Christopher Lee’s passing was announced earlier today. It’s always sad when someone dies, especially someone who brought so much happiness and entertainment to people around the world, but Christopher Lee died at the age of 93, having lived a very full life. After serving in World War II, Lee became an actor, with over 200 appearances on screen. He’s played a Bond villain, Dracula, Frankenstein’s monster, Saruman, and, of course, Star Wars’s own Count Dooku. Towards the end of his life, he began to dabble in playing heavy metal music. Certainly, the man knew how to live.
I can think of no more fitting tribute to Lee than to watch some of his films (and, to be honest, you’re probably better off watching his work in The Lord of the Rings or in classics like The Wicker Man than Attack of the Clones or Revenge of the Sith). That said, if you want your tribute to Lee to have a more Star Wars angle, or just want to learn more about his character, these works here should do you well.
If you couldn’t tell by the title or cover, Count Dooku is not the star of Darth Plagueis. The novel follows Darth Plagueis and his apprentice, Palpatine, as they rise to power in the time leading up the The Phantom Menace. That said, there are several scenes featuring Palpatine and Dooku’s early meetings, which are very interesting despite their brevity. It’s a great book, filled with a great deal of previously unknown information about Palpatine’s youth and rise to power, but it is also a very dense read which could be difficult to get through for the casual fan. If you’re looking for something a little lighter, allow me to suggest…
Jango Fett: Open Seasons
Another story in which Dooku is not the main character. Open Seasons was a limited series created by Dark Horse to provide a backstory for Jango Fett. However, one of the issues features one of the great formative events in Dooku’s history, the Battle of Galidraan. The battle, fought between Jango Fett’s Mandalorians and the Jedi, was a quagmire, with heavy casualties on each side and ultimately revealed to be held under false pretenses. The debacle shakes Dooku’s faith in the Jedi, and ultimately causes him to leave the Order. It’s a pretty quick read, if you feel like tracking down a copy. (That’s not actually the cover of the collection, but of the specific issue that features the Battle of Galidraan, so you’re aware)
Yoda: Dark Rendezvous
You should be noticing a pattern by this point: Dooku has never really been allowed to carry his own novel or series, which is really a bit of a shame: he’s a fascinating character, and having an actor of Christopher Lee’s gravitas portraying him in the movie should give readers a pretty strong hook to latch on to. Disney has been focusing on creating content set in the time frame of the original trilogy, in anticipation for Episode VII, but I’d absolutely adore it if they went back and devoted a novel or comic miniseries to Dooku as they’ve done for Vader.
Anyway, about Dark Rendezvous. To be totally on the level, this is the one item on the list thus far that I haven’t actually read. That being said, the titular rendezvous is a meeting between Yoda and Dooku, one where they both try to convert the other to their side of the Force. I’ve heard wonderful things about the interplay between the two of them here, and hey! If nothing else, at least Dooku made it on to the cover.
Clone Wars Volume 4: Light and Dark
So this collection actually includes an issue called Jedi: Count Dooku. Pretty sweet, huh?! Unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, that issue is the only in in the collection that puts any sort of heavy focus on Dooku, and even then he’s about of equal importance in it as Quinlan Vos, who I’ve mentioned in one of my artist spotlights. It’s still a good issue, and it has a few great character beats for Dooku, but it would have been nice to keep a little stronger focus on him. Alas. You should still check it out if you’re interested in learning about Dooku, but be forewarned.
– Since Lee actually provides the voice of Dooku in it (as opposed to Corey Burton in the series), I almost included the film Star Wars: The Clone Wars. That being said, the movie is really not very good at all, so it’s fairly skippable (the show, however, gets very good as it finds its footing later in its run).
– Sideshow Collectibles has a line of “Mythos” 1:5 scale statues that depict characters from the films in situations from outside of them (Obi-Wan as a desert nomad, Vader returning to Mustafar for a cathartic release). Count Dooku is one of my most wanted characters for the next wave in this line. I think there’s a lot of untapped potential for his character there.
– Gentle Giant actually did a pretty nifty statue of Count Dooku with Asajj Ventress based off of a “Star Wars Insider” cover. There aren’t a huge number of Dooku collectibles out there, and this is definitely one of the most unique.