The Sardaukar is a military force feared throughout the Padishah Empire. With little or no resistance to their military strength, the Sardaukar ensured that emperor Shaddam IV remained in power and had control over the politics of the Imperium.
The Sardaukar of House Corrino
The word Sardaukar gets pronounced as “Sar-Dau-Karr.” The Sardaukar is an army whose total loyalty lies in the House of Corrino. Trained brutally from childhood, the Sardaukar were an unstoppable force whose only match was the Fremen of Arrakis.
Each Sardaukar soldier got equipped with long and short-range weapons; this made them nearly unbeatable. The Sardaukar also had a unique fighting style that was recognizable by anyone.
The Role of the Sardaukar in the Dune Universe
The Sardaukar is a military force whose might gave emperor Shaddam IV dominance over the universe. In ‘Dune,’ Shaddam IV connives with Baron Harkonnen to destroy the House of Atreides. After Leto and his family arrive on Arrakis, Baron Harkonnen attacks the House of Atreides.
However, the army used by the Baron to destroy the House of Atreides was the Sardaukar disguised as the Harkonnen army. Paul and his mother escape into the desert, where Paul becomes the Kwisatz Haderach. Training the Fremen in the Weirding Way, Paul launches an attack on the House of Harkonnen and the House of Corrino. With the Fremen being the only force capable of destroying the Sardaukar, Paul defeats the emperor and ascends the throne to become the emperor.
After Paul defeats the Sardaukar, he ensures their numbers never go high enough to become a military might again. In ‘God Emperor of Dune,’ Leto II adopts the Fish Speakers, an elite all-women army with Sardaukar and Fremen blood; this causes the Sardaukar to cease to exist.
Training of the Sardaukar
The Sardaukar were imbibed into the army as children and trained vigorously. The intensity of the training each Sardaukar boy faced led to the death of half of the children before they clocked the age of 11. The remaining who lived got trained in tactical swordsmanship; this made the Sardaukar excellent soldiers whose fighting skill got compared to the tenth level of the Ginaz swordsmanship.
The Sardaukar got trained on planet Salusa Secundus, a prison planet belonging to the House of Corrino. The soldiers got exposed to harsh weather conditions and got brutally disciplined to be fiercely loyal to their master, the emperor. With the extent of their training, only warriors with an environment like the Fremen stood a chance of defeating them.
Weaponry of the Sardaukar
Each Sardaukar soldier got fully equipped with long and short-range weapons to give him an advantage on the battlefield. Short ranged weapons were used for close combat and long-range for either assassination or killing a target from afar.
Short-ranged Weapons of the Sardaukar
The short-ranged weapons of the Sardaukar are:
- Kindjal: The Kindjal is a dagger with slightly curved double-edged blades 20 centimeters long. The kindjal is a general weapon used by the Great Houses and the Sardaukar.
- Flip-dart: The Flip-dart is a small barb-like needle measuring half a centimeter. The Flip-dart was used to inject potent drugs or poison to an enemy. Called Flip-dart due to the cover that hides it from the enemy, the flip-dart got hidden in finger rings, fighting girdles, wrist braces, and weapon sheaths.
- Sardaukar sword: The Sardaukar sword was the primary close-ranged weapon of the Sardaukar military. The sword had a length between the range of 40 to 50 centimeters and had slightly curved edges. The inward-facing part of the blade sometimes featured rugged-edged patterns.
- Shigawire garrote: Shigawire is the metallic extrusion of a ground vine grown exclusively on Salusa Secundus. Due to its strength, it got used as a garotte by Sardaukar.
- Slip-tip: A slip tip is any short blade designed for left-handed use in shield fighting. The slip-tip got laced with poison at the top.
Long-ranged Weapons of the Sardaukar
The long-ranged weapons used by the Sardaukar are:
- Hunter-seeker: The Hunter-seeker is a deadly tool used for an assassination. The floating one-centimeter machine got operated remotely and got laced with poison.
- Lasgun: The Lasgun is a continuous-wave laser projector fired like a pistol.
- Maula Pistol: The Maula Pistol is a handheld weapon used to fire poison darts at an enemy. However, the severe downside to this weapon was shielding.
- Stunner: A Stunner is a slow-pellet projectile that got used against shields.
Fighting Style and Appearance of the Sardaukar
The Sardaukar had a unique fighting style that involved gathering in groups of three when surrounded. Being experts at covert operations, the Sardaukar wore their weapons in a way it got concealed, like hiding Shigawire in their hair. The Sardaukar uniform consisted of a beret, which had the ranking of each soldier, a tunic, epaulettes, breeches, and boots.
History of the Sardaukar
The Sardaukar is the military order that came out of the Sardau tribe on Salusa Secundus. Formed by a Burseg, the Sardaukar evolved their natural savagery into military training. Initially serving as mercenaries, the Sardaukar got hired after the Butlerian Jihad by the House of Megara. However, this led the Sardaukar to travel out of Salusa Secundus. With the Sardaukar getting off their planet, they turn against the House of Megara, seizing their territory.
On realizing that the Sardaukar posed a threat to them, the Landsraad led an effort against the Sardaukar, resulting in the Battle of Corrin. Realizing he could lose the war, Burseg Sheuset Ecevit signed a treaty with the Landsraad becoming the first Padishah emperor.
Glossary Terms Associated with the Sardaukar
Here is a list of words associated with the Sardaukar:
- Ginaz swordmaster: A Ginaz swordmaster is a title awarded to warriors who had reached a certain skill level in the Ginaz school. Ginaz is a planet known for its sword mastery schools.
- Bashar: Bashar is a military rank of the Sardaukar synonymous with the colonel of Old Earth.
- Tunic: A Tunic is a black single-breasted stand-up collar with five fabric buttons. The color differentiated between commissioned and non-commissioned officers, with commissioned officers having a golden tunic.
- Epaulette: An Epaulette is a shoulder board with color that shows each Sardaukar soldier’s ranking. Black was for standard soldiers, gold for the emperor’s guards, and red for ordinary guards.
- Breeches: Breeches are peripherals tucked into the boots of the Sardaukar.
- Burseg: Burseg is a military rank comparable to commanding general or field marshal.
Are Sardaukar Harkonnen?
No, the Sardaukar is the military force owned by the House of Corrino. After Leto Atreides arrives on Arrakis, Baron Vladimir Harkonnen and the emperor plotted against him. Using the Sardaukar, the Baron invaded the House of Atreides, destroying it and killing Leto.
Are the Sardaukar evil?
The Sardaukar are the military force used by the emperor and Baron Harkonnen to destroy the House of Atreides. Trained under brutal conditions, the Sardaukar had only one purpose, to serve their master without questions.
Are the Sardaukar prisoners?
Not really. The Sardaukar are young boys from the House of Corrino fiefs. The boys were taken when young and trained brutally to become fierce soldiers who did anything for the emperor.
Are the Atreides soldiers better than the Sardaukar?
No, they are not. Because of the intensity of training each Sardaukar soldier undergoes, they got stronger than Atreides soldiers, trained fairly.