Home News How Denis Villeneuve Made Dune’s Stilgar Tragically Meme-Worthy

How Denis Villeneuve Made Dune’s Stilgar Tragically Meme-Worthy


Stilgar’s funniest moment in “Dune: Part Two” is probably an early one where Paul declares he’s not the messiah they’re looking for. Instead of this shutting down the rumors, Stilgar excitedly concludes to his followers that this is actually further proof that Paul’s the messiah, because it was prophesized that the messiah would be too humble to declare himself their savior at first. It’s a silly moment, and a welcome reprieve from what is otherwise an incredibly dark, dry movie, but it also causes a deadly serious chain of events. Stilgar’s faith in Paul snowballs into a galaxy-spanning holy war that leads to billions of deaths, which admittedly puts a bit of a damper on the comedy here. 

“For me, [Stilgar] is the most tragic figure of all,” Villeneuve explained. “The idea to bring humor to Stilgar was to make him lovable, to feel the humanity in that character. He’s not an austere figure, he has a big heart. But his beliefs, his faith, his reactions bring humor.” 

It’s an approach that doesn’t just make for a more well-rounded (and meme-worthy) character, but which emphasizes the idea that anyone can be swept up in a dangerous, populist fever. We know from the first movie that Stilgar is a perfectly smart and reasonable person, but that doesn’t stop him from losing himself completely in his devotion to Paul and Jessica. You don’t have to be a bad guy to be convinced to do bad things, and that’s an important lesson for any film to impart. It’s also, as the memes show, kind of a funny one. 

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