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General Grievous

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Villain Overview
Army or not, you must realize... you are doomed!
~ General Grievous's most famous quote and his last words just prior to his death.

General Grievous, is a prominent villain in the Star Wars franchise. He is the tertiary antagonist of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, as well as one of the main antagonists in the TV series Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

He was voiced by Matthew Wood throughout his various appearances in Star Wars related media.

Grievous has a ruthless, demanding personality. He becomes impatient with battle droids that serve him when they do not fulfill his desires to the point into destroying one of them. It is not uncommon for him to destroy one of his droids in his anger. Although General Grievous is strong, he underestimates the power of the Republic and the Jedi which leads to his loss in some of the battles.

History

Background

Grievous was a warlord of the Kalee, born Qymaen jai Sheelal, a race who was at constant war with an insectoid race they called the Huk. Sheelal was raised as a sharpshooter and he excelled in killing Huk, to the point his raise worshipped him as a demigod. Eventually, Sheelal allied himself to a female Kaleesh warrior, Ronderu Iij Kummar, who was a fearsome wielder of blades, after being guided to her by a dream. The two taught each other how to wield their weapons and waged fearsome war against the Huk together. Unfortunately, during one battle, they were seperated and Kummar was killed by the Huk. Sheelal was driven into utter despair at the lost of his comrade and even begged the gods of his people to let him see her one last time, but his pleas went unanswered. Nothing filled the void Sheelal felt at the lost of Kummar and he decided he was meant to simply mourn for her forever, taking the name, Grievous to represent his never ending grief.

Grievous formed a squad of vicious, master warriors amongst the Kaleesh dubbed the Izvoshra. He lead his people in finally forcing the Huk from their planet, but he was not satisfied. Grievous attacked the Huk colony worlds, destroying entire planets they controlled, until the Huk sought help from the Republic. Jedi Knights came to the Huk's aid, forcing massive fines and embargos upon the Kalee which drove the planet into poverty and starvation. However, San Hill, leader of the Intergalactic Banking Clan, hired Grievous as muscle for his group and in exchange, took on the debts his people were suffering from. Grievous was able to keep fighting, as he still felt a need for combat, but was irritated at having to command droids and missed his Izvoshra warriors. Grievous demanded higher quality droids to follow him and learn how to fight as he did, which lead to the creation of the Magna Guard droids.

But after Grievous learned the Huk had violated sacred Kaleesh burial grounds, he angrily left the IGBC and returned home to resume his war on the Huk. San Hill was irritated at his disobedience but collaborated with his allies, Poggle the Lesser, Darth Sidious, and Count Dooku to make Grievous their permanent servant. They planted a bomb on the ship Grievous and his Izvoshra were using and rigged Grievous' seat to eject him. As a result, as Grievous and his Izvoshra set out, the ship exploded and he was ejected at the last possible minute, while all his warriors perished. His broken body was recovered and kept alive by Dooku as it was brought to Geonosis, the Sith making him believe the Jedi were responsible for the attack. San Hill offered to rebuild Grievous and he agreed, wanting his revenge on the Republic and the Huk. Thus, he was rebuilt, almost all traces of his former self gone, and leaving nothing but General Grievous. However, Grievous was not entirely robotic in spite of his new body, being enraged upon being referred to as a droid and adorning himself and his Magna Guards in Kaleesh style garb. Dooku also presented him with his first Jedi lightsaber, taken from the Jedi whose blood was used to keep him alive before his reconstruction. Grievous quickly grew to respect Dooku and Sidious, seeing as the leaders the Confederacy of Independent Systems required for success, while he despised Nute Gunray, the "supposed" leader of the CIS.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars

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Grievous speaking with Dooku aboard the Malevolence

During the war, Grievous was put in charge of the Separatist warship called "The Malevolence," which possessed a powerful ion cannon capable of obliterating entire Republic fleets. Grievous destroyed several fleets on the Malevolence and Jedi general Plo Koon eventually took a fleet to deal with Grievous, but his fleet was no match for the Malevolence's ion cannon. Koon and a few of his troops survived, but were faced with ships sent by Grievous to destroy the Republic escape pods. Koon and his men were eventually rescued by Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker who then delivered news of the weapons to the Republic.

Later, Count Dooku gave Grievous permission to attack a Republic medical station in the Kaliida Nebula. However, upon arrival, Anakin and a fleet of Republic ships emerged from hyperspace to defend the medical station and destroy the Malevolence. Grievous had no choice but to engage Anakin's fleet in battle, then aimed the ion cannon at the medical station and ordered his droids to open fire. Before they could fire, however, the Republic fleet attacked and disabled the ion cannon and caused it to explode, angering Grievous. Grievous demanded his battle droids to repair the ion cannon immediately, which they complied to do. Eventually, Obi-Wan Kenobi, a Jedi Grievous faced many times throughout the war, attacked the Malevolence. Grievous ordered the Malevolence to escape into Separatist space. Dooku then contacted Grievous and informed him that Senator Padme Amidala was tricked into heading into the nebula and suggested he capture her and escape. When Amidala's ship arrived, the cyborg successfully captured the senator via tractor beam, leading his forces to the hangar to apprehend the hostage.

However, Amidala overloaded her ship's reactor and when Grievous and his droids entered, the ship exploded and destroyed the droids. Grievous survived and began hunting the senator, eventually being informed that the ion cannons repairs would take less time than expected. Anakin and Obi-Wan eventually arrived on board the Malevolnce and rescued Amidala. Obi-Wan left to sabotage the ship while Anakin sabotaged the ship's navicomputer. Grievous eventually tracked down Obi-Wan and fought him on the rail jets, but Obi-Wan eventually escaped him much to the cyborg's rage.

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Grievous dueling with Obi-Wan

Later, a battle droid contacted Grievous and told him the ion cannon was almost completely repaired, and Grievous ordered the ship to escape, but before it could, the ion cannon malfunctioned and did not fire, the ship instead heading into a nearby moon. Realising he was defeated, Grievous headed for his starfighter and escaped as the Malevolence crashed.

Grievous next targeted the Republic's cloning facilities on Kamino to stop the production of clone troopers. Grievous sent droid squads to seize the Republic sector outpost and hot-wire the stations' "all-clear" signals to prevent the Republic from learning of the impending invasion. With brutal efficiency, the robots infiltrated the base by shooting the sergeant's leg and lost no time to kill the sergeant and three clones recruits, forcing the remaining four clones to flee the base. The droid commander reported his success to General Grievous. Satisfied, Grievous contacted Asajj Ventress on Kamino, where she was making preparations for the invasion. However, a squad of clone troopers defeated the droid squads and destroyed the base. Alerted, the Republic fleet flew to the system and Grievous was forced to retreat.

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Grievous leading his forces to attack Bothawui

Grievous' next target was the planet Bothawui, which housed a Republic intelligence center. The Jedi Counci dispatched Anakin Skywalker and his Padawan learner, Ahsoka Tano, with a newly-christened fleet of Venator-class Star Destroyers to stop the cyborg. Grievous cut the Jedi out of their hyperlanes and engaged the Jedi three times in open space before Skywalker and his fleet escaped and took a direct course to Bothawui. Grievous fled from his ship in Soulless One. His starfighter was pursued by Skywalker but Grievous was able to jump to hyperspace and retreat thanks to debris that damaged Skywalker's fighter. Gha Nachkt accessed R2-D2's memory bank and finds that the droid contains every Republic strategy. He demands more money but Grievous decides to kill him with his lightsaber.

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Grievous dueling with Ahsoka

Grievous confronted Tano and her clone squad on listening post after ordering his IG-100 MagnaGuards to guard R2-D2. The general killed all the clones but Rex and Denal. Ahsoka defended herself against Grievous's blows and retreated to a room filled with spare droid parts to hide, only for a traitor astromech droid to give her away. Grievous destroyed her comlink, and she managed to escape through a vent.

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Grievous dueling Vebb and Fisto

Upon his arrival at his lair on Vassek, Grievous was confronted by Kit Fisto and Nadhar Vebb along with their squad of clones. Grievous engaged them only for his legs to get cut off just above the knees. However, the cyborg escaped his control room where he was repaired by a medical droid. Grievous then ordered his MagnaGuards to isolate the area, also having his enemies' ships destroyed, though Fisto's astromech droid got his starfighter to safety. Grievous left the intruders at the mercy of his pet roggwart, Gor, before being contacted by Dooku, who confirmed to Grievous that this was a test for him since his defeats had shaken Dooku's faith in the general. Grievous decided to play along and Fisto and Vebb soon found the entrance to Grievous' control room. But as they tried to sneak in, Vebb chose to confront Grievous instead, despite Fisto trying to convince him otherwise. In the midst of their argument, EV-A4-D locks Fisto away from Vebb and the Jedi defeated all five of Grievous' guards.

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Grievous fighting Fisto, despite missing a hand

Vebb proceeds to attack Grievous, but the general killed the young Jedi by pulling a blaster on him as they fought. Grievous engaged Fist in combat, but he started to gain the upper hand until some of Grievous' MagnaGuards arrived, turning the odds against him. As R6-H5 arrives with his starfighter, Fisto escaped and returns to the Jedi Temple on Coruscant.

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Grievous dueling Eeth Koth

Grievous eventually captured Jedi Master, Eeth Koth, and then contacted the Jedi Temple. In his message, he declared his victory over the Jedi to show one of MagnaGuards torturing Koth promising that the Jedi Master's death would be slow, much to the horror of the Jedi watching. However, Plo Koon and Commander Wolffe noticed a coded message made by hand gestures of Koth, which was decoded by Obi-Wan, telling them that Grievous was in the Saleucami system. Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker and Adi Gallia thus departed to rescue Eeth Koth and capture Grievous. Kenobi entered the Separatist ship and fought the MagnaGuards and eventually Grievous.

Count Dooku secretly instructed General Grievous to order a group of explosive droids disguised as sanitary units on Coruscant to conduct sabotage on Coruscant power generator. Grievous contacted the droids and ordered them to proceed. Grievous's units were successful in making the Republic deregulate the banks.

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Grievous with Ventress during the invasion of Kamino

After the destruction of the moon post on Rishi, General Grievous and Asajj Ventress planned an attack oh the cloning facilities on Kamino Grievous attacks the barracks to kill all the clones he can find there, while Ventress heads for the main DNA storage to grab the prime DNA sample of the clones' template.Grievous ordered his droids to throw the other clones out of there, but was confronted by Obi-Wan Kenobi, and the two engaged in lightsaber duel. Grievous escapes with Ventress when a Trident unit crushes the platform where they are on.

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Grievous dueling Ventress

After Savage’s trumphery, Grievous was ordered by Count Dooku to wipe out Asajj Ventress, Mother Talzin, and her fellow Nightsisters on Dathomir. Grievous took a Separatist Fleet to Dathomir and landed his forces. The Separatist forces successfully defeated the Nightsisters, with Grievous himself killing Old Daka while Mother Talzin escaped through the use of her magic. The Separatists were unable to capture or kill Asajj Ventress, who also escaped.

After forcing Kenobi to a retreat on Floruum, Grievous and his forces took Ohnaka's base as retribution for previously holding Dooku to ransom. Grievous prepares to board the Jedi's speeder tank, which forces R2 to execute some risky maneuvers in an attempt to shake him off. However, this move leaves the tank crashed instead. The stunned Jedi recover just as Grievous moves in for the kill when Ohnaka's escape ship, the rebuilt Slave I, arrives on the scene to pick him up. Ahsoka sends her youngling charges to the craft and engages Grievous in combat to cover their escape. She then barely escapes onto the ship on her own, and before Hondo has a chance to properly repay Grievous for his cordiality, a squad of AATs forces them to withdraw for good.

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

Near the end of the war, General Grievous led a daring kidnapping on Chancellor Palpatine in the Battle of Coruscant under the orders of Count Dooku and Darth Sidious. Keeping his prisoner in the custody of Dooku aboard his flagship, Grievous was unsurprised when Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker arrived to stage a rescue. The Jedi proved victorious, with Anakin killing Dooku and freeing the Chancellor, but were soon apprehended by Grievous’ droids. Brought before him, Grievous took their lightsabers, boasting that they would make a fine addition to his collection. Thanks to some of R2-D2’s clever trickery, however, the Jedi regained their  weapons and cornered the droid army leader. In a last-second move, Grievous shattered the bridge viewport and escaped into space. 

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Grievous' demise

Grievous headed for a major Separatist base on Utapau. Spea king with Darth Sidious, he was assured that the war was coming to an end, and the Separatists would be victorious. Still, it would prove to be short-lived comfort for the walking terror. Obi-Wan soon arrived with a battalion of clones, and the Battle of Utapau began. The General and Obi-Wan dueled, and despite wielding four lightsabers at once, Grievous was dismembered and once again tried to flee. Obi-Wan gave chase, and the two eventually fought in a knock-down drag-out fist fight. The Jedi had lost his lightsaber and found himself dangling from a cliff, and Grievous appeared to have the upper hand. As the General menacingly lurched forward, pr epared to deliver the final blow, Obi-Wan used the Force to draw Grievous' blaster into his hand. He shot Grievous in the chest, igniting what remained of his organic matter, and the menace was no more.

Personality

Grievous is cold, ruthless, and treacherous, never showing mercy to any enemy, even when he was a Kaleesh. His shuttle crash left him with a sense of bitterness for being cheated of a warrior’s death and though he chose to become a cyborg, believing that flesh was weak, Grievous is secretly ashamed of his new form. He also began comparing himself to the Jedi and became determined to be able to match them, leading to him doing anything in his power to improve himself. Grievous has no problem with sacrificing others for himself and often exploits the Jedi's compassion for their soldiers. Grievous is also known and feared for his cruelty and brutality.

He is also very arrogant and manipulative, but also has a somewhat cowardly side; he tends to flee when the tide is against him. Despite this, he is also quite indefatigable and relentless; he is totally determined to destroy the Jedi, and will sometimes fight them even when he is in a bad condition. This is shown when he fought Obi-Wan despite the fact that he was still weak from a crippling blow inflicted by Mace Windu, showing a mild form of recklessness.

However, Grievous is also completely sympathetic and compassionate, caring for his people and Kummar, and on one occasion, even showed pity for a Jedi, letting her land minor hits on him before giving her a clean death. And he seems to care greatly of his pet Gor as when he realized that Kit Fisto and Naddar Veb killed him he was enraged and smashed his control room with his fists. Grievous hated Nute Gunray for thinking of him as nothing but a servant droid, which enraged him to no end and saw the viceroy and the other Separatist leaders as greedy weaklings. Grievous also had something of a rivalry with Asajj Ventress, but the two shared one trait; a dislike and contempt for the mindless battle droids of the Separatists, which he often destroyed to alleviate his frustration.

Abilities

Grievous is an extremely powerful and deadly fighter, being one of the most proficient Jedi hunters to exist. He is extremely proficient, efficacious, and authoritative at wielding lightsabers, using his own unique form, which utilizes extremely fast barrages of strikes and more powerful blows to overwhelm his enemies. Grievous can split his arms in two, giving him four arms to fight with and can spin his torso, arms, and wrists in deadly, blindingly fast storms of death. Grievous can even use his feet just as well as his hands and his ability to wield his lightsabers in this unorthodox and fast flowing style makes him able to hold his own against several opponents at once. However, in his final duel against Obi-Wan Kenobi, Grievous uses all four of his arms and lightsabers, but each lightsaber is quickly disarmed by his opponent. This fact can be interpreted that Grievous has been weakened after Mace Windu uses Force Crush on him after attempting to kidnap Sidious, which damages his organ resulting in his constant coughing and declining in strength.

Grievous is also perfectly willing to use more dishonest, manipulative, and underhanded tactics, for example, pulling a blaster to finish his opponents. He is a skilled general and tactician, using chaotic, seemingly random strategies that can easily trick his opponents. Grievous is quick to target civilians in battle, forcing his enemy to make the choice between victory and protecting innocents. He can also control his droids through antennae in his head, making him even more in control during battles. Grievous's mechanical body is far stronger, flexible, and agile than most other creatures and can also survive the vacuum of space. He is also a skilled and influential pilot, said to be as good at handling a ship as he is with a lightsaber.

Trivia

  • In Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, Grievous has six fingers on each hand, but in the Clone Wars, Grievous has only four on each hand, and in the animated series, he has five fingers on each hand.
  • Each villain in the Star Wars prequels foreshadows a different aspect of what Anakin will become. Grievous represents the wheezing and heavy breathing cyborg.
  • Though must likely a coincidence, the enemy called Grievous Bodily Arm from the Dragon Quest series shares more similarities with General Grievous than just their names.
  • Grievous's death is the final cryptic display of how powerful a Jedi Obi-Wan became, displaying how powerful he will be against Anakin when their final duel on Mustafar breaks out.
  • Grievous was first introduced as a villain in the Legends 2003 Clone Wars Cartoon but was soon changed by George Lucas in Revenge of the Sith. Grievous was soon written as a more heroic backstory but Dave Filoni changed Grievous's entire history and made him still a villain at heart.
  • Grievous shares many similarities with Darth Vader. They're both cyborgs with breathing problems, both are notorious for killing Jedi under the command of a Sith lord, and both commanded an army.

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