Jard Dooku was a Human Jedi Master who lived during the time of the Invasion of Utapau. He had once been the master of Xanatos, who later tried to assassinate Dooku on Bandomeer. The assassination was unsuccessful as Obi-Wan Kenobi, a rejected Jedi Padawan assigned to the Jedi AgriCorps mine on the planet, was able to stop it beforehand. This prompted Dooku to take Kenobi as his apprentice, and they trained together for many years under strained circumstances as their views conflicted with one another. After the Stark Hyperspace War between the Galactic Republic and the Stark Commercial Combine, Kenobi became a Jedi Knight, but he and Dooku still worked together.
One such occasion where they worked together was when Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum sent them as ambassadors to resolve the Trade Federation’s blockade of Utapau. When they arrived on the command ship, Dooku and Kenobi were targeted for assassination and fled for the planet, where an exiled Gungan Prince named Jar Binks agreed to take them to the Gungan city Otoh Gunga for refuge. They arrived in the city hours later and were arrested by Gungan guards, but Dooku was able to use the Force to help convince the Gungan High Council to provide them with transportation to Utapau's capital, Ogana, and to free Binks from the execution the Gungan would face for breaking his exile. Binks guided the transportation the Council provided through the core of the Aquarian Ocean and brought them to Ogana, where they freed Queen Sabé Arcadia and her advisers from battle droid captors. Using the queen's starship, the group escaped Utapau and set a course for Tatooine.
Jard Dooku was born the Count of Serenno in 92 BBY. When he was one and a half years old, Dooku was taken into the Jedi Order, where he eventually ascended to the rank of Jedi Master. During his time in the Jedi Order, he became friends with fellow Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn. Dooku also served as the master of a Jedi Padawan named Xanatos, but Xanatos later left the Jedi Order. During this time, Dooku traveled to desert world of Tatooine on a mission to capture a bounty hunter who had murdered a Jedi. The mission was a success, and Dooku hoped he would never have to return to the planet.
In 39 BBY, Dooku visited the Jedi Temple on Coruscant to find a new apprentice. One student Dooku viewed was Obi-Wan Kenobi, who engaged in a training duel with fellow Padawan Bruck Chun in order to gain favor with the Jedi Master, but Dooku found Kenobi to be too dangerous due to the seemingly fierce duel. Dooku did not select Kenobi because of this. Kenobi was later assigned to the Jedi AgriCorps mines on Bandomeer, as he was not chosen by a master by his thirteenth birthday which was required in the Jedi Order. Dooku was also assigned to a mission on Bandomeer, so he and Kenobi were on the same ship together.
While en route to the planet, Dooku and Kenobi realized that Xanatos had set a trap for Dooku and was plotting to assassinate him. Kenobi helped Dooku avoid being killed, which caused Dooku to feel that Kenobi was worthy to be his Padawan. After they officially began their relationship as master and apprentice, the two realized they had different views on the nature of the Jedi Order and its relationship to the Supreme Chancellor and the Galactic Senate. They also had differing views on the nature of the Force itself. This caused some strain in their relationship. The Stark Hyperspace War between the Galactic Republic and the Stark Commercial Combine, however, caused them to feel that they could work well together when necessary.
During Kenobi’s training, the apprentice admitted that he considered their mutual friend, Qui-Gon Jinn, to be more of a mentor than Dooku. The admission did not bother Dooku at first, but that changed when he found out that Jinn was teaching Kenobi philosophies that different from Dooku's. Dooku refrained from saying anything, believing that it would allow him to spend less time with Kenobi. Even with Jinn’s training, Dooku did not believe that Kenobi would pass his Jedi trials and become a Jedi Knight, citing what Dooku felt was his student;s arrogance. Nevertheless, Kenobi did pass his trials and became a Jedi Knight.
In 22 BBY, the Galactic Senate passed a law declaring that the use of slaves by Republic companies operating outside of Republic territory was illegal. The Trade Federation, a trade corporation that used slaves in the Outer Rim Territories, was outraged at the action. In retaliation, the leadership of the Federation blockaded the planet Utapau, as Utapau was said to have been relatively helpless and its leadership, Senator Malus Palpatine and Queen Sabé Arcadia, helped the bill pass into law. After one month of failed negotiations between Utapau and the Federation, Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum assigned Dooku and Kenobi to travel to the Federation command ship as ambassadors and reach a settlement with Federation Viceroy Nute Gunray.
Following their arrival on the Federation command ship in orbit around Utapau, the two Jedi were greeted by the protocol droid TC-14. After a short period of waiting, during which time the two Jedi assumed that they were to be greeted by Gunray or a Federation representative, Dooku and Kenobi were targeted for assassination by the Trade Federation. They escaped a group of battle droids that was sent to kill them, and the Jedi were eventually, albeit briefly, confronted by Gunray and a second group of battle droids. Following a brief exchange between the two Jedi and Gunray, the Viceroy ordered the battle droids to kill the Jedi, but Dooku and Kenobi escaped to the lower levels of the ship. After breaking into a security room, the two Jedi determined that the wisest course of action would be to split up and board separate troop transports that were preparing to invade the planet.
Once Dooku arrived on the planet, he attempted to outrun a group of troop transports that were making their way through the forests where they landed, but Dooku was nearly crushed by them. Dooku was saved, however, by an exiled Gungan Prince named Jar Binks. Binks claimed that the Gungan religion demanded that Dooku swear a life debt to Binks, who wanted to use the life debt to regain favor with his people, but Dooku then saved Binks's life from a group of battle droids. This negated Dooku's life debt to Binks. Once Kenobi met up with them, Binks offered to take them to his home city of Otoh Gunga, which was beneath the nearby Aquarian Ocean, for refuge provided that they helped Binks regain favor with his people. The Jedi reluctantly agreed.
Hours later, Binks had led Dooku and Kenobi to the Aquarian Ocean’s shore. After warning them about the lack of hospitality they would receive, the group swam underwater towards the city of Otoh Gunga. Upon their entrance, they were confronted by Tarpals, a Gungan captain. Tarpals and Binks, who had a history of tension with one another, fought each other after a verbal argument. Tarpals won their brief skirmish and arrested all three of them before bringing them in front of the Gungan High Council.
After being led through the city, the group arrived in the High Council’s chambers where they spoke to High Councilor Rugor Nass. Dooku and Kenobi requested Nass’s help with the Federation invasion, but Nass refused to assist them because of past conflicts the Gungans had with the Human government of the planet. Knowing that they needed to leave the Gungan city and reach Ogana, the planet’s capital, Dooku used the Force to convince Nass to give them a transport to the city. Despite his reservations about the Gungan’s usefulness, Dooku also convinced Nass to release Binks from his impending execution, due to the fact that Binks broke his banishment, by pretending that Binks owed him a life debt. Binks and the Jedi were released, and they were given a bongo transport to take through the Aquarian Ocean’s core. The craft was attacked by a large opee sea killer, but a sando aqua monster attacked the seal killer and allowed the craft to continue towards Ogana.
Having traveled through the ocean for hours, Dooku and the others finally arrived in Ogana. After thirty minutes, they found Queen Arcadia and her advisers being escorted towards a Federation concentration camp. Dooku and Kenobi attacked the droids, while Binks saved the queen after she was nearly injured from a blast shot by an Armored Assault Tank. Dooku requested the use of one of the planet’s transports to take them to Coruscant, and after security Captain Panaka escorted them to a hangar bay they were able to convince Arcadia to leave with them. The ship was attacked by the blockade in orbit after lifting off, but it was able to escape and set course for Tatooine to find safe refuge.
Personality and traits
Dooku was known to have been disappointed in Kenobi, both during and after Dooku trained him. Dooku felt that Kenobi would not become a Jedi Knight due to what Dooku perceived to be Kenobi’s arrogance, but Kenobi ended up becoming a Jedi Knight nonetheless. Their relationship was one of tension, and Kenobi often associated impatience with his former master. Kenobi sometimes tried to lower the tension with humor, but Dooku told him on at least one occasion to save the humor for someone else.
In a trait said to have been unbecoming of a Jedi, Dooku had an apparent prejudice against those he considered to be lower life forms. Dooku believed that the ability to verbally communicate did not necessarily mean that a creature was intelligent. One such life form was the Gungan Prince Jar Binks, who Dooku seemed to discriminate against for no other reason than the way the Gungan looked. Dooku found it difficult to admit that Binks had saved him from the Federation transports on Utapau, both because of Dooku’s pride and his perception of the Gungan.
Many of Dooku’s supposed negative traits stemmed from his time living on Serenno as a young boy. Dooku was not taken into the Jedi Order until he was one and a half years old, and before then he lived in what was described as a posh and spoiled lifestyle with his rich family. After he became a Jedi, Dooku unconsciously carried these royal attitudes with him, unknowingly believing himself to still be the Count of Serenno despite being a member of the Jedi Order.
Powers and abilities
Dooku was known for using a nearly unused style of lightsaber hilt that was uncommon to the Jedi Order, and this made him well known throughout the Jedi. His green energy blade emanated from a fencing-style hilt used during the Jedi Order’s so-called “golden age”, and the hilt allowed for more precise movements and increased flexibility during combat. The style was also said to have been a challenge to dueling opponents, as the user of the blade was able to strike at different angles than a standard hilt allowed. Despite this, Dooku did have some difficulty with physical activities due to his age, one example being when he was nearly crushed by the Federation troop transport on Utapau.
Behind the scenes
Jard Dooku was designed as the Alternative Star Wars Saga version of the canon Count Dooku. While doing preliminary work on the novel Star Wars: Episode I - The Chosen One, author Brandon Rhea intended to have Dooku act as a calm and friendly mentor to Obi-Wan Kenobi, whereas Qui-Gon Jinn would be Kenobi's master in a bitter and tense master and apprentice relationship. Rhea eventually switched the roles of Dooku and Jinn, stating that “having Qui-Gon be the bitter master was...stupid”.
After giving the character the first name “Jard”, Rhea realized that he had unconsciously taken the name from SuperShadow, a widely known Star Wars fan who pretends he is friends with Star Wars creator George Lucas. In either 2005 or 2006, while Rhea was working on what he describes to be “anti-SuperShadow stuff”, Rhea was reading over SuperShadow’s “Star Wars Frequently Asked Questions"” page, which states that Dooku’s first name is Jard. When Rhea was choosing the name for the character, he forgot that the name came from SuperShadow, although Rhea has since stated that he “[doesn’t] particularly care where it originated”.
Rhea has described Dooku as being “an asshole to anyone and everyone without any apparent reason”. Rhea believes the character is, among other things, arrogant and prejudiced and that the behavior is due to Dooku having lived a posh lifestyle on Serenno before being taken into the Jedi Order. According to Rhea, while Dooku is a Jedi Master, “he still [unknowingly] sees himself as the Count of Serenno”.