The release of Denis Villeneuve’s Dune 2 was a resounding success in theaters and continues to thrive since its streaming debut. In a recent interview with The New York Times, Villeneuve addressed various aspects of his film, the lore, character developments, creative choices, and even lighter topics, such as the endearing portrayal of Stilgar by Javier Bardem. (Also read: Dune: Part Two film review – Denis Villeneuve’s faster-paced sequel is impactful as long as it captures the essence of the desert power)

Javier Bardem portrays Stilgar in Denis Villeneuve’s Dune Part 2.

Stilgar, a worshipper of the messiah, naive yet endearing Fremen, quickly won the hearts of viewers. Serving as a representation of an innocent religious enthusiast, his consistent chants of ‘Lisan-al-Gaib’, admiration for Paul Atreides, and a gentle, welcoming demeanor resonated with all who watched the film. Denis expresses his joy at Stilgar’s warm reception.

HT launches Crick-it, a comprehensive destination for Cricket enthusiasts, available anytime, anywhere. Discover it now!

‘He possesses a generous spirit’

“I am thrilled to hear that he is perceived as a tragic character. To me, he embodies the ultimate tragedy. Infusing Stilgar with humor was a deliberate choice to make him endearing, to showcase the humanity within his character. He isn’t a stern individual; he possesses a generous spirit. However, his convictions, his faith, his reactions introduce levity — and that is a facet I appreciate in crafting a sci-fi narrative, as I can delve into these themes without causing offense, given it’s a fictional religion. I crafted all the prayers myself, so I am aware of its fictitious nature. I find Stilgar quite amusing. Witnessing people laugh brings me happiness as that was the essence of our intent,” Denis expressed.

Pursuit of the prophesied savior

“Throughout his life, he has been ingrained with that aspiration (of discovering the messiah). I posit that each time a charismatic individual arrives, he yearns that this might be the awaited savior. In parallel to biblical contexts, that lead up to Jesus’ arrival,” Denis elaborated on Stilgar’s fixation on Paul as a messianic figure (Lisan-al-Gaib).

Dune 2 featured Timothee Chalamet in the lead role, supported by Zendaya, Austin Butler, Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Florence Pugh. The film is inspired by Frank Herbert’s revered science fiction novels. Denis is currently penning the third installment, Dune: Messiah.