DUNE tells the story of a young nobleman Paul Atreides, heir to a powerful noble house. The story unfolds with a conspiracy between House Harkonnen and House Corrino to destroy House Atreides. The Harkonnens relinquish their assignment on Arrakis with the intention of taking it back with the aid of the Emperor's Sardaukar. Paul Atreides is exiled into the wilderness of the desert planet Arrakis after the government run by his father is overthrown. A rival family, the Harkonnens, overthrows his father's government. The Harkonnens work to exploit the planet's natural resources for the galactic emperor.
When chased into the desert by the Harkonnens, the local nomads known as Fremen accept Paul as the Messiah. He became Paul Muad'Dib, religious and political figurehead of the Fremen. Along the way, Paul discovers that a religious and mystical sisterhood known as the Bene Gesserit "created" a "Kwisatz Haderach", a super being, to create a monopoly over the known Universe.
He realizes that he may be the Kwisatz Haderach and sets out to discover his true potential. The super-being, would have the mental capacity and psychic abilities to bridge space and time, and see all possible futures, and this would allow the Bene Gesserit to monopolize the universe because he would be able to "see all and know all". They "created" him by interfering for thousands of years in the human gene pool, mating those who they thought would pass on genes to create this super-being. This "breeding program" came to fruition with Paul Atreides, son to a Bene Gesserit. Once Paul realized just what he was and the power he had control over, he broke away from the sisterhood. After a period of two years he leads the Fremen back to the planet back for his family. With the aid of the Fremen, a wild, untamed people who have great integrity and courage, Paul sets a plan into motion to reclaim his title. Under his leadership the nomads battle the cruel Harkonnens and the Emperor's military forces.
Once the planet is taken, he also takes the role of Emperor away from the former ruler for himself. When he does this, he gained control over everything in the Universe, including the sisterhood, which had tried to control him from the beginning. This is a total reversal for the sisterhood, as Paul was now using them to help him control the known universe, instead of Paul helping the sisterhood.