This recap of Tales of the Jedi season 1, episode 4, “The Sith Lord,” contains spoilers.
“The Sith Lord”, singular, is really about the Sith Lords, multiple – at least two, but it’s really the crucial turning point of a third, because that’s where Count Dooku, in his courteous way, becomes Darth Tyranus, much to Palpatine’s cackling of pleasure.
Jedi Tales episode 2 and episode 3 concerned both Dooku’s growing realization that the Republic was plagued by corruption and that it was allowed to fester through inaction; the Jedi were unwilling to stray from their supposed ideals to intervene, and the masters among them bowed down to power for what essentially amounts to career advancement. This is where Dooku’s lack of faith in the system crystallizes into outright radicalism, as we see how his underground team with Palpatine ultimately the conduit to the dark side.
Tales of the Jedi season 1, episode 4 recap
“The Sith Lord” opens with Dooku sneaking into the Hall of Records and using the identity of Sifo Dyas to delete all records relating to Kamino, where, as we all know, the clone army of the Empire is secretly developed. Through a conversation Dooku has with Yaddle (Bryce Dallas Howard), we learn that this takes place during the events of The Phantom Menace, as Dooku’s former apprentice, Qui-Gon Jinn, reported an encounter with a Sith Lord that, predictably, the Jedi Council is reluctant to act on or even believe. This is after Qui-Gon’s first encounter with Darth Maul on Tatooine.
When we get a little ahead, we catch up with Yaddle and a dark Dooku again, this time with Qui-Gon’s death – largely thanks to the Council refuting his claims – weighing heavily on Dooku’s conscience.
Part of the reason Dooku feels so guilty about Qui-Gon is that he secretly conspired with a remorseless Palpatine, whom Yaddle overhears him meeting. When Yaddle confronts the two of them, Dooku literally has a choice between the two, between light and dark. He can either help Yaddle take Palpatine down and answer for the crimes he’s already committed, or side with Palpatine and cement his transition to the dark side. He chooses the latter.
This turns into a lightsaber duel reminiscent of attack of the clones between Dooku and Yoda, admittedly less competitive. Dooku crushes Yaddle under a hanging door, but she is eventually able to free herself, severely weakened from the ordeal. It’s somewhat unlikely considering the door literally closed, but whatever – it gives Dooku a much more meaningful moment finishing him off and completing his fall from grace. (I also like how Palpatine sticks around to watch the fight, continuing a long legacy of wanting to be there for the mayhem he creates. A nice touch.)
And with all of that, Dooku becomes Darth Tyranus, the villain we all know and remember. From what I understand, this deviates somewhat from the description of how Dooku leaves the Jedi Order in Cavan Scott’s audiobook Dooku: Lost Jedi, but it’s a fitting climax to its trio of episodes nonetheless.
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