The more I've seen Star Wars, Episode II: Attack of the Clones and have been able to put aside the special effects and technical wizardry, and have been able to concentrate my focus on performance and character development, the more my vision of who and what 'Count Dooku' is has altered. Certainly there has been much discussion on these boards as to whether or not Dooku is a 'villain.' But these discussions have left a subsidiary question unanswered: Ie. If he's not a villain, what is he? Here I'd like to suggest one possible interpretation.
Count Dooku is a revolutionary. He is the 'Lenin' of the Star Wars universe. He is a former Jedi Master, that is to say a member of the elite of this society, who has grown disgusted with the corruption and decay he sees around him. Lenin was born into an upper-middle class family. Not aristocratic, by any means. But certainly comfortable, by the standards of 19th century Tsarist society. But he turns against this life of privilege when his brother is executed by the Tsar.
Dooku decides that the Republic cannot be reformed and must be destroyed through violent action. To this end he creates The Clone Army. With similar reasoning, Lenin becomes a Marxist revolutionary and founds the Bolshevik Party.
However, here the analogy has to stop. Because, although we know what happened to the historical Lenin, Count Dooku's fate remains to be seen. Some might say that the analogy is invalid in that Dooku is clearly in the service of Palpatine. But is he really? Remember, Lenin (who was in Swiss exile in 1917) only made it back to Russia to lead the Revolution with the aid of the German Kaiser. The Germans thought they were using Lenin to create chaos in Russia; but history shows who was really using whom. Is Palpatine truly manipulating Dooku, or is it the other way around? Episode Three should tell us.
So, I've come to see Count Dooku, not as a "villain," but as a revolutionary with some analogies to be made with the historical Lenin. Like any revolutionary, he will be a "hero" to some and a "villain" to others.
But, then again, only George Lucas knows for sure. Any thoughts?