Spoiler warning: I think this is pretty spoiler-free but if you don’t want to know absolutely anything about Jedi Lost before you listen to it now is the time to leave.
Dooku: Jedi Lost came as a surprise to many Star Wars fans. And a welcome one at that. Cavan Scott is the first writer in quite some time to pen an original Star Wars audio drama. The story focuses on some characters well known to Star Wars fans (like Count Dooku and Asajj Ventress) but also includes many lesser-known and brand new characters. Scott had to create a story that could stand on its own but would also tie into existing Star Wars films, TV series, and books – and I think he was quite successful.
Here are five of my favorite things about Dooku: Jedi Lost.
Dooku: Jedi Lost is a true audio drama with an ensemble cast, and I can’t express how wonderful I think this is for Star Wars. I’ve listened to a number of Star Wars audiobooks over the years. As impressed as I’ve been with voice actors who play dozens of roles in these adaptations that experience just can’t compare to an audio drama with different actors playing the main roles of an original story.
The cast assembled for Jedi Lost, especially Orlagh Cassidy as Asajj Ventress, did a fantastic job of interpreting their characters and kept me engaged with the story from start to finish. A lot has been made on social media about Jedi Lost not using the voice actors from Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Keep in mind that choice may have created schedule and cost challenges that could have made this project impossible to create. I do understand the loyalty some fans feel to the original voice actors, but I also suggest people keep on open mind.
If you need Ventress and Dooku to sound exactly the way you think they should from previous Star Wars content – you might struggle a bit with this audio drama. I wasn’t looking for direct imitations, in fact, I’m pretty sure I would have found that distracting. I was looking for good performances. And I got them.
Ventress struggles with her past
Ventress has always been a popular character with fans – in part because she can’t easily be categorized as all good or all bad. It’s hard to know what she’ll do in any given situation or where her loyalties lie – other than with herself. Jedi Lost takes place in a particularly interesting time in the life of Ventress. As Scott told StarWars.com recently, “It’s called Jedi Lost. It’s not just about Dooku.”
The Clone Wars episode “Nightsisters” and the book Dark Disciple gave us brief glimpses of Ventress’s past. Her path from an infant on Dathomir to Dooku’s apprentice was told mostly via flashbacks and gave us enough information to know that Ventress has been pulled in many directions her entire life. Jedi Lost takes a closer look at her past as she is discovering the past of her master Count Dooku. It also gives fans a better sense of the relationship between Ventress and Jedi Master Ky Narec. (There’s an interesting reason Narec is in the character list for Jedi Lost).
Dooku’s family and childhood
Who thought they’d ever learn about Dooku’s family or what Dooku was like as a 10-year-old? Not me. I honestly had not thought a lot about Dooku in general before listening to Jedi Lost. But that kind of ‘meh’ feeling about Dooku has all changed now.
Dooku, like most Jedi younglings, was taken from his family as an infant to train in Coruscant. In Jedi Lost we see how Dooku handles accidentally being reunited with several members of his family – most importantly his sister Jenza and his father (who was never much a fan of the Republic himself).
Star Wars has always been about family – but in many cases found family more than blood relatives. The Jedi’s controversial belief that their members should not keep attachments and bonds with loved ones plays a large part in Jedi Lost – and I doubt you’ll think about Dooku the same after learning more about his backstory.
Getting to know Sifo-Dyas
Up until recently Sifo-Dyas was little more than the answer to a good bit of trivia “Who was the Jedi Knight the Kaminoans said originally ordered the clone army in Attack of the Clones?” Sifo’s backstory was fleshed out a bit in a few episodes of The Clone Wars but Jedi Lost gives the first fully realized look at this character.
In Jedi Lost we see Sifo rise up through the ranks of the Jedi alongside his friend Dooku (there’s a great nickname for Dooku you won’t want to miss) and Sifo’s relationship with his Jedi Master (who is a new character). Some of the strongest parts of the story in Jedi Lost center around Sifo-Dyas which was another great surprise for me.
The Jedi, the Dark Side, & visions (oh my)
There are a lot of discussions (and disagreements) between Jedi Masters, padawans and the Jedi Council in Dooku: Jedi Lost. I loved learning more about how Yoda, Dooku, and Qui-Gon Jinn saw the world and the Jedi’s place in it during a time of mostly peace and getting to know several new Jedi Masters such as Yula Braylon and Lene Kostana.
Lene was especially appealing to me as she thought there was much to be learned from knowing more about the Dark Side of the Force and Sith artifacts – which put her at odds with Jedi Master Yoda. If you’re fascinated by stories that talk about the pull between the light and dark sides of the Force and the relationships between Jedi Masters and their padawans there’s plenty to like about this story.
There are actually so many interesting tidbits about the Jedi (and the Sith) in this story I could write an entire article just about that. Talk of expelled Jedi, the Archive of Forbidden Artifacts, visions, prophecies, war beasts – I could go on (and I’ve left out some words in these descriptions). I’ll need to listen to the story again to really take it all in. And I mean that as a positive and not a negative.
I also can’t leave out how much I enjoyed learning more about Rael Averross – a Jedi introduced in Claudia Gray’s book Master & Apprentice and finding out who had the Jedi Archivist job before my favorite unhelpful librarian Jocasta Nu.
Overall, Jedi Lost made me want to learn even more about Dooku and Ventress and the other new characters introduced in this story – which is about the highest compliment I can give it. I hope this is the first of many audio dramas from Star Wars. And I do hope they release a copy of the script for these at some point as well.
Del Rey has provided this expanded cast list for Jedi Lost – I recommend keeping it handy while you’re listening!
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