Futurama Has Been Riffing On Dune Since Its First Run On Television

One of the series’ first references to “Dune” goes all the way back to its original run on FOX. In the season 2 episode “The Lesser of Two Evils,” Fry, Leela, Bender, and an evil Bender dupe named Flexo travel to the planet Tova 9 to deliver precious cargo (an atom of the fictional element Jumbonium) to the Miss Universe pageant. This is an actual Miss Universe competition, featuring contestants like a cloud of gas (“Miss Methane Planet, Halatina Smogmeyer”) and a fridge-sized pink robot (“Miss Earth’s Moon, The Crushinator”). The first pageant girl seen in the lineup is a tall, blue, squid-like alien bearing the sash “Miss Arrakis.” Unfortunately, the representative of the planet on which “Dune” takes place loses to Miss Vega 4, a paramecium named Gladys Lennox.

In a season 7 episode titled “31st Century Fox,” the crew needs new uniforms after being attacked by Mothra while out on a delivery in Tokyo. They visit a Zoidberg-like tailor in town who fits them with the stillsuits that Kyle MacLachlan and Timothee Chalamet made famous in their respective films. These suits even come complete with nose plugs and mouth filters. Before departing with uniforms that look exactly like the kind they had, the crew try on a bevy of sci-fi-referential outfits, including “Star Trek” (Fry), “Barbarella” (Leela), “2001: A Space Odyssey” (Amy), and incredibly, Professor Farnsworth shows off one of Sean Connery’s skimpy outfits from “Zardoz.”

Finally (and there’s likely more I┬ámissed), in the direct-to-video movie “Into the Wild Green Yonder,” Fry, Leela, Bender and co. ride into New Mars Vegas’ “Sand Central Station” on a giant, “Dune”-inspired sandworm. But all this is no match for the unending litany of references from the latest episode.

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