- — Obi-Wan Kenobi
Count Dooku of Serenno was a Jedi Master and the Count of Serenno who fell to the dark side of the Force and became Darth Tyranus, the Sith apprentice of Darth Sidious after Darth Maul and before Darth Vader.
- "I've seen your heart, and I know how empty it is. I've seen your anger, and I know how deep it is. I've seen your ambition, and I know how ruthless it is. And all of that will ultimately destroy you… I will never be a Jedi, it's true. But neither will you. You will never be a great Jedi Master."
- — Lorian Nod
Born on the planet Serenno, Dooku was once an esteemed Jedi who, like all Jedi of his time, trained under Grand Master Yoda as a youngling until he became a Padawan under Thame Cerulian at the age of thirteen. Cerulian molded Dooku into a powerful Jedi, tapping into the vast potential he sensed in his student. Yoda also took a particular interest in him and had some part in his later training.
Dooku had several friends when younger, including fellow youngling Lorian Nod and alien Senatorial aide Eero Iridian. Both eventually betrayed him, and these experiences made Dooku wary of friendship and attachment. A taunt by Lorian spurred Dooku to first access a Sith holocron.
During his time as an instructor within the temple, his teachings on methods for conquering arrogance were particularly well received. He was fond of telling his students:
- "The acceptance of others is not a guarantee. Like everyone else, a Jedi is accepted or not based on his behavior. The Jedi who believes that he is more important than others only demonstrates that his opinion is to be ignored."
Almost ironically, Dooku had his mind set on becoming the greatest Jedi ever.
But not all of Dooku's theories were widely accepted. Controversially, Dooku held that one could draw from both sides of the Force equally—light and dark—to achieve perfect balance. He believed that as long as he was not tempted to one side or another he could stay the course and harness the kind of power needed to change the Galaxy for the better. Unfortunately for Dooku, his own pride, expressed in his goal to be the greatest Jedi ever swayed him closer and closer towards the dark side when attempting to study both sides of the Force.
Dooku's colleagues on the Jedi Council strongly disagreed with these beliefs, which was probably one of the reasons why neither Dooku or any of his students were ever invited to join the august body.
In his later years Dooku came to believe that the true identity of the Chosen One was not the young Anakin Skywalker, but rather a seasoned philosopher of sharp insight, someone with solid character and the intellectual clarity to see the path to galactic enlightenment; someone who possessed the titanic willpower to walk such a path; and, most importantly, had the charisma and leadership to carry others along with him.
Ironically, Dooku fit that personality exactly—at least in his own mind.
Dooku was a political idealist, and was skilled at resolving disputes throughout the Galaxy, such as the Sevarcos Dispute of 52 BBY. He had always held strong opinions on what he saw as the ongoing decline in the Republic, and so it was not unexpected when he chose to leave the Order of his own accord.