22. Count Dooku
When Did They Die: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
Who Were They: Leader of the Separatist faction of the Clone Wars/Apprentice to the Dark Lord of the Sith — Darth Sidious (Palpatine)
How Did They Die: Executed by Anakin Skywalker at the urging of then-Supreme Chancellor Palpatine
The path Dooku took – from Jedi and hero of the Galactic Republic to Sith Lord and public enemy number one – is a long and complicated one. He emerges seemingly out of nowhere from the viewer’s perspective, showing up in Attack of the Clones without so much as expositional conversation about how he turned so bad. But for a few hints here and there, all we know is that Dooku is the villain now and must be dealt with.
Even if it wasn’t entirely intentional, setting Dooku up as a straw man is appropriate. He is, after all, not that actual enemy, just as the Trade Federation wasn’t the actual enemy in the Phantom Menace. No, Dooku is just another pawn in Palpatine’s plot to overthrow the Republic, albeit likely a slightly more willing one.
His position is never made more clear than when he is killed by Anakin Skywalker in Revenge of the Sith. Beaten in a one-on-one lightsaber duel – one in which he lost both of his forearms – Dooku is at the mercy of Anakin when Palpatine orders the young Jedi to kill the rebellious count. In a fit of confusion and rage, Anakin does so, and in one fell swoop burns up one of the flimsiest enemies in the Star Wars movies.
Next: 21. General Grievous