How Dooku: Jedi Lost Explores a Rising Sith Lord and His Apprentice

StarWars.com

If you’re an eBay seller of Count Dooku collectibles, there’s a good chance that Star Wars author Cavan Scott is one of your customers.

“I’ve bought a lot of merchandise in the last couple of weeks,” Scott, writer of the upcoming audio drama Dooku: Jedi Lost, tells StarWars.com with a laugh. “Some of it arrived the other day, and my wife just looked at the big box and went, ‘That’s another Dooku thing, isn’t it?’ ‘Yes. Yes it is.’”

For Scott, writing Dooku: Jedi Lost has made him a bigger fan of the character than he ever was before — and that’s because his story is not just about revealing Count Dooku’s past, but exploring how a mixture of personality and circumstance led to the villain he’d become.

“There has to be a reason he’s so shut down,” Scott says of the cold, manipulative Sith Lord. “And it can’t just be because he’s been turned by Darth Sidious.”

Cover of Dooku: Jedi Lost.

Dooku: Jedi Lost, coming April 30, will investigate Dooku’s early days training Asajj Ventress, and in turn, his journey to becoming the Sith Lord we meet in Star Wars: Attack the Clones — one who would murder his friends and start a war that would tear the galaxy apart. As the story unfolds prior to the beginning of the Clone Wars, Dooku’s sister has gone missing; he dispatches Ventress to find her in a surprising first — and very personal — mission for his new assassin. “In doing this, she starts discovering stories of Dooku and his sister from when they were very young,” says Scott, “and we find out that Dooku, even though he joined the [Jedi] Temple at a very early age, still kept in touch with his family.”

Indeed, as Ventress learns about her new master, so will we. “We meet his family,” Scott says. “We meet his father. We meet his sister. We meet his brother. We go from him being a Padawan in the temple, right through the moment he tells the Council he’s leaving. So it’s his entire life.” We’ll see Dooku as a Padawan with his master, Yoda, adventuring with his best friend Sifo-Dyas — who would later take the fall for the creation of the clone army — and his time with his own Padawan learners. Pulling back the curtain on one of Star Wars’ biggest bad guys is no small venture, especially when mystique is part of the villain’s character.

“One of the questions we had to ask ourselves was, ‘Why would he open up?’” Scott says. “It was a bit of a blank canvas. I’ve drawn from some things we’ve known from Legends about Dooku. But it’s a very different story.”

The blank canvas proved “liberating” for Scott. He worked closely with author Claudia Gray, who was writing Star Wars: Master & Apprentice at the same time; this was particularly beneficial when it came to the inclusion of Rael Averross, Dooku’s Padawan after Qui-Gon Jinn, who appears as an older Jedi in Gray’s book. “In Jedi Lost we see him with Dooku and Qui-Gon, as well,” Scott says. “So there is a relationship between Qui-Gon and Averross.”

Count Dooku in Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

One challenge facing Scott was showing Dooku before he turned to the ways of the Sith, while not undercutting his impact as a villain, or making him too sympathetic. “He doesn’t start off as the man we now know,” Scott says. “But there’s always a sense that he knows that he’s better than everyone in the room. And there’s an arrogance there right from the beginning.”

Scott illustrates this through his relationship with Sifo-Dyas, who received only a mysterious mention in Attack of the Clones and was fleshed out a little more in The Clone Wars. “He’s a bit of an outsider as well, so the two of them at the temple just come together,” Scott says. “Sifo-Dyas is there to say, ‘Just remember you’re the same as the rest of us.’ And they encourage each other to perhaps push the boundaries of what they should be doing.”

In exploring a Jedi who pushes these boundaries, Scott was keen not to retread previous stories in the same vein. His way of avoiding this pitfall came down to a major realization of what separates Dooku from one of the saga’s icons. “Whereas Anakin was always saddled with being the Chosen One, Dooku wants to be the Chosen One,” he says. “Right from the off, he thinks he’s better than everyone.” And perhaps, this ambition and arrogance doesn’t go unnoticed. “Pablo [Hidalgo] pointed out that Yoda taking a Padawan was huge. There would be a reason that Yoda would want to take him.” And while this is not quite the tale of his seduction by Darth Sidious, it looms large. “The dark side plays a part throughout,” Scott says, “because I think it’s always there in his nature.”

Asajj Ventress in Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

And the dark side certainly comes into play with Asajj Ventress, Dooku’s newly minted Sith apprentice at the start of Dooku: Jedi Lost. Scott’s first time writing the character — a favorite of his daughters — he found her incredibly layered and complex. And in Dooku: Jedi Lost, she may be at her lowest. “She’s at quite a difficult point in her life,” he says. “She’s been a slave. She’s seen her master die. And then she basically goes into another form of servitude, willingly to a certain degree. She’s not quite the Ventress we know from later on.” Scott worked to define Ventress’s thinking at this time: her desire to be christened as a Sith — and her feelings of not completing her Jedi path. “It’s called Jedi Lost,” he says. “It’s not just about Dooku.”

Dooku: Jedi Lost promises to change the way we see both Ventress and Dooku. But for the Sith Lord, it will deliver something previously elusive: a deeper appreciation. “That’s the whole point of doing this kind of project,” Scott says. “We want people to identify more with him and understand him more. He’s the character now for me, personally, that I wanted him to be when I went to see Episode II.”

Dooku: Jedi Lost arrives April 30 and is available for pre-order now.

Dan Brooks is Lucasfilm’s senior content strategist of online, the editor of StarWars.com, and a writer. He loves Star Wars, ELO, and the New York Rangers, Jets, and Yankees. Follow him on Twitter @dan_brooks where he rants about all these things.

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog

How Dooku: Jedi Lost Explores a Rising Sith Lord and His Apprentice

Discover the Secrets of Dooku: Jedi Lost

StarWars.com

In a tale set during her days as a Sith Apprentice, Asajj Ventress has a new mission: uncover the secrets of her master Count Dooku.

Today, The Star Wars Show and StarWars.com are thrilled to announce a new audio original novel, Star Wars Dooku: Jedi Lost, available April 30. Get your first look at the cover art below!

Cover of Dooku: Jedi Lost.

The audio-only story, written by Cavan Scott, follows Dooku’s assassin Ventress as she uncovers why Dooku left the Jedi Order.

Narrated by a full cast including Euan Morton, Orlagh Cassidy, January LaVoy, Marc Thompson, and many more, the recording promises to deliver an epic exploration of a new chapter in Dooku’s story.

StarWars.com All Star Wars, all the time.

Discover the Secrets of Dooku: Jedi Lost

‘Exquisite Pajamas’

io9

Video games are, occasionally, very silly. Star Wars is also, perhaps a little more than occasionally, very silly. Sometimes the confluence of these two entities being brought together creates a level of profound silliness that is truly incredible.

Read more…

https://io9.gizmodo.com/exquisite-pajamas-1833576638

Sith Story: How Count Dooku Came to Star Wars Battlefront II

StarWars.com

“I’ve been looking forward to this.”

So said Count Dooku prior to his next clash with Anakin and Obi-Wan in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, but that statement also applies to our own feelings about the Sith Lord’s Star Wars Battlefront II debut. Count Dooku is the latest prequel/Star Wars: The Clone Wars character to arrive in the popular game, and is available beginning today. StarWars.com spoke with Lucasfilm’s Michael Dailey, assistant producer, about bringing the Separatist leader into Battlefront II. Here are his greatest insights.

Count Dooku in Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

The iconic villain battles Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

On capturing Dooku’s essence as seen in other media:

“We partner with the DICE animation team and point them in the direction that we think would make sense for developing the character. From there they do a lot of research, looking at examples from the movies and The Clone Wars. In this case I think, The Clone Wars was the bigger influence. They went and looked at the way that he fights and brought in elements of that into the way he was was animated — the way he does his attacks and does special abilities. A lot of times designing a specific ability, we’ll go right to a clip from The Clone Wars and say, ‘Oh, wouldn’t it be cool if he did something like this?’ From there we may tweak things slightly to better fit our gameplay needs for the hero, in the end the most important thing is that he’s both fun to play and feels authentic to both the universe and the character themselves.”

On developing a gameplay identity for Dooku in Battlefront II:

“One of the most important things to nail down first is: What should the fantasy around this particular character be when you play as them in Star Wars Battlefront II? One of the more skilled lightsaber wielders in the galaxy, Count Dooku is a precise duelist with a more refined technique than most, so that’s the approach we took with him. All of his abilities and the core way he plays focus around his ability here. For us, that was the key thing we focused in on when we were designing all his abilities.”

On differentiating the villain from other Sith:

“While we focused in on his ability as a lightsaber duelist, we do see Dooku both in the films and The Clone Wars using Force lightning. Although we didn’t want to lean too heavily into the Force lightning, because he might start feeling too similar to the Emperor, he is the only character that has the ability to utilize both his lightsaber and this particular Force power, adding an extra facet to his in-game character.”

Count Dooku in Star Wars Battlefront II.

The Sith Lord as he appears in Star Wars Battlefront II.

On how players should strategize when playing as Dooku:

“Where Dooku excels is in one-on-one fights. In particular, I imagine he’s going to be very popular in Heroes vs. Villains [mode]. But I think it’s important to know where his weaknesses are, too. Since he is so focused on one-on-one, you definitely, when you’re playing as Dooku, you want to be sure you’re not getting surrounded by a lot of enemies. So be aware of your surroundings, make sure that if there are a lot of enemies around you, you’re using your dodges to move in and out. Most of our Heroes in the game have two dodges, and there’s a cool down before you can dodge again. But Dooku actually has three dodges, which makes him a little better suited to keep away from enemy attacks.”

On why Dooku may be the best of all lightsaber wielders in the game:

“Dooku’s skill with a lightsaber is well known. In the game this is reflected in a few different ways, but what really stands out his ability to take the defensive role in a fight. Dooku is able to perform more consecutive dodges than other heroes, and blocks incoming lightsaber attacks more effectively than any other lightsaber wielder in the game, as blocking drains less stamina.”

Corey Burton recording as Count Dooku for Star Wars Battlefront II.

Corey Burton (in a lighter moment) while recording lines for Count Dooku Star Wars Battlefront II.

On their secret weapon in bringing Dooku to life:

“One thing that really goes a long way and really brings an awesome touch to Dooku is that Corey Burton, who voiced Dooku in The Clone Wars, is back. He’s just fantastic as that character and has a lot of great banter in the game. It’s a fun way, before The Clone Wars comes back, to get a little bit more of those characters and those versions of those characters interacting with each other.”

On why Dooku was an essential addition to Battlefront II:

“When you look at the Clone Wars, you kind of highlight the key figures in the war on both sides. When it comes to the heroes, Obi-Wan and Anakin are key there. If you look at the villains, Dooku is such a key part of both Episode II and II and The Clone Wars series as a whole. As the leader of the Separatists master of General Grievous, and the apprentice of Darth Sidious himself, it was an easy choice to bring Count Dooku to Battlefront. From a gameplay perspective, he counters the recent light side addition of Obi-Wan as a defense-oriented saber-user and, from a fantasy perspective, gives players the opportunity to recreate his iconic showdown with Master Yoda.”

Count Dooku in Star Wars: Attack of the Clone.

Dooku, as played by legendary actor Christopher Lee, in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones.

On the reception of the recent prequel invasion of Battlefront II:

“The reaction has been tremendous. We’re really happy to have been able to deliver fun and engaging prequel content that the fans are pleased with. It was definitely something they asked for a lot and were vocal about, and it’s been really awesome to be able to deliver on that. Obi-Wan and Grievous went great, Dooku is here, and we’re very excited for Anakin.”

Look for Anakin Skywalker and more content to arrive soon in Star Wars Battlefront II!

Dan Brooks is Lucasfilm’s senior content strategist of online, the editor of StarWars.com, and a writer. He loves Star Wars, ELO, and the New York Rangers, Jets, and Yankees. Follow him on Twitter @dan_brooks where he rants about all these things.

Sith Story: How Count Dooku Came to Star Wars Battlefront II