-This review contains some spoilers. Proceed with caution-
Genre: Space Opera/Science Fantasy
Runtime: 6hrs 21m
Release Date: 30/04/2019
Cast: Orlagh Cassidy, Euan Morton, Pete Bradbury, Jonathan Davies, Neil Hellegers, Sean Kenin, January LaVoy, Saskia Maarleveld, Carol Monda, Robert Petkoff, Rebecca Soler, Marc Thompson
Dooku. Once a Jedi Master, now Count of Serenno. And to a select few, Darth Tyranus of the Sith. But how could a Jedi with such promise take such a dark path? through his own words, in journals and holo-recordings, his story will now be told . . .
Fun fact: I am just old enough to remember listening to the audio version of Star by Star on casette tape. Audio production has come a long way since then, and with Dooku: Jedi Lost, Star Wars once again enters our ears. This time with an original piece. There is a script available in hardback, but it’s better as the audio it was born as.
In many ways, Dooku: Jedi Lost feels like a companion piece to Claudia Gray’s Master & Apprentice. Both shed new light on just what exactly the Jedi did in the time of the Republic, and there are a fair few characters shared between them. But while Master & Apprentice focused on the relationship between a young Obi-Wan Kenobi and his master, Dooku: Jedi Lost is more of a character study of an individual. That individual being, of course, the one in the title.
There is a fmaing narrative, one of my favourite literary devices, in which Asajj Ventress is sent on a mission by her Sith master, but the real meat of the audio is the revelations about Dooku she uncovers along the way. First through his own words, then through holo-recordings, then a journal, and finally through those who know him best, we finally get a full look at the character to became an icon the moment the late Christopher Lee stepped onto the screen.
It’s this iconic status that provides the only real drawback to the audio. Christopher Lee was one of a kind, and no voice actor, no matter how talented, can quite nail the sheer grvaitas of his voice. This is largely sidestepped by having the audio feature a younger, less experienced Dooku than the one shown on screen, but it takes some getting used to. The rest of the casting is near-perfect, however. Yoda sounds just like the original, with Marc Thompson really bringing the wisdom of all those years. As for the brief appearance of a young Qui-Gon Jinn, well, even looking at the cast list I’m hard-pressed to believe Liam Neeson didn’t wander into the studio one day.
With so little written about him already, Scott had plenty of gaps to fill in our knowledge of the Count. And most of them are filled. We follow Dooku from his early days as a Padawan, through Knighthood and into Mastery, right up until his departure from the order. We see his first encounters with the seduction of the Dark Side, and his growing disillusionment with both Jedi Order and Republic. Precisely how he became Darth Tyranus is left out, which hopefully means there are more Dooku stories waiting to be told.
Dooku: Jedi Lost is at the upper limit of my attention span for audiobook length. With my listening time broken into one hour slots, I prefer the episodic nature of Big Finish and Black Libary releases. I’m sure I missed out on some things due to the disjointed nature of my listening, but even so I thouroughly enjoyed this retrun to a Galaxy far, far away.
All in all, Dooku: Jedi Lost is an intriguing and gripping study of one of the more mysterious characters from Star Wars, and one that deserves a listen.