Liet Kynes’ death in the upcoming Dune film from director Denis Villeneuve will be altered from the original death in Frank Herbert’s Dune novel.
I previously reported that Liet Kynes would be gender-swapped in the upcoming Dune film. And now my source has told me that Liet Kynes death will also be changed for the film.
In Frank Herbert’s novel, Liet Kynes is the appointed Judge of the Change. He is the arbiter appointed by the Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV of House Corrino to oversee the transition of the planet Arrakis from House Harkonnen to House Atreides. Not only is Kynes the Judge of the Change, but he is also the Imperial Ecologist and the secret leader of the indigenous people of Arrakis, the Fremen. He’s taken up the role of his father in order to work with the Fremen to terraform Arrakis into a lush planet. He wants to change the desert planet into one where water flows and plant-life flourishes. Kynes is also the father of Paul Atreides’ future concubine and the mother of his children, Chani.
In Dune, Kynes dies via a pre-spice mass explosion. After refusing to provide information to the Harkonnens on Paul Atreides and his mother Jessica, Kynes is exiled into the desert. Suffering from delirium, heatstroke, and dehydration, Kynes begins to see a vision of his father, who lectures him on how they can terraform Arrakis. While hearing his father, Kynes notices he has stumbled on top of a pre-spice mass that is about to explode. However, he is too weak and addled in order to escape it. As the pre-spice mass explodes beneath him, Kynes realizes that he might have made a terrible mistake. He hears his father tell him, “No more terrible disaster could befall your people than for them to fall into the hands of a Hero.” Kynes has done just that as he instructed the Fremen to take in and protect Paul Atreides. Not only does he realize he might have made a mistake, but he also comes to the conclusion that the principles of the universe were accident and error.
**Warning Major Spoilers for Denis Villeneuve’s Dune Below**
Kynes death will not happen like this according to my source. My source tells me Kynes will be assassinated by one of the Emperor’s elite soldiers, a Sardaukar.
After the Harkonnen’s attack Arrakeen, Paul and his mother Jessica flee the city. They are rescued by Duncan Idaho and Kynes. Kynes informs them that she can offer Paul and Jessica safety among the Fremen. However, before they can escape to safety, a storm approaches and they are forced to take shelter in an old Ecological Testing Stations where Kynes informs Paul about her plans to terraform Arrakis. While Kynes confides in her vision for Arrakis, Paul reveals his own plans to become Emperor.
However, as the two discuss their plans, a group of Sardaukar discover them. Paul and Jessica flee alongside Kynes. Kynes leads them to an ornithopter where Paul and Jessica flee. However, the ornithopter only seats two. Kynes goes her own way. As she exits the cave where the ornithopter was, and steps into the desert, she witnesses the Harkonnens pursue Paul and Jessica. As she looks on, she is stabbed in the back by a Sarduakar assassin. After being stabbed, Kynes tumbles down a sand dune and is pursued by the Sarduakar. As Kynes lies at the bottom of the sand dune, she hears a hiss of sand, and a giant sandworm emerges and swallows up both Kynes and the Sarduakar. Kynes’ final words are, “I serve only one master. His name is Shai-Hulud!”
The Significance of Liet Kynes’ Death
Liet Kynes death scene was a pivotal moment in Frank Herbert’s Dune novel. Herbert spoke about Kynes’ death in an interview with Professor Willis McNelly back in 1969.
“This of course was done deliberately for that purpose … to turn … it’s a turning point of the whole book, but … a pivot, you might say … and the very fact that Kynes, who is the Western man, in my original construction of the book, sees all of these things happening to him as mechanical things doesn’t subtract from the fact that he is still a part of this system because it is observing him. He’s lived out of rhythm with it and he got in the through of the wave and it tumbled on him.”
He would add:
“Well, ecology, as somebody said…and I use this…I don’t recall…I’d like to contribute this, but I don’t recall where I encountered it … I did read over two hundred books as background for this novel … somebody said that ecology is the science of understanding consequences.”
“Lovely expression! And of course we’re … each of us, individually, is the product of everything that has happen to us, and this happened to me and hit me, and so I used it, because, as far as I was concerned, one of the purposes of this story was to delineate consequences of inflicting yourself upon a planet, upon your environment.”
What do you make of this change to Liet Kynes’ death in the upcoming Dune film?