Dune – House Harkonnen

A few years ago I read Dune – House Atreides. Now I have read the next one of the prequels. Dune – House Harkonnen.

We get to know more about the Harkonnen family and a few new characters are introduced. Not all are bad.

But the bad and stupid ones do what could be expected of them.

There are also the expected side stories about the Atreides and other important Houses.

A few concepts are introduced a bit too early here. Things that didn’t exist until later in the original series. That is a bit annoying. But other than that, I thought the book was quite good. (But don’t read it until you have read all of the original Dune books first. The originals are a lot better.)

Harkonnen flag – Image from wikimedia – CC-BY-SA-4.0 license

Valerian Movie

We went to see the Valerian Movie. I have been looking forward to this for a long time. After reading some initial reviews, I was a bit worried that it wasn’t very good.

Click to see image at Valerian Movie site:
But it was good. Not as good as I hoped it would have been, but still good. Luc Besson has made his own version of the comic Ambassador of the Shadows. In Luc Besson’s version some things have been simplified. Some new elements have been added. There are also some surprises that is quite different from the comic.

Click to see image at Valerian Movie site:
The Shingouz doesn’t look like they did in the comic. I liked their double trunk in the comic better. But Rihanna as a Suffuss (Glamourpod) shapeshifter was a positive change.

Click to see image at Valerian Movie site:
Luc Besson avoided the complications of having time travel as an option in this film. (It was necessary for the new plot to avoid it.) But that also changed Laureline’s background.

The origin of Point Central (Alpha) was also changed. But that was a really cool addition and was explained in a very nice way in the beginning of the film.

A strange addition was the trans-dimensional market. There is nothing like that in the comic.

But changing the Shadows into the Pearls. That was a great idea.

So overall, there was some bits I liked a lot and some bits that I wasn’t very fond of. I also thought that Dane DeHaan as Valérian and Cara Delevingne as Laureline were too young. There was no good explanation in the movie why they were galactic agents. The CGI was fantastic. I have nothing else to say about that.

But you must also read the comic if you haven’t already done that. Even though this was a good and fantastic film, I like the comic better.

So what can be useful for Traveller?

1: The aliens. There are lots of alien races to be inspired by.

2: The space-station Alpha. That could be an interstellar United Nations in an ATU. (It is like Babylon 5, but bigger.)

3: The Astroship (Alex) that Valérian and Laureline use is a great scoutship for any setting.

All your base are belong to us