Every Star Wars film needs a bad guy and Attack of the Clones saw the introduction of Sith Lord Count Dooku. Played the the legendary actor Christopher Lee, Dooku was a key player in the Clone Wars.
Here's some facts and trivia about the character's place and effect on the Star Wars universe.
Although Count Dooku is the main villain and is mentioned in the opening crawl of Attack of the Clones he does not actually make his first appearance until 76 minutes into the film.
Before Anakin beheaded Dooku in the opening act of Revenge of the Sith, he cut off his arms, making him the 5th person to lose an arm in the franchise. This is in terms of order of the films coming out. If you go chronological order he was the third after Zam Wessel and Anakin. It was a nice revenge for Anakin too.
While Count Dooku had take his vow of being a Sith Lord and was so named Darth Tyranus, the novel of the film sheds some light on the plan he and Darth Sidious had been running. The two of them had intended to turn Anakin to the Dark Side to get and get him to lead a Sith Army. However, when Anakin had over powered him and was urged to kill him by Sidious, Tyranus realised Palpatine had never truly intended for him to be his apprentice but had merely been using him as a means to engineer the war and as a placeholder for his true intended apprentice, Anakin
Actor Christopher Lee said of his character: "He's very aloof, very self-contained, obviously completely fearless. He is extremely intelligent, perhaps more so than almost anyone else. He's obviously a man of immense power. I don't suppose that the question of moral values enter into his head. He's not immoral -- he's amoral. Morality is a word that doesn't figure in his vocabulary at all. It's power. Which is something that exists very much in our world today."
Dooku was at one time in scripting considered to be a female sith. The rejected concepts for this idea where eventually channeled into the development of Asajj Ventress, who appeared regularly in the animated Clone Wars show.
Count Dooku only speaks a total of four lines in Revenge of the Sith! Word on the street is a line was cut from the film where Dooku admitted to Anakin that Tusken Raiders who kidnapped Anakin's mother, Shmi Skywalker were paid to do so by Count Dooku. Dooku had done this on orders from his master, Darth Sidious. The idea was to stir up Anakin's emotional state. Clearly that worked.
Due to Lee's age when filming his role, Kyle Rowling portrayed Dooku during most of the character's lightsaber sequences, Rowling's head was digitally replaced with Lee's during post-production work.
Christopher Lee appears in the Clone Wars film, doing the voice of his character.
In the Attack of the Clones scene where Count Dooku visits his prisoner Obi-Wan Kenobi and tries in vain to recruit him to his side was not in the original shooting script. This scene was filmed during reshoots and was designed to deceive the film viewer into thinking that Dooku may not be an evil character after all. Other scenes had been filmed that showed a trial for our captured heroes where Dooku's allegiances were firmly established.
"We had an electronic head and arm for Threepio, and I manipulated the mechanism with a joystick. But it wasn't working. The propman said, 'Give me fifteen minutes.' We all went to get coffee, and when we came back, Threepio's head turned perfectly and his arm moved naturally. I looked up and realized that the prop man had a fishing pole with a fine nylon string attached to Threepio's arm. He had rigged another string around the head, which Chewbacca was holding. As Chewie moved his hands, Threepio's head turned!"
So said, Irvin Kershner, the director of a truly great film, The Empire Strikes Back.
I believe it was The Phantom Menace which introduced the concept of there being a chosen one who would bring balance to the Force.
Anakin was considered to be the Chosen One as he was considered by Qui Gon Gin as a 'vergence' in the Force - his midicholrian count was higher ever measured before.
Perhaps grudgingly, Anakin was accepted to a a Jedi in training by the Jedi Council - on the promise that he was indeed the Chosen One.
But was he? He left things pretty badly at the end of Revenge of the Sith. He betrayed the Jedi, killed a few more of them, massacred some Younglings at the Jedi Temple, force choked the woman he loved and he engaged Obi Wan in the most awesome light sabee duel Star Wars has ever witnessed.
He became wretched and obi wan lamented that Anakin was supposed to be the chosen one but clearly his behaviour to that point suggested other wise. How could such a betrayal mean Anakin was the Chosen One? So does this mean Vader's son, Luke Skywalker was the Chosen One?
After all, he saved the day in a Return of the Jedi?
You better back the horses up Billy - let's a think about what happened in Jedi. Luke beat his father in the duel, mortally wounding him as he did so.
This lead to the Emperor Palpatine reigning force lightning down upon Luke - to which Vader then betrayed his master by throwing him down the pit killing, the Emperor.
This act is considered the moment when Vader brings balance to the Force.
So even though Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vader and killed all those people including his friend Obi Wan Kenobi, he actually was the chosen one who fulfilled the Prophecy.
It just came about in an extremely round about way - it showed the cleverness of the prequels - taking the existing ending of ROTJ and fashioning a grand story around Vader.
However if you want to run a cheeky argument that Anakin didn't fulfill the prophecy you could argue that when he became Darth Vader Anakin ceased to exist (as Obi Wan put it in Jedi). Thus Vader was the chosen one.
But you could then argue the moment Vader decided to kill the Emperor he was again Anakin so it's a moot point really... and consider this - when Vader throws Emperor Palpatine down the pit, listen carefully - the Jedi motif is briefly played - signalling that yes, Vader is now Anakin.
At the end of the day you could argue that Luke helps Vader bring balance to the Force - it was his belief in his Father that drove him after all...
Want to read some more sweet things about Darth Vader?
Here's a sweet Return of the Jedi promotional poster from Japan:
It's a pretty basic design but it gets to the point - it's all about the power of the light saber. It's imagery evokes King Arthur and the Excalibur sword. One wonders whose hands are wrapped around the hilt of the saber? Vader's or Luke's?
Is Yoda a Sith Lord because he talks in absolutes to Luke in The Empire Strikes Back?
For this writer, one of the best moments in Revenge of the Sith is the duel between Obi Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader.
They have some back and forth to which Obi Wan observes, "Only a Sith lord deals in absolutes" as a response to Vader's suggestion that Obi Wan is either with him, or against him. Kind of like what George W. Bush said in his response to 911 at the time.
This line is designed to show that Anakin has indeed turned to the Dark Side as he is in fact dealing in absolutes as would a Sith Lord. Anakin had chosen to side with Palpatine to try to save Padme's life.
That was the only choice he felt he really had and anyone who was going to get in the way of that happening was clearly against him.
The quote has been known to cause some confusion as some people interpret the actual line as an absolute in itself, suggesting Obi Wan was a Sith too! And yes the quote is an absolute - but there is a subtle yet crucial distinction - Obi Wan is not 'dealing' in an absolute, he is making a fairly keen observation about Vader's behaviour at that moment in time.
He is not contradicting himself, in fact despite what some pundits have suggested, he's speaking very good English.
Internet scuttlebut suggests that George Lucas was trying to use the scene to make a commentary on George W. Bush's run as President of the United States - the link is perhaps Bush's famous statement that in response to the 911 attack on America when he was seeking allies in the so called fight against terror - that countries of the world were either with America or against it.
And now we get to the bloody internet meme that's running around that keeps suggesting Yoda's now immortal line from Empire Strikes Back "Do, or do not, there is no try" is an absolute statement and thus Yoda is a Sith himself!
Um, no. Yoda is not dealing in absolutes, he is making a statement of fact to Luke. Just like Obi -Wan did with Anakin about his attitude.
What he's setting is a challenge to Luke - if your mind thinks you are trying, you are not actually achieving.
If your mind thinks you are actually doing the thing you want to do - there's a greater chance of success. And that is what Yoda was trying to convey to Luke.
Yes, I know it's a joke and those who share it are really just trying to have some fun, and maybe poke some fun at Lucas and Johnathan Hale's writing abilities. I wrote this correction of sorts for those who might be missing out on the joke.
Cool to do the former, wrong to use this example to prove the later.
With strong roots in the Roman Catholic Church,canon is considered 'the law', 'the way things are' and 'the facts'.
Canon in terms of movies and comics and the like is these concepts laid out in a road map of sorts. For instance, it's canon that Superman comes from the planet Krypton. That's just the fact of the matter.
An alternative universe story that suggests he was born on Earth and lived in Russia might be a cool story but it is not considered canon.
There has been a lot of talk about what is now considered canon in the Star Wars universe. Maybe too much talk.
But seriously, the powers that be at Disney and Lucasfilm have decreed the new trilogy serves an opportune time to revisit the Star Wars canon:
This is the new canon:
The 6 movies
The entire Clone Wars series
The entire Rebels series
Any new novels
The new movies
Any new comics
This is to say that any thing mentioned in those realms is canon. A character may have had a brief moment in one of those components but if their back story was explained in a novel somewhere, that story no longer is official canon.
All the prior expanded universe novels will have there place under the sun known under the 'Legends' banner - they will still be able to be brought and read over and over again.
Obviously, if the makers of the new official canon want to add elements from these works into the new Star Wars works, there is nothing to stop them from doing so.
So good news in that sense for those Thrawn fans, he is now official canon having debuted in Season Three of the Star Wars Rebels show.
Revenge refers to not only the long history of the Sith, it refers to Anakin's revenge - for being a slave and for his mother as when you think about it, he is a Sith.
Dooku had big plans to reform things for the greater good but didn't realise he was only the pretend apprentice to Darth Sidious til the very end.
C3PO's memory was ordered to be wiped as he suggested in front of Bail Organa he would tell Padme's children about their parents one day. This was not in the film as far as I recall - so it kind of explains why the action was taken - however it doesn't explain why R2D2 didn't really say much about his experiences to Luke!
I had thought the duel between Sidous and Yoda ended in a bit of a draw with Sidious taking the moral victory. The novel reveals during the fight Yoda realised he had lost the fight before he had even been born.
Which is kind of amusing as Mace Windu actually beat Siduous and had him till Anakin stepped in. Unless Sidious was foxing but the book didn't suggest that.
The novel confirmed Obi Wan was indeed a bad ass. But we all knew that any way.
In the A New Hope film, Obi Wan discusses Vader's being seduced by the dark side. In ROTS, the seduction is played as an obvious slow build. My take on on the novel is Anakin is more tricked by a promise of saving Padme's life. One can argue the toss but the book really gets into Anakin's emotions earlier on than the namesake film, meaning his seduction is more believable.
Of course one must take these things with a grain of salt as Star Wars canon is the films themselves (and anything else official since the release of The Force Awakens), any thing else is expanded universe stuff which at the end of the day is 'nice to know' things and adventure but it doesn't cut it as stuff that's an immutable law of the franchise.
Generally speaking the novel was pretty faithful to the film, as you would expect. It gave some great insights into how the Jedi's perceived the Force as they went into battle and the like.
This story board was done by Alex Tavoularis. He’s quoted in the book as saying "My inspiration for Leia's look, if I remember correctly, was Alex Raymond's women in his 'Flash Gordon' comic book strip."
This is one of the coolest bits of Star Wars trivia to come across out desk in a while. Bossk was a non -peaking bounty hunter that was briefly spied in Empire Strikes Back and even more briefly in Revenge of the Jedi (On Jabba’s sail barge which I guess means he’d dead now…).
Legend has it the Bossk costume was actually a space suit
recycled from the 1996 BBC production Doctor Who episode called The 10th
How does this come about you might ask?
Star Wars was
largely made in England so you can image the costume designers rummaged through
a whole lot past costumes and props for their production and given it’ ‘space
suit’ qualities, it was used.
OR there might be other reasons as to why the
suit ended up in Empire!
The suit has actually been identified
as a ‘High-Altitude Windak Pressure Suit’ which was used by English RAF pilots
in the 1960s.
So the suit on Bossk was not necessarily from the good Doctor’s
production but is arguably of the same vintage.
Eagle eyed trainspotters might have spied the suit in the
Cantina scene in A New Hope as well and possibly on some A – Wing pilots found
skulking in the back ground of briefing missions.
Heck, Luke Skywalker even
wore one… so the question is how many High-Altitude Windak Pressure Suits are
there in Star Wars then?