There’s an argument to be made that Star Wars works better in animation than it does in live action. Shows like Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels, The Bad Batch — and now Tales of the Jedi — are all very solid additions to the Star Wars mythology, and Count Dooku’s (Corey Burton) episodes in Tales are especially well done. Dooku is, largely, a character that has flown under the radar. He had a prominent role in the Prequel series and Clone Wars, but hasn’t yet been fully developed into his own character the way he deserves. The Tales of the Jedi episodes featuring him rectify that.
The three episodes showcase Dooku’s journey from Jedi Master to servant of the Dark Side. In many ways, his journey was more subtle than that of Anakin Skywalker. It took years of working in the field for Dooku to realize that the Jedi Order has been allowing too much harm to occur across the galaxy. This happens across the three middle episodes of the series as he works with his apprentice, Qui-Gon Jinn (Micheál Richardson) and operates alongside Mace Windu (TC Carson). In the third episode, Dooku reports to Sheev Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid), is outed by Yaddle (Bryce Dallas Howard) — which also answers the question as to what happened to her because she never appears after the first Star Wars prequel — and formally devotes himself to the Sith.
The interesting thing about the Dark Side of the Force is that there is no one way for characters to embrace it. Unlike the Jedi Order, which is fairly uniform in its practices, the Dark Side’s allure can come from many different places. With Palpatine, this is merely a search for power. These three episodes illustrate that Count Dooku’s motivations are far more complicated. He becomes disillusioned with the Jedi Order on his own and his turn was years in the making. It also shows the strength of Star Wars animation that these episodes were able to convey all of that in a relatively short amount of time.
Tales of the Jedi is now streaming on Disney+.