25 of the best fictional planets to visit

KRYPTON (Photo by: SYFY)
KRYPTON (Photo by: SYFY) /
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fictional planets
Dune. Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures, Chiabella James /

5. Arrakis (Dune)

There’s no getting around it: Arrakis is a desolate world. Even with all of the valuable spice deposits and huge sandworms, this desert planet (also called “Dune”) is full of wide-open spaces.

Even if Dune, at least in the 1965 beginning of author Frank Hebert’s saga, is pretty empty, it’s not lacking for interest. Certainly, other societies are so involved with the history and future of Arrakis that they’re willing to go to war over it.

Why should everyone have their fingers on their respective triggers for a planet that is seemingly full of sand? It’s all to do with the spice.

This is no ordinary black pepper or cardamom, however. This spice is melange, a quasi-magical substance that helps people live longer, improve their health, and even peek into the future. It’s vital to the Navigators, a mysterious class of people who guide ships in faster-than-light travel. The Reverend Mothers of the Bene Gesserit (a somewhat religious sisterhood that wields considerable political and social power) also need it to access the Other Memory of their female ancestors.

Watch out for those worms

If dipping into your ancestral memory bank and upping your health points weren’t enough, maybe the wildlife of Arrakis will entice you. There aren’t that many animals making their way through the endless sands, but those that you see will astound you. Specifically, you should look for the sandworms. These massive beasts can eat up whole melange-harvesting parties and their vehicles.

It turns out that melange is part of the sandworms’ life cycle, perhaps explaining why they are almost indestructible. The native Fremen people also regard the sandworms as sacred, though they aren’t above the occasional daring sandworm ride here and there.