Who Is The Better Sith, Maul Or Dooku?


  • Maul and Dooku were both trained by Palpatine but were never able to overthrow him, instead serving as pawns in his grand plan for the Sith Empire’s return.
  • Maul specialized in assassination and was not taught powerful dark side abilities, while Dooku was trained as a leader and had a wider range of skills including Force lightning.
  • Both Maul and Dooku were ultimately deceived by Palpatine and prevented from fulfilling their true potential as Sith Lords. Dooku had more potential to become a Sith Master, but Maul had greater hatred and conviction.



Darth Maul and Count Dooku are some of the most iconic Sith from any Star Wars trilogy since both of them were hand-picked and trained by Palpatine himself. Having been trained to become Sith Lords, both Maul and Dooku sought to gain more power under Sidious while simultaneously looking to overthrow him. Toward the end of the Clone Wars, Dooku and Maul did actually meet each other in canon in the Son of Dathomir comics by Jeremy Barlow. And while the comics made it clear who was more powerful than the other, a more detailed approach is needed to determine who has more potential as a Sith Lord.

Despite both of them boasting enormous power in the dark side, Maul and Dooku pale in comparison to the dozens of Sith Lords in canon. Neither of them managed to overthrow Palpatine and claim their place on the top. Instead, both of them were mere tools in Palpatine’s grand scheme for the Sith Empire’s return. The Sith Master of any given era must utilize hatred and deception in order to dominate other wielders of the dark side, whereas Maul and Dooku and a love/hate relationship with Palpatine. They needed his knowledge of the dark side in order to grow stronger, but they also hated him for how he treated them.

Related: Palpatine’s Vader Plan Was Perfected After Dooku Fell To The Dark Side

Darth Maul & Count Dooku Were Very Different Kinds Of Sith

Given their very different upbringing, Maul and Dooku turned out to specialize in different areas of the dark side. When Maul first became Palpatine’s apprentice, he was specifically trained as an assassin. In some respects, Palpatine purposefully held Maul back from learning many powerful dark side Force powers. Instead, he trained Maul’s swordsmanship abilities, knowing that his skills with a lightsaber were all that was needed for him to play his role. Despite the lies he fed Maul about his grand role in the conquest against the Jedi, it’s clear Palpatine didn’t give Maul the tools to succeed as a Sith for very long.

While Maul was taken as a child by Palpatine, Dooku was seduced to the dark side as an adult. Dooku has walked the path of a Jedi and Sith, which gives him a unique perspective on the Force that Maul doesn’t have. Palpatine trained Maul to be an assassin, but he chose Dooku to be a leader. When the path to the Jedi Council was blocked for Dooku, Palpatine offered him a position as leader of the Separatist Alliance. Dooku’s training as a Sith was geared more toward perfecting the skills he already had. Nevertheless, Palpatine still did not teach Dooku enough for him to overthrow him.

What Force Powers Did Maul & Dooku Master?

Count Dooku using Force lightning in Attack of the Clones

Maul and Dooku’s differing roles dictated what kinds of Force powers Palpatine taught them. With Maul, Palpatine taught him many basic Force powers such as Force push and Force choke. Maul was also adept in Force-assisted acrobatics, which complimented his duties as an assassin. Nevertheless, Palpatine intentionally didn’t teach Maul any powerful dark side abilities such as Force lightning. This put Maul at a disadvantage against opponents with strong Force powers. Maul’s agile fighting style proved to be too much for many Jedi to handle, but he lacked the ability to use the dark side to its fullest potential.

Meanwhile, Dooku was already a powerful lightsaber fighter and Force user when Palpatine recruited him. While Palpatine helped hone Dooku’s fighting skills in the dark side, there wasn’t much more he could teach Dooku about physical combat. Instead, Palpatine taught Dooku how to use Force lightning. He also taught Dooku some knowledge of Sith sorcery, as Dooku assisted him with a Sith ritual near the end of The Clone Wars season 6. Dooku’s dark side abilities—combined with his already formidable combat skills—allowed him to overpower most enemies he encountered. But more importantly, his power and position allowed him to lead Separatists with poise and tact.

Both Maul & Dooku Made The Same Mistake

Count Dooku killed by Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars Revenge of the Sith

Despite both Maul and Dooku having the potential to become Master Sith Lords in their own ways, they were deceived and held back from achieving their full potential. Palpatine never intended to keep them as apprentices for too long, as he was seeking someone more powerful. In the end, both Maul and Dooku were nothing more than stepping stones and experiments for Palpatine. Maul’s purpose was only to reveal the existence of the Sith to the Jedi. Whether he lived or died beyond that was of little concern to Palpatine. Nevertheless, Maul mistakenly believed the lies Palpatine fed him about his role in the plan to rule the galaxy.

Related: How Palpatine Actually Saw Each Sith Apprentice: Maul, Dooku & Vader

On the other hand, Dooku showed some aspirations of overthrowing Palpatine when he attempted to recruit Obi-Wan Kenobi to the dark side. There is some evidence that Dooku may have believed he was using Palpatine as a source of power, only to usurp his master when the opportunity presented itself. In any case, Palpatine was aware of whatever reservations Dooku held against him. He fed Dooku even more grandiose lies than he did Maul, and Dooku mistakenly believed them. In the end, both Maul and Dooku realize Palpatine’s betrayal far too late.

Which Was The Better Sith, Maul Or Dooku?

Count Dooku in Attack of the Clones and Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace.

Maul had far greater hatred and conviction than Dooku. Had Maul been given access to the same training Dooku was given, he very well could have turned into a brutal Sith Master.

Overall, Dooku was far more equipped to become a Sith Master than Maul was. Had he managed to overthrow Palpatine, Dooku would have been able to use his position, combat abilities, and dark side Force powers to take his place on the throne Palpatine had carved. However, Maul had far greater hatred and conviction than Dooku. Had Maul been given access to the same training Dooku was given, he very well could have turned into a brutal Sith Master. Unlike Dooku, Maul was given a second chance as a Sith after being found and resurrected by his brother, Savage Opress. But he was ultimately grasping at straws.

Despite Maul’s best efforts to become a Sith Master on his own, his fate had been determined by Palpatine from the moment he was selected. Maul copied Palpatine’s plan and attempted to create his own crime syndicate with which he could take over the galaxy, but he largely ignored Palpatine until it was too late. If anything, Maul was a nuisance to Palpatine rather than an actual threat. On the other hand, Dooku took the wiser approach by sticking beside Palpatine, biding his time and waiting for the chance to seize the power from him.

Dooku would have been an elegant and refined Sith Master, whereas Maul would have been a brutal and fearful one. Both could have become powerful leaders had they not diluted themselves into becoming Palpatine’s pawns. Had they fought one another at their full potential, Maul’s exceptional lightsaber skills would have been difficult for Dooku, but Dooku’s knowledge of the dark side of the Force would likely have prevailed. In any case, both Maul and Dooku were cast aside in Star Wars before either of them could claim the title of Sith Master they so coveted.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button