This Star Wars article contains spoilers of Tales of the Jedi.
Just a little over 20 years ago, Lucasfilm released Attack of the Clones, the middle chapter of George Lucas’ Prequel Trilogy. Positioned to be the installment that did away with the much-maligned trade disputes and Senate meetings of The Phantom Menace, this follow-up delivered plenty of Jedi action, evil villains, and even Yoda with a lightsaber. But Lucas, never quite content with the “more of the same” Hollywood approach to blockbusters, also infused Attack of the Clones with a few other things never before seen in the franchise: a predictable and exposition-heavy detective story as well as an ill-advised romantic subplot that came off as creepy even in 2002. The result is a clumsy film that never quite decides what it wants to be, brought down even more by its shoddy CGI.
But even if we ultimately know by the end of the second act where Obi-Wan Kenobi’s investigation on Kamino and Geonosis is going, there are some interesting mysteries playing out in the background. Central to them are the death of an unseen Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas, as well as the deletion of Kamino’s location from the Jedi Archives. Who is behind the death of the former and the disappearance of the latter?
The movie never directly answers those questions, but for years, you could (correctly) assume it was the Sith, and more specifically Darth Sidious. Working from the shadows but also hiding in plain sight, Palpatine manipulated the major events that led to the start of the Clone Wars as well as the fall of the Jedi Order, using disillusioned knights like Count Dooku to further his plans. In fact, later Star Wars tales have confirmed just how complicit Dooku was in these early strikes against the Jedi. For example, it was Dooku — already working for Palpatine by the time of The Phantom Menace — who ordered the assassination of Sifo-Dyas, betraying a former friend in service of the Sith’s plans for galactic order.
Thanks to the recently-released Tales of the Jedi animated anthology series, we now know it was also Dooku who deleted Kamino from the archives, essentially setting in motion the mystery that would go on to occupy Obi-Wan for much of Attack of the Clones‘ runtime. Interestingly enough, in the episode aptly titled “The Sith Lord,” it’s revealed that Dooku actually deleted the file during the events of The Phantom Menace, about 10 years before Obi-Wan ever set out to look for it. It’s a prime example of the long game Darth Sidious played to bring about the fall of the Republic and the Jedi Order. His rise to the throne of Emperor was a scheme decades in the making.
It’s also in this episode that we learn of Jedi Master Yaddle’s tragic fate at the hands of Dooku. After she discovers that her colleague has fallen to the dark side and joined the Sith, Yaddle tries to convince Dooku to turn himself and Sidious in before it’s too late. But in the end, Dooku decides to prove his loyalty to Palpatine and executes Yaddle, effectively becoming the Dark Lord’s new apprentice, Darth Tyranus.
For those Star Wars fans who have ever wanted to delve deeper into the history of one of the Prequel Trilogy’s most mysterious villains, Tales of the Jedi really focuses in on why Dooku decided to betray the Jedi Order and what his relationship with his apprentice Qui-Gon Jinn and other Jedi was like before he left the knighthood. We’d even go as far as to call this animated series required viewing for Prequel fans. Just don’t expect a happy ending…
Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi is streaming now on Disney+.