PT Dooku's Revelation of Sidious to Obi-Wan

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by Ananta Chetan, Jul 22, 2014.

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  1. Ananta Chetan Jedi Master

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    Did Count Dooku genuinely believe that Obi-Wan might potentially accept his proposal and join his cause...or was he simply sowing the seeds of distrust as to which Master Yoda alluded?

    What other motives might he have had for disclosing Sidious' presence?
    Last edited by Ananta Chetan, Jul 22, 2014
  2. Cael-Fenton Jedi Master

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    I tend towards the first position. (This is based on movie Dooku. I haven't seen TCW or read the CW-era comics/EU and don't really plan to.)

    It was too risky to reveal Sidious to the Jedi at this stage to be part of a grand Sith plan cooked up by Palpatine. At this point, Palpatine was cultivating Anakin, but hadn't caught him yet, far from it. So Darth Vader was not yet a reliable factor. And the war hadn't started; and more importantly, the Jedi were not yet spread thin across the galaxy in the vulnerable position of commanding the clones. Palpatine's gotten some emergency powers, but not to the extent he has by the time of RotS. It wouldn't be good for him if the Jedi were on to him before he was in a position to mass murder them. One might say that Sidious knew that the Jedi would never take Dooku's allegations seriously, and was counting on that, but I doubt he could feel so secure in their supposed blind loyalty/arrogance that he would take such a big risk. Obi-Wan, for one, already had intense cynicism and antipathy for the Senate, and he can't have been the only Jedi to feel that way. Someone within the Order might well have taken it seriously and done some serious investigating (I think that was in fact covered in the EU, though I haven't read Labyrinth of Evil.)

    He was speaking to Obi-Wan specifically. I'd say he knew a fair bit about him, based on the conversations with Qui-Gon he alluded to (He also apparently spoke to Yoda about him). He probably knew about Obi-Wan's existing mistrust of the Republic's government, which I doubt was a recent thing, given Obi-Wan's stable personality and general outlook in life.

    Furthermore, I think he genuinely didn't want to see Obi-Wan dead. Look how he acted during the duel. He maimed Anakin, but only wounded Obi-Wan. Those looked painful but not terribly serious or even very incapacitating; Obi-Wan could stand just a few minutes later. And after he wounded him, he took an awfully long time, in lightsaber-duel terms, to even start attempting to kill him. He pointlessly flourishes his lightsaber for a good few seconds. He's almost "where are you, Skywalker you wuss, I didn't zap you that hard" :p And after he's defeated both of them, he extinguishes his lightsaber and gets this strange, reluctant almost regretful look on his face, just before Yoda enters. He really looked to me like he wasn't going to kill them, just make his escape.

    All this makes me think he was sincerely trying to get Obi-Wan round to his point of view.

    Finally, he isn't a great actor (we see this in his first lines to Obi-Wan); yet he seems so sincere when he extends his invitation, and when he's talking about Qui-Gon. I think, like Vader's "Join me", he really meant it, and was too caught up in his ambitions and the power he's sacrificed so much to obtain in order to pursue his goals to realise that the person he's talking to will never accept it. But that doesn't mean it wasn't sincere.

    edit: I think we should also bear in mind that he knows Obi-Wan doesn't know at this point that he's a Sith. Certainly, if Obi-Wan knew, Dooku could probably be pretty sure that Obi-Wan would see him as nothing but an enemy. But Obi-Wan's "Traitor", at this stage, is just referring to Dooku's political, not religious, allegiance. And I don't think Dooku felt any loyalty to the Sith.
    Last edited by Cael-Fenton, Jul 23, 2014
  3. Lulu Mars Jedi Grand Master

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    Yes, I definitely think he was trying to recruit more allies that he could use against the Republic and, possibly, against Sidious.
  4. Orman Tagge Jedi Knight

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    Yeah, I agree with the first one.

    In the Legends EU, Dooku has a whole group of Dark side adepts - Sora Bulq, Tol Skorr, Ventress, etc..

    However, even discounting the EU, I think it's more reasonable to say that Dooku truly wanted Obi-Wan on his side. I also agree that he seemed reluctant to kill Obi-Wan. He even asks him to back down before they fight.
    Last edited by Orman Tagge, Jul 23, 2014
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  5. Iron_lord Force Ghost

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    In the ROTS novel - he hints to Sidious that Obi-Wan would be a better recruit than Anakin - but Sidious shuts him up pretty quickly.
  6. Cushing's Admirer Force Ghost

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    I believe Dooku's intent was honesty. I also believe his motives for leaving the Jedi and Republic were sound. I believe Dooku was giving Obi a warning which he didn't heed to his error.
  7. Iron_lord Force Ghost

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    And I believe that Dooku's intent was deception - telling the truth in such a way as to ensure that it would not be believed - and that his motive for leaving the Jedi was to join Sidious in his effort to destroy the Jedi Order (since he didn't leave the Jedi Order until after he had murdered Sifo-Dyas and placed the order for the Clone Army in his name)
  8. Bazinga'd Manager Emeritus

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    I have always wondered to what extent Dooku was telling the truth to Obi Wan, or whether his offer for him to join was sincere.

    @Cushing's Admirer Nothing with Dooku was what it seemed, which implies deception.
  9. Iron_lord Force Ghost

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    The only sincerity in the offer, would be that the "Sith" to be destroyed would be Sidious - eventually.

    Dooku's goal would be to corrupt Obi-Wan - until he became like Krell or Ventress - and then they would unite against Palpatine. And replace him - continuing the Sith scheme to destroy the Jedi.
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  10. Bazinga'd Manager Emeritus

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    The other side of the argument, was that Dooku's motivations were not quiet as evil as Sidious'.. If you assume Dooku was sincere in trying to restore stability to the galaxy, the issue becomes one of "Do the ends justify the means"?
  11. Iron_lord Force Ghost

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    A case could be made that Sidious was sincere in "trying to restore stability to the galaxy" - though "revenge on the Jedi" probably also played a part:

    YA novelization of RoTS:

    "You have deceived everyone!"
    "A painful necessity." What had the boy expected him to do—begin by announcing to the entire galaxy that he was one of the feared and hated Sith Lords, and then try and get elected Chancellor? "The Republic was rotting from within. The system had to be shaken to its core. Yet no-one, not the Senate, not the courts, not even the Jedi Council, could do anything. I was the only one who dared to clean up the mess." The old anger and conviction shook him as he spoke, and he felt Anakin's reaction to the truth of his words.
    He paused. Time to let him think. Palpatine made a show of studying Anakin's lightsaber. "Are you going to kill me?' he asked calmly, as though it were a minor matter of curiosity.
    "I would certainly like to," Anakin growled.

  12. Cael-Fenton Jedi Master

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    I know you're replying to @Cushing's Admirer, so forgive me for butting in, but like I said, I'm going by what we see in the movies, where the mystery surrounding Sifo-Dyas is never solved. It's never said or even circumstantially implied (in my view) that Dooku killed him.

    I can accept that maybe the EU says he did, but if it also said that he specifically wanted to destroy the Jedi, I'd find that very puzzling, and another reason not to bother with the EU. Going by what we know from AotC, Dooku had been a Jedi for most of his life, about seventy years, during which he'd apparently given respected Council members every reason to continue vouching for his character long after they parted ways. If he'd hated the Jedi so much, why hadn't he left earlier, and why had none of them picked up any hint of it? I just find it completely improbable that either 1) they were that stupid; or 2) his loyalties changed so drastically in the relatively short period between TPM and AotC. He's not a hotheaded, besotted youngster like Anakin. Around the time of TPM he'd been a Jedi Master for decades (and this is something you can infer from the films, Qui-Gon's age etc, without referring to EU).

    He is clearly fine with Jedi dying as collateral damage. But I think that's subsidiary to his political goals, not an end in itself. And equally, the Sith and their philosophy were means to his political ends. Unlike Maul, Dooku showed no loyalty to Sith goals. Indeed, his repeatedly-demonstrated reluctance to kill Obi-Wan arguably shows that he still feels the pull of his old ties to the Jedi Order, at least through those he had been personally attached to, like Qui-Gon.

    Well, that's his whole problem, isn't it? (I do think he was a sincere political idealist.) It's a recurring theme of the saga that once you start prioritising ends over means, and "externally" justifying your means by utilitarian reference to your ends, that's bad. Anakin, Obi-Wan, Dooku and the Jedi Order as a whole all do this at various points in the Saga, and it never turns out well. Luke is the one who finally realises this will never work, and has the strength and integrity of character to find another way.
    Last edited by Cael-Fenton, Jul 23, 2014
  13. Iron_lord Force Ghost

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    I think it's TCW that's the first "Lucas-canon" source to makes it clear that Dooku had him killed.

    In the ROTS novel, Dooku's goals are elaborated on:

    "It will be," he said slowly, meditatively, as though he spoke only to himself, "an embarrassment to be captured by him."
    The voice that answered him was so familiar that sometimes his very thoughts spoke in it, instead of in his own. "An embarrassment you can survive, Lord Tyranus. After all, he is the greatest Jedi alive, is he not? And have we not ensured that all the galaxy shares this opinion?"
    "Quite so, my Master. Quite so." Again, Dooku sighed. Today he felt every hour of his eighty-three years. "It is... fatiguing, to play the villain for so long, Master. I find myself looking forward to an honorable captivity."
    A captivity that would allow him to sit out the rest of the war in comfort; a captivity that would allow him to forswear his former allegiances—when he would conveniently appear to finally discover the true extent of the Separatists' crimes against civilization—and bind himself to the new government with his reputation for integrity and idealism fully intact.
    The new government...
    This had been their star of destiny for lo, these many years.
    A government clean, pure, direct: none of the messy scramble for the favor of ignorant rabble and subhuman creatures that made up the Republic he so despised. The government he would serve would be Authority personified.
    Human authority.
    It was no accident that the primary powers of the Confederacy of Independent Systems were Neimoidian, Skakoan, Quarren and Aqualish, Muun and Gossam, Sy Myrthian and Koorivar and Geonosian. At war's end the aliens would be crushed, stripped of all they possessed, and their systems and their wealth would be given into the hands of the only beings who could be trusted with them.
    Human beings.
    Dooku would serve an Empire of Man.
    And he would serve it as only he could. As he was born to. He would smash the Jedi Order to create it anew: not shackled by the corrupt, narcissistic, shabby little beings who called themselves politicians, but free to bring true authority and true peace to a galaxy that so badly needed both.
    An Order that would not negotiate. Would not mediate. An Order that would enforce.
    The survivors of the Jedi Order would become the Sith Army.
    The Fist of the Empire.
    And that Fist would become a power beyond any Jedi's darkest dreams. The Jedi were not the only users of the Force in the galaxy; from Hapes to Haruun Kal, from Kiffu to Dathomir, powerful Force-capable humans and near-humans had long refused to surrender their children to lifelong bound servitude in the Jedi Order. They would not so refuse the Sith Army.
    They would not have the choice.


    With his heroic capture of Count Dooku, Anakin Skywalker will become the ultimate hero: the greatest hero in the history of the Republic, perhaps of the Jedi Order itself. The loss of his beloved partner will add just exactly the correct spice of tragedy to give melancholy weight to his every word, when he gives his HoloNet interviews denouncing the Senate's corruption as impeding the war effort, when he delicately—oh, so delicately, not to mention reluctantly—insinuates that corruption in the Jedi Order prolonged the war as well.
    When he announces the creation of a new order of Force-using warriors.
    He will be the perfect commanding general for the Sith Army.
    Dooku could only shake his head in awe. And to think that only days earlier, the Jedi had seemed so close to uncovering, even destroying, all he and his Master had worked for. But he should never have feared. His Master never lost. He would never lose. He was the definition of unbeatable.
    How can one defeat an enemy one thinks is a friend?
    And now, with a single brilliant stroke, his Master would turn the Jedi Order back upon itself like an Ethrani ourobouros devouring its own tail.
    This was the day. The hour.
    The death of Obi-Wan Kenobi would be the death of the Republic.
    Today would see the birth of the Empire.
    Last edited by Iron_lord, Jul 23, 2014
  14. Cael-Fenton Jedi Master

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    @Iron_lord Ah, okay. If I recall correctly, you're a fan of Stover's novelisation? I'm not, so I think we'll have to agree to disagree :p

    My specific problem with that passage (besides the fact that I'm generally sympathetic to Dooku, and I don't think he was a species bigot - that element actually shocked and disgusted me when I first read it, and I think it was amongst other things what put me off the book) is that I just don't see Dooku as having that level of awestruck hero-worship for anyone, least of all Darth Sidious. He's his own man (or at least thinks he is).

    I'm at least as fond of Obi-Wan as Stover very clearly is, but I think you can feel deeply for a character without demonising their antagonists.
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  15. Iron_lord Force Ghost

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    Stover's style is pretty entertaining.

    There's odd moments - but in general it does synergize well with the movie, to me. It helps that I read the novel before seeing the movie.
  16. thejeditraitor Chosen One

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    dooku was speaking the truth. just like vader making the proposition to luke.
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  17. Iron_lord Force Ghost

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  18. Kenneth Morgan Force Ghost

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    I think he was following in Palpatine's footsteps in taking an action that, no matter how it turned out, would work to his advantage.

    If Kenobi believes Dooku and joins him, the Seperatists (and, unknown to Kenobi, the Sith) gain an important ally. If Kenobi doesn't believe him, it starts the Jedi looking over their shoulders and wondering, "How much of this really is true? Who can we really trust?" Either way, the Jedi and the Republic end up mistrusting each other, their collective power is diminished, and Palpatine wins another clandestine victory.
  19. JEDI-RISING Jedi Grand Master

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    I think he was probably doing both. Looking to recruit Obi-Wan AND sowing distrust between the Jedi and the senate.
  20. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

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    The speciesism angle was in reference to the established EU that had the Empire as being pro human, which went back to "Heir To The Empire".
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  21. Iron_lord Force Ghost

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    And there was speculation about it even earlier - in Star Wars Poster Monthly, between ANH and TESB coming out.
  22. CT-867-5309 Force Ghost

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    It is a bit of both.

    Outwardly, lies, deceit, creating mistrust are Tyrannus' ways.

    Inwardly, Dooku may be reaching out to Kenobi, even though Tyrannus doesn't know it, Tyrannus thinks it's all part of the game of lies.

    Is he a poor actor, or was that poor acting intentional? Does he start off with a lie, really camp it up theatrically to make it obvious, so that Obi-Wan immediately starts off distrusting him?

    "Oh no, my friend. This is a mistake, a terrible mistake. They have gone too far, this is madness!"

    He's basically saying "See the way I play the concerned, outraged friend? Now you know I'm full of ****!"

    " I will petition immediately to have you set free." Sure you will.

    "There are no bounty hunters here that I'm aware of. The Geonosians don't trust them." I'm sure the Geonosians don't trust bounty hunters, (who can blame them?), but Dooku knows Jango is there. Lies mixed with truth.

    Even when he brings up a very dear subject in Qui-Gon, he's still deceiving, even himself. Tyrannus thinks he's deceiving, but Dooku is telling the truth. He's "just" using the connection to Qui-Gon to manipulate Kenobi, but there's so much conflict. I'm sure Qui-Gon did speak highly of Kenobi. Truth. "I wish he were still alive. I could use his help right now." "Don't be so sure, my young Jedi. You forget that he was once my apprentice, just as you were once his." There's so much dissonance there. Tyrannus wants one thing, Dooku another. I'm sure Dooku does wish Qui-Gon was alive, I'm sure he misses him. Maybe Qui-Gon would help Dooku out of this Sith mess....or maybe he would join Tyrannus and the Sith.

    Is Tyrannus trying to turn Kenobi, or is Dooku looking for redemption?

    Then he goes on about the Senate and Sidious.

    "He knew all about the corruptions of the Senate, but he would never have gone along with it if he had known the truth as I have." Dooku does know the truth, but actually is going along with it in a way, temporarily, at least.

    "What if I told you that the Republic is now under the control of a Dark Lord of the Sith?" "The Dark Side of the Force has clouded their vision, my friend. Hundreds of senators are now under the influence of a Sith Lord called Darth Sidious." "The Viceroy of the Trade Federation was once in league with this Darth Sidious, but he was betrayed ten years ago by the Dark Lord. He came to me for help; he told me everything."

    All truth, all intended to deceive. The idea of Gunray coming to Dooku is rather amusing, yet it's probably true, not that it matters.

    The thing is, if you replace the references to Qui-Gon in the conversation with references to Palpatine/Sidious, it even starts to hint at why Dooku would join Palpatine/Sidious, if you twist it a little. Who knows about the corruption in the Senate better than Palpatine/Sidious? Who could deal with the problem of corruption better than him? While Qui-Gon was once Dooku's apprentice, just as Obi-Wan was once Qui-Gon's, Tyrannus is now Sidious' apprentice.
    Who else was betrayed ten years ago by the Dark Lord? Dooku. Palpatine was partially responsible for Qui-Gon's death. Who really came to Dooku? Was it Gunray, or Palpatine? (Or both?) Did Palpatine tell Dooku everything? Or did Dooku come to Palpatine and tell him everything? A bit of both? Who knows?

    And then he ends the conversation with a rather final, regretful, pathetic lie....with a hint of truth. "It may be difficult to secure your release". Of course, Dooku runs the show and can release Kenobi at any time. Or can he? Maybe he kinda wants to let Kenobi go...but is too weak, too cowardly, to actually do it.

    Count Dooku, he tells the truth, even when he lies, and he lies, even when he tells the truth.


    I love this scene! It doesn't matter what you believe, that this scene can be read so many different ways is what makes it great.

    And Lee, Lee knocks it out of the park. Theatrical lies one moment, genuine sincerity the next, and at times both at the same time.
    Last edited by CT-867-5309, Jul 23, 2014
  23. There_Are_Four_Lights Jedi Padawan

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    Dooku continually uses the word "Jedi" ("my Jedi powers far exceed yours" ... "I've become more powerful than any Jedi") and refers to the Sith at a remove ... not sure what to make of that.
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  24. Cushing's Admirer Force Ghost

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    I respect that's how some see it, Baz. Not me.
  25. Cael-Fenton Jedi Master

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    I never really understood that point. Yes, it makes sense from Yoda's perspective given the limited information he has at the end of AotC (that Dooku is a Sith who is politically opposed to the Republic) that he would try to create suspicion dividing the Order from the Senate. But from the Sith perspective, why would they do that? Yoda doesn't know that the Sith are on both sides of the war. Palpatine's plan, which Dooku is ostensibly 'in' on, absolutely depends on the Jedi remaining loyal to and cooperating with the Senate (and its leader) at least until he'd gotten them in a position where he could simultaneously murder thousands of them.

    It only makes sense if Dooku *isn't* cooperating with Palpatine's plan. And that has to be because his political ideals and his disgust with the Republic/Senate are more important to him than the Sith goal of destroying the Jedi and taking over the galaxy without their obstruction.

    It's pretty obvious even from the movies alone that the Empire is speciesist, and I was aware of that. But I was referring to Dooku's portrayal in the RotS novelisation. What the Empire turned out to be doesn't necessarily have anything to do with Dooku's views, especially since the Emperor deliberately had him killed before the Empire even came about. Dooku was a Jedi for seventy years; I find it hard to believe that such a person would be guilty of something as crass as biological bigotry. From what is shown onscreen, the Jedi Order is probably the most genetically diverse organisation in the films.

    I think a case can be made that that Empire's bigotry can be traced back to the Republic's (especially since the former was a legal and political rearrangement of the latter, not something new). Compare the Separatist leadership with the Senate's, for example. And look at the big heroic statues lining the boulevard to the Senate building: they're all of human or very near-human figures.

    Great post, thanks for that. I agree with pretty much everything you said about Dooku.

    You're totally right. It occurred to me too after I posted the above.

    Very well said. Personally though I'd interpret it a little differently. There is cognitive dissonance there, but of the same feel as what we get in the OT when Luke confronts Obi-Wan about his deceit. How I see that whole thing is that Obi-Wan's not literally delusional, he obviously knew on some level that he was misleading Luke, but at the same time he not only genuinely believes he's just doing what's best....he also *has* to believe, has on some level convinced himself of, the **** he told Luke, for emotional reasons, because it would hurt him too much to let himself think that Anakin's still there.

    Likewise, I don't see the Count as being divided between Tyrannus, Sith Lord and Dooku, ex-Jedi. Admittedly though, this is all premised on my view that Dooku was never a 100% card-carrying, flag-waving Sith like Maul. He was just using them for his political goals. I think he does genuinely believe that Qui-Gon would politically sympathise with him (I believe so myself). How I read that exchange is that he's deliberately setting out to manipulate Obi-Wan, but in complete sincerity. He totally believes what he's saying, and that his goals are worthy, Qui-Gon would think so too, and that Obi-Wan *should* (in a normative, "greater good" sense, not just that it would help further his aims) join him. There isn't a Tyrannus in there rubbing his hands and cackling as he sees Obi-Wan almost flinch at his mention of Qui-Gon.

    See my above reply to two previous posts for why I think this bit wasn't completely intended to deceive, Dooku had a non-Sith agenda here and was genuinely reaching out to Obi-Wan.

    I'll add to what I said above that he isn't telling the truth in a way that would guarantee Obi-Wan disbelieves him, despite the earlier obvious bull****. He mentions the Viceroy being in cahoots with Sidious. He knows very well that Obi-Wan is not only perfectly aware of this, but also that this one-time relationship between the Trade Federation and the Sith cost Obi-Wan very dearly. It cost both of them very dearly. And it arguably changed their lives: after Qui-Gon's death, Dooku left the Order; and Obi-Wan was compelled to train Anakin. He must be aware that Obi-Wan will sense the weight and truth of his words once he brings that up.

    Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. Of all the films, AotC is probably the one I've watched most often, though I have a love/hate relationship with it...and this is the scene I replay the most.
    Last edited by Cael-Fenton, Jul 23, 2014
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