Count Dooku was noticeably absent from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, but the Sith Lord was very busy working in the shadows. Count Dooku’s last days as a Jedi will be highlighted in Tales of the Jedi. But what is known of his deeds during Episode I indicates that Darth Sidious might not have been faithful to the old Sith rule, as the former Jedi Master was recruited by the emperor while Darth Maul was still his apprentice.
After aligning with the future emperor, Dooku spent much of his time laying the groundwork for the Clone Wars. Dooku used his status as a Count to become the leader of the separatists who opposed the Republic. Under his new alias Darth Tyranus, he approached famed bounty hunter Jango Fett to be the template for the clone army. He manipulated his relationship with Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas, who commissioned the creation of the clone army, by rewiring the chips in the clones leading to the infamous Order 66. All of this explains that, while he wasn’t an active onscreen presence in The Phantom Menace, Count Dooku was certainly busy behind the scenes.
Why Did Count Dooku Join The Dark Side
Count Dooku had become disillusioned with the Jedi’s allegiance to the Republic and amicably left the Order to take his ancestral seat as the Count of Serenno. Even after the pleas of his master, Yoda, the Count was steadfast in his decision to leave the Order. Dooku still frequented the Jedi Temple on Coruscant, where Senator Palpatine eventually approached him. His dissatisfaction with the treatment of his pupil, Qui-Gon Jinn, by the council and the corruption of another Padawan left Dooku vulnerable to the Dark Side of the Force. The corrupt Senator saw a conflicted man with vast family wealth and mastery in the ways of the Force, and knew he’d become a valuable ally, explaining why he was so determined to recruit him.
Was Count Dooku Already A Sith During The Phantom Menace?
Count Dooku had been in contact with Palpatine since 41 BBY, which is 12 years before the events of The Phantom Menace. While Dooku was now aligned with the dark side of the Force, he was not yet considered a Sith. The Sith uphold the Rule of Two, which states that at any given time, there can only be a master and an apprentice. Since Darth Maul was the current Sith apprentice, Dooku could not have been Sith at the time. However, Darth Sidious was always meticulous and often scouted other potential apprentices in case his current one was killed. After Maul’s alleged death, Sidious appointed Dooku as his apprentice and renamed him Darth Tyranus.
While Count Dooku doesn’t take center stage in The Phantom Menace, he is one of the more important figures of the time. He is unique among the Sith, as he is one of the few who was a Jedi master at his defection, giving the Sith a powerful established member of the order, as opposed to Maul who was essentially raised as a Sith. Dooku’s noble status also gave him access to influence and wealth making him a formidable foe both politically and on the battlefield.