Desert expert Les Stroud explains that Dune’s stillsuits make sense in real life. The movie, based on Frank Herbert’s acclaimed science fiction novel, follows Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet), a young man haunted by visions of the future, who becomes entangled in a war for the planet Arrakis. Along with Chalamet, the cast of Dune includes Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Stellen Skarsgård, Zendaya, and Javier Bardem. The stillsuit, a piece of equipment used for traversing the Arrakis desert, allows characters to withstand severe heat and other conditions relative to the planet.
In a recent video for Insider, Stroud examined Dune’s stillsuits and revealed why their design makes sense. When discussing apparel, the survival expert stated that in the desert, “the opposite of what you might think is what is the reality.” He explained the benefits of layering, and how what someone wears can affect the moisture they retain. Read Stroud’s comments regarding the stillsuits in Dune below:
In the movie, Liet Kynes (Sharon Duncan-Brewster) explained the purpose of stillsuits, noting how they recover water from sweat. She added that as long as the individual continues to move, they won’t lose any of it either. With Stroud’s comments in mind, it’s worth wondering how much moisture the Fremen and other characters wearing the suit can preserve daily. Kynes also mentioned that an average person wouldn’t last more than a couple of hours in the Arrakis desert without it and that the stillsuit ensures no one overheats.
While the suit does not appear to include any head protection, which Stroud revealed was another important part of dressing for the desert, several characters have used their own means of covering up. Last year, Dune’s costume designers Jacqueline West and Bob Morgan described the look and function of a stillsuit. They discussed the various materials used to construct it and explained how certain pieces were attached to the water.
It’s interesting to hear a survival expert’s opinion on stillsuits and how they actually make sense in real life, considering that Dune is a science fiction film. With Dune: Part Two on the way, those wanting to learn even more about Arrakis could have a lot to look forward to.