In mid-2011, I got to thinking – what would have happened if Count Dooku had succeeded in killing Chancellor Palpatine, aka Darth Sidious, at the beginning of “Revenge of the Sith?” Dooku would then be the only Sith Lord and the man playing both sides would be out of the picture. What follows is my attempt at outlining the plot of an alternate Episode III when I then called, “Count on the Sith.” Opinions are welcome.
Dooku kidnaps Palpatine. Skywalker & Kenobi arrive to save Palpatine. Dooku, knocks Skywalker unconscious instead of Kenobi. Kenobi and Dooku fight in an epic battle with Palaptine watching from the sidelines. When Dooku wins, he lifts Kenobi into the air using force choke. Palpatine stands up screaming that this wasn’t supposed to happen. Skywalker was supposed to be the one and he attacks Dooku. Dooku and Palpatine fight while Kenobi tries to regain his strength. Kebobi regains his strength and notices the power of the Dark Side emanating from Palpatine. Palpatine shocks Kenobi, distracting Dooku enough for him to get the edge. He knocks Palpatine to the ground. Palpatine yells, “Do it, strike me down.” Dooku does just that.
Dooku turns to Kenobi and asks him to join him. Tells him to give into his hate. I taught your Master and I can teach you far more of the Dark Side. Kenobi rejects calls to the dark side and escapes with Skywalker. Skywalker regains consciousness as Kenobi reaches Grievous. Kenobi and Skywalker fight Grievous. Grievous creates a diversion to meet up with Dooku. Grievous ruins the ship & Dooku escapes. Grievous escapes as well. Skywalker then pilots the failing ship down to Coruscant.
With a dead Palpatine, and the discovery by Kenobi that Palpatine had trained in the Dark Side leads to investigations into those close to Palpatine. Anakin was selected as the lead on this mission by the Jedi Council as a test to check his readiness. Before Anakin goes on his new mission, Padme reveals that she’s pregnant. The excited Anakin wants to publicly reveal their secret marriage, Padme warns against it. Says they can discuss it after he returns from his mission.
Anakin ends up finding the connection between Palpatine and Dooku, he also discovers something else – Palpatine had a backup plan. He had a clone body ready and waiting for his spirit to enter after his demise. With the Galactic Empire without a Chancellor, three divergent parties begin to form. One is united behind Amidala, a group behind Bail Organa, and a third behind Baskol Yeesrim. Amidala, afraid that her pregnancy would be discovered in such a public role, met in private with Organa and forged an alliance of their two factions. This led to the election of Bail Organa as Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Republic with Amidala as his Vice Chair. With a Jedi Council friendly Chancellor, the Jedi Council brings Organa up to speed on the Palpatine, the details of his death, and the fact that he was seduced by the dark side. Organa promises to provide the Jedi Council with whatever they need to stop Dooku and the separatist movement.
While this occurs, Dooku and Grievous reach Serenno. Dooku tells Grievous to return his troops to position for a mission on Coruscant. Dooku then reaches out through his former connection to Sidious discovering Anakin on the other end. The two speak amicably for a moment when Anakin reveals to Dooku that Palpatine had a clone backup plan. Dooku asks Anakin to meet him so that the two of them can take down Palpatine together. Anakin refuses and says he will inform the Jedi Council. Dooku tells Anakin that he knows about his wife, knows she’s a liability, and knows that she will die during childbirth unless he intercedes. Anakin cuts off the communication and destroys the communicator.
Anakin returns to Padme to discover that she’s the new Vice Chair of the Galactic Senate and that Organa is the new Chancellor. He reveals what Dooku told him, including his claim that she will die in childbirth. He said he wouldn’t allow it to happen, Padme said that what will happen, will happen. Anakin didn’t like that response, saying that he will find a way to prevent her death. He returns to the Jedi Council telling them of the Palpatine clone. He doesn’t say a word of Dooku reaching out to him. Kenobi suggests that he and Anakin investigate the clone together, as he has seen the clone homeworld. The Council approves this action.
When Anakin returns to Padme, he finds that she has been kidnapped by Grievous. Grievous flies the pregnant Senate Vice Chair to Serenno in his ship, the Invisible Hand. Anakin, furious by the attack right under the Jedi Council’s nose, grabs R2D2 and a ship. Kenobi runs into the rushing Anakin on his way to a ship. He tries to stop him. “Anakin, where are you going?”
“They kidnapped Padme.”
“We’ll send a team to save her.”
“No, I’m going to save her.”
“I understand she’s a friend and the Vice Chair, but we are going to Kamino to discover where this clone of Palpatine is held.”
“You do what you wish, I’m going to face Dooku and save Padme.”
Kenobi grabs Anakin, “I know she’s our friend, but she’s just another Senator, we have to think of the greater picture.”
“She’s not just a Senator to me.”
“We have to go…”
“She’s my wife Obi-Wan, I’m going to save her.”
Kenobi, taken aback by the news watches as Anakin races off to follow the Invisible Hand.
Kenobi bursts into the door of the Jedi Council and proclaims – “We have a problem.” The Council decides to allow Windu & Yoda to head to Kamino and Kenobi to follow Anakin after the revelation. They said when Anakin returns, they will decide on whether or not to strip him of any titles.
Upon Grievous and Padme’s arrival on Serenno, Dooku sends Grievous on a new mission to Kamino. Dooku asks Grievous to head to Kamino, find Palpatine’s cloned body, and destroy it. Dooku takes the pregnant Amidala into his home, treating her as a prisoner / guest. She is clearly shackled, but treated with respect. Dooku tells the Senator that if she sides with him, she will live. Using the force he tried to change her mind. The Senator, being strong of willed, was unmoved. Dooku said, “You will die in childbirth, you know.”
“The Dark Side can save you. I can save you.”
“I don’t want to be saved by the Dark Side.”
Dooku slaps Amidala and has her imprisoned by some droids. “You will be freed when you deliver or you’re willing to join me. Whichever comes first, Mrs. Skywalker.” He walks away as she is dragged to her cell.
Windu and Yoda arrive at Kamino just before Grievous. They talk to the head of the Kaminoans about the Clone Army and about Palpatine’s clone. They said that the clone was paid for years ago by the Galactic Senate and that if they wanted to see the clone, they could. When Grievous arrives, he begins to slice through everything in his path, killing Kaminoans by himself and with his droid soldiers. He fights his way through to Windu and Yoda at the same point they discover the newborn Palpatine clone. Grievous challenges Windu, saying, “Give me the clone. I’m here to destroy it.”
Grievous begins to fight Windu and Yoda simultaneously. As they fight, the Kaminoan takes the clone Palpatine and drop him in an escape pod with 2 Clone Troopers with the orders to do anything the clone baby asks. Windu and Yoda continue the battle, slaying Grievous. When they confront the Kaminoan, they discover what it had done. They ask where the escape pod is headed. The Kaminoan, reluctantly tells them and they follow.
They find the escape pod landing on Dantooine at a small base Palpatine had prepared. After fighting their way through the base, Windu and Yoda find an infant Palpatine holding a light saber in hand. The infant, despite its size and stature, is fully capable of holding the weapon and was rapidly growing.
“This was not supposed to happen, Dooku was supposed to die.”
“Die he did not, die you did. Stay that way, you should,” Yoda said.
The three begin to battle. During the fight, the clone Palpatine rapidly ages from infant to toddler to child while fighting with the two. In the end, Windu provides the final, deadly blow to Palpatine’s clone. Windu tells Yoda to return to the Jedi Council and that he will return to Kamino. Why? To ensure no more clones of Palpatine exist. Windu is never seen again.
Skywalker arrives at Serenno, right outside of Dooku’s Palace. He mows through a small force of droids. As he gets into the Palace itself, he finds an elite group of droids. Skywalker smirks for a moment, then gets stern as he assaults the droids. Each droid is wielded a light saber-like weapon on each hand, swinging wildly as they attack Skywalker. Skywalker continues to fight his way through until he reaches a main area. Dooku is sitting on a throne.
“I was awaiting your arrival, young Skywalker. You know that your wife is here, you wish for her back. Join me and the three of us together can expand my Confederation and gain new tribes. With her connections and our skills, we can raise a new army of our own knights comparable to the Jedi. Join me.”
“Very well.” Dooku stood with his light saber in hand. “Let combat begin.”
The two begin to fight.
Kenobi arrives on the planet and follows the path of destroyed droids into the Palace.
As Dooku and Skywalker fight, Dooku says, “Do not worry about me and your wife. She is less beautiful than I remembered and not worthy of a Count such as myself.”
The enraged Anakin begins to get more wild in his attacks.
“Use your hate, young Skywalker. Wield it and you can defeat me. If you allow it to control you, you will fail.”
The two continue to fight, Anakin becoming more wild and unpredictable, less focused.
“Tap into the anger, tap into the hate. With the Dark Side you can use it and we can rule together.”
“I’ll never give in.”
“Then you will suffer the same fate as your wife, you will die.”
“NOOO!” Anakin dives toward Dooku, not paying attention as Dooku slices his arm clean off. He falls to the ground as Kenobi arrives. Kenobi charges towards Dooku and faces him head on. Anakin just lays there, holding his missing arm. Kenobi yells, “Anakin, get to my ship, now!”
“No, leave me to die. My life is meaningless without her.”
“GO!” Kenobi yells. Kenobi strikes back at Dooku and uses the force to knock him back. He dives for Anakin and pulls him forward. He throws a charge behind him as he runs with Anakin to the ship.
Dooku stands up after Kenobi and Skywalker leave. He enters a room with droids working full time helping Amidala through the birthing process. Dooku stands by as the two children are born. The droids isolate the babies into individual incubators. “Feed the two and keep them safe.” Dooku looks back at Amidala. He asks the lead medical droid her chance of survival. They say, 5,000 to 1. He says, “Then leave her, let her die. She gave me what I needed – she gave me the kin of Skywalker. That was enough.” He walks off with the two newborns and droid medics as Amidala dies behind him.
After a robotic arm was installed on Skywalker, he resigns from the Jedi Council and flies with Kenobi to Tatooine. He decides to live out his days there. He has family there and he does not deserve to be a member of the Jedi Council. He failed his wife, he failed the Galactic Republic, he failed Obi-Wan Kenobi. Kenobi said he wasn’t a failure and told him to hold onto his light saber. The “film” ends with Kenobi flying away from Tatooine with Anakin staring into the sky.
That’s the story. I’m trying to determine how to follow up on this with an alternate version of “A New Hope.” I’ve come up with the following ideas for what would happen between the two films.
- A truce is signed between the Confederacy and the Galactic Republic under Chancellor Tarkin, who rises after a vote of no confidence in Organa some 2 years after the events of this alternate movie. Tarkin remains Chancellor during the events of my alternate A New Hope.
- Following the peace treaty, Tarkin moves to disconnect the Jedi Council from the Galactic Senate, blaming them for their defeat. He gains support and eventually the Jedi are removed from their position in society and their funding removed. The Jedi flee to a few remote planets for fear of reprisal from the Galactic Senate.
- Yoda raises a small contingent of Jedi on Naboo in secret. On Alderaan, a Jedi contingent is led by Master Kenobi. Those are the two remaining Jedi outposts. Local Governors vowed to keep the Jedi safe on these planets.
- Tarkin begins work on a project known as the Star of Destruction, a moon-sized space station which could destroy an entire planet.
- Covert Jedi operatives under command of Master Kenobi discover this information. When the operation is discovered, Tarkin vows to destroy those who protected the Jedi – beginning with the people of Alderaan.
- The twins, Luke & Leia, are raised by Dooku under the names Drogen and Padme. The two are raised to be Sith and are highly skilled assassins / Generals in the Confederate Army. They have also been covertly been taking out Jedi throughout the Galaxy.
- With Alderaan destroyed, Kenobi seeks out the man he knows would be able to help in making all this right – Anakin Skywalker.
The film would begin on Tatooine with Kenobi trying to find Anakin Skywalker to help rebuild the Jedi and make things right again. Again, thoughts welcome.
Logo made with the Verge’s Star Wars Episode VII Title Maker