Contributor: Rick McGimpsey
A friend and I recently had a conversation awhile ago in which we hypothesised a scenario in which Frank Herbert’s Dune saga was actually a prequel to Star Wars. We, of course, did not take the hypothesis seriously and by no means am I trying to insist that such a scenario is actually how things are; but, Fan theories are after all only good fun. This post is only for me a guilty pleasure whose lack of canonicity is quite certain.
In this post I am going to attempt an expanding of the conversation my friend and I had; and although I shall leave him unnamed for reasons of privacy he does deserve credit for much of what is written here.
I am going to make this post simple by omitting a ton of speculative commentary and just frame the entire post as a chronological history in which Dune and Star Wars will be connected. It should be noted that I shall give only cursory attention to the writings that Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson have produced in the Dune universe and shall elect instead to primarily using the material provided by Willis E. McNelly’s Dune Encyclopedia as I am lukewarm to the new Dune books and prefer McNelly’s work (canonical or not). I also shall not be using the Star Wars expanded universe as that would become too cumbersome and contradictory for easy reading. I hope this chronology will amuse the reader as much as writing it amused me.
19,000 B.G. (Before Guild): Early human civilisation on Terra.
16,500: Aleksandr creates the first empire.
16,400: The Roman Empire conquers most of Terra excluding China.
16,000: The Fall of the Roman Empire.
15,800: After provincial rebellions and minor jihads, the Imperial Seat retreats to Byzantium.
14,700: The Great Struggle, begins the Century without an Emperor.
14,608: Discoveries in America. Madrid becomes the Imperial Seat.
14,512: The Battle of Englichannel. The Imperial Seat moves to London.
14,500: The Golden Age of Invention begins.
14,400: China joins the Empire.
14,200: The Golden Age of Invention ends.
14,255: An Intraprovincial war employs the first use of atomics. The Imperial Seat moves to Washington.
14,100: The Little Diaspora begins leading to the colonisation of the solar system.
13,600: Due to colonisation the population of Terra is reduced to 20 to 1.
13,402: After a planetoid strikes Terra the Imperial Seat moves to Ceres.
13,402-13,399: The Rescue of the Treasures from Terra.
13,360: Terra is reseeded and declared a natural park by Imperial edict.
13,004: Verifax Marktoo discovers the suspensor-nullification effect.
12,200: Empire of Ten Worlds exists with strained communications.
11,200: Empire of a Thousand Worlds exists with the diffusal of the Imperial power.
11,105: A rebellion destroys Ceres and the Imperial Seat becomes extinct. The Age of Pretenders begins.
11,100-7562: Age of Ten Thousand Emperors also known as The Great Dark Ages.
7585: The ornithopter is invented.
7600: The Thinkers’ Rebellion.
7593: I. V. Holtzman is born on Liesco II.
7565: An ornithopter accident leaves Holtzman disabled and is cyborged.
7562: After escaping his hospital Holtzman reveals the “wave-effect” nature of the suspensor-nullification device.
7556: Holtzman is severely damaged and thrown into a cometary orbit and communications with him all lost.
7562: The Holtzman Effect allows immediate communication ending the Great Dark Ages. The Wars of Reunification Begin.
5022: Ladislaus the Great unites the Empire of Ten Thousand Worlds beginning the first Golden Age.
3832: Holtzman reappears at Liesco and presents the Planar Effect theory for construction of the Defensive Shield.
3678: The Silicon Age also referred to as the “Death of the Machines” begins leading to the “Little Dark Ages”.
2000: Plague-resistant conductor invented ending the dark age and beginning the Return of Computers or Second Reunification.
1970: Holtzman reappears presenting his Unified Theory.
1800: Culmination of the Second Reunification beginning the Second Golden Age.
c. 700: The first Anti-Computer pogroms.
711: Tensions arise increase between program mites and humanity-firsters.
480: According the legend Apoliros sets off.
400: End of the Second Golden Age.
200: Jehanne Butler leads the Butlerian Jihad against machines.
108. Holtzman is destroyed by the Butlerian Jihad ending the war. Thinking Machines are banned being replaced with human beings such as the Mentats, Guild Navigators, and Bene Gesserit.
100: Aurelius Venport leads Ixian refugees to Tupile.
88: The Battle of Corrin. Sheuset I Costin I becomes first Padishah Emperor.
86: In reward for aiding House Corrino Demetrios Atreides is made Baron of Tantalos. House Atreides is established.
84: Norma Cenva makes the first melange-guided journey through hyperspace.
10: Corpus Luminis Praenuntiantis begins negotiations with the Empire. The Great Financial Synod begins on Aerarium IV.
5: The Synod is completed and CHOAM (Combine Honnete Ober Advancer Mercantiles) is formed.
0: The Golden Lion Throne, Spacing Guild, and CHOAM (as arm of the Landsraad) combine to form the Imperium resulting in a codependency that lasts for millennia.
207 A.G. (After Guild): Elrood II “Menemtahe” becomes Emperor with help from Thomas Atreides who becomes Duke of Jaddua.
337: The Great Convention banning the use of atomics is ratified.
388: Saudir III usurps the Throne and establishes Salusa Secundus as a prison colony.
390: Wallach I is restored to power and uses Salusa Secundus for the Sardaukar forces.
1234: Gilbertus Albans founds the Order of the Mentats on Septimus.
1244: The Mentats move to Tleilax.
1487: The Imperial Seat moves to Kaitain.
Between 1680-1701: A loosely organised committee of Great Houses gains control of the Landsraad.
2800: Zensunni migration begins.
4381: The Empire is briefly reorganised into the First Republic until 4552 when Atreus becomes emperor.
4670: The Second Republic is formed after Mikael II the Depraved abdicates.
4813: The Second Republic ends when Mikael II reemerges from cryogenic suspension and retakes the Throne.
4921: The Third Republic is formed until 4934 when Corrin XIII becomes Emperor.
6600: A Sayyadina on Rossak discovers a plant that unlocks the “voices within” when ingested.
6826: The Fourth Republic begins until Forbin II returns to the Throne 6828.
7193: The Zensunni nomads completely migrate to Arrakis.
8711: House Atreides is granted Siridar-Dukedom on Caladan.
10,140: Leto Atreides born.
10,154: Lady Jessica is born.
10,156: Shaddam IV becomes Emperor.
10,158: Duncan Idaho (human) is born.
10,175: Paul Atreides “Muad’Dib” the Kwisatz Haderach is born on Caladan.
10,190-10,191: House Atreides is moved to Arrakis replacing rival House Harkonnen.
10,193-10,196: Paul Atreides gains control of the spice monopoly and becomes Emperor forcing Shaddam IV to abdicate beginning Paul’s Jihad.
10,209: The twins Leto II Atreides and Ghanima are born. Paul abdicates and disappears into the desert.
10,219: Leto II Atreides becomes Emperor after merging with sandtrout effectively becoming God Emperor in an attempt to bring humanity out of stagnation (Golden Path).
13,724: Leto II is killed. The Great Diaspora begins and The Bene Gesserit slowly begins to regain control of the Empire.
c. 15,224: Humanity firmly set on the Golden Path by the God Emperor is assaulted by the Honored Matres (an off-shoot of the Bene Gesserit) fleeing from a mysterious force. The Honored Matres destroy planet Arrakis with atomics.
Chapterhouse is terraformed to replace Arrakis. The Honored Matres and Bene Gesserit later merge on Chapterhouse. Some generations later the final ghola of Duncan Idaho fulfills the Golden Path by fully embracing Mentat/Kwisatz Haderach/Thinking Machine form ending the strictures of the Butlerian Jihad and freeing humanity from stagnation and the codependent relationships between monopolies on space travel, spice, and Imperial/Landsraad rule. With the removal of the strictures of Butlerian Jihad thinking machines are reinvented being known as Droids by most people.
About at least 100,000 after the fulfillment of the Golden Path the Empire is reorganised into the Fifth Republic (popularly called The Old Republic by historians). Spice is successfully grown on other planets other than Chapterhouse such as Kessel and spice production becomes less expensive. Hyperdrive is invented negating the need for spice navigators. Kaitain is renamed Coruscant and Chapterhouse whose orbit is reshifted into a binary star system is renamed Tatooine. Surviving Fremen making a living on Chapterhouse degenerate into Tusken Raiders and some Tleilaxu remaining on the planet evolve into Jawas.
With hyperdrive making space travel simpler and more affordable mass expansion occurs throughout the galaxy leading to the discovery of new alien species including, but not limited to, Wookies, Rodians, Ithorians, Bith, Twi’leks, Hutts, Ewoks, Gungans, Zabraks, etc.
The Bene Gesserit now cooperating with Duncan Idaho, Mentats, and newly introduced philosophies encountered by new alien species soon discovers new aspects to Other Memory and Prana-Bindu training allowing the creation of a new order of Bene Gesserit which includes males with abilities equal with the hitherto predominately female members of the order. The new order is renamed Jedi and expands upon Prana-Bindu training which now includes higher forms of meditation, telekinesis, and environmental control as well as an enhanced Voice ability.
32 B.B.Y. (Before Battle of Yavin): Naboo is invaded by a remaining vestige of CHOAM called The Trade Federation over a dispute on trade route taxation.
On Tatooine the fifth known Kwisatz Haderach (after Paul, Leto II, Ghanima, and the final Duncan ghola), Anakin Skywalker is discovered by Jedi Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi.
After the Battle of Naboo Senator Sheev Palpatine is elected Supreme Chancellor of the Republic.
Anakin’s training in the Jedi Order begins against the better judgment of the Council Seat on Coruscant.
22: The Military Creation Act is legalised allowing for the mass production of clone soldiers. After Supreme Chancellor Palpatine is given emergency powers by the Republic Senate following the formation of a separatist group called the Confederacy of Independent Systems (financially backed by the Trade Federation) a Grand Army of the Republic is formed. After the First Battle of Geonosis the Clone Wars begin.
22-19: The Clone Wars.
19: Anakin Skywalker betrays the Jedi order and aids Chancellor Palpatine in reforming the Republic into the Galactic Empire. Palpatine becomes Emperor and the Jedi are deemed a threat and hunted to near extinction in the Jedi Purge. The Rebel Alliance is formed consisting of, Mon Mothma, Bail Organa, and surviving Jedi.
Luke Skywalker, the sixth and last Kwisatz Haderach is born on Polis Massa and hidden on Tatooine with his adoptive aunt and uncle Beru and Owen Lars.
0 B.B.Y.: Plans to an Imperial battle station called the Death Star are stolen by a Rebel team called Rogue One. In an attempt to reclaim the plans Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan (secretly daughter of Anakin and sister to Luke) is captured while the custodians of the plans, two post-Butlerian Jihad droids designated C-3PO and R2-D2, are marooned on Tatooine. After being purchased by Luke Skywalker they are confronted by Ob-Wan Kenobi who purchases transportation off the planet and head toward Alderaan. Finding Alderaan destroyed by the Death Star they alter course to the station and stage a rescue of Princess Leia.
A Rebel strike team from Yavin IV successfully destroys the Death Star.
3 A.B.Y. (After Battle of Yavin): Luke’s training as a Jedi begins on Dagobah. Imperial forces led by Anakin Skywalker attempt to lure and capture Luke on Bespin. Luke escapes and continues training in preparation for facing his father again. Construction of the Death Star II begins.
4: Luke completes his training and brings balance to the Jedi Order by defeating his father in combat and Emperor Palpatine is assassinated. Anakin before dying converts back to the ways of the Jedi. Death Star II is destroyed in the Battle of Endor and the sixth Republic (known by historians as the New Republic) is formed. Luke Skywalker becomes head of the Jedi Order.
And there you have it. I hope you enjoyed.