In the Revenge of the Sith, when Count Dooku had Chancellor Palpatine captured, did he actually know that Palpatine was the same person as his master Darth Sidious?

If he did, then why didn't he expose Palpatine when the latter ordered Anakin Skywalker to kill him?

  • 2
    Why would he? Dying is a way of becoming more powerful you can't imagine...
    – user931
    Commented Sep 15, 2014 at 4:56

9 Answers 9


Dooku definitely knew that Palpatine was Sidious.

He stated so to Obi-Wan when interrogating him at Geonosis.

OBI-WAN: The truth?

COUNT DOOKU: The truth. What if I told you that the Republic was now under the control of the Dark Lords of the Sith?

OBI-WAN: No, that's not possible. The Jedi would be aware of it.

COUNT DOOKU: The dark side of the Force has clouded their vision, my friend. Hundreds of Senators are now under the influence of a Sith Lord called Darth Sidious.

This is further confirmed directly in the Revenge of the Sith(ROTS) novelization by Matthew Stover, when it clearly shows (as a surprise to a reader) that Dooku's Master, Darth Sidious, is none other than Supreme Chancellor of the Republic, Palpatine:

(at the end of long conversation between Dooku and Palpatine about the impending fate of Kenobi and Skywalker as they progress through Grevious's ship to rescue the Chancellor):
Dooku straightened and for the first time looked his Master in the eyes.
Darth Sidious, Dark Lord of the Sith, sat in the General's Chair, shackled to it at the wrist and ankle.
Dooku bowed to him. "Thank you, Chancellor."

Palpatine of Naboo, Supreme Chancellor of the Republic, replied, "Withdraw. They are here."

The reason Dooku didn't reveal that when Skywalker fought him because Sidious promised that he would survive (duh!). The high-level plan (told to him by Sidious) would be that he, Dooku, would be "captured" by Skywalker, and then would "discover" the true extent of Confederacy's crimes... and be cleanly separated from it when Palpatine crushes CIS.

"It will be," he said slowly, meditatively, as though he spoke only to himself, "an embarrassment to be captured by him." [discussing Anakin]
"It is... fatiguing, to play the villain for so long, Master. I find myself looking forward to an honorable captivity." (src: same ROTS novelization... this statement was followed by exposition of what the post-capture plans were).

and later:

For the first time since Sidious had revealed the true subtlety of this masterpiece, Dooku allowed himself to relax enough to imagine the outcome.
With his heroic capture of Count Dooku, Anakin Skywalker will become the ultimate hero: the greatest hero in the history of he Republic, perhaps of the Jedi Order itself.

After Sidious ordered Anakin to kill him, Dooku was too shocked by the betrayal and exhausted by the fight to say anything to Anakin (and nobody else was around to hear - Obi-Wan was unconscious at the time).

The book explains Dooku's realization, shock and surprise, and thoughts, but it is ~2 pages long, so I won't quote.

  • 4
    You say "nobody else was around to hear", but what if Anakin had seen Dooku begging for mercy to his "Master"? Besides, Dooku had nothing to lose (well, apart from his head of course), and revealing the true nature of Palpatine would have been a nice "final revenge" for his master betrayal. Commented May 31, 2013 at 1:25
  • 2
    @MatemáticosChibchas - just read the book. It lays it out very clearly Commented May 31, 2013 at 11:20
  • 7
    Sorry, I did not intend to questioning your answer, it was actually a personal opinion, I think that Dooku's silence is a plot-hole. Commented Jun 2, 2013 at 1:34
  • 3
    @MatemáticosChibchas - that's what I mean. The book goes into deep details on what was in his head. Commented Jun 2, 2013 at 2:58

I feel that Siths are very prideful and arrogant. To answer the question, as I actually watch the scene, I feel like Count Dooku was horrified and accepting of his fate at the same time. Imagine how much power Count Dooku had lost in that moment forever. I'm sure there was some part of him that was highly disappointed in himself. Sith are notorious for accepting their fate and being hard even on themselves with their weakness. Darth Maul and Darth Vader had similar instances where they almost hated themselves.

So in that moment, the fact is, he failed to become a Sith Lord when he lost the battle against Anakin, and he despised the republic. That along with his Arrogance and Pride made him accept his fate. Not sure about the shocked face. It was a shocked face no mind you... but figuring he is part of the dark side, and that has so much more horrifying evils, I take that moment with a grain of salt.


Dooku knew Palpatine was Sidious. It is made clear both in the book and movies. Dooku knew of the plan Sidious had and knew of the creation of the clones but to those who were unaware of the plan outside of the two of them they had to lie and deceive everyone to get the war going so Palpatine/Sidious could gain control of the Republic. Dooku's facial expression when he looked at Palpatine when he ordered Anakin to kill him was a look of surprise at being betrayed by Sidious. Dooku had no idea that Anakin would follow through with it but Palpatine had no use for Dooku once his hands were cut off so he decided make Anakin his new apprentice right then and there and began trying to seduce him to the dark side. Palpatine doing this is not a surprise as he tried to do the same with Luke after Vader's injuries. Sidious always preferred powerful apprentices because the more powerful and the more seduction he had on them the more secure his Empire would be for years too come. But that was Sidious' downfall in the end. His constant betrayal and betraying Vader as he did eventually caused Vader to rise up against him but instead of his dark legacy continuing Vader turned on him and ended it all.


I think he definitely knew. He didn't tell Obi-Wan on Geonosis because it was all part of the master plan; that the Jedi knew a Sith was involved with the Empire. The plan is contingent on them eventually suspecting Palpatine. Dooku was his apprentice and they had to meet. It's silly to think that he had a long-distance apprenticeship.

He doesn't tell Anakin when he's about to kill him for one simple reason: it would have ended the movie right there. They had Dooku give that betrayed look, but the plot-hole is in the long awkward pause where he could have revealed Palpatine.

He definitely would have his prideful but he's a Sith and would definitely betray his betrayer. They just had to leave a long pause for the audience to be all surprised and conflicted.


Because Count Dooku was in disbelief that Chancellor Palpatine/Darth Sidious had ordered Anakin to kill him. After Anakin killed Dooku, Palpatine said Dooku was too powerful to be kept alive.

  • A good portion of your answer was material irrelevant to the issue of why Dooku did not reveal Palpatine's identity. I also fixed the capitalization. As it is, though, other answers have already covered this point.
    – Adamant
    Commented Aug 6, 2016 at 7:30

Well I think that dooku was so loyal to his master to the point where even if Sidious betrayed him regardless he would still have his loyalty toward his master

  • 1
    Hi, welcome to SF&F. Answers should be supported with quotes or other evidence from canonical or reputable sources. Please read How to Answer.
    – DavidW
    Commented Jun 6, 2019 at 13:31

I believe Dooku was unaware of Sidious' true identity til sometime between the end of The Clone Wars series (the most recent cgi one) and the beginning of ROTS. In an episode of The Clones Wars a clone trooper essentially uncovers the order 66 plot, he's killed after an assignation attempt on Palpatine (He clearly knew of this entire situation) then, Dooku informs Sidious that this has happened, as if Sidious had no clue. Dooku said that the senate was controlled by sith, not that the chancellor was a sith. But for the fake kidnapping plan to work Sidious had to tell Dooku he was Palpatine, and his complete shock at his Master Betraying him (Or maybe his loyalty to fulfilling his masters plans) left him speechless. I believe the only people to know the chancellor was Sidious were his vice chancellor and the assistant, but its unclear as to when they were told.


Dooku did know that Sidious was Palpatine. Dooku left the Jedi Order and the Republic as he was disillusioned with the corruption of the senate and the Jedi for never taking what he deemed to be the right course of action. Darth Sidious then tempted him to the dark side. One of his first missions was to arrange the death of Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas (who they had discovered had commissioned for a clone army of the republic to be created on Kamino), and secretly take over the funding for the project (as well as Dooku under the guise of Tyranus hiring Jango Fett to be the clone template). They had also asked for chips to be implanted into the clones, which were programmed in such a way that they would kill the Jedi when order 66 was executed (as in RotS). Dooku also revealed about the senate being controlled by a Sith on Geonosis. Then there's the fact that he knew Sidious was on the side of the CIS, yet the clone troopers were fighting for the Republic. Why didn't they just use the chips implanted in the clone troopers in order to make them fight for the CIS and have an even bigger army, whilst all the Republic would have would be the vastly outnumbered Jedi? Surely he would be questioning the reason why they are allowing the Republic to have their own army, yet he didn't. Why? Because Dooku knew who Sidious was (Palpatine) and it was all part of a more elaborate and grand scheme (obviously Sidious omitted the part where he was going to replace Dooku with Anakin). Then there is the fact he met Sidious on Courascant more than once. Why Courascant? Why not some remote planet? Dooku would also have met (or at least seen) Palpatine in person before. Surely he would have recognised him, even with a hood up? You can still partially see his face, his voice isn't exactly different, and he would have been the same height/build/posture. Dooku would have to have been a complete fool not to know who he was.

In conclusion, yes, Dookue knew who he was. I assume sometime between Episode I & II he found out, otherwise none of it makes any sense and Dooku is the worst excuse of a Jedi/Sith I have ever known about.

  • This doesn't answer the question of why Dooku didn't reveal Sidious' identity when faced with his own death.
    – phantom42
    Commented Dec 24, 2015 at 5:07

Dooku didn't realize Palpatine was Sidious until the moment Sidious told Anakin to kill him at the beginning of RoTS. I think at that moment Dooku realized he had just been a pawn in Palpatine's plans for years. On Geonosis Dooku tells Obi-Wan that the senate is under the control of a sith lord but he never mentions this sith lord is Palpatine. The most important moment to show that Dooku never knew Palpatine and Sidious are the same person is in the bunker on Geonosis when he is talking to the separatist leaders and asks how the republic was able to obtain the clone army. If he had known Palpatine was Sidious he would've know the plan was to start a war and play on both sides. Dooku was only aware of the Sidious/separatist side of things and wasn't aware until right before his death that his master was controlling both sides of the conflict.

  • 1
    "On Geonosis Dooku tells Obi-Wan that the senate is under the control of a sith lord but he never mentions this sith lord is Palpatine" This is what I thought when I was reading the top answer. It's a stretch to go from "knows the senate is under his control" to "knows he is the Chancellor".
    – Rawling
    Commented Sep 15, 2014 at 11:25
  • 2
    I'm pretty sure this is false. Multiple novels show them conversing openly about the plan. It has also been revealed on the Star Wars wiki that Palpatine, through his friendship with Count Dooku, revealed himself to convert him to the dark side, much like Anikan. Plus, `Excellent. There was also a Clone Wars episode (Crisis on Naboo) where after the Jedi rescued Palpatina, suddenly, Count Dooku appeared.
    – Brandon
    Commented Nov 12, 2015 at 0:30
  • They met in person, Would you not recognise the leader of your country if they were in a hood?
    – PStag
    Commented Jun 11, 2018 at 18:42

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.