The Interesting Crossover Between the Worlds of “DUNE” and “Star Trek”

Patrick Stewart as Gurney Halleck and Jean-Luc Picard

Universal / Paramount Patrick Stewart as Gurney Halleck and Jean-Luc Picard

The world of science fiction contains thousands of different kinds of tales. “Star Trek,” for example, has had more than 800 individual episodes and movies to give its version of what humanity’s future could look like. And indeed, there are many other ideas for what our future might look like. 

One of the most expansive looks at what humanity could be is within a series of novels by Isaac Asimov. These stories, known as the “Foundation” books, span over 12,000 years. Asimov wrote about a future society on the brink of collapse and one man’s plan to save it. Professor Hari Seldon created a new science called psychohistory, which allowed Seldon to predict the future of huge populations. Asimov framed his future stories on something from Earth’s past, namely, “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.” This book, written by Edward Gibbon, gave Asimov a place to start with his star empires.

Most considered the “Foundation” stories among the most difficult to translate into television or movies. But Apple TV+ is giving it its best shot with a high-budget, star-studded streaming series. 

Another possible future for the human race was written as a series known as the “Dune” by author Frank Herbert. Herbert’s writings use a similar framework as Asimov’s, as he also told the stories of imperial machinations among planets and solar systems. Herbert’s novels have been made into several television and film adaptations. Among them is “Dune: Part Two,” which is being filmed as of this publication, according to CinemaBlend. This is the sequel to “Dune,” directed by Denis Villeneuve and released in 2021. 

The most famous of these on-screen versions of “Dune” was released in 1984 and was directed by David Lynch. Among the stars featured in that “Dune” was a pre-Trek Patrick Stewart, who played Gurney Halleck. There have been other attempts at making “Dune” come to life for viewers, and some even contend that “Star Wars” was such a blatant copy of “Dune” that it should be considered one of them.

In fact, Herbert told The Associated Press that he “will try hard not to sue” in 1977 after George Lucas’ space opera was such a huge box-office hit. 

Since Stewart’s role in the David Lynch version, quite a few “Star Trek” actors have tangled with the maker worms of “Dune.”

Alec Newman

“Star Trek: Enterprise” fans will undoubtedly recognize the Scottish actor from his time on the show. Alec Newman portrayed the character Malik in the Augments episodes. These stories explained why the Klingons looked so different in “The Original Series” compared to all other versions of “Star Trek.” Newman portrayed the main character Paul Atreides in the two “Dune” miniseries broadcast by the SyFy Channel in the early 2000s. 

Alice Krige

Fans of Trek recognize Alice Krige as the villain from “Star Trek: First Contact” — the Borg Queen. Three different actors have now played the role, but Krige originated the part. Krige played Paul Atreides’ mother, the Lady Jessica, in the second of the two “Dune” miniseries broadcast on SyFy. 

Dean Stockwell

Most people associate the late Dean Stockwell with the science fiction show “Quantum Leap” (which also starred Trek’s, Scott Bakula). Still, the actor appeared with Stewart in the 1984 version of “Dune.” Stockwell starred as Dr. Yueh, who betrayed House Atreides to the evil Harkonnens. Stockwell appeared on “Star Trek: Enterprise” as a character named Grat in the first season episode “Detained.”

Steven Berkoff

Trek fans may remember actor Steven Berkoff for his part in a “Deep Space Nine” episode, “Business As Usual.” Berkoff intimidated Quark (Armin Shimerman) as a steely arms dealer named Hagath. Berkhoff also appeared in SyFy’s “Children of Dune” as an intimidating character named Stilgar. Berkoff also appeared in a James Bond movie, 1983’s “Octopussy.”

Brad Dourif

He portrayed the renegade Betazoid with a heart of gold named Lon Suder on three episodes of “Star Trek: Voyager.” Actor Brad Dourif also appeared in the 1984 version of “Dune” as Piter, who was a living computer and assistant to the Harkonnens. Interestingly, Dourif’s role on “Dune” was very similar to his part on ”Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers,” as Wormtongue. Both were loyal assistants to evil-doers.  

According to Parade Magazine, “Dune: Part 2” will open in theaters in October 2023.

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