General Grievous: his life and secrets

general grievous

General Grievous is one of the main generals of the Star Wars prelogy. Before the decanonization of the Clone Wars series in 2003, he was considered an extremely formidable adversary by both the Jedi and the Republic, with a rather remarkable track record. The most nostalgic fans of this series will consider it as such. Nevertheless, he played similar roles in the 2008 reboot of Clone Wars.

Where does it come from? How did he join the separatists? Why does it have this mechanical body? What roles did he play during the events of the prelogy? How strong is he? What face does he hide under that “mask”?

Find out all you need to know about this mysterious character.

Biography: who is General Grievous?

Its birth

Real name Qymaen Jai Sheelal, the general is a kaleesh from the planet Kalee. He was officially born on 19 BC. BY according to the Star Wars license chronology scattered across the various media.

His personality

In the barrel

General Grievous’ desire for revenge was enough for him to join the separatists. It also has a realistic side. He can recognize opponents who are superior to him. This is often illustrated in the 2008 series, but also in the episode: Revenge of the Sith, when he flees from Ahsoka, a young Padawan, and Obi-Wan Kenobi respectively. In the same series, he’s illustrated more as a general in command of a battalion of droids, each one far more impressive than the little R2-D2 and C-3PO of course.

In non-canon

He had no intention of joining the dark side. He was a simple soldier who fought only for his nation. Also in 2003’s Star Wars: Clone Wars, he looks intimidating, even frightening. In this series, it’s the Jedi who flee from him, not the other way around. Despite his title as general of the droid army, he is often portrayed as a lone assassin who prefers to eliminate Jedi alone, without help from the droids that accompany him.

However, in both versions, he remains a warrior with no compassion or pity for his enemies, or even his own droids, since joining the Separatist camp.

grievous combat

Fighting power

We know from legends that he was already a great fighter at an early age. He is a great fan of precision rifles. He was also a great general, hence his role as a senator before his transformation. Leading an army is one of his specialties. Beyond his natural talent for battle, his new droid body gave him several abilities that were very useful in combat:

  • Claws on its feet enable it to cling to walls and ceilings, perfect for surprising opponents. This makes him look like a spider, by the way;
  • Articulations normally impossible for a simple Kaleesh;
  • Four arms that he uses to perfection to wield several lightsabers;
  • He can also use blasters.

The specificity of his body has made it possible for him to learn and master both the Jedi and Sith arts. He is not Force-sensitive and therefore cannot use it. But he didn’t need it. He taught himself to wield a lightsaber, and that was enough to make him a formidable enemy of the Republic. The fact is, he quickly learned to use his arms to his advantage, wielding four swords at once.

Thanks to his semi-droid body, he can also perform a variety of moves impossible for other sword-wielders. He can, for example, spin his sabers around, giving him an almost impenetrable defense while keeping his other two arms ready to attack.

general grievous

History of General Grievous

General Grievous before he was a separatist

General Grievous was basically a warlord. He was also a senator for his home planet during the endless battles the Kaleesh people waged against the Huks. Unfortunately for him and his nation, the Galactic Republic preferred to side with the Huks. She sent Jedi to stop the war between the two races.

This created a feeling of hatred and a desire for revenge within him. This is a more general version of his past. In the Legends universe, we discover a little more about his life. We know, for example, that the name Grievous comes from the fact that since the death of his war partner Kumar, he decides to change his life and therefore his identity. Since then, he has launched genocides against the Huks on various planets.

How did he join the separatists?

In the legendary universe, it was thanks to a trap set by Count Dooku that his business partner San Hill was able to give him a half-droid, half-organic body. In the process, the latter altered his brain to make him a warrior in the service of Dooku and the Sith.

In the canon universe, he decides of his own accord to undergo this experience and join the dark side. In both cases, he eventually becomes Count Dooku’s apprentice, as described in Revenge of the Sith and illustrated in Clone Wars by intensive training against the Sith.

The exploits of General Grievous

If his fighting skills aren’t proof of his power, his exploits are. Indeed, his record as general of the Separatist droid army is not to be overlooked:

  • In the Legends universe, we learn that from the age of eight, General Grievous had a hunting list of over forty Huks.
  • In Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the non-canon version from 2003, Grievous easily defeats a group of 6 Jedi without the help of his accompanying war droids.
  • In both versions of Clone Wars, his main mission was to capture Chancellor Palpatine, an event that took place just before Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith.
  • In this film, he stands up to Obi-Wan Kenobi, and is almost on his level.

The end

General Grievous last appeared in the final film of the prequel series, Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith. In this film, the Kaleesh lived out his final hours in a duel to the death against Obi-Wan Kenobi on the planet Utapau after the latter cut off two of his arms and shot him in the chest with a blaster. His torso was precisely the cyborg’s only weak point.

The highlights of his life

His first screen appearance

This is its introductory scene. It perfectly introduces the character and the threat he poses to our protagonists. Accompanied by an army of droids encircling the Jedi, Grievous orders the droids to cease fire. The reason is simple: he wants to take care of it himself. The Jedi take refuge in the ruined ships, frightened. But Grievous managed to sneak in and beat them without any help. As Count Dooku said, what he needs to beat the best Jedi is fear, surprise and intimidation. This scene proves his power and also shows the results of his training with the Sith.

Palpatine’s abduction

It’s an event cited in Revenge of the Sith, and is considered one of the General’s earliest missions in the film. This abduction was shown in the 2003 series. The most memorable scene is the moment when the cyborg reveals his two extra arms, just as the Jedi thought they had the upper hand. It’s worth noting that Grievous’ best moments are mostly found in this series, which is no longer canon, which is rather unfortunate.

Trivia about General Grievous

General Grievous unmasked

As previously mentioned, General Kaleesh’s body has been modified. An exoskeleton was then given to him in place of skin. In reality, he wears no mask at all. We can imagine, however, that he had a rather elongated Kaleesh face before his transformation.

Why is he coughing so much?

One of the main features of the character, which is shown very often, is the fact that he coughs quite often, in addition to having noisy breaths. In fact, this can be explained in Clone Wars (2003) when the Jedi Mace Windu uses the force to compress the Cyborg’s rib cage.

General Grievous’ trophies

Despite the fact that he’s on the Sith side, he doesn’t use a red saber, which is the favorite color of dark side sabers from Darth Maul to Kylo Ren. In fact, the swords he wears at his waist are “trophies” for him. Grievous has made a habit of collecting the sabers of the Jedi he has eliminated. He also decided to do the same with their braids in The Clone Wars (2008).

The Darth Vader connection

It’s easy to see that both are cyborg warriors serving the Sith. But this is no mere coincidence. Indeed, Darth Vader ‘s robotic prostheses were created by Techno Union, the same company that gave Grievous his.

General Grievous’ ship

General Grievous has owned several ships and vehicles in the course of his appearances. First of all, we can mention the Soulless, who was his hunter during the Clone Wars until his death at the battle of Utapau. He also owned a Destroyer, the Invisible Hand. This is the ship on which the third film in the trilogy begins. During his escape attempt on Utapau, he uses a TSMEU-6 individual motorcycle, a land vehicle equipped with four legs – a good match for Grievous.