Kyle MacLachlan, Francesca Annis, Sting, José Ferrer,
Lynch turned down the chance to direct Return of the Jedi to adapt Frank Herbert’s legendary science fiction novel about interplanetary palace intrigues and warring clans. Flamboyant producer Dino De Laurentiis hoped for an audience-friendly franchise like Star Wars, but wound up with a baffling, dreamlike missive from the Lynchian subconscious, where language is merely a sound effect, doublings and mirrorings are rampant, and plot is subsumed by spectacularly distracting set designs. Now popular with eighties nostalgists (a leather-clad Sting! Toto on the soundtrack!) and at least one philosopher (Slavoj Žižek is a fan), Dune represents what could have been for Lynch, and for science fiction cinema.