Based on Frank Herbert’s 1965 classic namesake novel, ‘Dune’ is a complex sci-fi space-opera movie. It follows Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) as he comes to terms with his messianic destiny following the demise of his father, Duke Leto Atreides (Oscar Isaac).
As enemies close in on Paul, he and his late father’s Bene Gesserit concubine Lady Jessica seek refuge with the Fremen, the natives of the planet of Arrakis, from where a precious drug known as “Spice” or “melange” is harvested. If you have watched ‘Dune’ and loved it, here is a list of recommendations for you. You can watch most of these movies similar to ‘Dune’ on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.
7. Flash Gordon (1980)
The live-action cinematic adaptation of Alex Raymond’s namesake King Features comic strip, ‘Flash Gordon’ is a space-opera film brimming with action, humor, and romance. The story follows the eponymous character, a New York Jets football player, who ends up on Planet Mongo because of a series of unusual events and discovers that the planet’s ruler, Emperor Ming the Merciless, has declared war on Earth. Now, Gordon must stop Ming’s evil plans with the help of fellow Earthlings Dale Arden and Hans Zarkov; Ming’s daughter Princess Aura; and Prince Barin, the sovereign of the Kingdom of Arboria. In both ‘Dune’ and ‘Flash Gordon,’ an extremely powerful and dangerous emperor serves as an antagonist.
6. The Fifth Element (1997)
Directed by the master sci-fi director Luc Besson, ‘The Fifth Element’ is predominantly set in 2263. An entity ominously known as the Great Evil approaches Earth. The only weapon capable of defeating the Great Evil is made up of four classical elements, represented by four stones. The fifth element, a young girl whose remains are kept in a sarcophagus, is recreated through biotechnology from the severed hand of the original. While escaping her creators, this cloned girl, Leeloo, runs into Korben Dallas. And their extraordinary journey together begins. Both ‘The Fifth Element’ and ‘Dune’ have intricate world-building, complex characters, and undeniable philosophical aspects.
5. Stargate (1994)
Like ‘Dune,’ ‘Stargate’ explores the concept of faith. In 1928, Catherine Langford’s father discovered cover stones inscribed with hieroglyphics and a stargate in Giza, Egypt. In 1994, Egyptologist and linguist Daniel Jackson travels to Planet Abydos through the stargate with Colonel Jonathan J. “Jack” O’Neil and his unit. They discover that the planet is controlled by the alien who was worshiped as the god Ra in ancient Egypt. Now, with the help of the locals, Daniel and Jack must bring the tyrannical rule of Ra to an end before it’s too late.
4. The Chronicles of Riddick (2004)
‘The Chronicles of Riddick’ is the second entry in the film series of the same name, preceded by the 2000 sci-fi action-horror film ’Pitch Black.’ It follows the antihero Riddick, a member of the Furyan race, as he encounters the Necromongers, a fanatic group of people who believe that the existence of life doesn’t align with the rules that govern the universe.
They travel from planet to planet, either converting or killing their inhabitants. Riddick draws the Necromonger leader’s — Lord Marshal — attention due to his race because it was prophesied that a Furyan would kill Lord Marshal. The House of Harkonnen in ‘Dune’ shares their ruthless attributes with the Necromongers.
3. Ender’s Game (2013)
As with ‘Dune,’ ‘Ender Game’ is a space-opera sci-fi film and based on the first entry in a classic and popular book series (written by Orson Scott Card). The film takes place in the distant future, where humanity is locked in a war with an alien race called the Formics. Cadet Andrew “Ender” Wiggin (Asa Butterfield) enrolls in the Battle School, hoping to become a fleet commander and join the war effort.
2. Avatar (2009)
One of the biggest box-offices successes of all time, James Cameron’s ‘Avatar’ takes place on the planet Pandora, where humanity has become embroiled in a conflict with the native sentient species, called the Na’vi, over a valuable material called Unobtainium. Jake Sully, a paraplegic former Marine, comes to Pandora after his identical twin brother dies to pilot the latter’s Na’Vi-human hybrid avatar. He eventually falls in love with Neytiri, the daughter of the Na’vi chieftain, and decides to fight alongside the natives against the aggressors. In both ‘Dune’ and ‘Avatar,’ a precious resource is at the center of the conflict.
1. Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977)
‘Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope’ or simply ‘Star Wars’ is a quintessential space opera film. Luke Skywalker, a moisture farmer from the desert planet Tatooine, embarks on a grand adventure alongside Princess Leia, smuggler Han Solo, and Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi to defeat the Galactic Empire and end the reign of the Emperor Darth Sidious and his student, Darth Vader. Both ‘Dune’ and ‘Star Wars’ use the traditional messianic tropes to introduce their respective heroes.
Read More: Best Space Movies