The set design in Dune makes Star Wars IV: A New Hope look weak in comparison. The shots of the sand dunes, deserts, and other landscapes are easily comparable to the beauty found in David Lean’s (who at one point was supposed to direct Dune) Lawrence of Arabia. In contrast to the beauty of the film, Dune also includes futuristic dark knights of the apocalypse. The Baron and his henchman offer a sort of evil that is highly enjoyable.
The Baron has a striking resemblance to second in command of Third Reich Hermann Göring (who was descended from Bavarian Barons). Like Göring, the Baron enjoyed himself some young men. The Baron only gives a slight signal to his feelings when admiring Feyd (played by Sting). The Baron and Göring also share a charismatic bloated flamboyance that they somehow pull off. Hermann Göring was a hedonistic drug addict who was forced to wear a straight jacket when committed at a mental hospital. The Baron also carries a similar profile in his power hungry sociopath ways.
I never thought I would see Kyle MacLachlan play a Christ like figure. His performance in his role as Paul (who later emerges later in the film as Muad'Dib) is surprisingly bold. Paul has invested his life in obtaining the “spice” to confirm his messianic powers.
Gigantic sandworms, neon blue eyed creep children, fire crotch Nazis, and Sting offer elements not often seen in David Lynch films. I still think that Eraserhead is Lynch’s greatest achievement. Dune lies somewhere in the middle of Lynch’s best films (I used to think Dune was his worst film). Someone needs to convince Lynch to go back to film. His artistic freedom needs to be somewhat limited.