léa Seydoux in the trailer, this only really increases our excitement. Seydoux plays Lady Margot, a member of the Bene Gesserit who is sent by the order, in the books, to seduce and make a child with Feyd-Rautha.
Whether this plotline will be in part two is currently unknown, but if it does happen it’s going to cause major problems for Paul to have such a powerful rival in Feyd-Rautha.
And the old gang from part one
Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides
Timothée Chalamet plays Paul Atreides, the head of the noble House Atreides (whose home planet is Caladan) now that his father, Duke Leto Atreides, has been killed. Paul is the result of a centuries-old Bene Gesserit breeding program in which the order was trying to produce “the one” aka the “Kwisatz Haderach”. Paul’s unique combination of skills and education make him an ideal candidate for being “the one”.
Zendaya as Chani Kynes
Chani Kynes is a Fremen, the people who are native to Arrakis. She’s the romantic partner of Paul – he sees her in his dreams long before the two actually meet. In the books, Chani is the daughter of planetologist Liet Kynes and his Fremen wife, but director Denis Villeneuve left this out of his first film (which is fair enough, there’s a lot going on).
She’s a naturally talented fighter, but becomes a seriously formidable opponent when she is trained by Paul and Lady Jessica in a special kind of martial arts that has been created by the Bene Gesserit.
Rebecca Ferguson as Lady Jessica
Lady Jessica is Paul’s mother and Duke Leto’s formal concubine. She’s a Bene Gesserit, which is crucial to the plotline as it means that Paul has inherited the order’s powers, one of which is being able to command people to do exactly what they want by using their minds. In the film Villeneuve represents this power using a special voice – it would have been hard to show it on screen purely telepathic skill.
It also means that he could be “the one”, because of their special breeding program which, over centuries, has tried to mix powerful DNA. As the plot develops, Lady Jessica becomes torn as she has to choose between her order and her son.
Stellan Skarsgård is Baron Vladimir Harkonnen
Baron Harkonnen is described by Herbert as having “legendary evil and intellect”. The head of the House Harkonnen, which resides on the planet Giedi Prime, he is “grossly and immensely fat” which is supposed to be the visual representation of the sins of gluttony and greed: the Baron is one of the richest men in the universe after having plundered Arrakis for its Spice over decades.
Dave Bautista as Glossu Rabban Harkonnen
Glossu Rabban Harkonnen is the nephew of the Baron and is Feyd-Rautha’s eldest brother. He is also not a friendly chap. In fact, he’s a standout member of the family for his treachery and brutality: he gets the nickname Beast Rabban after murdering his own father.
Despite having inherited that all-important Harkonnen cruelty, he lacks intelligence, which means that Feyd-Rautha, rather than Glossu, is appointed as the Baron’s heir.
Javier Bardem as Stilgar
Stilgar is the leader of a sietch (one of the Fremen communities) and is the first Fremen leader that we meet in Villeneuve’s Dune. He’s rugged and hardened, but honourable and reasonable. For a moment before the Harkonnen attack, it looks as if an agreement could be reached between Stilgar and Duke Leto.
Josh Brolin as Gurney Halleck
Gurney Halleck was Paul’s weapons master and was a great friend of Duke Leto’s. In part one we see him run out with a group of soldiers during the Harkonnen attack – so he was presumed dead. Well, he’s revealed to be alive in the trailer, to the great relief of Dune fans.
Dune: Part Two is set to be released on March 15