Please upgrade your browser for the best possible experience.

Chrome Firefox Internet Explorer
×

An in-depth look at combat: Count Dooku

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > STAR WARS Discussion
An in-depth look at combat: Count Dooku

Aurbere's Avatar


Aurbere
11.23.2014 , 03:48 PM | #1
Something I’ve always wanted to do was write up some sort of thread about Dooku’s combat abilities. Thankfully, Beni has allowed me to piggyback on his department of the in-depth series to write one. So, here it is. Enjoy!

“He is a fencer. Leverage, position, advantage—they are as natural to him as breathing.”
- Qui-Gon Jinn

Age: 83
Height: 1.93 meters
Weight: 80 kilograms

Physicality: Count Dooku is an old man well past his physical prime. Despite that fact, his strength in the Force allows him to increase his physical abilities immensely. Indeed, he was able to increase his physical abilities to the point that he was more physically capable than men half his age. He has displayed great strength, routinely flooring the likes of Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi in their duels, and agility, enough to dodge the attacks of master duelists despite being unarmed.


Melee Abilities

Count Dooku was a legendary swordmaster and recognized as one of the greatest masters of lightsaber combat. Despite mastering only a single lightsaber Form, Dooku stood amongst the best of his era in lightsaber combat, rivaling the likes of Mace Windu and Yoda in lightsaber combat.

Lightsaber: The Count originally used a standard lightsaber, but his training in Makashi led him to build a lightsaber with a curved hilt. The curved hilt, while not a radical change, served to increase leverage and was designed for Makashi practitioners. Originally, Dooku’s lightsaber used a blue-hued crystal, but his transition into a Sith Lord led him to replace the crystal with a red synthetic crystal.

Makashi: Designed purely for lightsaber combat, Makashi served Dooku’s intentions perfectly. From a young age, Dooku was always competitive duelist, and his training in Makashi allowed him to get ahead of his competition. Makashi was designed to allow the user to fight without exerting energy by using graceful movements to deflect attacks and outmaneuver opponents through clever footwork. Because the Form focused on grace and economy of movement, it was often commented as being vulnerable to kinetic force, primarily because the practitioner would focus less on their physical strength. Makashi’s focus on single combat against another lightsaber duelist also opened it up to weaknesses in blaster bolt deflection and combat against multiple opponents.

However, Dooku’s mastery of this Form was to such an extent that he had virtually eliminated all of its weaknesses. Indeed, he was more than capable of meeting kinetic force within his own physical limits and applying kinetic force judiciously. He was also skilled in blaster bolt deflection and combat against multiple opponents.

Force Abilities

Though he focused primarily on lightsaber combat, Dooku was considered to be one of the strongest Force users of his age and in galactic history. He was a natural master of telekinesis and often employed Force lightning to incapacitate and kill. The following is a list of some of Dooku’s Force abilities.

Telekinesis: Dooku was a natural master of telekinesis, and developed this mastery to incredible levels. He could lift and hurl large objects with ease, unleash powerful Force Waves and Pushes, and use Force Choke to strangle people. Dooku also had no difficulty using telekinesis to penetrate the Force Barriers of powerful Force users, or hurling objects at opponents in the middle of combat.

Force lightning: After his transformation into Darth Tyranus, Force lightning became one of the Count’s favorite abilities to use against opponents. His bursts of lightning were quite powerful, able to incapacitate, disable, or even kill others with a quick attack. Even powerful Force users such as Sora Bulq, Asajj Ventress, and Anakin Skywalker fell victim to his attacks. Indeed, even Grand Master Yoda himself had difficulty deflecting Dooku’s Force lightning.

Beast Trick: Though not a combat tool, the Beast Trick ability—and those like it, such as mind trick—was another of Dooku’s abilities. He was able to use the Beast Trick ability to mentally subjugate a Krayt Dragon and keep it as a pet in one of his many retreats.

Doppelganger: The Doppelganger technique was a Jedi art that involved entering the mind of another and making them see a duplicate of an object or individual. Such a technique could also be used to make an army appear larger than it actually is. Dooku’s application of the technique was not as large, though. He was able to enter the minds of other Jedi and cause them to see a Doppelganger of himself. This second Dooku was essentially a watered down version of the real thing. It was not as skilled or powerful, but it possessed many of the same skills and abilities as the man himself.

Tutaminis: Commonly known as energy absorption, Tutaminis was the ability that allowed a Force user to absorb and redirect energy based attacks. Masters of the ability could redirect and absorb blaster bolts and Force lightning. Dooku displayed his mastery of this ability when he easily deflected his own attack after Yoda redirected his Force lightning.

Knowledge

One of the reasons Dooku was such a deadly opponent was because of his knowledge. His training in both the Jedi and Sith arts made him a deadly opponent for members of either organization, because he knew the abilities and fighting styles that they employed. The following is a list of areas that Dooku is knowledgeable in.

Lightsaber Combat: During his career as a Jedi, Dooku was one of the most respected lightsaber combat instructors in the Jedi Order. His teachings of lightsaber combat were considered mandatory viewing for two generations of Jedi Padawans. After becoming a Sith Lord, Dooku taught several students, but none were more deadly than Asajj Ventress and General Grievous. Both of them were infamous Jedi Killers and proved a match for most Jedi Masters through sheer lightsaber mastery and cunning.

The Count’s knowledge of lightsaber combat had a major impact in lightsaber duels. He was able to identify and recognize the Forms his opponents used in the heat of battle, and quickly implement tactics specifically designed to take advantage of the weaknesses he saw in his opponent’s Form.

Sith Knowledge: Count Dooku often sought out Sith Knowledge as a means of advancing himself as a Sith Lord. He studied Darth Andeddu’s Holocron, the Holocron of Heresies, after it was recovered on Korriban. From it, Dooku extracted all of its information and gifted Darth Andeddu’s lightsaber crystal to Quinlan Vos.

Dooku also studied the Dark Holocron. Essentially the Sith version of the Great Holocron, the Dark Holocron was the most powerful Sith Holocron and contained a hundred thousand years’ worth Sith histories and teachings. The Holocron was first stolen by Lorian Nod when Dooku was still in the Jedi Order. In preparation for his transformation into a Sith Lord, Dooku stole the Holocron and studied it himself.

Apprentices

Count Dooku trained many students during his time as a Jedi and as a Sith Lord. His advanced knowledge of lightsaber combat and the Force was passed on to each of his students, and each of them attained distinct levels of mastery and prominence. His more prominent students are listed below:

Qui-Gon Jinn: Dooku’s Jedi Padawan was a high-level master of Ataru. Jinn’s Form, however, was not typical of Ataru users, primarily because of his flagging physical condition. He essentially retooled the style into a strength-oriented fighting style that only incorporated elements of Ataru in physical attacks and brief acrobatics, the latter of which he did not often incorporate in combat. Much like his master, Jinn was considered one of the finest blademasters in the Order, with renowned masters such as Anoon Bondara crediting him as the superior fighter.

Asajj Ventress: One of Dooku’s finest lieutenants, Asajj Ventress was a highly skilled lightsaber duelist and one of the most prolific Jedi Killers of her time. Like Count Dooku, Ventress was a skilled user of Makashi and incorporated its application into her use of paired lightsabers, which had the added bonus of being able to connect together and wielded as an oddly shaped double-bladed lightsaber. Ventress was one of the most feared Dark Jedi during the Clone Wars, with a kill record of some two dozen and several engagements with Jedi High Council Masters including Mace Windu, Plo Koon, and Luminara Unduli. Throughout the Clone Wars, she engaged and held her own against Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker several times. However, her engagements with Count Dooku showed her inferiority to him.

General Grievous: While not a Force user or even a Dark Jedi, General Grievous was a formidable adversary for nearly any Jedi. Grievous was instructed in all seven lightsaber Forms and retooled them to be used with his unique metal body. What resulted was an incredibly fast and unpredictable style that involved the rapid-paced spinning of the blades to confuse a Jedi and strike at them well over a dozen times per second. Throughout the course of the Clone Wars, Grievous engaged and killed countless Jedi, even Jedi Masters. He developed a rivalry with Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi after several encounters with him before finally being bested on Utapau.

Opponents

Count Dooku faced several opponents throughout the Clone Wars. Two of his greatest opponents, Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi, and his tactical approaches to them shall be discussed here, due to the differences in their fighting styles and his approaches to them.

Anakin Skywalker: The relationship between Count Dooku and Anakin served as a sort of bitter rivalry, where the two have met in battle several times with the Count managing to gain the upper hand in some way. Anakin’s offensive, strength-based fighting style is well suited to engaging Count Dooku’s elegant fencing style, as has been shown several times. Dooku’s typical approach to Anakin is to give ground and avoid a contest of strength when he can, as he knows that Anakin is much stronger than he is and would eventually break his defenses and defeat him, as shown during their final duel. However, when he takes the offensive, he attacks Anakin with quick strikes designed to take advantage of the lack of mobility inherent in Anakin’s primary fighting style Djem So, though his offensive approach is seldom used. Unfortunately, Anakin eventually proved to strong and skilled for Dooku to engage and he was eventually defeated on the Invisible Hand.

Obi-Wan Kenobi: Though he easily outclassed Obi-Wan Kenobi on Geonosis, that was not the case later in the war, as Kenobi had become a Master of Soresu. However, Dooku’s knowledge of the seven Forms allows him to analyze an opponent’s fighting style and deduce their weaknesses. His approach to Kenobi’s Ataru style is a product of his many sparring sessions with Qui-Gon Jinn, wherein Dooku would prod the legs to force him to leap in the air, and then Dooku would impale them in mid-air. However, Kenobi’s Soresu mastery prevents this, forcing Dooku to find an alternative means of attack. The two rarely engaged one another throughout the Clone Wars, but in those engagements, Dooku primarily used Force and physical strikes to off-balance and incapacitate Kenobi, as the Count realized that an offensive assault would be ineffective. Through these methods, Dooku was able to eliminate Kenobi from the equation during the final duel on the Invisible Hand.

Strengths

Count Dooku uses every tool at his disposal in every combat situation. He benefits greatly from his mastery of Makashi and vast knowledge of lightsaber combat, which allows him to analyze and quickly dismantle his opponent through specifically tailored tactics for their fighting styles. If pure lightsaber combat is ineffective, he will exercise his mastery of the Force. He can bombard his opponent with thrown objects or assault them with barrages of Force lightning.

Dooku enjoyed an advantage over the majority of his contemporaries, and he loved to make that fact clear to his opponents. He tormented his opponents through his use of the Dun Moch tactic, a method of psychological warfare that served to unbalance opponents.

All of his knowledge, skill in lightsaber combat, and mastery of the Force went into every combat situation, even when he was toying with his opponents. There is a reason Master Yoda considered him the best student of the Jedi Order.

Weaknesses

Because of his advanced age, Dooku suffers from physical frailty. Often lightsaber duels are tiring affairs for him and they usually require a great deal of energy. As such, he is at a disadvantage against more youthful opponents.

He also has some difficulty in dealing with strength-oriented duelists. While the weakness is overstated and he can deal with physical attacks within his own physical limits, the kinetic force of strong attacks rapidly expends energy when he is forced to meet those attacks head on.

Counter-Strengths

His weaknesses are overcome by his preferred fighting style. Dooku is at his best when fighting conservatively, giving ground while luring his opponent into a false sense of security. His usage of Makashi prefers elegance and economy of motion over the grandiose and acrobatic strikes of a Form like Ataru. This allows him to conserve energy as he simply deflects and parries attacks, rather than meeting them head-to-head. He uses sudden retreats and clever footwork to outmaneuver power duelists and avoid their attacks. In this case, it takes more energy to throw a punch and miss than it does to throw a punch and hit.


Quotes

He was one of the most respected and powerful Jedi in the Order's twenty-five-thousand-year history
-Revenge of the Sith

On the other side of the galaxy, the Order’s most gifted apprentice reached out to tap a lightsaber with the toe of his boot.
- Yoda: Dark Rendezvous

Count Dooku of Serenno, warlord of a mighty army, among the richest beings in the galaxy, legendary swordmaster, former student, notorious traitor, lost son
- Yoda: Dark Rendezvous

Among the other Jedi, perhaps only Mace Windu would have been his equal on neutral ground
-Yoda: Dark Rendezvous

“Hm.” Yoda stirred again with his stick. “Then best of all would be the strongest student, yes? Wisest? Most learned in the ways of the Force?” He nodded. “Best of all, Dooku would be!” His eyes found the other Jedi, one by one: and one by one they looked away. “Our great student!” Yoda’s ears flexed, then drooped. “Our great failure.”
- Yoda

Before Dooku renounced the Jedi Order and reclaimed his family title of Count, he was among the most highly regarded lightsaber instructors and made a series of recordings that demonstrated his expertise. These recordings—preserved on the Great Holocron—became required viewing for two generations of Padawan learners during the twilight of the Old Republic.
-The Essential Guide to the Force

Clips

Count Dooku holds his own against Grand Master Yoda:
http://youtu.be/BvnwLLXHabg?t=2m28s

Count Dooku trains Savage Opress. Also showing one of his preferred approaches to strength-oriented duelists:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2xe9okSSLA

Count Dooku defeats Asajj Ventress and two Nightsisters, despite suffering from a debilitating poison:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zq80K_yfTcU

Count Dooku holds his own against Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker (one of many duels):
http://youtu.be/xPVv_jHmmN4?t=46s

Scans

Dooku casually dismisses Sora Bulq while also fending off Tholme:
http://static.comicvine.com/uploads/...7519-35440.jpg

Dooku briefly engages Mace Windu before extenuating circumstances force him to flee:
http://i70.servimg.com/u/f70/17/96/32/09/dooku_10.jpg
http://i70.servimg.com/u/f70/17/96/32/09/dooku_11.jpg

Dooku easily bests Quinlan Vos:
http://static.comicvine.com/uploads/...cture__12_.jpg

Dooku easily defeats Spymaster Tholme:
http://static.comicvine.com/uploads/...8500-35440.jpg

Dooku kills Master Tiplee by Force-pulling her onto his blade:
http://img3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb2...lls_Tiplee.png

Thoughts: Dooku is not one to unleash his powers in epic displays of god-like power like Darth Sidious or become a dervish of destruction like Yoda, but he is not to be underestimated because of this. What he lacks in the grandiose, he makes up for in his subtlety, his tactical approach to combat, and his sheer mastery of lightsaber combat. It is for these reasons that he stood above the majority of his contemporaries. His undisputed mastery of Makashi, impressive command of the Force, and tactical approach to dueling allows him to dismantle and dismiss all but the most skilled of lightsaber duelists.

After all, there was a reason he was considered to be the Jedi Order’s greatest student.
Added Chapter 66 to The Shadows Fall
"Your only hope to survive is to give in to the rage boiling within you, to acknowledge the Dark Side you deny, and tap into it!"--Darth Tyranus

Beniboybling's Avatar


Beniboybling
11.24.2014 , 04:50 AM | #2
Awesome analysis, and I agree with your thoughts. I think the coolest and perhaps unique thing about Dooku is his ability to as you say dismantle inferior opponents within seconds.

EDIT: Also...

"Sometimes things are... just that important."

Awesome line.

LadyKulvax's Avatar


LadyKulvax
11.24.2014 , 05:45 AM | #3
Windu and Dooku are the closest you will get to Yoda and Sidious as far as lightsaber skill goes.
I don't believe their magnitude of refinement and skill coupled with experience and wisdom is given anywhere near enough credit.
I am the Battlemaster of the Jedi Order. I've struck you down once already. Today, I'm finishing the job.
Jedi Order

Aurbere's Avatar


Aurbere
11.24.2014 , 09:53 AM | #4
Quote: Originally Posted by LadyKulvax View Post
Windu and Dooku are the closest you will get to Yoda and Sidious as far as lightsaber skill goes.
I don't believe their magnitude of refinement and skill coupled with experience and wisdom is given anywhere near enough credit.
Fully agreed on the whole. I've always felt that they don't get the credit they are due simply because of how far they've taken lightsaber mastery.
Added Chapter 66 to The Shadows Fall
"Your only hope to survive is to give in to the rage boiling within you, to acknowledge the Dark Side you deny, and tap into it!"--Darth Tyranus

Aurbere's Avatar


Aurbere
11.24.2014 , 11:05 AM | #5
Quote: Originally Posted by Beniboybling View Post
Awesome analysis, and I agree with your thoughts. I think the coolest and perhaps unique thing about Dooku is his ability to as you say dismantle inferior opponents within seconds.

EDIT: Also...

"Sometimes things are... just that important."

Awesome line.
Dooku's method of fighting is one of my favorites. He knows he's better than everyone else and he has no problem showing it. He loves being superior to others.

I do love that line, too. It's so cool.
Added Chapter 66 to The Shadows Fall
"Your only hope to survive is to give in to the rage boiling within you, to acknowledge the Dark Side you deny, and tap into it!"--Darth Tyranus

Aurbere's Avatar


Aurbere
11.26.2014 , 10:36 PM | #7
Quote: Originally Posted by MarcheseAMM View Post
Decent thread. Requires work.
Care to tell me why?

(On tablet right now, so small posts at the time)
Added Chapter 66 to The Shadows Fall
"Your only hope to survive is to give in to the rage boiling within you, to acknowledge the Dark Side you deny, and tap into it!"--Darth Tyranus

MarcheseAMM's Avatar


MarcheseAMM
11.27.2014 , 10:50 AM | #8
Too many issues to cover them all. I would just get someone to do a new one, to be honest.

Aurbere's Avatar


Aurbere
11.27.2014 , 10:55 AM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by MarcheseAMM View Post
Too many issues to cover them all. I would just get someone to do a new one, to be honest.
If you have something to say, say it.
Added Chapter 66 to The Shadows Fall
"Your only hope to survive is to give in to the rage boiling within you, to acknowledge the Dark Side you deny, and tap into it!"--Darth Tyranus

MarcheseAMM's Avatar


MarcheseAMM
11.27.2014 , 10:56 AM | #10
I did. You just can't accept constructive criticism:
Quote: Originally Posted by MarcheseAMM View Post
Too many issues to cover them all. I would just get someone to do a new one, to be honest.