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Dune 2: How Much Time Has Passed Since Part One?

It might feel like a century since we last saw Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet), but within its first minutes, "Dune: Part Two" makes it feel like we never left Arrakis. After a voice-over from the soon-to-be new woman in his life, Princess Irulan (Florence Pugh), we catch up with Paul and his mother, Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson), as they adapt to their new existence in the desert.

It only takes the appearance (or absence) of one member of the traveling party to figure out just how long it's been since the end of "Dune: Part One." Venturing across the sands with Stilgar (Javier Bardem) leading the way and Chani (Zendaya) monitoring the new outsiders, the group is shown carrying the body of Jamis (Babs Olusanmokun), who was last seen being wrapped up after being defeated by Paul in their epic knife fight.

Parking us at this point in the timeline is an excellent move from director Denis Villeneuve. It allows the audience to recalibrate where they were last and take as many fresh sandwalking steps back onto this hostile planet as the hero we've been following. In hindsight, it also makes for a perfectly proportioned second half given the task the talented filmmaker set himself when bringing the world of "Dune" to life on the big screen.

The sands barely shift between the two parts of Dune

When Denis Villeneuve took on the daring effort to bring Frank Herbert's novel to life, it was under the condition that he wasn't going to do it as a single sitting. Speaking to Vanity Fair in 2020, the director explained, "I would not agree to make this adaptation of the book with one single movie. The world is too complex. It's a world that takes its power in details." He's not wrong.

With the gap between it and "Dune: Part One" similar to that between "The Fellowship of the Ring" and "The Two Towers" in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, "Dune: Part Two" not only makes it easier for audiences to get up to speed but also strengthens the experience of watching the pair of epic pictures together. Just like Peter Jackson's mammoth Middle-earth endeavor, Villeneuve's "Dune" duology will be flawless back-to-back viewing in the future.

"Dune: Part Two" should also tide us over until the director gets around to his proposed third film, "Dune: Messiah," if at all. Speaking at an event held at a movie theater in South Korea (via TongTongCulture), Villeneuve said, "I don't know exactly when I will go back to Arrakis. I might make a detour before just to go away from the sand. For my mental sanity, I might do something in between, but my dream would be to go a last time on this planet that I love." One bit of spice at a time.