Kyle Maclachlan’s Expository Dune Device

Exposition is often considered the writer’s enemy; a tool overly employed to compensate for a lack of good writing skills. Film, the man says, is about visual imagery, not lengthy explanations via dialogue. But I’ve been thinking about how much simpler life would be if there was more exposition, if sometimes things could be explained to us in such simple terms that we could understand what was going on and make the right decisions accordingly. That’s when the idea struck me: A hearing aid that puts the whispery voice of Kyle Maclachlan in your ear. You remember him from Dune, right? He was the Kwisatz Haderach.

The device is simple. Everywhere you go and everything you do is provided with a voice-over from Kyle Maclachlan, who whispers to you a simple explanation of what’s happening. He can provide wisdom extracted from the juice of Sapho and garnered from years in the House of Atreides.

The Atreides spent a millenia battling the worms of Arrakis. The greatest, Shai Hulud, protects the spice of Arrakis. The worm and the spice…Wait, wasn’t the name of the planet “Dune”? But it’s also called “Arrakis”? Why does it have two names? What’s the point of having voice-over exposition if you’re going to make the plot more confusing by adding unnecessary fanboy garbage?

So they can build a forcefield around the palace but not the skimmers harvesting the spice that are being attacked by the worms? And they can’t shoot the worms or use flying skimmers that could suck the spice up with hoses and remain safely out of the worm’s reach? And how does the spice help you to move through space and time again? And who’s this little princess girl in the beginning? Is she the narrator? But also Kyle MacLachlan is the narrator? And what happens to her?

Do you think when they showed Sting that little speedo outfit with the wings and told him he’d have to prance around for five minutes he thought they were fucking with him? But then they were like, no, it’s actually in the script along with the giant worm, the flying leper, and that weird little red-haired kid. And Sting was like, “What the fuck kind of movie is this?” And they were like, “Hey, I don’t know. It’s a movie about magic spice.” And Sting mumbled something and walked away real angry… wearing the speedo.

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One thought on “Kyle Maclachlan’s Expository Dune Device

  1. Far worse than exposition is the deus ex machina, which is usually the result of poor story planning where the climax was the first thing imagined, and the steps to it backfilled. As they work forwards to it, they get antsy and bored and sloppy. So you get those stories which seem to be making sense, but near the end the villain just launches into exposition, evidence that wasn’t even suspected just drops in their laps, etc. You get that feeling they just wanted to cut to the chase and finish it.

    Directors and producers are very much responsible as well, because they chop scripts up and shorten the story as we see it on screen. If they have to do this, the polishing has to be done on the script itself and the continuity of the causality not lost. It of course is let slip and we get the sudden solution popping out of nowhere at the end. I’ll take exposition over deus ex machina.

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