Introduced in Lucas’ Episode II, Count Dooku was and still is one of the most interesting villains in the Star Wars franchise. A former Jedi-turned-Sith, Dooku was one of the key figure(head)s in Palpatine’s ascend to unlimited power. But what is the exact nature of their relationship? This article is going to examine that question.
Count Dooku was Darth Sidious’ apprentice and was, therefore, working for him throughout the series. He was, though, tricked by Sidious and was replaced as soon as the future Emperor found a more potent apprentice in Anakin Skywalker.
When George Lucas launched the franchise in 1977, with the movie Star Wars (later titled Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope for continuity reasons), no one expected that it would become one of the biggest stories of the modern area. Star Wars wasn’t initially that successful, but as the years passed, the franchise became a cult classic, attracting generations of fans and now encompassing nine main continuity movies, video games, several TV shows, comic books and a variety of merchandise that made George Lucas famous. The franchise is today owned by Disney, but wherever it might go after the conclusion of the Skywalker Saga, Star Wars will undoubtedly remain one of the pivotal parts of modern culture.
Now, let us see the answer to the main question.
Who is Count Dooku?
Count Dooku of Serenno is a character from the Star Wars franchise. He was first introduced in Episode II – Attack of the Clones, where he was portrayed by Christopher Lee. He subsequently made appearances in Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, but also in the Clone Wars film and television series, as well as material from the extended universe.
Dooku was initially a powerful Jedi. He was the apprentice of Master Yoda and the later Master of Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan’s teacher. In time, though, he became disillusioned with the Republic, the Jedi and their philosophy and started exploring the Dark Side of the Force. Dooku considered the Jedi to be narrow-minded, believing that the only was to fully comprehend the Force was to accept both of its sides. He explained his views in one of the novels from the Legends universe:
How could Yoda be expected to see the whole picture with one eye closed? Deliberately Closed. The Jedi accepted as a matter of faith that embracing the Dark Side meant cutting themselves off from the light, when in fact the Dark Side opened the full range of the Force. There was after all only the Force. It was unfortunate for the Jedi that they believed was theirs alone to use and honor. That sense of entitlement was evident in the way Kenobi and Skywalker used the Force to confront him: opening doors with waves of their hands, clearing obstacles from their path with similar gestures… While at the same time oblivious.“– James Luceno, Labyrinth of Evil (2005), p. 256
Dooku soon became associated with Darth Sidious, the then-senator and future chancellor Palpatine. He became his second apprentice (after Obi-Wan killed Darth Maul), taking on the name Lord Tyrannus. He was pivotal in Palpatine’s plan to conquer the galaxy. He orchestrated the Clone Wars, fought in them on the side of the Sith and was the figurehead leader of the Separatist Alliance, a group of rebels wanting to be independent of the Republic.
Although he had put all of his fate in Palpatine, he was eventually betrayed by him and killed by Anakin Skywalker in front of his Master’s eyes.
Who is Darth Sidious?
Darth Sidious is the ultimate antagonist of the whole franchise and the most powerful Sith Lord seen in the movies. He was first introduced to the franchise as the Emperor, with the subsequent trilogies exploring his history and his ultimate downfall. He was portrayed – for the majority of his appearances – by Ian McDiarmid.
He started his career as a Senator from Naboo, successfully hiding his true identity. He was a beloved and very successful senator, using his Force skills to skillfully manipulate the political elite in the Senate. At the same time, he simultaneously trained Darth Maul and later Darth Tyranus, while plotting to manipulate Anakin and bring him to the Dark Side.
He ultimately becomes the Galactic Chancellor, gaining even more power, but was exposed when Anakin told his secret (he had admitted to Anakin that he was Darth Sidious) and almost killed. He survived thanks to Anakin’s betrayal but was horribly scarred. He then declared the Jedi to be traitors and watched most of them get killed by the clones during the execution of Order 66. He survived an encounter with Master Yoda and then continued to build the Galactic Empire alongside Darth Vader.
He was supposedly killed in Episode VI – Return of the Jedi by Darth Vader, but it turned out to be alive, opting for immortality and the complete control over the Galaxy, manipulating Kylo Ren through Snoke. He was eventually killed by Rey with the aid of all the other Jedi.
What is the exact nature of their relationship?
After betraying the Jedi and studying the Dark Side, Dooku became Darth Sidious’ second apprentice, after Darth Maul died. He was a loyal apprentice to the main Sith Lord and carried out his wishes without further thought. He organised the creation of the clone army and was the leader of the droids during the Clone Wars. He also fought the Jedi on several occasions and was an associate of General Grievous.
In order to further his plans, Palpatine told Dooku to organise a group of rebellious planets who wanted to be independent of the Republic. Thus, the Separatist Alliance was created with Dooku as its head, although he was just a figurehead. Palpatine never cared for the Separatists and was using Dooku to control them for his own goals. Dooku hated his alien “allies” and wanted them dead, but had to act as their leader to serve his Master’s purpose. Here is an abstract from the official novelization of Episode III, giving more insight into the whole relationship and Dooku’s perspective on it:
“Again, Dooku sighed. Today he felt every hour of his eighty-three years. ‘It is … fatiguing, to play the villain for so long, Master. I find myself looking forward to an honorable captivity.’
A captivity that would allow him to sit out the rest of the war in comfort; a captivity that would allow him to forswear his former allegiances-when he would conveniently appear to finally discover the true extent of the Separatists’ crimes against civilization-and bind himself to the new government with his reputation for integrity and idealism fully intact. The new government … This had been their star of destiny for lo, these many years. A government clean, pure, direct: none of the messy scramble for the favor of ignorant rabble and subhuman creatures that made up the Republic he so despised. The government he would serve would be Authority personified. Human authority. It was no accident that the primary powers of the Confederacy of Independent Systems were Neimoidian, Skakoan, Quarren and Aqualish, Muun and Gossam, Sy Myrthian and Koorivar and Geonosian. At war’s end the aliens would be crushed, stripped of all they possessed, and their systems and their wealth would be given into the hands of the only beings who could be trusted with them. Human beings. Dooku would serve an Empire of Man. And he would serve it as only he could. As he was born to. He would smash the Jedi Order to create it anew: not shackled by the corrupt, narcissistic, shabby little beings who called themselves politicians, but free to bring true authority and true peace to a galaxy that so badly needed both. An Order that would not negotiate. Would not mediate. An Order that would enforce. The survivors of the Jedi Order would become the Sith Army. The Fist of the Empire.”– Matthew Stover, Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005)
Dooku fully trusted Palpatine. He believed that they would rule the Galaxy together and that Palpatine would effectively end the Rule of Two (allowing for only one Sith Lord and his apprentice at a time), allowing for the creation of a full Sith Army, which would rule over the Empire.
Sadly, this trust was misplaced. Palpatine never truly cared for Dooku and used him only as a tool to achieve his goals. His ultimate goal was never to rule with Dooku, nor was it to abolish the Rule of Two. He needed Dooku to reach Anakin and nothing more. This is why Palpatine effectively sacrificed Dooku when Anakin overpowered him, ordering the unstable Anakin to decapitate Dooku, which he did.
This was a very sad ending for Dooku, who – despite being a villain – died only because he fully trusted an even bigger villain than himself. Dooku knew Palpatine’s secret identity and was truly shocked when the chancellor ordered Anakin to kill him. This is quite probably the reason he did not give up his Master – he could not think properly due to the shock. Well, be that as it may, Count Dooku died at the hands of Anakin Skywalker, who would soon replace him as Palpatine’s apprentice.
This covers everything you need to know about the topic. As you can see, Count Dooku really did work for Darth Sidious, having faith in him and his manipulations. He was ultimately betrayed by his own Master, who never actually cared about him or his wishes and was just using him to achieve his ultimate goal – unlimited power.
And that’s it for today. We hope you had fun reading this and that we helped solve this dilemma for you. See you next time and don’t forget to follow us!