Dooku Was Proper (Principally)

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Count Dooku brandishes his red lightsaber and sneers.

Picture: Lucasfilm

The six-episode animated anthology Tales of the Jedi isn’t required Star Wars viewing, particularly when in comparison with its marvelous modern Andor. However for 3 of its episodes, it provides an vital if abridged reminder: The Jedi are horrible and Rely Dooku was proper to turn into disillusioned and depart the Order.

Now, ought to Dooku have turn into a Sith Lord? No, and Tales of the Jedi doesn’t do an amazing job of explaining how he went from ex-Jedi to a person who would homicide Yaddle, if considerably reluctantly, though an amazing many lies and guarantees from Palpatine have been presumably concerned. However the Star Wars franchise has repeatedly proven the numerous, many flaws of the Jedi system, and why characters like Dooku, Ahsoka, and several other of the Jedi who ended up turning into Sith Inquisitors would discover it irretrievably damaged.

The primary two of Dooku’s episodes in Tales, “Justice” and “Decisions,” are set earlier than his look as Darth Tyranus in Assault of the Clones, earlier than he left the Jedi to turn into the brand new Rely of his house planet of Seranno. Each episodes additionally characteristic corrupt Galactic senators who exploit and abuse their folks, however notably, Dooku was not despatched to assist these folks both time. Within the first, he’s despatched to rescue the Senator’s son who was kidnapped to protest their abuse, and within the second, he’s despatched to retrieve the physique of a murdered Jedi, however towards the Jedi Excessive Council’s instructions decides to analyze it and discovers but extra Senatorial corruption.

“We serve the folks of the Republic,” Dooku idealistically tells a kind of senators, however that’s clearly not true. As Mace Windu makes abundantly clear in “Decisions,” he feels they shouldn’t examine their fellow Jedi’s homicide or why it might need occurred, which not solely appears discompassionate however actively silly, given they’re ignoring issues which are getting their members killed.

Tales Of The Jedi | Official Trailer | Disney Plus

In fact, it’s hardly the one time the Jedi ignore issues proper underneath their noses. A lot has been manufactured from the Jedi’s utter lack of ability to detect the rise of the Sith proper underneath their proverbial noses within the prequels, permitting one to not solely take cost of the Republic, however remodel it right into a totalitarian Empire. And it’s not just like the Jedi didn’t have warnings that one thing was up—within the third Dooku episode in Tales, “The Sith Lord,” Qui-Gon Jinn tells his former Grasp about encountering a Sith Lord in the course of the occasions of The Phantom Menace. Yaddle says it’s not that the Jedi Excessive Council disbelieves Qui-Gon, but it surely doesn’t wish to elevate “undue alarm”—alarm that essentially the most patently evil power within the galaxy has reappeared. It’s not simply blindness, however willful ignorance, and it prices many, many individuals all through the galaxy their lives.

Even before the fall of the Republic, this happens multiple times in the novel Dooku: Lost Jedi. Jedi Lene Kostana warns the council of the sudden influx of Sith artifacts that seemed to be reemerging through the galaxy, to no avail. When Dooku’s friend and fellow Jedi Sifo-Dyas has a premonition of the destruction of the agricultural world of Protobranch, Yoda and Council forbid them from heading there to mitigate the destruction based solely on a vision; Dooku, Sifo-Dyas, and Kostana disobey the order but unfortunately arrive too late to help all of the planet’s inhabitants.

Dooku sums up the problem with the Jedi—as epitomized by the supposedly wisest among them, Yoda—perfectly in the novelization of The Clone Wars:

“The Jedi Order’s problem is Yoda. No being can wield that kind of power for centuries without becoming complacent at best or corrupt at worst. He has no idea that it’s overtaken him; he no longer sees all the little cumulative evils that the Republic tolerates and fosters, from slavery to endless wars, and he never asks, ‘Why are we not acting to stop this?’ Live alongside corruption for too long, and you no longer notice the stench.”

This quote is also a great example of a major problem with Star Wars: It knows the Jedi are terrible, but doesn’t have the courage to outright admit it. We’re shown time and time again how the Jedi have failed—Anakin, the Republic, Ben Solo, and so many others—but the only two people to seemingly realize the Jedi are a fundamentally broken institution are Luke Skywalker and Yoda in The Last Jedi, but even then the movie pulls back as the Force Ghost of Yoda destroys Jedi texts and Uneti tree on Ahch-To.

Luke: “So it is time for the Jedi Order to end.”

Yoda: “Time it is… for you to look past a pile of old books. … Pass on what you have learned. Strength. Mastery. But weakness, folly, failure also. Yes, failure most of all. The greatest teacher, failure is. Luke, we are what they grow beyond. That is the true burden of all masters.”

Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi (2022) – Doku is scared of Sith Lord – Scene (HD) | Disney+ Shorts

No one has failed harder than the Jedi order, from The Phantom Menace to Luke’s moment of fear and weakness when he nearly murdered his nephew, sending him careening down the path of the Dark Side. But neither Luke nor Yoda ever admits the Jedi were wrong to serve politicians over people, to ignore injustice like slavery, or to deny its followers the freedom to form attachments. How much of the horrors of the Empire could have been avoided if Anakin did not have to hide his marriage to Padmé? How much longer would the Empire have gone on if Luke’s attachment to his father—his continued belief there was good still in him—hadn’t brought him back to the Light?

It’s no wonder that some Jedi, like Dooku, became disillusioned with the Jedi and quit the order. But Star Wars has had a bad habit of having them fall to the Dark Side, as if finding fault with the Jedi automatically turned one evil. Dooku is the prime example, even considering his desire to do right despite the constrictions placed upon him in Tales of the Jedi and Jedi Lost. But many of the Sith Inquisitors that have been running around Disney’s Star Wars canon are also described as former Jedi who doubted their order, including the Grand Inquisitor, the Fifth Brother, the Sixth Brother, the Seventh Sister, the Eighth Brother, the Tenth Brother, and perhaps more. That’s a lot of people!

In fact, the only main character to realize the Jedi were terrible and not turn evil was Ahsoka after being falsely accused of bombing the Jedi Temple… but by The Book of Boba Fett, she’s palling around with Luke Skywalker as he begins to rebuild the Jedi, as if all they needed was new management.

But Count Dooku knew before just about anybody that the Jedi Order was fundamentally broken, and that he couldn’t effect change from within it. Did he over-correct and then end up murdering a lot of people? Yes, definitely. But that doesn’t mean he was wrong about Jedi.

Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s subsequent for the DC Universe on film and TV, and every part it is advisable to learn about James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water.

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