- The sheer scale and visuals of the film - massive docking ports on Arrakis when House Atreides arrives on the planet, massed armies of soldiers in perfect formation, and Shai-Hulud in all of its immense glory. They definitely got the grandeur of the setting down pat.
- The incident with the spice harvester, where we're shown just how big the sandworms of Arrakis can be. The filmbook Paul watches says they can grow to be up to 400 meters long, and we see a huge amount of that as it swallows the harvester whole. The sand simply... opens and becomes a massive, tooth-lined mouth.
- The visual design of the Holtzman shields, coupled with the intensity of high speed close quarters short blade combat.
- Paul's survival of the box very effectively foreshadows why he will later be considered a huge threat to the Imperium and the Bene Gesserit. While he does whimper and cry very early on in a subdued fashion, he never makes a full-throated screamnote . Instead he crosses some threshold beyond which the pain no longer even touches him. He aims a calm and intense Death Glare at Gaius Helen Mohiam for the entire rest of the trial while in the novel, he only thinks about the pain. Even Mohiam seems a bit unsettled by it. According to Denis Villeneuve, the moment when Paul turns his eyes up toward Mohiam is the first foreshadowing of Paul's true nature as the Kwisatz Haderach. He doesn't just power through the extreme pain the experience brings something in his subconscious closer to the surface. And considering what Paul ends up bringing to the known universe canonically, Mohiam is right to be afraid.
- The Signature Scene of the Sardaukar chant can count, as the visuals, the chanting, and the aesthetics perfectly show what a desolate, vicious, and ferocious culture the Sardaukar come from. Fans of the books will be aware that Leto considered the true wealth of Arrakis to be the Fremen, out of belief that the reason the Sardaukar are so formidable is that they live on a Death World, and so Had to Be Sharp, and the same applies to the Fremen of Dune. This one scene expertly captures the essence of this comparison for the audience, even those unfamiliar with the books, and further adds an elemental contrast: Salusa Secundus is envisioned as a wet world of perpetual rain, contrasting with the brutally arid Arrakis.
- Doubles as Nightmare Fuel, but the Harkonnen army demolishing the Atreides forces with the Sardaukar is pretty damn badass.
- The battle itself shows why the Harkonnens needed the Sardaukar's help, as the Atreides soldiers are shown to be more than capable of outmatching the Harkonnens in one-on-one combat, with small groups of Atreides household troops making mincemeat of larger groups of Harkonnens until outmatched in turn by the Imperial troops.
- When Harkonnen dropships begin disembarking troops on the airfield, the Atreides troops charge right at them, with the score changing to the Atreides' bagpipe-heavy theme.Gurney Halleck: WITH ME!!! WITH ME!!!
- Also, the ship explosions are a sight to behold.
- To punctuate the final fall of House Atreides (for now, anyway), a Harokonen ship unleashes one of the most spectacular and brutal Macross Missile Massacres ever seen.
- Despite being caught off guard, Duncan's leap into combat is a sight to behold. He manages to take out multiple Sardaukar with ease, and without armor of his own.
- Leto's death is also adapted in a more dramatic way: in the books, the Baron escaped from the poison gas unscathed, but in the movie, the Baron is trapped in the room and exposed to the poison, and ends his presence in the movie healing in a bizarre oil-bath. Leto's dying words are also of note: he says, "Here I am, here I remain", the declaration he made in the novel upon planting his flag on Arrakis, showing that even when facing certain death, he remains courageous and resolute.
- Paul having visions of holy wars to come. While it's horrible for him to have them, there's one in which he's armored and leads an army of Fremen against the Sardaukar, tearing through the latter (the best troops of the Imperium, mind you) like a hot knife through butter. The best part is the birds eye view of said battlefield,where at first the Fremen seem visibly outnumbered, but then more and more of them pop out of the sand, quickly evening the odds.
- Duncan (having been stabbed through the heart by the Sardaukar) manages to pull the sword out of his chest and slaughter a few more enemy soldiers before finally going down, buying Paul, Jessica and Liet-Kynes the time needed to escape. Duncan even kills the Sardaukar who delivered the fatal blow to him, pulling an instant Taking You with Me.
- Likewise, Liet-Kynes' death is changed to a dramatic Taking You with Me moment — even though she is mortally wounded, she still strikes the ground to create vibrations and attract a Sand Worm, which swallows her and the Sardaukar who came for her, a reminder of how Arrakis is ultimately the most powerful foe in this conflict.Kynes: I only serve one master. His name is Shai-Hulud.
- Paul's response to flying through a dust storm powerful enough to shred metal is an ingenious one: instead of fighting the storm, he allows the craft to be buffeted by the wind until it's carried to a higher dust-free zone, showing that he is beginning to adapt to the desert power of Arrakis.
- After making their way into the desert, Jessica and Paul get surrounded by a group of Fremen warriors. Stilgar says that Paul is young enough to learn their ways, but Jessica is too old, so she has to die. Jessica whoops his ass and afterwards the only Fremen who dares to even say anything bad about her is Jamis, a man with very poor impulse control.
- After appearing in visions throughout the film, Chani finally makes a full appearance in true Fremen style: after Paul escapes the fight between his mother and Stilgar, he spends a while aiming a gun and deciding who to shoot... and then after it's over, Chani reveals she silently snuck up behind him, and assures him she would have stopped him hurting anyone.
- Paul sees visions where he loses to a Fremen warrior (Jamis). Eventually he faces this warrior in combat, with Chani and Stilgar comforting him with the assurance of a swift, honorable and painless death. Paul proceeds to hand the warrior his ass three times, even while hesitating because for all his combat training, Paul has never actually killed another human being.
- Right when the film ends, when he walks along with the Fremen and his mother after being accepted among them, Paul sees a Fremen riding a young worm. Then Chani tells him "It's just the beginning."
- To a lesser extent, the Ornithopter. Imagine a literal combination of a dragonfly and a helicopter - instead of having rotary blades, the crafts eight wings beat at an ultra-fast rate to provide lift and thrust, with the ability to fold back like a so the craft can dive like a raptor.
Awesome / Dune (2021)