Actually this recent info about Sidious using Jedi masters as his apprentices even before Episode 1 made me think that it means Sidious could also use Dooku as his apprentice before Episode 1 not only Sifo-Dyas; Lucas: "Nobody knows who ordered the clones. It's played as if it were somebody from the Jedi Council who foresaw there was going to be a war, so he was preparing for it, but it turns out that was somebody working for Palpatine, Sifo-Dyas. He was the apprentice before Darth Maul." Then you might ask, why is this related to ''power''? Because that's how the Sith operates, Sidious used Dooku as a placeholder until Anakin grows strong enough to kill him in the Clone Wars, if he couldn't kill Dooku, he could never become the Sith apprentice; In the Episode III Novel; Spoiler "May I suggest, Master, that we give Kenobi one last chance? The support of a Jedi of his integrity would be invaluable in establishing the political legitimacy of our Empire." "Ah, yes. Kenobi." His Master's voice went silken. "You have long been interested in Kenobi, haven't you?" "Of course. His Master was my Padawan; in a sense, he's practically my grandson-" "He is too old. Too indoctrinated. Irretrievably poisoned by Jedi fables. We established that on Geonosis, did we not? In his mind, he serves the Force itself; reality is nothing in the face of such conviction." Dooku sighed. He should, he supposed, have no difficulty with this, having ordered the Jedi Master's death once already. "True enough, I suppose; how fortunate we are that I never labored under any such illusions." "Kenobi must die. Today. At your hand. His death may be the code key of the final lock that will seal Skywalker to us forever." Dooku understood: not only would the death of his mentor tip Skywalker's already unstable emotional balance down the darkest of slopes, but it would also remove the greatest obstacle to Skywalker's successful conversion. As long as Kenobi was alive, Skywalker would never be securely in the camp of the Sith; Kenobi's unshakable faith in the values of the Jedi would keep the Jedi blindfold on Skywalker's eyes and the Jedi shackles on the young man's true power. Still, though, Dooku had some reservations. This had all come about too quickly; had Sidious thought through all the implications of this operation? "But I must ask, my Master: is Skywalker truly the man we want?" "He is powerful. Potentially more powerful than even myself." "Which is precisely," Dooku said meditatively, "why it might be best if I were to kill him, instead." "Are you so certain that you can?" "Please. Of what use is power unstructured by discipline? The boy is as much a danger to himself as he is to his enemies. And that mechanical arm-" Dooku's lip curled with cultivated distaste. "Revolting." "Then perhaps you should have spared his real arm." "Hmp. A gentleman would have learned to fight one-handed." Dooku flicked a dismissive wave. "He's no longer even entirely human. With Grievous, the use of these bio-droid devices is almost forgivable; he was such a disgusting creature already that his mechanical parts are clearly an improvement. But a blend of droid and human? Appalling. The depths of bad taste. How are we to justify associating with him?" "How fortunate I am"-the silk in his Master's voice softened further-"to have an apprentice who feels it is appropriate to lecture me." Dooku lifted an eyebrow. "I have overstepped, my Master," he said with his customary grace. "I am only observing, not arguing. Not at all." "Skywalker's arm makes him, for our purposes, even better. It is the permanent symbol of the sacrifices he has made in the name of peace and justice. It is a badge of heroism that he must publicly wear for the rest of his life; no one can ever look at him and doubt his honor, his courage, his integrity. He is perfect, just as he is. Perfect. The only question that remains is whether he is capable of transcending the artificial limitations of his Jedi indoctrination. And that, my lord Count, is precisely what today's operation is designed to discover." Dooku could not argue. Not only had the Dark Lord introduced Dooku to realms of power beyond his most spectacular fantasies, but Sidious was also a political manipulator so subtle that his abilities might be considered to dwarf even the power of the dark side itself. It was said that whenever the Force closes a hatch, it opens a viewport . . . and every viewport that had so much as cracked in this past thirteen standard years had found a Dark Lord of the Sith already at the rim, peering in, calculating how best to slip through. Improving upon his Master's plan was near to impossible; his own idea, of substituting Kenobi for Skywalker, he had to admit was only the product of a certain misplaced sentimentality. Skywalker was almost certainly the man for the job. He should be; Darth Sidious had spent a considerable number of years making him so. Today's test would remove the almost. He had no doubt that Skywalker would fall. Dooku understood that this was more than a test for Skywalker; though Sidious had never said so directly, Dooku was certain that he himself was being tested as well. Success today would show his Master that he was worthy of the mantle of Mastery himself: by the end of the coming battle, he would have initiated Skywalker into the manifold glories of the dark side, just as Sidious had initiated him.'' And Lucas also said that directly; Lucas: "Palpatine has told Dooku, 'I have somebody who I think will become a great Sith Lord and I think we can get him to join us. But we need to test him. So we're going to set up a situation where you fight him. If he gets the best of you, then I'll stop the fight and he'll have passed the test. If you get the best of him, then we'll let him go, and we'll let him stew for a few more years until he's ready.' But behind it, obviously, is Palpatine's real intention: If Anakin is good enough, Anakin can kill Dooku and become Palpatine's new apprentice. But he didn't tell Dooku that." And Episode 3 Novel states that Dooku's purpose was to be killed by Anakin; Spoiler In Skywalker's eyes he sees only flames. "Chancellor, please!" he gasps, desperate and helpless, his aristocratic demeanor invisible, his courage only a bitter memory. He is reduced to begging for his life, as so many of his victims have. "Please, you promised me immunity! We had a deal! Help me!" And his begging gains him a share of mercy equal to that |which he has dispensed. "A deal only if you released me," Palpatine replies, cold as intergalactic space. "Not if you used me as bait to kill my friends." And he knows, then, that all has indeed been going according to plan. Sidious's plan, not his own. This had been a Jedi trap | indeed, but Jedi were not the quarry. They were the bait. "Anakin," Palpatine says quietly. "Finish him." Years of Jedi training make Anakin hesitate; he looks down upon Dooku and sees not a Lord of the Sith but a beaten, broken, cringing old man. "I shouldn't-" But when Palpatine barks, "Do it! Now!" Anakin realizes that this isn't actually an order. That it is, in fact, nothing more than what he's been waiting for his whole life. Permission. And Dooku-As he looks up into the eyes of Anakin Skywalker for the final time, Count Dooku knows that he has been deceived not just today, but for many, many years. That he has never been the true apprentice. That he has never been the heir to the power of the Sith. He has been only a tool. His whole life-all his victories, all his struggles, all his heritage, all his principles and his sacrifices, everything he's done, everything he owns, everything he's been, all his dreams and grand vision for the future Empire and the Army of Sith-have been only a pathetic sham, because all of them, all of him, add up only to this. He has existed only for this. This. To be the victim of Anakin Skywalker's first cold-blooded murder. First but not, he knows, the last. Sidious also later says that Dooku was a proton torpedo and Maul was a loss. Sidious : ''Darth Maul was a loss, but Darth Tyranus... He was a proton torpedo. He served his purpose and was gone...'' Source: Darth Vader #20 (2016) So even in the Sith, he doesn't choose his apprentices based on their potential, they need to prove it, if Maul had superior potential in Episode I, then that's cool, but that doesn't mean he should be a Sith apprentice over Dooku or others like Sifo-Dyas in Episode I, he should've proved that he is better than Sifo-Dyas or Dooku, or other candidates, so this makes me think that Maul at the time must be stronger than Dooku, based on him being chosen by Sidious.