Dune Wiki
Advertisement
Dune Wiki
Expanded Dune
This article or section refers to elements from Expanded Dune.
Mixed Canonicity
This article or section refers to elements from both Original Dune and Expanded Dune.


The Atreides battle language, as portrayed in the 2020s film series, is a non-verbal secret language used by members of House Atreides. The language is essentially a sign language, based om a secret code of various subtle gestures, used to communicate various meanings. The goal of this gesture-based language is to provide House Atreides and its retainers, servants and military with a discreet form of communication that can be hidden from other people, including the adversaries of the Atreides. The system of subtle gestures can be used for military purposes, law enforcement, in espionage, or simply for secret conversations that others can't overhear or otherwise closely decipher.

The Atreides battle language is based on the concept of the "battle language" from Frank Herbert's original Dune novel series, with each of the Great Houses (including the Atreides) having their own battle languages for the purposes of secrecy and discreet communication. Like all of the fictional constructed languages used in the 2020s film series, the film version of the Atreides battle language was created by David J. Peterson.

In the film adaptation Dune (2021), the Atreides battle language is most often employed in non-verbal conversations between Paul Atreides and his mother Jessica. Their interactions through the Atreides battle language form the bulk of the examples from the first film.

However, in the same first installment, we also see examples of communication via Atreides battle language between the leadership of House Atreides and their soldiers and servants. For example, in the scene where Jessica meets the shadout Mapes, she repeatedly gestures at an Atreides bodyguard nearby, to indicate she should be prepared if any violence broke out, but should wait and stand her ground for now.

System of gestures[]

Jessica to Atreides bodyguards (during meeting with maids)[]

During Jessica Atreides attending a selection of new maidservants for the Arrakeen Residency (the governoral palace) and meeting with the enigmatic shadout Mapes, she gestures to worried and quizzical Atreides bodyguards standing nearby.

  • Jessica to Atreides guards (gestures): "Not now." [1] [2]
  • Jessica to Atreides guards (gestures): "Be ready for violence." [3] [4]

Paul and Jessica caught and bound[]

In this scene, Jessica and Paul have been caught and taken away by a few of the Harkonnen soldiers. They're bound and are being flown in an ornithopter into the desert, where they'll be left to perish without equipment. Jessica and Paul gesture at each other to figure out a way to escape the situation.

  • Paul to Jessica (gestures): "The scarred one is deaf." (referring to one of the Harkonnen soldiers) [5] [6]
  • Jessica to Paul (gestures): "Don’t do this. You are not ready !" [7] [8]

There is also an unused gesture in Peterson's notes, as the line was pronounced verbally in the finished film.

  • Jessica to Paul (gestures): "Your pitch was too high." [9] [10]

References[]

  1. David J. Peterson's master notes on dialogue, its pronunciation, translation (English meaning and literal rendition) and sign language used in Dune (2021 film adaptation), p. 1, dedalvs.com, the official website of David J. Peterson
  2. David J. Peterson's video file on Jessica's "Not now." battle language gesture to the worried Atreides guards, dedalvs.com, the official website of David J. Peterson
  3. David J. Peterson's master notes on dialogue, its pronunciation, translation (English meaning and literal rendition) and sign language used in Dune (2021 film adaptation), p. 1, dedalvs.com, the official website of David J. Peterson
  4. David J. Peterson's video file on Jessica's "Be ready for violence." battle language gesture to the worried Atreides guards, dedalvs.com, the official website of David J. Peterson
  5. David J. Peterson's master notes on dialogue, its pronunciation, translation (English meaning and literal rendition) and sign language used in Dune (2021 film adaptation), p. 4, dedalvs.com, the official website of David J. Peterson
  6. David J. Peterson's video file on Paul's "The scarred one is deaf." battle language gesture to Jessica, dedalvs.com, the official website of David J. Peterson
  7. David J. Peterson's master notes on dialogue, its pronunciation, translation (English meaning and literal rendition) and sign language used in Dune (2021 film adaptation), p. 5, dedalvs.com, the official website of David J. Peterson
  8. David J. Peterson's video file on Jessica's "Don’t do this. You are not ready !" battle language gesture to Paul, dedalvs.com, the official website of David J. Peterson
  9. David J. Peterson's master notes on dialogue, its pronunciation, translation (English meaning and literal rendition) and sign language used in Dune (2021 film adaptation), p. 5, dedalvs.com, the official website of David J. Peterson
  10. David J. Peterson's video file on Jessica's (ultimately unused) "Your pitch was too high." battle language gesture to Paul, dedalvs.com, the official website of David J. Peterson

See also[]

External links[]

  • TBA
Advertisement