Image source. (Not a spoiler)
Science fiction falls under the umbrella of this blog, right? I think it does. This puzzle was my tribute to the new Dune franchise (you've probably seen the 2021 movie, and as I alluded to in the cryptic-ish post title, part 2 is being released late this year), but I'll always accept the 6 original Frank Herbert books as the authority on Dune things. In other words, after doing this puzzle, you should read the books.
In other news, make sure to do the NYT puzzle this Thursday! Very excited to see my name in print...
(note: this puzzle is solvable online, but you do need to go to the PDF for the final across and down clues.)