You don’t have to know much about Dune, either the 1965 Frank Herbert novel or the 1984 David Lynch film adapted from it, to know that it tells a deeply crazy story. Though there are familiar lines and big moments that stand out, the whole can be baffling, especially if you haven’t revisited it for a while. If you don’t believe me, refresh your memory with this info dump from the film:
And that’s just the back story! No wonder, then, that some fans of Kyle MacLachlan, who starred in the film as Paul Atreides, have been left a little confused. That, at least, is presumably what led someone to tweet a query at the actor, asking him to explain it to her:
Plenty of celebrities would have ignored such a request, and others still might have snidely pointed to the film’s Wikipedia page. But Kyle MacLachlan is not plenty of actors, so he offered something else altogether, a gloriously concise synopsis of the plot in 41 emojis:
It’s an formidable feat, not least of all because it provides a reasonably accurate and complete account of the story, from the Atreides clan’s departure for Arakis to the concluding duel. Still more impressive, especially given the amount of decades-old narrative detail he had to sort through, MacLachlan (who would probably do pretty well at this emoji-centric quiz) appears to have put his tweet together in just over two hours.
Color us impressed, but now that we know about MacLachlan’s mastery of the surprisingly expressive form, we here at Slate have a few other questions, starting with this:
And if he wants to tell us why he decided to do Showgirls, we’re all ears.