The Spice

Dune 2 leak could reveal the most important location in the book

Did a photo of Timothée Chalamet on location in Jordan reveal Sietch Tabr?

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 13: Timothée Chalamet attends the 2021 Met Gala celebrating 'In Ameri...
Noam Galai/GC Images/Getty Images

In 2020, most Dune fans became Chalamet stans. Ever since the first trailer for Dune: Part 1 dropped, Chalamet’s take on the Chosen One of Arrakis has captured the hearts of old-school spice heads and new fans alike. And so, when Chalamet drops a new Dune-related photo, we all freak out.

Here’s why a new selfie of Chalamet in Jordan might have revealed the filming location for the most important Fremen stronghold in the Dune novels: Sietch Tabr.

On November 8, 2022, a new photo of Timothée Chalamet in Petra, Jordan surfaced. In it, Chalamet poses in front of the Nabataean city, first made famous in American movies thanks to 1989’s Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. The structure is called Al-Khazneh and was, in the 1st Century AD, a mausoleum and crypt.

Why the new Chalamet photo might reveal Sietch Tabr

The fact that Denis Villeneuve is filming scenes for Dune: Part 2 in Jordan isn’t inherently surprising. Several scenes set on Arrakis in Dune: Part 1 were filmed in Abu Dhabi and Jordan, so filming there again makes sense to keep Arrakis looking consistent.

But there’s a wrinkle here. At no point in Part 1 did we actually see the most important location on Arrakis. We’ve seen the deep desert, and we’ve seen the city of Arrakeen, but we haven’t seen the Fremen stronghold of Sietch Tabr. In the books, “Sietches” are the cavernous homes of the various Fremen tribes. We glimpse Liet-Kynes’ (Sharon Duncan-Brewster) hideout in Part 1, but the action never gets us to Sietch Tabr. After Stilgar’s (Javier Bardem) Fremen encounter Paul (Chalamet) and Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson), the movie ends with the implication that everyone is heading to the Sietch.

If Dune: Part 2 is filming in a spot in Jordan that the production hasn’t used before, Al-Khazneh could very well become the real-world version of Sietch Tabr, simply because that’s a key part of Arrakis we haven’t seen yet.

Chani (Zendaya) makes her home in Sietch Tabr.

Warner Bros/Legendary

What is Sietch Tabr?

Although Sietch Tabr isn’t the only Sietch on Arrakis, it’s the most important one in the first novel. It’s where Paul and Jessica make their home for two years, before rallying the forces of the Fremen to attack the Harkonnens. Sietch Tabr is also where Paul truly becomes a Fremen, and where he and Chani (Zendaya) conceive their first child, Leto II.

Everything that transforms Paul into a Fremen leader happens in Sietch Tabr. We know this location has to appear in Dune: Part 2, and now we may have a sense of what it will look like.

Dune: Part 2 hits theaters on November 3, 2023.

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