Tales of the Jedi Episode 4 review: Dooku becomes Tyranus in brutal short

Count Dooku in Tales of the Jedi Episode 4Disney+

Tales of the Jedi Episode 4 is a brutal, tragic short showing the moment Dooku became a Sith Lord, abandoning his past morals in pursuit of something greater: the Dark Side.

The galaxy far, far away is bigger than ever: we’ve had three trilogies of movies, spinoffs, and several TV shows, including The Clone Wars, The Mandalorian, and currently, Andor.

Tales of the Jedi is a new Star Wars anthology series set during the prequel era, spotlighting important moments in the lives of Ahsoka Tano and Count Dooku as they embark on their respective paths toward heroism and villainy. Each episode is around 15 minutes long.

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After Episodes 2 and 3, the fourth installment – titled The Sith Lord – lives up to its name with Dooku’s shift to Tyranus, taking his first steps toward absolute power.

Spoilers for Tales of the Jedi Episode 4 to follow…

Tales of the Jedi Episode 4 review: The Sith Lord

Back at the Senate building, the episode opens with Dooku (Corey Burton) looking rather shifty. Away from peering eyes, he makes his way into the archive room and deletes all records regarding Kamino.

For those who don’t remember, Kamino is the home of the technology used to create the clone army for the Galactic Republic, but it was isolated and erased from Jedi records – now we know that was Dooku’s doing.

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Dooku then speaks to Yaddle (Bryce Dallas Howard), who reveals his old padawan Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) had a run-in with a Sith Lord on Tattoine. When he finds Qui-Gon, he tells him: “I’ve warned them about the coming darkness for years, never to be taken seriously.”

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It becomes clear that this episode takes place during The Phantom Menace, and the Sith Lord was Darth Maul – before their Duel of the Fates, of course.

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This is the best-looking episode yet: the Senate halls, drawn with long shadows and ornate scale, feel hallowed; and one shot of a Dooku standing in front of a tree once obsessed by Qui-Gon borders on religious imagery. One short scene of Yaddle flying across an amber, derelict cityscape is even reminiscent of Blade Runner 2049, from the color palette to Kevin Kine’s synth score.

She finds Dooku covertly meeting with Emperor Palpatine. “I have betrayed everyone and everything I know,” he tells his new master, who says: “Such is the price of freedom.”

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Yaddle confronts him and asks him to make Palpatine accountable for his crimes. Palpatine asks him to kill Yaddle. “It’s too late for that,” he tells her, and an epic fight ensues, full of the balletic flourishes that made George Lucas’ lightsaber bouts so memorable.

“It is you who has run, Dooku, into the arms of evil,” she says, before Dooku crushes her with a huge air hangar door – except, she uses the Force one last time to open it and falls to the ground, weakened by her wound. She pleads with Dooku to not inflict even more suffering, but he says: “Then let me give you peace, Master Yaddle,” before executing her with his lightsaber. The episode cuts to black, and a new Sith Lord has risen.

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Tales of the Jedi Episode 4 review: 9/10

Dooku has always been one of the most delectably despicable Star Wars villains; smooth-talking, gentlemanly, executing evil with the grace of a clinical politician. Tales of the Jedi has afforded him more empathy, painting a portrait of a man led into temptation by his own doubts.

Tales of the Jedi is available to stream now. You can sign up for Disney+ here.

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