Star Wars: Tales Of The Jedi Makes Count Dooku One Of The Most Tragic Fallen Jedi

"Star Wars" has its fair share of Fallen Jedi, meaning those who fell to the dark side. The most famous one, of course, is Anakin Skywalker, whose fear of loss turned him to slaughtering children and leading a galaxy-wide genocide, but there's also Ben Solo, who cried his way into becoming a baddie and then killed his dad. In both cases, however, the Jedi in question was a good person who fully turned evil. Sure, Kylo Ren had his moments of doubt, but everything he did once he started following Snoke was in the service of evil and greed. We haven't really seen the power of the dark side to tempt even someone with relatively pure intentions, until now.

Enter Count Dooku (just Dooku, no last name. Probably the classiest, slickest villain in the "Star Wars" franchise, he is an aristocrat and a duelist, a Christopher Lee-type badass who leads the entire Separatist movement, all in order to advance Palpatine's plans of destroying both the Jedi and the Republic. Like Ben Solo, Dooku does have his moments of virtue and doubt, like when he tries to warn Obi-Wan about there being a Sith Lord in the Senate, but otherwise, his character is rather one note in the movies, a very short role that is just there to look cool, then be betrayed by his master right before Anakin beheads him.

That's no more. If "The Clone Wars" didn't already make it clear, then "Tales of the Jedi" affirms Count Dooku as one of the most tragic characters in "Star Wars," one who raises some rather good points about the Jedi and the Republic. Dooku's fall from grace is one caused by a genuine desire to bring something good to the galaxy, which ended in a tragically misguided and futile way.

A count AND a Jedi? In this economy?

We know from the movies that Qui-Gon Jinn was a bit of an oddball who didn't follow the rules and constantly clashed with the Jedi Council. "Tales of the Jedi" gives us the definitive Count Dooku origin story, starting with the time he was a Jedi Master to Qui-Gon Jinn. Their relationship isn't much different than the one Jinn had with Obi-Wan Kenobi, with the master being too rebellious and hotheaded and the apprentice being the calmer one (relatively).

Except in Dooku's case, it's not like he's a rulebreaker and a maverick like Anakin. Instead, when Dooku questions the Council, he does so for very valid reasons, as he sees the role of the Jedi as archaic, and the Senate and the Republic as corrupt. During a mission to rescue a senator's son, the two Jedi discover that the senator had been neglecting his people while he got richer and richer, prompting Dooku to side with the kidnappers during a fight, and almost force-choke the senator to death.

Of course, Dooku has a point, the Senate does suck, as do the Jedi. "The Clone Wars" made it increasingly clear that the Republic was already in decline long before Palpatine declared himself to be the Senate, with politicians easily corrupt and laws easily abused. And the Jedi? They were but an archaic organization of space cops that served politicians and their personal affairs. It is arguably George Lucas' greatest magic trick to turn the cool and mystic warrior monks from the original trilogy into a stupid and flawed organized religion that nearly destroyed the world and deserved to go down. After all, they kidnap children, they don't care for the mental health of their members, and they are very quick to turn on their own for political gain.

I'll give him this, Dooku has a great beard

An idealistic, rebellious Jedi who clearly saw the way the Jedi were being corrupted by the Senate, Count Dooku sought to restore the order to what it was supposed to be. We see his frustrations at having his complaints fall on deaf ears because he genuinely believed he was doing something good even as he betrayed everything he stood for when he joined Dark Sidious and fought poor Yaddle

By the time we first hear of Count Dooku in "Attack of the Clones," we get the sense that the other Jedi hold him in very high regard, which is kind of strange considering he always butted heads with the council, but perhaps that is just another bit of hypocrisy of the Jedi. "Tales of the Jedi" makes it clear Dooku was more complicated than just being Palpatine's replacement for Darth Maul, and that as the leader of the Separatist movement, Dooku was actually trying to make the galaxy a better place, just in the absolute worst ways.