Originally announced last year as part of HBO Max, the adaptation of the Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson novel “Sisterhood of Dune” is the 4th prequel book in the Dune saga. Recently, HBO revealed the official synopsis:
An adaptation of Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson’s book based in the world created by Frank Herbert’s Dune, Dune: The Sisterhood explores this universe through the eyes of a mysterious order of women, the Bene Gesserit, whose extraordinary mastery of body and mind allow them to expertly weave through the feudal politics and intrigue of The Imperium.
The official release date is not currently revealed.
Storyline (Slight Spoilers)
In regards to the actual novel, it is based 80 years after the events of the previous prequel trilogy, which included The Butlerian Jihad, The Machine Crusade and The Battle of Corrin. At the aftermath of the battle, all thinking machines, i.e. artificial intelligence, have been outlawed. Hence, there are people of various skill sets attempting to enhance the human mind to replicate and replace all forms of advanced technology as even the simplest of automation are outlawed, i.e. calculators.
In this story, there exists the foundation of the Bene Gesserit sisterhood, who are typically described as ‘space nun’. This is due to their cult-like society who influence the going-ons of the imperium and hence the galaxy. The book explores how they managed to gain the abilities which they possess in the original Dune saga. This also includes conflicts between different Bene Gesserit members based on their political ideologies. They secretly want to get rid of the current imperial emperor, as they predict his descendants would end up as tyrants.
There are also Mentats, who are designed to function as human computers. As all thinking machines are outlawed, a subsistence is of the upmost priority. This includes the story of Gilbertus Albans, the founder of the school of Mentats and his development in the enhancement of the human mind to carry out the roles of technology, such as solving complex mathematical equations in less than a second and the ability to mentally project trajectories for various battle plans and scenarios, among other functions.
At the same time, there is a religious order which was derived from the Bulterian Jihad. These are a fanatical population who harass all other members of the imperium (galaxy) who possess even the simplest of machinery. They typically come into conflict with Venport industries, who desire an increased level of technology as part of their ever expanding space business empire.
Alongside remnants of the thinking machines…
The director of the film, Denis Villeneuve, will direct the pilot episode and act as an executive producer of the series. Also acting as executive producer is Jon Spaihts (Prometheus, Doctor Strange), who is also involved in the movie and is no longer attached as a showrunner. Others include Dana Calvo (Good Girls Revolt, Narcos) as well as Byron Merritt, Kim Herbert and Brian Herbert himself, the three of which are also executive producers of the film. Kevin J. Anderson serves as co-producer of the series and a creative consultant on the movie. The writers include Jordan Harper (Hightown), Sarah Carbiener (Rick & Morty), Erica Rosbe (Rick & Morty), and Minhal Baig (Hala). Furthermore, Reza Aslan is involved in a certain degree of capacity, in both the show and the film.
The materials in the above image include the 1891s Gypsy Sorcery and Fortune Telling, 1960s The Sabre Of Paradise, 1965s Dune, 1987s The Upanishads, 1995s The Essentials of Rumi, 1997s Essential Sufism and 2001s Classics of Zen and Buddhism.
[The above paragraph was added later, alongside with hyperlink corrections on 10/07/2020]
This is a story of the origins of the major schools of Dune and the book itself is full of politics and intrigue. A decent and interesting book. Whilst there is no Frank Herbert level of philosophy, the journey is well written. Recommended to those who are interested in exploring the origins and universe of the saga.
Update (20/01/2021) — Links were replaced with newer affiliated counterparts.