- "The human's starship, it flies as if by magic. If Poggle crosses him, the human might use his magic against us."
- ―Anonymous Geonosian guard
The Punworcca 116-class interstellar sloop was a personal yacht designed by the Huppla Pasa Tisc Shipwrights Collective of Geonosis. Count Dooku possessed such a vessel that was gifted to him by Archduke Poggle the Lesser. His particular vessel was heavily modified, propelled by a unique solar sail using ancient Gree technology. He used the vessel to enter and leave Coruscant undetected.
The seed-shaped vessel bore a resemblance to the smaller Geonosian starfighter, though the sloop had room inside for two pilots, a bunk, and cargo space. Though unarmed, the solar sloop featured eighty-four miniature tractor beam projectors fitted to the forward prongs, which acted both as steering aids and emergency grapple weapons.
Count Dooku received an interstellar sloop as a gift from his Geonosian colleagues prior to the Clone Wars. To the Geonosian sloop, Dooku added a unique and ancient solar sail acquired in the Gree Enclave. Fitted to his vessel, the solar sail propelled the sailer through mysterious means; regular solar sailers used sails that unfurled to moon-like diameters, catching tachyon streams and ultraviolet lasers. An FA-4 pilot droid flew the sailer for Dooku, who was often found in the rear hold, perusing the onboard data book library.
When war erupted on Geonosis, Dooku fled to his secret hangar in the desert, intent on fleeing the massive battle between Republic and Separatist forces. Dooku was waylaid by Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, and Yoda, and barely escaped into the safety of his sailer. The solar sailer left Geonosis far behind, heading for a dark rendezvous with Dooku's Master, Darth Sidious, in The Works on Coruscant.
Dooku owned at least one decoy sloop, and his apprentices Asajj Ventress and Savage Opress also used Punworcca 116 sloops during various missions. During Dooku's escape to Vanqor, part of the Skirmish at Vanqor, his sloop was shot down and crashed. Hondo Ohnaka and his pirate gang salvaged the ship and claimed it as their own. Later, Dooku got another one for his mission to Zygerria, where he killed Queen Miraj Scintel for her disobedience.
Behind the scenes
Inspirations for the solar sailer came from abandoned concepts for the Queen's Royal Starship in Episode I. When the solar sail idea was removed from the chrome aesthetics of Naboo design sensibilities and placed into the harsh insectoid warrens of Geonosis, the ship itself also developed insect-like characteristics. Some designs closely resembled a water beetle in shape and texture, while others were more elegant, butterfly-like incarnations.
At first, Dooku's ship was envisioned like a limousine, with its pilot in an enclosed compartment separated from its important passenger. Later, during filming, it was decided that a shot of Count Dooku seated next to the pilot droid was needed, so the ship was redesigned with the cockpit bubble more connected to the ship's interior space.
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