Oscar Isaac compares Star Wars and Dune: "There’s spaceships, but that’s where the similarities end"

Oscar Isaac in Dune
(Image credit: Warner Bros/Legendary)

Oscar Isaac knows a thing or two about massive science-fiction sagas. The actor became a household name thanks to his portrayal of Poe Dameron in the Star Wars sequel trilogy, and will next fly off to another galaxy in the upcoming movie Dune.

Unsurprisingly, sci-fi fans have drawn comparisons between the two, but when asked by Total Film about having any reservations about jumping from Star Wars to Dune, the actor reveals he had none.

"Not really, because the genre of it is not as important to me," he says in the new issue of the magazine, featuring Dune on the cover. "It’s about who I’m working with, and what’s the story that we’re telling? It’s Denis [Villeneuve], and it’s Dune. 

"Sure, there’s also some spaceships [laughs]. But that’s really about where the similarities end. [Dune’s] not a typical sci-fi film. It has elements of that, but it’s also a meditation. What Frank Herbert did, and then Denis as well, is to explore those themes of family, of the clashes of cultures, and just put it on a stage that allows you to dream with it."

Isaac spoke at length about Dune with Total Film, even discussing playing the baliset, a zither-like Caladan musical instrument. Who's the better player, him or Josh Brolin, who also appears in the new movie?

"He’s definitely got stubbier fingers," Isaac says. "So I’d say I’m probably the better baliset player. But what he lacks in precision, he makes up with in hardcore passion... Something that I did do as a wrap gift for him and for Denis is, I made a record cover that was like an album that [Brolin’s character] Gurney had released with a bunch of different songs on the back. So that was really fun.

Dune is scheduled to open in US cinemas and on HBO Max on October 22. It will open in UK cinemas on October 21. For much more on the film, including interviews with all of the starry cast, pick up a copy of the new issue of Total Film when it hits shelves on Friday 20 August. Check out the new cover below, as well as the cover of the special supplement that comes with the issue. 

Total Film's Dune issue and special supplement

(Image credit: Total Film/Warner Bros)

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Jack Shepherd
Senior Entertainment Editor

I'm the Senior Entertainment Editor here at GamesRadar+, bringing you all the latest movie and TV news, reviews, and features. Plus I look after the Total Film and SFX sections and socials media channels. I used to work at The Independent as a general culture writer before specializing in TV and film