Vladimir Harkonnen, Baron of House Harkonnen during the period when Paul Atreides became known as Muad'dib, was a human that looked and acted remarkably similar to Jabba the Hutt, a creature from another galaxy, far far away.

In fact, the Baron and Jabba were both fat tubs of lard that needed mechanical help to be reasonably mobile, both had wrinkled, pus-encrusted skin, were sex-hungry (the baron preferred men, however) and ate delicacies that made even Klingon Gah look appetizing. They also both were essentially crime lords and both had control of desert planets (Dune & Tatooine) and each one of those planets had deadly creatures that lived in the sand (Sandworm & Sarlacc). Jabba and the Baron loved to watch people get eaten alive by creatures or die in gladiator-style games (Rancor & Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen) and were scheming creatures that thought they were incredibly intelligent. I am not sure the baron was able to resist Jedi Mind Tricks however.

Metafist: If you are able to read the words above carefully, which have not been edited since the node was first written, you will see that it does not say that Vladimir Harkonnen is Jabba the Hutt, nor does it say Vladimir is a crime lord. The writeup says they are remarkably similar in various ways, and that Vladimir Harkonnen is essentially a crime lord. See stain. Finally, it is not important at all that Vladimir was Baron of House Harkonnen long before the period of Muad'Dib. What's important is that he was Baron during the period when Paul Atreides became known as Muad'Dib.

Moreover, while Dune: House Atreides may be entertaining litterature, it is in my opinion not canon. It is a valiant attempt to stay consistent with the truths of the Dune universe, but shouldn't be considered as part of the real story of Dune. So we don't really know why Vladimir Harkonnen is so fat.

Um, the Baron Vladimir Harkonnen wasn't always fat. In Dune: House Atreides, the Baron is a well-muscled, primed specimen. A Bene Gesserit infects him with a disease that makes him grow uncontrollably.

He is not a crime lord. He is the Baron of one of the most important Houses in the Landsraad. He was Baron long before Paul Muad'Dib was even born. He was also not very often in control of Dune, his real homeworld was Giedi Prime, an industrial nightmare slave planet.

The Baron's scheming was responsible for lots of stuff... read the Dune series by Frank Herbert for more.

Really, if you are going to explain someone, don't make a cheesy comparison. It doesn't work.

The following is a fallacy:

Vladimir Harkonnen is a Crime Lord.
Jabba the Hutt is a Crime Lord.
Vladimir Harkonnen is Jabba The Hutt

Odi:Point being if you're going to have a node called Vladimir Harkonnen, make it about Vladimir Harkonnen, not about some cheesy comparison to a more popular and well known character. Take your write-up and shove it into a write-up called Comparison of Vladimir Harkonnen and Jabba the Hutt and put something that actually tells the story of Vladimir Harkonnen without needing knowledge of some pop culture classic. Do him the justice he is deserved, as a character in his own right.

Fair enough, it is not right to compare the Baron to Jabba the Hut, but you cannot say he wasn't a crime lord. The Baron was a psycopathic maniac in the least. He caused such problems as the near death of Leto Atreides and hence the near fall of House Atreides, plus the assasination of many House leaders (major and minor) which he disliked, and he is also responsible for the torture and near extinction of the natives of Dune (or Arrakiss), the Fremen.

On top of that, House Harkonnen has never done a fair and honest trade since being under the rule of Vladimir. They imbezelled spice from the Emperor while they had the mining rights to Dune, they stole from other Houses and they always rigged financial or market tradings so that House Harkonnen came out with massive gains and the other House/s involved had massive losses. Not to mention the endless poverty and polluted estates with far too high taxes and a harsh feudal law kept on Geidi Prime.

So in no way can you say that Baron Vladimir Harkonnen is not a Crime Lord.

Having grown up somewhat obsessed with the David Lynch Dune film, having recently seen the new Dune film, and having also recently reread the book, I find the treatment of the Harkonnen characters, specifically the Baron Harkonnen, interesting in the new movie.

The Lynch film stayed more true to the book's portrayal of the Baron. He was loud, boisterous, rude, and over-confident. He was grossly fat, gay, and diseased. Nothing about him was quietly threatening. He spends a lot of time bragging about his plans, both to Piter and Jessica, and then gloating over Duke Leto Atreides until the Duke bites the tooth. The Lynch film captures most of this pretty well, only really toning down the homosexual implications (which isn't really a bad thing - puts a bad light on queers), but even this is still in the movie. He has that creepy scene with the younger slave boy, and he clearly lusts after Feyd.

The Baron's portrayal in the new movie is almost nothing like this, other than fat. He's quiet, dark, and menacing. I will say, he's super creepy - that part is kind of effective, but it is NOT the Baron from the book. Maybe flamboyant and loud is not the type of bad guy that caters to this audience, but I think the character loses something. Part of what makes the Baron's downfall so glorious was the part where Alia finally shuts his great fat mouth. It will be interesting to see how they develop the character in the upcoming films.

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