Count Dooku is one of the most classical villains in the Star Wars universe. With his majestic voice, turncoat behavior, and scheming ways, Christopher Lee's Sith lord is less galaxy far away and more straight out of a Shakespeare play.
However, it's this scheming that makes Dooku's true intentions difficult to pin down, especially since his head was light-scissored off by Anakin Skywalker before his plans could come to fruition. However, a new fan theory reflects on one confusing scene in Attack of the Clones to shine a light on the character's utopian plans for the galaxy.
Reddit user Arc_the_Lad recently posted a lengthy theory about Count Dooku's plan was, which quickly racked up over 2,000 upvotes on the Fan Theories subreddit. The theory hinges on Dooku's bizarre encounter with Obi-Wan Kenobi in Attack of the Clones and the fact that the Jedi described him as an "idealist." (To describe your enemy as "idealist" is a strange decision, but the ideals he held may not be the most merciful.)
The theory states Count Dooku wanted to overthrow both the Republic and Palpatine in turn in order to establish something far greater: an aristocratic utopia, with him at the head and at his right hand, of all people, Obi-Wan. Here's how the theory lays out Dooku's complex plan, and how he wanted to turn Obi-Wan's allegiance to him.
Firstly, as a puppet leader, there's not much Dooku could do to make his own plans happen while Palpatine was laying the groundwork for Order 66. However, he could use Palps' preparations to his advantage. Palpatine only needed the Confederacy to threaten the Jedi rule and spark a civil war. Dooku went the extra mile, doing the necessary diplomacy to turn the phony Separatist movement into a legitimate alternative to the Republic.
He couldn't do it alone. He needed someone to assist, and, eventually, succeed him as leader. So why Obi-Wan? Well, Obi-Wan was powerful, any glance at the events of the first two prequels will tell you that. Dooku also had progressed beyond seeing the Force as a binary. Obi-Wan was merely a Force user, like him. Finally, Obi-Wan had a renegade streak in him passed down from Qui-Gon, so there's a seed there that could be encouraged to grow. And since Dooku trained Qui-Gon, he would know exactly how to convince Qui-Gon's pupil.
We see this when Dooku confronts Obi-Wan and asks him for help destroying the Sith. He's telling the truth. He does want to destroy the Sith, he just wants to destroy the Jedi as well and enforce a government tailored to his particular ideals.
This may seem at odds with the next time Dooku confronts Obi-Wan — in their big fight at the end of Attack of the Clones — but this was also motivated by his plan to groom Obi-Wan as his successor. Dooku uses this fight to test Obi-Wan's abilities and see if he could actually take on Palpatine. Think about it: Normally, Sith lords rely heavily on Force lightning when fighting a Jedi (like Palps vs. Mace Windu). But Dooku uses Force lightning only enough to know Obi-Wan can withstand it. He used the fight as an audition.
Betrayal among the Sith was commonplace, so Dooku had to play a little 4D chess in order to assure Palpatine he was still obedient. That's why he didn't kill Anakin when he had the chance, sparing Palpatine's future apprentice to prove a little more loyalty to the Sith.
In the final confrontation between Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Dooku at the start of Revenge of the Sith, this theory argues Dooku's plan was to kill Anakin and then go straight for Palpatine. This would Force Obi-Wan to see that Dooku had been telling the truth, pressuring him to leave the Jedi forever. It almost could have worked. But alas, it didn't.
Despite his defeat, Dooku didn't admit his true intentions or beg for his life. He was an aristocrat on his knees, he was a mastermind foiled, he was conquered. Still, he knew his intentions aligned with Palpatine's somewhat, and he knew what the Jedi had in store. Maybe that was enough.
If this theory is true, then Count Dooku is one of the most underrated characters in Star Wars. That level of scheming and conniving would only be rivaled by Palpatine himself, and unfortunately, that's exactly what happened.