Friday, July 17, 2015

Down for the Count

(Originally Written for Jedi News)

This article is dedicated to the memory of Christopher Lee, a true legend of our era.

"We salute you"

A while back I wrote about “How Qui-Gon Jinn Could HaveSaved the Galaxy”, which focused on how Qui-Gon’s survival was crucial for Anakin to not fall to the dark side as he did. However, Qui-Gon’s death was the catalyst for another fall to the dark, and another that his survival may have prevented.

I’m talking of course about his former master, Count Dooku.

"Such a happy man."

According to some background sources, it was Qui-Gon’s death that was the final straw for Dooku, the reason he left the Jedi order in the first place. Dooku was every bit the maverick as Qui-Gon, and disliked how he and his views were shunned by the Jedi Council. Out of disgust (and no small amount of arrogance) he became one more of the “Lost Twenty” and it’s safe to assume Palpatine dug his claws into him extremely shortly thereafter (in fact, he was likely prepping Dooku in reserve as he did with Anakin later.

Now, as I and others have pointed out before, each of the “dragons” of I-III represent one aspect of Darth Vader, foreshadowing Anakin’s fall. Darth Maul is the ruthless muscle and loyal dark side disciple, and General Grievous is the intimidating cyborg military leader. Dooku represents the fallen Jedi whose good intentions were warped by darkness.

"It may be difficult to secure your release..."

And I really do believe that Dooku’s intentions were noble, at least at the very beginning. He saw the corruption of the Republic and the stagnation of the Jedi, and wanted to change that. The trouble is, he took the quick and easy path – by figuring that the ends justify the means, the means led to his end at the hands of the man who would soon unwittingly follow in his footsteps. Treachery, as they say, is the way of the Sith.

But imagine a world where Qui-Gon had survived. Imagine Qui-Gon championing the Chosen One and allowing him to flourish in the way of the Living Force rather than having the rigid dogma of the Council shoved down his throat as was Obi-Wan’s way. I imagine, while Dooku may not have crossed paths with Obi-Wan, he would have taken a great interest in Qui-Gon’s prophesized pupil.

"I wish he were...still alive."

And perhaps, rather than bitter enemies and sad parallels, Dooku and Anakin may have had a friendlier relationship. Perhaps Dooku would even mentor the young lad. Can you picture it? The three mavericks together, facing down the evil of the galaxy? I can think of no finer team to bring down Sidious and his plans of Sith ascendancy.

Of course, this is all speculative. Qui-Gon was felled by Maul, leaving Anakin in Obi-Wan’s hands, and propelling Dooku into Sidious’. Who knows what would have happened if anyone during the Republic’s Fall had made any different choices? Dooku’s biggest flaw was his arrogance, so who’s to say he wouldn’t have made poor choices anyway? But I would like to see a world where not one, but two of our greatest villains became the heroes they could have been.

Say, Disney/Marvel, I know the I-III versions of the “Infinity” comics were cancelled before the Dark Horse lost the rights, but I’d be more than happy to write them for you! Then we could catch a glimpse of what may have been…

"Don't do it. He's only going to put that fool Binks in every panel."


  1. Even somewhat before the death of Christopher Lee, I was thinking a bit of parallels between Count Dooku and Anakin (for a while perhaps to the exclusion of remembering Darth Maul and General Grievous have their own resonances). One point was perhaps a bit of personal amusement on contemplating Dooku just might be what certain people had once thought Anakin would "have" to be, an older man (sure, he's a bit older than probably even their mental pictures had him) who turned to the Dark Side for uncertain reasons having something to do with "yearning for power for possibly idealistic purposes," just as you said yourself. The second is that Dooku "left the Jedi Order" where Anakin tried to have things both ways, although leaving for possible reasons of "political idealism" might have seemed more acceptable than "leaving to get married." The third is to wonder if Yoda's and ultimately Obi-Wan's views of Darth Vader as having consumed Anakin just might not entirely be a matter of "stern realism," but of Yoda's sense of betrayal at his own old apprentice having taken the wrong path...

    1. The matter of Dooku's defection possibly influencing Yoda's perception of Anakin's raises another question: who is genuinely more invested in the Sith Order and ideology, Tyrannus or Vader?

      Is Tyrannus more of a "true" Sith because of his complete and utter lack of love and affection for others? Is Vader closer to the Sith ideal because of his violent passion?