Count Dooku (Darth Tyranus)
Count Dooku of Serenno (102 BBY–19 BBY) was a Jedi Master who fell to the dark side and became Darth Tyranus, the apprentice of Darth Sidious. Under Sidious' orders he formed the Confederacy of Independent Systems and was the political leader of the Separatist movement.
Dooku was once an esteemed Jedi who, like all Jedi of his time, trained under Yoda as a youngling until he became a Padawan under Thame Cerulian at the age of thirteen. Cerulian molded Dooku into a powerful Jedi, tapping into the vast potential he sensed in his learner.
As a Master, Dooku later became the mentor to many Padawans, including Qui-Gon Jinn and Komari Vosa.
During his time as an instructor within the temple, his teachings on methods for conquering arrogance were particularly well received. He was fond of telling his students,
"The acceptance of others is not a guarantee. Like everyone else, a Jedi is accepted or not based on his behavior. The Jedi who believes that he is more important than others only demonstrates that his opinion is to be ignored."
Dooku's colleagues on the Jedi Council strongly disagreed with these beliefs, which was probably one reason Dooku, nor any of his students, were ever invited to join the august body.
In his later years Dooku came to believe that the true identity of the Chosen One was not the young Anakin Skywalker, but rather a seasoned philosopher of sharp insight, solid character and the clarity to see the path to galactic enlightenment; who possessed the titanic willpower to walk it; and, most importantly, the charisma and leadership to carry others along with him.
Ironically, Dooku fit that personality exactly—at least in his own mind.
Dooku was a political idealist, and was skilled at resolving disputes throughout the galaxy, such as the Sevarcos Dispute of 52 BBY. He had always held strong opinions on what he saw as the ongoing decline in the Republic, and so it was not unexpected when he chose to leave the Order of his own accord.
Dooku departed around the time of the Battle of Naboo, under the belief that the Jedi Order had become a blind pawn to the corrupt Senate, and retook his family title as Count of Serenno. The disastrous Battle of Galidraan had already soured him towards continued service to the Republic and the death of his favorite Padawan, Qui-Gon Jinn, proved to be the final straw.
Dooku had been a Jedi for many years, and his bronzium bust was displayed in the Jedi Archives, along with the rest of the Lost Twenty, the only Jedi Masters ever to voluntarily resign their commission from the Jedi Order.
He left the public eye in 32 BBY and disappeared, not resurfacing until eight years later. By that time, Dooku was no longer the Jedi Master that he once was, but a fully-fledged Dark Lord of the Sith.
It is unknown when or how Dooku met Darth Sidious. After the death of Darth Maul, a Sith Lord who was under training for many years, Sidious had no time to mold another potential Sith into a perfect warrior, as the Battle of Naboo sparked the start of his climb through the Republic. Requring another apprentice, he chose the maverick Jedi Master. Dooku fell to the dark side of the Force and became Sidious’ Sith apprentice Darth Tyranus. His murder of his friend Sifo-Dyas sealed his transition.
As Darth Tyranus, Dooku's first mission was to recruit a template for the Grand Army of the Republic's clone troopers to be used by Supreme Chancellor Palpatine and the Republic. He placed an extremely large bounty of 5,000,000 credits on Bando Gora leader Komari Vosa, and pitted the galaxy's most fearsome bounty hunters against each other. In the end the ex-Mandalorians Montross and Jango Fett faced each other on Kohlma. Fett triumphed over his rival, killing Vosa and claiming the reward. He agreed to be cloned on the condition he received the first unit "unaltered".
With his plans in motion, the Machiavellian Count Dooku reappeared on Raxus Prime in 24 BBY, heavily criticizing the Republic and the Jedi Order for their decadence, hypocrisy and corruption. Dooku, a political mastermind, publicly called for entire systems to secede from the Republic and join the Separatist movement, culminating in the formation of the Confederacy of Independent Systems.
Leader of the Confederacy
The first meeting of the CIS was hosted on the planet Geonosis, where Obi-Wan Kenobi was captured by the Geonosians and accused of espionage. Dooku cleverly claimed that he had no power over the decision and that, unless Kenobi joined him, it would be "difficult to secure your release".
Later, when Anakin Skywalker and Padmé Amidala arrived to rescue Obi-Wan, they were also captured and sentenced to death. They were to be executed in a Geonosian fashion, but the executions were interrupted by the sudden arrival of Jedi reinforcements, led by Mace Windu.
Dooku, however, had been expecting this and revealed that the captured Jedi were simply bait as hundreds of thousands of battle droids awaited Windu's task force.
Though the new droid army of the CIS overwhelmed the Jedi, Yoda soon rescued them, leading the very Clone Army Dooku had helped create, forcing the Separatists to withdraw their forces.
While the clone troopers advanced and decimated the droid forces, the Separatists called for a full retreat, all the while Dooku pretended not to know how the Republic had gathered such a powerful army in such a short time. Poggle the Lesser, Archduke of Geonosis, commanded a full retreat and proceeded to turn over the plans to a Death Star weapon to Count Dooku to keep the Jedi from finding them.
Count Dooku fled to his secret hangar, but he was followed by Obi-Wan and Anakin. After injuring Obi-Wan, he dueled with his young apprentice, who proved to be a challenge to the aging Jedi Master, but the battle ended when Dooku severed Anakin's weapon arm. Before he could escape, one last Jedi, his old teacher, Yoda, confronted him. After a battle of Force powers, Dooku insisted on settling their contest with a lightsaber duel.
A powerful and incredible duel followed. Yoda, using his mastery of the Force and Form IV, showed amazing agility as he jumped all around the room, though Dooku skillfully defended himself. Realizing that he could not prolong the duel, Dooku used the Force to drop a crane on the wounded Obi-Wan and Anakin to distract Yoda long enough to make his escape. Count Dooku soon arrived on Coruscant where he met with his master, Darth Sidious, and informed him that the Republic and the Confederacy of Independent Systems were officially at war.
Because of the "One Master, One Apprentice" rule that Darth Bane made years ago, Tyranus was not allowed to have his own apprentice, however, Dooku acquired a cadre of Dark Side Adepts, Asajj Ventress, Sev'rance Tann, Sora Bulq, Quinlan Vos, Tol Skorr, Kadrian Sey and others. He honed their skills but did not teach them any of the Sith secrets.
Two things disrupted his plans. First was the fact that Kenobi's and Skywalker's saber skills had improved dramatically since they last met, although they initially did not let on to this and allowed Dooku to believe them to be swordsmen of a significantly lesser caliber. As the duel wore on, however, Dooku soon realized that he was being tricked. He was barely able to render Kenobi unconscious before being disarmed (literally, by having both arms severed) by the newly invigorated Skywalker, who went into a fury after seeing his master injured. When Dooku said
"I sense great fear in you, Skywalker. You have hate, you have anger, but you don't use them,"
"Treachery is the way of the Sith."
Dooku was an accomplished philosopher, orator, warrior, and Force-adept, regarded as one of the greatest Jedi in the order for his strength of character as much as his strength in the Force.
With his deep voice and veneer of elegant charisma, this political idealist and wealthy Count of Serenno displayed elegance, class, and intelligence.
There were other aspects to his personality, however, that were less laudable. Dooku was was arrogant and supercilious, looking down upon humans of common birth and all aliens as inferior. He believed that the Jedi should rule the galaxy alone - without the interference of the Senate. While still a Jedi, Dooku kept these ideas secret, and most of his fellow Jedi saw him as nothing but a well-meaning and opinionated idealist.
By the time of the Clone Wars, Dooku had been a practitioner of the Force for nearly eight decades, and Dooku and his student Qui-Gon Jinn would have surely sat on the Jedi Council if it were not for their maverick views.
In addition, Dooku was a master swordsman, specializing in the seldom-used Form II art (see lightsaber combat), which makes use of his special curved saber hilt. Form II was known for its efficiency in lightsaber vs. lightsaber combat. Dooku chose the style for its elegance and his belief in gallantry, and considered the other forms to be lacking at best (he seemed to posses a particular distaste for Ataru). This fighting style probably made him able to defeat the skilled Obi-Wan Kenobi and his apprentice, the Chosen One.
Behind the scenes