Did Dooku Know About Palpatine’s Betrayal, and Why He Didn’t Expose Him?

Count Dooku

There is no doubt that fans of the Star Wars world know that Count Dooku was one of the most important pieces of the prequel trilogy due to the fact that he was the leader of the Separatists and was the man that launched an entire war on the Galactic Republic. The former Jedi had become the apprentice of Darth Sidious and was doing things according to his master’s plan. Of course, we saw in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith that Palpatine, who was secretly Sidious, told Anakin to kill Dooku. But did Dooku know that Palpatine was going to betray him?

Dooku most likely didn’t know that Palpatine was going to betray him. He was aware that Palpatine wanted Anakin as his new apprentice but what he didn’t know was that his master was going to kill him to make that happen. That was the reason why he was so shocked before his death.

The look on Count Dooku’s face when Palpatine told Anakin to kill him says it all, as he was simply shocked about the fact that his master wanted him dead. This means that he wasn’t aware of Palpatine’s true plans of grooming Anakin to become his new apprentice. Dooku was merely one of the pawns in Darth Sidious’ game the entire time. Now, let’s talk more about this topic.

Did Dooku Know About Palpatine’s Betrayal?

Back in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, the newest enemy Sith Lord that we met was Count Dooku, who was introduced as the leader behind the Separatists and was the man that wanted to launch a war on the entire Galactic Republic. Of course, we also found out that he used to be one of the members of the Jedi Order and was an accomplished Jedi Master during his time.

But we also found out in Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi that Dooku was an idealist that ended up getting disillusioned by both the nature of the Republic and the Jedi Order. That was the reason why he ended up leaving the Jedi and joining up with Darth Sidious to become the Sith Lord’s newest apprentice. And this happened right after Obi-Wan Kenobi defeated Darth Maul during the events of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.

Ever since joining up with Sidious, who was actually Chancellor Palpatine the entire time, Dooku worked as the leader of the Separatists and decided to divide the entire galaxy by recruiting other systems that were disillusioned by the Republic. That was how the Clone Wars started, as he was also the person that contracted the Kaminoans to create a clone army for the Republic. In short, he was privy to Palpatine’s plans of using the Clone Wars to rise in power.

But the problem was that Dooku was not privy to all of his master’s plans. General Grievous kidnapped Palpatine during the events of the Clone Wars, and that was what forced Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker to rescue the chancellor during the opening scenes of Star Wars Episode III. And after Anakin defeated Dooku in a duel, Palpatine decided to tell the young Jedi to kill the count because he was too dangerous.

In that regard, Anakin summarily executed Count Dooku and ended up becoming closer to Palpatine. The rest is history because we all know that Anakin became Sidious’ newest apprentice. But did Dooku really know about Palpatine’s inevitable betrayal?

We all know that the Sith have something called the Rule of Two, which necessitates that there should only be two Sith Lords at any given time. This was due to the many different battles that the Sith waged among themselves, as all Sith Lords craved absolute power. To minimize infighting among the Sith, there should only be two: a master and an apprentice.


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Dooku, of course, was Sidious’ apprentice during the entire time. Ever since the Rule of Two was instituted, it became customary for the apprentice to eventually betray the master and take on a new apprentice, who would eventually betray their master. The cycle went on and on until Sidious’ time.

During the events of Clone Wars, we saw that Dooku had plans of betraying Sidious because he was training Asajj Ventress as the apprentice that would soon become a Sith Lord. In that regard, Dooku had plans of killing and betraying his master, only for Palpatine to learn about this fact. But while Dooku wanted to betray his master, what he didn’t know was that Palpatine was going to betray him.

According to the novelization of Revenge of the Sith, Dooku knew that Palpatine wanted to pull Anakin over to the dark side to become his newest apprentice. However, the plan was for Dooku to kill Obi-Wan because he was the only person keeping Anakin away from the dark side. Meanwhile, Anakin was supposed to defeat Dooku and bring him in as a prisoner, only for Palpatine to allow him to live out the rest of his days in exile once he already became the emperor.

Of course, things didn’t go the way that Dooku thought they would. That’s because the chancellor ordered Anakin to kill Dooku because he was too dangerous. The count thought that his defeat would be inevitable, and that was the reason why he was goading Anakin into using his anger and hatred for strength. As such, he thought that Anakin was eventually going to defeat him and take him in as a prisoner of the Republic.

Nevertheless, Darth Sidious had other plans because he no longer had any use for Dooku. He had him killed because he was essentially a useless pawn that had already outlived his purpose. Sidious was never going to allow him to live out the rest of his life because he knew that his former apprentice was privy to the scheming that led to the fall of the Jedi Order and the rise of the Galactic Empire.

Did Dooku Know Palpatine Was Sidious?

Of course, one of the most interesting things that the viewers discovered in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith was the fact that Darth Sidious and Chancellor Palpatine were one and the same person. We also know that the entire Clone Wars was between the Republic led by Palpatine and the Separatists led by Dooku. So, did Dooku know that Palpatine was Sidious?

Count Dooku was always aware that Chancellor Palpatine was Darth Sidious. This was something that was made clear in Episode II when Dooku tried to recruit Obi-Wan Kenobi to join him. In that movie, Dooku told Kenobi that the one that was controlling the Senate was actually the Sith, and that was not something that Obi-Wan was willing to believe due to the fact that he knows that a Sith Lord like Dooku thrives on deceiving other people.

The fact that Count Dooku said that the one in control of the Senate was a Sith Lord is proof that he was always aware that Palpatine and Sidious were the same people. This explains why Dooku was always quite confident about the result of the Clone Wars, as he understood Palpatine’s grand plan and what was to come to both the Separatists and the Jedi Order at the end of the war.

dooku and sidious

But the one thing that made all things clear was the scene involving Palpatine, Anakin, and Dooku after the young Jedi Knight disarmed the older Sith Lord in their duel in the Battle of Coruscant. When Palpatine ordered Anakin to kill Dooku instead of sparing him (as that was the original plan), Dooku gave the chancellor a look of disbelief as he knew that he was his master and that they had already planned for him to be spared and then pardoned for his crimes against the Republic.

As such, Dooku always knew that Palpatine was Sidious. This was also probably one of the reasons why he ended up joining Sidious as a Sith Lord. After all, Count Dooku had become disillusioned by the Jedi Order and wanted things to change not only in the Republic but in the Jedi as well. And when he found out that the most powerful man in the Republic was actually a Sith Lord, that was when he knew that joining Sidious was the best way for him to enact change in the Republic as he understood that Sidious had the power and vision to see things through. 

Why Didn’t Dooku Expose Palpatine?

Of course, at the very moment that Palpatine ordered Anakin to kill Dooku for “being too dangerous,” the count could have actually exposed Palpatine for who he truly was. He could have told Anakin that the chancellor was Darth Sidious the entire time. So, why didn’t Dooku expose Palpatine?

shocked dooku.jpg

The first reason could be the fact that he was too shocked about the fact that his master wanted him dead. Count Dooku’s face told the entire story because he was clearly shocked about the fact that Palpatine wanted Anakin to kill him. In the original plan, according to the novelization, he would have been spared by Anakin and pardoned by the chancellor. But the fact that Sidious clearly wanted him dead was a surprise to him.

As such, Dooku was left speechless about the betrayal of his master because he never thought that Palpatine would simply discard him that easily after all of the things that they worked on to bring about the fall of the Jedi Order and the birth of the Empire.


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The second reason could be related to the fact that it was always going to be his word against the chancellors. At that moment, Anakin was the only person that could hear Dooku’s side because Obi-Wan had already been knocked unconscious in their battle. In a sense, there was no assurance that Anakin would take Dooku’s word that the chancellor was the Sith Lord they had been looking for the entire time. After all, Anakin would have probably been more inclined to believe Palpatine, who he knew as an ally and a friend, than Dooku, who he always knew as an enemy.

In a way, even if Dooku exposed Palpatine at that very moment, there was no guarantee that the only other person in the room would believe him. It would have probably only given Anakin more reasons to kill him. Dooku was basically in a lose-lose situation the moment he joined up with Sidious because he was eventually going to get killed one way or another.

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