Why it’s Important to Consider Whether Dune Is a White Savior Narrative

This post is by Emily Asher-Perrin from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content

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Now that the cast is coming together, Denis Villeneuve’s upcoming adaptation of Dune is getting more attention than ever. And with that attention an interesting question has started cropping up with more frequency, one that bears further examination: Is Dune a “white savior” narrative?

It’s important to note that this is not a new question. Dune has been around for over half a century, and with every adaptation or popular revival, fans and critics take the time to interrogate how it plays into (or rebels against) certain story tropes and popular concepts, the white savior complex being central among them. While there are no blunt answers to that question—in part because Dune rests on a foundation of intense and layered worldbuilding—it is still an important one to engage and reengage with for one simple reason: All works of art, especially ones that we hold in high esteem, should be so ...