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Thread: Dune?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Sartorious's Avatar
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    Dune?

    And speaking of fluff (i.e. the 'backstory') I have a question not about a specific army but regarding the entire game.
    Was watching 'Children of Dune' last night and couldn't help but see the irony in how protective GW is about their ideas when, as far as I can see, they have never expressed a word of gratitude (or shelled out so much as a buck!) to the estate of Frank Herbert for all of the 'GW ideas' that somehow just magically fell out of the pages of the Dune series and landed in the Warhammer rule book.
    Transplanted fluff?
    What say you all?
    Thanks.


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  3. #2
    Son of LO The_Giant_Mantis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sartorious View Post
    Was watching 'Children of Dune' last night and couldn't help but see the irony in how protective GW is about their ideas when, as far as I can see, they have never expressed a word of gratitude (or shelled out so much as a buck!) to the estate of Frank Herbert for all of the 'GW ideas' that somehow just magically fell out of the pages of the Dune series and landed in the Warhammer rule book.
    Like what?

    Oh.. the Guild and the Navis Nobilite, I guess.. But then, there's a huge number of differences even there.

    I just don't agree.. A lot of modern sci-fi is informed by Dune, admittedly. But it's an inspiration, I see no instances of anyone actually stealing ideas. Maybe George Lucas should start paying royalties to the estate of Akira Kurosawa because the storyline of 'A New Hope' is virtually the same as 'The Hidden Fortress.' Find me an original idea..

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    Senior Member Sartorious's Avatar
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    But then again

    What about Navigators? (Same concept. . .same name, even!) And wouldn't the Saudukar be the Adeptus Astartes?
    If I'm not mistaken, in Necromunda, reference is made to Great Houses? Sounds like the Harkonnens to me!
    In the same ballpark, I always thought it a shame that Tolkien wouldn't admit to the inspiration that Wagner's 'Ring of the Neibulung' provided for him. When asked, he simply said: 'Well, both stories do have a ring, but I don't see any other similiarities?"
    He was far to educated for that to be true.

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    Son of LO The_Giant_Mantis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sartorious View Post
    What about Navigators? (Same concept. . .same name, even!)
    Yeah.. they're as close as it gets, but even then, surely the whole narrative point of having navigators in both settings is to create a regressive science fiction atmosphere, more like premodern earth, as opposed to star wars where every dirt farmer can fly a starship easily from planet to planet.

    Besides, read up on the 40k navigator fluff.. It's downright wierd. There's a lot of interesting stuff in there which isn't comprable to Dune at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sartorious
    And wouldn't the Saudukar be the Adeptus Astartes?
    I don't see why.. The concept of special forces with enhanced abilities is so universal, and predates Herbert by such a huge margin I don't see how it can be ascribed to anyone.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sartorious
    If I'm not mistaken, in Necromunda, reference is made to Great Houses? Sounds like the Harkonnens to me!
    But then, there are noble families in shakespeare too, in fact, our history is full of them.. Why is it something unique and special to place them in a sci-fi setting?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sartorious
    He was far to educated for that to be true.
    We're talking about a man who believed unconstitutional monarchy was the perfect form of government. I wouldn't be so flattering of him.

    40k is indeed ripped from a huge range of sources.. But the vast majority of them have been altered, tweaked, or have had original and interesting ideas tacked onto them, and isn't that what any author/filmaker/game designer does? You can't switch off the background and work in a vacuum, everyone is influenced by other things..

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    Senior Member Sartorious's Avatar
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    Bravo!

    Mantis, good points all around!
    I just believe that the parallels here are too numerous and identical to be denied. 'God Emperor'? In Children of Dune, the universe under the rulership of the big kahuna is refered to as the Imperium.
    I field Sisters oif batrtle and am not sure that they would quite measure up to the Bene Gesserets, as the Sisters of battle are ferociously (almost blindly) devoted to the Emperor's cause as opposed to the Bene's who didn't mind 'getting into bed' (if you don't mind the pun!) with the Emperor as long as it was clear that they were going to benefit every step of the way and could exact a profound influence at every turn!
    Dig deeper!

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    I Endure Perturabo's Avatar
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    Just to be irritatingly non-committal, I'm going to agree with both sides here. God-Emperor, rejuvenat drug, Death Worlds and the war against the intelligent machines were clearly influenced by Dune. However, influence is the operative word. The writers of 40k were clearly inspired by Dune, but there is little that is a direct carbon copy.

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    Son of LO The_Giant_Mantis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sartorious View Post
    I field Sisters oif batrtle and am not sure that they would quite measure up to the Bene Gesserets, as the Sisters of battle are ferociously (almost blindly) devoted to the Emperor's cause as opposed to the Bene's who didn't mind 'getting into bed' (if you don't mind the pun!) with the Emperor as long as it was clear that they were going to benefit every step of the way and could exact a profound influence at every turn!
    Dig deeper!
    The SoB are a little like the Fish Speakers, I think.. Well, with the exception of the Fish Speakers tendancy to have bizarre reproductive orgies. But I think Frank was succumbing to dirty-old-man syndrome by the time he wrote that book.. Hey, at least it wasn't the last two.. heheh..

    But then, SoB could just be a generic excuse to throw kick-ass power armoured women into 40k, since GW had effectively written them out of the space marines. I think, certainly in that case, it's as much about having a narrative niche to fill as it is about copying Dune.

    That's the trouble, at what point are you copying something, and at what point are you just using because it's a good narrative idea?

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    I also recall Leto mentioning something about cutting a sand crawler in half with a lascannon in the first movie...
    "Tell me what you cherish most. Give me the pleasure of taking it away." Sephiroth, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children

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    Son of LO The_Giant_Mantis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Atma View Post
    I also recall Leto mentioning something about cutting a sand crawler in half with a lascannon in the first movie...
    Yeah.. Lascannons were in Dune.. But they were a very different weapon. Also.. when you shot an energy shield with one, for reasons unexplained both items would explode violently. Frank never really explained that one.. it was just a plot device to allow for some innovative pyrotechnics at one point in the first book..

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    Son of LO ze_poodle's Avatar
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    Dune was one of many, many things that Warhammer took its inspiration from. See, when people write things, they're really reproducing a digested and reimagined mess of other people's ideas that the "creator" has absorbed, knowingly or not, from sources in his lifetime. T.S. Eliot's big masterpiece, The Waste Land, is a collage of references and quotes and in-crowd hints to works as varied as The Divine Comedy to the Saga of Roland to Chaucer and even Eliot's contemporaries. The entire poem contained essentially nothing original, and it's still a damn awesome poem.

    But the thing is that the authors get tiffy about people saying "where did you draw your inspiration from?", because, as Mantis implied, they believe - and like to believe - that what they're writing is original, personal, and to a great extent theirs in some metaphysical way. Tolkien would have been miffed if you said "Oh, it's clearly influenced by Nordic mythology and the Niebelung saga" because he spent forty years working on that universe, and he'll be damned if someone comes over and accuses him of imaginative regurgitation.

    Besides, I'm working on a piece of surreal fiction set on Baal Secundus, and I'm taking whole verses and lines of imagery from Eliot and Dante to set the scene - one because he wrote the aforementioned The Waste Land, and the other because of the Inferno which a whole lot of the Blood Angel's backstory takes its cue from. See, authors never write something original, and when they do it's probably just an old idea transformed or reimagined so that it may as well be new. The real creativity isn't in creating, but in re-creating.

    Most of the Dune influences are both homages (remember, DC never credited Victor Hugo for The Man Who Laughs and his relation to the Joker) and superficial similarities that you can find in many works of fiction. Lots of science fiction has a Space Marine-esque faction (though not to the degree of inhuman, gothic transcendency that 40k has accomplished) or a highly advanced alien race, probably also powerful psykers, that "grow" their "organic ships," use highly advanced light-based or crystal-based technology and had a great galaxy-spanning empire that fell in a single catastrophic example of poor judgement that they still refuse to acknowledge. All you need to do is add pointy ears and Slaanesh and you have Eldar.

    And really, that's it. Whatever any other science fiction work has, Games Workshop got there first by putting in space demons. Doom had them, but after GW. Event Horizon had an Immaterium, but after GW. Games Workshop got there (wherever there is) when they stuck the fantasy element of Hell into a setting where most people write secular, atheist plotlines.

    Warp wins hands down as best merger of fantasy and science.
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