What is the “pain box” in the DUNE trailer about?

The DUNE trailer has already been released and it is simply spectacular, it also leaves certain unknowns that we can solve thanks to the books.

Attention SPOILERS. Maybe after seeing the trailer for DUNE you're thinking, “What's in the box?” Even if Denis Villeneuve has created a beautiful and ambitious sci-fi epic, which both the book and, apparently, the movie, are full of terms, names and traditions that can get you a bit lost. In the trailer we can see the Reverend Mother Gaius Mohiam (Charlotte Rampling) indicating to Paul Atreides (Timothee Chalamet) put your hand in a box. Mohiam puts a needle to Paul's neck and tells him to keep his hand on the box or die. But then again, what's in the box? “Pain,” says Mohiam.

Inside the box there is a needle called “Gom Jabbar”. Namely, a cyanide-tipped needle that, along with the box, is key to the “Gom Jabbar Proof of Humanity.” Performed by the superhuman matriarchal society known as the Bene Gesserit, the test is intended to measure the humanity of the subject. Subject reaches into box, causing immense pain. If they immediately follow their instincts and withdraw their hand, the Bene Gesserit consider them vile as animals. If the subject can stay long enough with the pain, they pass the test. Will the protagonist of DUNE make it?


Why is this test important to the story?

This particular Trial of Humanity is the event that kicks off DUNE, which is one of the longest running “chosen” stories of all time. Arguably, there has never been someone more important than Paul Atreides. He has visions about the future that always come true. That is why you must take this test. He is the first man to pass the test in Bene Gesserit history, suggesting that he is the long-awaited “Kwisatz Haderach,” the legendary leader who would possess the mental ability to unite space and time.

Here is the DUNE trailer for you to enjoy one more time:

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