An Unanswered Question from Attack of the Clones

Once more, I wade into potentially troublesome territory. But everyone stayed nice and on-topic with An Unanswered Question from The Phantom Menace—or resisted the urge to walk into my brazen trap like Jar Jar Hater and KCSMM—so let’s continue the series to its logical conclusion.

Today’s question is from Attack of the Clones. Like the previous, I have my own answer/response in mind, but want to see where anyone/everyone else goes with it. And since I’m gamely attempting to figure out again if Google+ is anywhere near worth the effort, I’m going to re–post it there.

Why Didn’t Dooku Sense Obi–Wan from Ten Feet?

Vader sensed Obi–Wan/Luke from outside the hold of the Falcon.

Obi–Wan sensed Sidious at work through the Force from across the galaxy in The Phantom Menace.

Vader sensed Luke hiding like a little Pinkman in the Throne Room in Return of the Jedi.

So why couldn’t Dooku, walking about ten feet away from Obi–Wan, sense him? Here was this venerable fallen Master of the Force, trained personally by Yoda as a Padawan and now a full–fledged Sith, turn and burn him to the ground?

Obi–Wan also hides in an alcove right above the conference of Separatists and Dooku doesn–t bat an eye.

Obi–Wan then runs off to his ship and sends a signal out to warn the galaxy about the construction of a top–secret army of Battle Droids Dooku is supervising.

So what say you? Was Dooku unable to sense Obi–Wan Kenobi, later to be venerated as one of the greatest and most powerful Jedi in history, hiding within arm’s reach?

What does that say about his connection to the Force? Was Palpatine really just keeping him at arm’s reach and using him as a place holder until a true inheritor to Darth Maul could be found?

Again, I have my own line of answers and I think they’re pretty firmly supported by the “text” of the films. But this series is about what you think.

14 thoughts on “An Unanswered Question from Attack of the Clones

  1. I wonder if it something to do with Geonosis that screws with the force. After all, he didn’t sense Windu coming up behind in the arena either. Or any of the other multitude of Jedi around the levels of the arena.


    1. Certainly an interesting angle – Geonosis having Force-dampening abilities of some nature that limits not just Dooku, but all Jedi, from operating at “peak” while there. Don’t know I’d go down that road of reasoning, but certainly interesting.

      I go for a much simpler answer, but want to see what path others (if any!) go down before offering my own POV.


      1. Mondrak’s solution also explains why even Yoda was having trouble tracking the creation of the Death Star, Dooku’s (his former padawan) turn and machinations, etc. As for Kimino, maybe the Force can’t see through rain. Ever see the Adjustment Bureau with Matt Damon? 🙂


  2. It’s not entirely about Force-Users/Use/Ability. It’s also (if not mostly) about personal connectivity. Vader is Luke’s Father and Obi-Wan’s Ex-best-friend and Student.

    Obi-Wan sensing Sidious’ work from accross the galaxy probably isn’t Obi-Wan sensing Sidious so much as him going “I have a bad feeling about this”.

    Obi-Wan and Dooku might never have met before that.


    1. But see my comment above. Why couldn’t Yoda sense the creation of the Death Star and Dooku’s other assorted bull? Yoda and he were fairly well connected.


      1. Actually, the answer to the Yoda question is given by Yoda and Mace earlier through the film:

        Yoda: “The Dark Side clouds everything.” – The Sith are powerful enough to mask their “exact intent and locations/actions.”

        Mace: “Perhaps it’s time to inform the Senate that our ability to use the Force has diminished.” – the balance is out of whack and the Dark Side is gaining strength after a millenium of Light Side domination. The Jedi are out of sorts.


    2. Ah, but Obi-Wan’s next line is, “It’s not about the mission, Master. It’s something elsewhere…elusive.” Qui-Gon chalks it up to anxiety, instead of heeding his student.

      You are right that Obi-Wan and Dooku had never met before that point, though – Dooku says as much when Obi-Wan’s in captivity shortly thereafter. So the “personal connectedness” thought works on a certain level. (I also maintain that Luke’s presence “amplified” Obi-Wan to Vader on the Death Star…basically, Kenobi could have “masked” himself without Luke there, who was causing disturbances all over the place.)


  3. For the record, my answer is that Dooku *did* sense him. He *wanted* to start the war – that was his goal/superobjective. So, he knew someone (if not Obi-Wan directly) was snooping, and let him find stuff out to send the Republic to Geonosis to start the war. After all, Dooku had helped initiate the clone army and knew that it would be sent – he built all the pieces and then drew them together on purpose.

    Also, it’s why he kept Obi-Wan alive – bait to bring Jedi/Republic Forces to him.


  4. Your answer makes perfect sense, I’ll give you that. I still think I’m right. Obi-Wan’s “something elsewhere, elusive.” goes toward what I was trying to say, not away. He didn’t sense “Palpatine” or “The Sith”, he sensed “bad times ahead, but I’m not sure what”


  5. I’m late to the argument here, but it seems obvious to me that kesseljunkie is right. Sidious was playing both sides against each other all along in order to raise himself to emperor. Dooku was his agent as Maul was before him. Both of them were disposable. Once he had his power, he needed a new enforcer to keep his hands clean of his own espionage. And he also needed somebody powerful enough to be feared but also completely under his thumb. Vader was perfect.


  6. Here’s another one: why did he tell him about Palpatine? He’s working for the man, putting his plan into effect. Why tip his hand to Obi-Wan and tell him that the Sith is running the Republic? Did he really think Obi-Wan would join him and not sense the truth behind it? It would have been far better if Dooku was ACTUALLY trying to fight Palpatine and ended up becoming a martyr.


    1. I think because of the established “idealist” angle to Dooku. Political idealism is how he was turned to the Dark Side and he likely thought that he could use the same leverage against Obi-Wan’s better judgment. After all, Obi-Wan was padawan to Qui-Gon…mayhaps Dooku saw an angle there since QG also had a penchant for defying the Council based on idealism?


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