Tales of the Jedi is a new animated Star Wars anthology series. It is a collection of shorts set during the prequel era during which the Jedi still hold a strong presence in the galaxy. The main protagonists of the series are Ahsoka Tano (featuring Ashley Eckstein’s return) and Count Dooku, whose backstories are explored in more depth throughout the new series. Each episode shows both Dooku and Ahsoka on their journeys and the decisions they make along the way to get them where they are in the future. Created by Dave Filoni, Tales of the Jedi has been subject to critical praise for creating the perfect storytelling model.
Despite the fact that the miniseries is just a number of shorts, we are provided with a great deal of new information never before provided in the Star Wars universe. While Ahsoka gets her time on screen, what makes the series even more remarkable is the presence of Dooku before he became Darth Tyrranus (via EW). Seeing Dooku in such an unusual setting among the good guys is new and interesting. Given all this new information, we can ask: does Tales of the Jedi change how we look at Count Dooku? The short answer is yes, and here’s why.
Count Dooku’s Life Before The Dark Side
While Count Dooku is present in two of the prequel films and The Clone Wars animated series, very little is known about the Star Wars Sith Lord, aside from the fact that he is a former Jedi Master and puppeteers the separatists to do the bidding of his master Lord Sidious. After making a few appearances in a few battles in the films, he meets his death at the hands of Anakin Skywalker, all while his Master goads Anakin on. Very little is known about Count Dooku’s life before leaving the Jedi Order and even less is known about his training, his relationship to his Padawan Qui-Gon Jinn, and what caused him to turn to the Dark Side. Tales of the Jedi brings more about Dooku to light, giving us more insight into his character and perhaps even changing how we feel about him altogether.
Dooku’s Moral Standing
The reality of Dooku’s morals was never made clear. In Tales of the Jedi, we get insight into his distaste for the corruption within the senate (something we’ve become familiar with through the eyes of other characters). Dooku also makes it clear that he despises what the Jedi have become and how they uphold the status quo rather than actually seek out justice and keep the peace like they are meant to. Rather than the dark and cynical Count Dooku we are accustomed to seeing, Tales of the Jedi shows a more idealistic Jedi, which is part of what leads to his fall to the dark side. Seeing this new side of him helps us to understand that Dooku was not always a Sith Lord who believed that, since there was no way to beat the darkness, you must become a part of it.
Reaction to Qui-Gon’s Death
While Qui-Gon met his tragic end in The Phantom Menace, we didn’t get a reaction from his former master in the film, and instead see Dooku’s reaction in Tales of the Jedi. At this point, Dooku is struggling with his dark feelings and feeling the betrayal from the Jedi Order. To see his young and hopeful apprentice die at the hands of a Sith under orders from Darth Sidious was a massive blow to Dooku. At this point, he must choose a side, and Qui-Gon’s death only adds fuel to the dark side’s flames. Yet another blow to Dooku’s idealism, Qui-Gon’s death was one of the final nails in the coffin that solidified Dooku’s choice to join the dark side.
His Fall to the Dark Side
For the first time in Star Wars history, the Tales of the Jedi gives us a look at what Dooku was like as a Jedi Knight and the events that lead up to him turning to the dark side and becoming a Sith Lord. Watching a Jedi’s fall from grace is difficult to watch, but it brings a great deal of satisfaction to the audience as the mystery finally unfolds and reveals that, like Anakin, Dooku’s descent wasn’t so black-and-white. It begins slowly as it did with Anakin, in fact, pushing the morality too far as his first moment of darkness shows Dooku force-choking a corrupt senator and the only thing that stopped him from killing said senator was Qui-Gon Jinn. After Mace Windu is appointed to the Council instead of Dooku, he feels betrayed, and this action only adds to his contempt for the Jedi Order. The final straw for Dooku was when he was forced to kill Master Yaddle by Lord Sidious. In all of this, we see Dooku is just another victim of Sidious, who preyed on his feelings disillusioned by the Jedi Order in order to lure him to the dark side.