A Guild Navigator was a senior rank within the Guild, and for many Guildsmen the pinnacle of their ambitions.
Role in the Spacing GuildEdit
Guild Navigators were responsible for guiding space-faring ships (spacefolders) through the mine-field of gravitational obstacles that lay between a source and a target. They accomplished this feat by using prescient abilities brought on by excessive exposure to the melange. The navigators would breathe the orange spice gas and swallow spice pills, which would afford them the ability to see across vast distances of space, and into the near future. This allowed the Navigators to plot safe courses for ships to travel across vast distances of space via prescience.
Those candidates trained at young ages often became the best and some even reached the highest rank (Steersman). Those taken too young, however, could mutate into ghastly shapes fit only for menial tasks; the worst failures were euthanized.
Because of their limited prescient abilities, Guild navigators were capable of seeing minor aspects of Paul Atreides' grand designs. Guild Navigators perceived Paul as a threat to their power and indeed the stability of the universe as a whole.
This led to the Guild being complicit in the attack against House Atreides by House Harkonnen shortly after the former took control of Arrakis. A Guild Navigator participated in a conspiracy, as well, to assassinate him some twelve years after Paul became Emperor. The Navigator was primarily used to shield the conspiracy from Paul and those others who had prescient abilities.
Behind the ScenesEdit
In the novels, navigators are first mentioned in Dune as mysterious figures, rarely ever seen by anyone outside of the Spacing Guild.
Later, in Dune Messiah, they are described as being orange people with elongated trunks, enlarged cranium, and webbed hands and feet. In the 1984 Dune movie, Guild Navigators have three stages, with third-stage navigators appear as whale-like beings, suspended in huge tanks of orange spice-gas. Frank Herbert reportedly liked the idea of different stages as mentioned in the 1984 film and incorporated it into his later books. In the Children of Dune miniseries, navigators appear more true to Dune Messiah.
(10,136 A.G. – 10,175 A.G.) In the Prelude to Dune novels, D'murr and C'tair Pilru (twin sons of Ambassador Cammar Pilru of Ix) take the initial examination to become Navigators, but only D'murr passes. From the moment he enters training, D'murr is told he will never communicate with his family again; he eventually becomes a full Navigator.
A prominent character In 1969's Dune Messiah, Edric takes part in a plot against the emperor, Paul Atreides, the other conspirators being the Bene Gesserit Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam, the Tleilaxu Face Dancer Scytale, and Paul's embittered consort, Princess Irulan of House Corrino. Edric's involvement is solely to protect the conspirators from discovery by Paul's prescient sight, as the presence of a prescient such as Edric hides the activities of that person, and those around him, from other prescients. After the plot fails, Edric and Mohiam are executed in 10,207 A.G. by Fremen Naib Stilgar on orders from Paul's sister Alia Atreides.