Frank Herbert’s Dune is a notoriously difficult book to adapt, having stymied both directors Alejandro Jodorowsky and—to a slightly lesser extent—David Lynch in their efforts to bring it to the screen. But it turns out that we were all just waiting for a chosen one to arrive, to pierce the veil of time and explain the book/film’s plot to the online hordes. That Twitter Kwisatz Haderach? Kyle MacLachlan, of course.
The Portlandia co-star and Lynchian everyman took time out of his usual day, genially wishing his Twitter followers happy birthday (and, sadly, not making any new episodes of the YouTube web series he used to do with his wife about their dogs talking to each other and going on adventures) in order to field a more in-depth request from a fan: Describe the plot of Lynch’s famously complicated 1984 film, which not even multiple layers of text-crawls, voice-overs, and furious demands from Dino De Laurentiis could adequately do. But not only was MacLachlan up for the task; he did it in a single tweet:
And while you might quibble with MacLachlan’s simplification of the gom jabbar—the high-handed needle that promises death to those who cannot prove themselves human—as a simple dagger, or the absence of the Bene Gesserit breeding program or the terrifying power of the Weirding Way, it’s hard to deny that the former Paul Atreides has done his father Leto proud. We mean, c’mon: not only did he get the sandworm-dodging “walk without rhythm” in there, but he’s even got a reference to the desert mouse—a.k.a. Paul’s Fremen namesake, Muad’Dib! Even more fittingly, the whole thing is still kind of incomprehensible without fresh memories of the book and the Dune wiki open and handy to inform what you’re seeing, making it, in a way, the perfect encapsulation of what Lynch’s film adaptation ultimately achieved.