Tales of the Jedi shows Palpatine as the master manipulator

(L-R): Count Dooku and Mace Windu from "STAR WARS: TALES OF THE JEDI", season 1 exclusively on Disney+. © 2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.
(L-R): Count Dooku and Mace Windu from "STAR WARS: TALES OF THE JEDI", season 1 exclusively on Disney+. © 2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved. /

Tales of the Jedi has been released on Disney+ and it shows why Count Dooku fell to the Dark Side, and of course a key reason is the master manipulatior, good old Sheev Palpatine.

While we don’t see much of their early relationship, Tales of the Jedi episode four, The Sith Lord, gives us a hint of Dooku’s relationship with Palpatine, and how he changed his persona to fit Dooku’s political concerns. Years later Palpatine would model his persona to fit Anakin’s concerns.

Dooku’s overall point in Tales of the Jedi is that the Jedi are blind to the corrupt Senate they serve, even though they claim they’re neutral and that they’re above politics. To Dooku, the Jedi are just the tools to enforce the rich and powerful, and they refuse to change. This an extremely valid criticism, as it’s demonstrated in episodes two and three of Tales of the Jedi.

Windu demonstrates Dooku’s concerns perfectly. He is obstinate in his belief of the rules, and when confronted with testimony that there is corruption in the Senate, he brushes it aside, simply saying a Jedi would listen. But this is wrong.

When Dooku goes to Windu with concerns that the Jedi are nothing more than enforcers of the Senate, Windu brushes it aside. The Jedi are not guided by politics or ego, Windu says, but by the Jedi Council. This is plainly false for anyone to see, and only gets worse after Dooku leaves the Order

Palpatine however, offers a comforting ear. To Dooku, he appears as one of the politicians that’s doing good by his people, helping to solve the Naboo crisis instead of handing the planet to the Trade Federation. Palpatine appears to sympathise with Dooku’s concerns about the Senate, and gradually manipulates Dooku into bringing down the Republic with him.

This isn’t dissimilar to how Palpatine would corrupt Anakin years later. Like Dooku, Anakin went to the Jedi Order with very real concerns, this time emotional. But the Jedi Order brushed them away. To add insult to injury, these concerns that were about a forbidden lover, the very thing a Jedi cannot have because of their rigid and strict code.

Again, Palpatine sensed an opportunity to be a listener, coming to Anakin as a friend and mentor, bending his trust. Palpatine is able to soothe Anakin’s emotional concerns, claiming that he is the only way that Padme can be saved. Had the Jedi been understanding of Anakin’s situation, he wouldn’t have run into the arms of the devil, much like Dooku years before him.

Palpatine therefore shows his skills as a master manipulator, capitalising on the very real fears felt by both Anakin and Dooku. And the Jedi show themselves to be a poor student of history. After all, what happened to Anakin is very similar to what happened to Dooku, and those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.