Dune Vs Star Wars

Dune vs Star Wars: What's the Difference? (2023 Updated)

Dune is a Science fiction film from Warner Bros, which is one of the popular works of Frank Herbert, published in 1965, 12 years after the Star Wars: A New Hope movie was released.

So it’s no wonder that there are many elements similar between the two since George Lucas is probably inspired by Frank Herbert’s Dune series.

With that said, read on and find out so many similarities between Dune vs Star Wars.

Star Wars & Dune: 17 Similarities You Didn’t Know Existed

1. The Jedi & Fremen

Photo of a Star Wars Scene

In the Star Wars story, the Jedi is the guardian of peace. Meanwhile, the Fremen were initially victims of Harkonnen’s dictatorship in Dune.

Then, they fight against dictators and invaders. Similar to Obi-Wan Kenobi, they also resided on the desert planet and became the feared Tusken Raiders.

2. Luke & Paul

Dune and Star Wars protagonists involve a young man residing on desert planets destined for noble adventures that will dictate their universe’s fate.

Although Dune’s Paul Atreides is more trained than Luke Skywalker, both of them can see the future [1].

3. Krayt Dragons & Sandworms

Star Wars have plenty of alien creatures, such as sandworms. In Dune, the son of Paul Atreides, Leto II transforms into a sandworm-looking creature.

The Krayt Dragons of Dune were also seen on The Mandalorian, a mythical creature in Tatooine.

Read: Marvel vs Star Wars

4. The Skywalkers & House Atreides

House Atreides

Star Wars is about the battle between the Skywalkers and the Sith, while Dune is about the war between House Atreides and Harkonnes.

However, the Skywalkers are from a family of farmers and slaves in the desert, and House Atreides are royals of Caladan.

5. Tatooine & Arrakis: Sandy Planets

The desert planet of Tatooine clearly proves Dune’s influence on the Star Wars galaxy. Luke Skywalker grew up in Tatooine before he fought against the Empire.

Although the Atreides are rulers of the Caladan ocean, Paul made his home in the desert planet of Arrakis.

6. Mahdi & The Chosen One

According to the prophecy, Anakin Skywalker was considered the Chosen One who is believed to bring balance to the force.

Similarly, the Fremen indoctrinate Paul Atreides as the Mahdi (The One Who Will Lead Us to Paradise), leading them to fight against the Empire and Harkonnens.

7. Leia & Irulan

Star Wars and Dune also have princesses. Princess Leia and Luke had a romantic connection, not knowing they were twins.

Nonetheless, Irulan and Paul had a complicated relationship since the princess conspired against him after knowing he only loved Chani, his concubine.

8. Cosmic In Scale

Since both offer space operas, their stories are truly cosmic in scale. Star Wars extends beyond the entire galaxy, while Dune is set on a few planets, specifically in Arrakis.

However, like the Galactic Empire, Dune’s Corrine Empire stretches on its own universe.

9. Emperor Shaddam IV & Emperor Palpatine

Photo of Emperor Palpatine

Behind the film’s main antagonists are dark masters that control everything. In Dune, Padishah Emperor controls the entire galaxy.

Then, he seeks the help of Baron Vladimir Harkonnen to wipe out his enemies.

The same goes for Emperor Palpatine, who manipulates everyone in the guise of Darth Vader.

10. Hyperspace & Space-Folding

Both universes involve interstellar travel but are done differently. Star Wars starships technology uses light speed to leap into hyperspace.

Dune requires Guild Navigators that consume Spice Melange, which is called space-folding. So Spice melange is an essential resource in the Empire for space travel.

11. Anakin & Paul

Despite the journey and character of Paul having a lot of similarities with Luke, he also has an evident likeness with Anakin Skywalker.

Paul’s quest for peace resulted in tragic consequences, where the Fremen released a jihad in his name. As for Anakin, it resulted in more devastation and deaths.

12. Crysknives & Lightsabers

If the Empire has the Death Star weapon, the Jedi have Lightsabers made from kyber crystals. Han Solo also has a lightsaber that Luke gave to him.

Likewise, the Fremen carry crysknives weapons made from the dead sandworms’ teeth. Lightsabers burn through, while cyrsknives have lethal poison.

13. Sardaukar & The Stormtroopers

Photo of  The Stormtroopers

Stormtroopers is another popular Star Wars character recognizable for their laser blasters and white armor.

In the same way, Dune also has the Sardaukar military force who loyally serve the Corrine Empire secretly enlisted by Shaddam to get rid of the Atreides.

14. The Force & The Spice

Aside from the characters, the two films portray a religious culture linked to a certain energy source.

Dune takes the energy from Spice Melange consumed by Guild Navigators.

This spice is similar to the force, allowing users to predict what lies ahead and become healthy and youthful.

15. Thinking Machines & Droids

The Star Wars universe gained massive popularity for the existence of artificial intelligence and droids, but in Dune, AI is rejected by humanity since it controls their life.

They even have a saying, “Thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of a human mind.

16. The Setting

Setting in a Dune Scene

Apart from the slug-like creatures and desert planets, both films take place on a far, faraway planet but in futuristic settings [2].

Dune transpired tens of thousands of years in a futuristic world before humanity conquered the stars. In Herbert’s novel, he also referred to the planet Earth as Old Terra.

17. Baron Harkonnen & Darth Vader

These films wouldn’t be complete without the main antagonists, Vader and Baron Harkonnen. Vader is a human Sith Lord with a cybernetic suit armor to help him breathe.

Baron, on the other hand, is a morbidly obese villain who requires suspenders so that he can walk.


Is Star Wars based on Dune?

Based on their similarities, yes, the story of Star Wars is based on Dune.

For instance, Han Solo smuggled the drug Glitterstim from the Spice Mines of Kessel in A New Hope. Dune universe also has a drug called the Spice Melange used for space travel.

Is Dune older than Star Wars?

Although Warner Bros released the Dune film in 2021, it was Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of Herbert’s 1965 novel.

Meanwhile, the original Star Wars was released in 1977. So technically, Dune is older than the two franchises.

Why is Dune so similar to Star Wars?

Since Dune was created over a decade before the release of Star Wars, George was probably inspired by Herbert’s novel while making his films.

Which Is Better, Star Wars or Dune?

In terms of novels, Dune books are probably better. This novel has 6 original, 9 prequels, and 2 expanded volumes. Warner Bros is probably even considering an HBO Max prequel TV show.

However, the original Star Wars picture is better than the 1984 Dune adaptation by David Lynch, so deciding which is better depends on one’s preference.

Our team recommends the Dune 7-Inch Action Figure Paul Atreides for avid fans.

Toynk offers free shipping for all items, including Star Wars collectibles within contiguous U.S. states (excluding Hawaii and Alaska).


  1. https://www.inverse.com/entertainment/dune-vs-star-wars-5-reasons-paul-atreides-is-nothing-like-luke-skywalker
  2. https://nerdist.com/article/everything-star-wars-borrowed-from-dune/

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