Count Dooku was one of the best lightsaber wielders in Star Wars. But his abilities couldn’t explain the main weakness of his form.
In Star Wars, there are countless warriors and many lightsaber users. However, no other duelists reached the level of skill Count Dooku had when it came to one-on-one combat. While he was one of the oldest Sith seen in the franchise, the Dark Lord was also one of the most skilled fighters the Jedi faced, seconded by fighters like the Emperor. Dooku’s skill was even passed on to his apprentice, Asajj Ventress, who made the style his own and brandished two swords. But although it was powerful, Dooku’s saber form had a major flaw that would lead to its demise.
The form that Dooku masters is Form II, also known as Makashi. It was one of the first established forms and even predates the creation of blasters. It was designed to take on other expert saber users and was primarily focused on fighting all forms that existed at the time. He has remained one of the most graceful forms in combat, and his royalty is a perfect fit for Dooku.
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Like his master, Count Dooku was a master in his specific saber form. Where most practitioners face an opponent, Dooku was able to fight two Jedi at once in Attack of the clones and he was victorious. This was mainly due to the philosophies that the form taught. Instead of emphasizing power and frenzied movements, Makashi promoted the economy of movement. His prepared stance was formal and his saber was facing down towards the opponent, which is why Dooku uses a curved hilt.
The style focused on speed and precision and was more so for people who only wanted to hit once and hit true. The backbone of the style, which allowed for such fast and precise attacks, was the dependence on form on the parry. By learning to parry with a saber, a combatant would have a chance to land a decisive blow. This is why Dooku is often seen expecting a hit and using an opponent’s momentum and power against them.
However, as blasters became standard in the galaxy, lightsabers had to adapt to combat them. This meant that Makashi would no longer be the main saber form. The style also never adapted to blaster deflection and is one of the weakest points of the form. Future forms would focus more on defense, like Obi-Wan’s Soresu form, or use erratic movements to confuse the opponent like Mace Windu’s Vapaad form.
But the biggest flaw in the form was shown when Anakin and Dooku fought to save Palpatine in Revenge of the Sith. Anakin, now a skilled fighter, used his power and aggressive fighting style to overpower Dooku and free him from his grasp. Due to the formality that came with Makashi, physical power and aggression in combat were not taken into account. Therefore, no counter was created.
Makashi, in a way, requires the user to have the upper hand in a battle and to control the pace of a fight. However, when power and rage are added to the mix, the form crumbles because it loses the advantage to an unorthodox medium of combat. Dooku was still an incredible duelist, but the only thing his style couldn’t explain was the evolution of saber forms.
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