A recurring villain, he is the Supreme Commander of the Confederacy of Independent Systems, a political faction of planetary systems waging war on the Galactic Republic. Trained in all seven forms of lightsaber combat by Count Dooku, he is a ruthless and powerful warrior devoted to Jedi's destruction during the Clone Wars. His acts of wanton aggression and high Jedi body count would prompt the galaxy to give him the nickname the Knightslayer. Though the notorious Jedi slayer was the being in the galaxy during the Clone Wars who had killed the most Jedi in single combat, he did not hesitate to flee from battles he knew he would lose.
Star Wars: Clone WarsEdit
In Star Wars: Clone Wars, Grievous's first public appearance is when he led a massive detachment of battle droids to attack the Jedi on Hypori. After he cut down Daakman Barrek as the Jedi Master attempted to request reinforcements from Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi, Grievous ordered his battle droid troops to effectively surround the six remaining Jedi trapped in the remains of a downed Acclamator-class transport: Tarr Seirr, Sha'a Gi, Aayla Secura, K'Kruhk, Ki-Adi-Mundi and Shaak Ti. After stating to the Jedi that he would grant them a "warrior's death" and lying in wait for them to move, Gi ran screaming into the open to which Grievous jumped on and killed the Padawan. The general then perched himself to the transport's top and hung from his point where he surveyed the five remaining Jedi before landing below and engaging them in combat, unleashing vicious dual-lightsaber attacks on his adversaries. Grievous first targeted Mundi, advancing toward his opponent with the other Jedi in pursuit. Although Mundi evaded the general's powerful downward slash and released a Force push at him, Grievous evaded the blast and jumped onto a nearby wall which propelled himself at the Knights and blasting them aside upon impact. Grievous cut down K'Kruhk down, dismembered the rubble thrown at him by Ti, picked up Seirr by the head with one of his mechanical feet and slammed him to the ground face first, and grabbed Secura as well, throwing both Seirr and Secura up against the top of the transport's remains above. Grievous then dueled both Mundi and Ti at once. He managed to countered their attacks and eventually kicked Mundi against a nearby pile of rubble. Unfazed, the cyborg general advanced at Ti by slashing his lightsabers all the while and leaving Ti unable to escape his onslaught util he knocked her lightsaber out of her hand and forced her against a pile of debris. Mundi attempted to retrieve his lightsaber with the Force, only to have Grievous trap the weapon beneath one of his clawed feet and pick it up himself. With Grievous in possession of three lightsabers (one in each hand and the third using his left foot), Mundi stole one of Grievous' lightsabers secured at his waist and Grievous jumped at Mundi, lightsabers blazing. However, clone troopers arrived at the last minute to save the surviving Jedi from Grievous.
After some lightsaber training with Count Dooku, Grievous searched for Palpatine on Coruscant and fought Jedi (led by Ti) that took Palpatine to a secret bunker aboard a maglev train. However, Grievous and his MagnaGuards reached the hardened bunker with six of his MagnaGuards in tow. Cutting a bloody path of destruction through the bunker, he made his way to Palpatine. He quickly killed the Jedi protectors as well as a number of clone troopers before kidnapping the Chancellor. He then dueled Ti and spared her to inform the Jedi that the Chancellor was gone. As he fled, Jedi Master Mace Windu Force crushed the plates covering Grievous's chest, injuring his lungs and giving him wheezing/coughing problems.
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the SithEdit
In Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, Grievous has captured Supreme Chancellor Palpatine from the galactic capital Coruscant and is holding him hostage aboard his flagship, the Invisible Hand. After the rescue operation conducted by Obi-Wan and Anakin results in Dooku's death at Skywalker's hands, Grievous takes command over the Separatist Council to Grievous and retreats from the battle after the Jedi infiltrate his command bridge.
Now the Republic's top priority, Grievous takes refuge on the sinkhole planet Utapau, the Separatist Council's base. Under orders from Darth Sidious (Palpatine's alter ego), Grievous relocates the Council to the volcanic planet Mustafar while Palpatine authorizies an invasion of Utapau under Obi-Wan's command. Grievous engages Kenobi in a lightsaber duel, in which Kenobi gains an early advantage. Grievous then flees the scene towards his starfighter with Kenobi hot on his heels. The chase ends at Grievous' secret hangar, where the pair fight hand to hand. Making use of his robotic body, the general has the clear advantage in the brawl and prepares to kill Kenobi but Kenobi manages to rip open his chestplate in the process. Using the Force to pull Grievous' blaster to him, Kenobi fires five shots into the cyborg's heart, incinerating him from the inside.
Star Wars: The Clone WarsEdit
In the CGI series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Grievous is featured as a secondary antagonist. First appearing as the commander of the Malevolence, a large Separatist warship armed with a number of heavy ion cannons. During the course of the Clone Wars, Grievous also clashes with Obi-Wan aboard the Malevolence for the first time when he chases Kenobi aboard the warship's railway system. During the ensuing lightsaber duel, Grievous nearly gets the better of Kenobi, who makes his escape at the last minute.
A few episodes later, Grievous discovers Anakin and Padawan Ahsoka Tano infiltrating his secret listening post and seeks out to search for them. He then engages Tano and her squad of clone troopers, defeating all the troopers and then engaging in a cat and mouse game with Tano. However, Tano and Skywalker still manage to destroy his listening post. Aware of Grievous' recent string of failures, Dooku arranges a test for his cyborg henchman - in the form of Jedi Master Kit Fisto and Jedi Knight Nahdar Vebb. In Grievous' personal castle on the third moon of Vassek, the Jedi and a squad of clone troopers ambush Grievous and cut off his limbs. Once repaired, Grievous duels Vebb and kills him. On the outskirts of Grievous' castle, the general climbs up from the ledge and unleashes four lightsabers on Fisto. Using the fog to his advantage, Fisto successfully cuts off one of Grievous' arms, reclaiming Vebb's lightsaber. Armed with two lightsabers, Fisto overpowers Grievous to which the general calls in his Magnaguards and Fisto flees. When Grievous reports to Dooku, his master informs Grievous that there is room for improvement.
During season two, Grievous boards a Republic Cruiser with Jedi Master Eeth Koth on board. Grievous duels Koth and takes him prisoner. Kenobi, Skywalker and Jedi Master Adi Gallia attempt to rescue Koth, resulting in a confrontation between the Grievous and Kenobi over the planet Saleucami which Grievous loses.
Over the course of season three, Grievous clashes numerous times with Kenobi. In "Battle of Kamino", Grievous once again engages Kenobi in a lightsaber duel, which ends in stalemate. Later on, Grievous commands a sabotage mission using infiltrator droids on the Galactic Senate, resulting in a deregulation of the banks. Grievous would also a face a humiliating defeat when he attempted to invade Naboo. Jar Jar Binks (posing as Gungan Boss Lyonie) distracts Grievous in a series of negotiations long enough for the Gungan Army to shut down Grievous' invasion force. As Grievous pursues Jar Jar, he massacres the Gungan Grand Army. At that moment, General Tarpals of the Gungan Grand Army intervenes and engages Grievous in a duel, ending when he is mortally wounded at Grievous' hands. Tarpals impales Grievous through his chest, allowing the Gungan Army to bombard the stunned general with energized projectiles and capture him. He is freed in a prisoner exchange with Skywalker between Dooku and Padme Amidala. After being freed, Grievous attacks Jedi Master Adi Gallia's ship, engaging her in a lightsaber duel down a narrow hall way. The duel ended when Grievous kicks Gallia in the chest, sending her flying across the hallway and subsequently capturing her. Shortly after, Adi Gallia escapes Grievous' custody when a strike force led by Jedi Master Plo Koon boards his ship and frees the Jedi Master, prompting Grievous to flee once again.
In the first episode of the season four finale, Grievous is sent to the planet Dathomir under orders from Dooku to exterminate the Nightsisters, including Asajj Ventress. Immediately upon landing on the planet's surface, the General begins his rampage and his droid army turns Dathomir into a battlefield. However, Ventress turns the tables on the battle and fights her way to the General's shuttle, where the cyborg emerges to confront her personally. Grievous unleashes all four of his lightsabers and duels Ventress. Grievous grows overconfident and begins to toy with her, until she surprises him by chopping off one of his arms and knocking him to the ground. Grievous orders his troops to fire on Ventress, wounding her. As the general prepares to deliver the deathblow to his longtime rival, he is attacked by nightsister zombies and is forced to fight them off while Ventress escapes. Under new orders from Dooku, Grievous turns his attention to Nightsister leader Mother Talzin and slaughters his way to her fortress, where she narrowly escapes from the general's grasp by teleporting away.
In the premiere episode of season five, Grievous is mentioned by Hondo as having defeated Obi-Wan and won the battle for the system that Florrum is in. This battle is shown in the episode "Bound for Rescue", where Grievous attacks Obi-Wan's ship, where Grievous slaughters a battalion of clones and duels Obi-Wan. Obi-Wan is no match for Grievous and is subsequently defeated, forcing him to abandon his ship. Later, Grievous goes to Florrum personally and announces that the system is under his control now, and that Dooku is having him punish Hondo for holding him for ransom. The droids destroy Hondo's stronghold and his belongings, and hold him prisoner, but Hondo is rescued when Ahsoka and a group of younglings free him and retreat off the planet. Grievous pursues them and duels with Ahsoka, who has grown stronger since their last battle. The duel ends when Hondo picks up Ahsoka in the Slave I and takes off. In the first episode of the droid arc "Secret Weapons", Grievous is mentioned in the opening credits, and the primary goal of the mission is to retrieve a module that will decode a transmittion that Grievous made about an important Separatist attack.
Later in a unfinished season 6 story arc Grievous is tasked with making a arms Deale with Sugi warriors for a massive Kyber Crystal with powers.
Star Wars literatureEdit
Grievous made his first appearance in the comics in a short story in Star Wars: Visionaries called "The Eyes of Revolution". This story reveals that he was once Kaleesh general Qymaen jai Sheelal, a fierce warrior engaged in a brutal war with the rival planet Huk. Grievous has had many wives. One that he is currently married to is human Gravlyn. He boards a shuttle to take him to another battle, unaware that Dooku had planted an explosive device in it. He is mortally wounded in the resulting crash and what remains of his body is reconstructed with cybernetic limbs. Dooku then recruits him into the Separatist Army as his second-in-command.
In the third volume of Clone Wars Adventures, it is revealed that Grievous attains his rank of Supreme Commander by dueling Ventress and Durge simultaneously. On board the Trenchant space station, Ventress and Durge are ordered by Dooku to search for an unknown intruder with the pair unaware of the Count's intentions. Armed with an electrostaff, Grievous appears from behind and electrocutes Durge and subsequently throws him across the hallway through a few trophies. Ventress jumps onto a chandelier and attempts to search for Grievous but is instead knocked off by the Cyborg, who is caught by Durge. The pair then confront the general face to face, with Ventress unleashing her lightsabers and Durge unleashing his full arsenal. Grievous is able to knock Ventress away, though Durge sent the general flying across the room into a wall with a powerful punch to the face. Grievous unleashes his lightsabers, swiftly defeating the pair. In the wake of the battle, Grievous is made the Supreme Commander of the Confederacy's military.
Grievous starred in his own comic called Star Wars: General Grievous, in which he fights Jedi Master T'chooka D'oon and his Padawan Flyn. After Grievous kills D'oon, Kybo return to the Jedi council with a plan to destroy Grievous once and for all. When the council rebukes his vengeful plan, Kybo decides to take this matter into own hands with disastrous results. Grievous makes his last appearance in the comics in Star Wars: Obsession issue number 4, in which he is on the world of Boz Pity where he kills two Jedi, Master Soon Bayts and Jedi Council member Adi Gallia. Though Grievous is subdued by Windu, Dooku is able to save him so he may fight another day.
In the novel Labyrinth of Evil, Grievous plans an invasion of Coruscant alongside Dooku and Sidious. He first appears in the novel watching his hated subordinate Nute Gunray flee from a pursuant Republic Strike Force. Grievous reluctantly saves Gunray by destroying the fighters. Grievous' invasion of the planet Belderone would also be thwarted by Skywalker and Kenobi due to a careless mistake on Gunray's part. Though Gunray resorts to lies, Grievous deduces that the Neimoidian is lying and threatens to kill him. Later on the bridge of the Invisible Hand, Dooku watches as Grievous spars his elite Magnaguards. Though Grievous wins the fight, Dooku points out several flaws in the general's technique while realizing he is partly to blame for the general's inadequacies. Grievous would soon launch his invasion on the Republic capital of Coruscant in an attempt to kidnap Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, placing himself on the battlefield once again. During the invasion, Grievous personally tries to capture Palpatine while battling Windu and Fisto. Windu briefly repels Grievous but the latter nevertheless gets the better of the Jedi guard and takes Palpatine hostage.
Grievous next appears in the video game Star Wars Galaxies. Following the establishment of the Galactic Empire, stormtroopers take Grievous' living head, and place it in his body, transforming him to a droid. This war droid has a brief life in the Myyydril Caverns on Kashyyyk before being destroyed by an anonymous group of spacers. The combatants loot the droid's remains, taking its weaponry and anything else of value. The facemask ends up on the Invisible Market, where it is purchased for its artistic properties by a high-ranking Imperial admiral — purported to be none other than Grand Admiral Thrawn.
Grievous also makes a very brief appearance in Star Wars: Republic Commando, when Delta Squad almost catches him boarding his starship to an "unknown" planet. Earlier, on Geonosis, after killing Sun Fac, a ship looking similar to Grievous' flies away. The squad notes the ship as not being Geonosian. Grievous makes his next appearance in Lego Star Wars and Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga, featured as a boss and an unlockable, playable character in free play mode. He is also playable in free play mode in Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy by accessing a save file of Lego Star Wars.
Grievous appears as a playable character in Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Lightsaber Duels, released for the Nintendo Wii on November 11, 2008. Grievous also appears as a playable character in Star Wars Battlefront: Elite Squadron, released for the PlayStation Portable (PSP) and Nintendo DS on November 3, 2009. Unlike Star Wars: Battlefront II, in the DS version, he can use his four arms at the cost of force points instead of just two at the end of an attack.
Grievous is also a boss villain in several mini games of the online game Clone Wars Adventures.
Behind the scenesEdit
General Grievous was developed for Revenge of the Sith as a powerful new villain on the side of the Separatists. The initial instructions that director George Lucas gave the Art Department were very open-ended: "a droid general". From that vague direction, the artists developed a lot of explorations, some purely mechanical, some not, for Grievous' look. He was also created as a villain foreshadowing Anakin Skywalker's transformation into Darth Vader: the heavy breathing, the cyborg body, and his seduction into a malevolent faction.
The initial design for General Grievous was created by Warren Fu as a design for the Magnaguard. That initial sketch was refined and made into a Template:Convert-tall maquette sculpture. That was further refined when it was made into a realistic computer-generated model by Industrial Light & Magic. At the time, this was one of the most complicated models ever created by ILM, with many parts of differing physical qualities. General Grievous is completely computer-generated imagery in the movie. On set, Duncan Young read the lines off-screen, while Kyle Rowling wore a bluescreen or a greenscreen suit to act out the fights with Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Also notable are the numerous contradictions between the expanded universe and the current Star Wars: The Clone Wars series. In the TV series, Grievous is depicted as having 4 fingers per arm whereas the original Star Wars: Clone Wars cartoon has the general with depicted as having 5. Whereas the incarnation in Star Wars: Clone Wars was fast, acrobatic, and powerful, the current incarnation is depicted as slow, dim, and incompetent. Furthermore, his asthmatic cough and hunchbacked stance are already present despite having not gained them prior to his confrontation with Mace Windu. The general's back story has also been changed by supervising director Dave Filoni, who stated that Grievous opted for surgery in order to gain powers that would allow him to rival a Jedi Knight. This is reinforced by the season one's tenth episode 'Lair of Grievous' which suggested the general's transformation into a cyborg was a gradual process.
General Grievous' asthmatic cough in Revenge of the Sith was intended to emphasize his organic nature as well as the flaws of cyborg prosthetics. Grievous had previously appeared in Clone Wars before many of his personality traits had been finalized. To reconcile the differences between the two presentations, Mace Windu uses the Force to crush Grievous' chest panel towards the end of the show's third season (Volume Two) as the general makes a desperate escape with Palpatine. Some of the audio effects for the coughing were taken from Lucas himself, who had bronchitis during principal photography.
General Grievous has been played by three actors. In the Star Wars: Clone Wars animated series, the character was voiced by John DiMaggio in Chapter 20 (Season two's finale episode) and then voiced by Richard McGonagle for Chapters 21–25 (Season three). The character was dubbed by actor and sound editor Matthew Wood in the feature film Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars and all of the video game appearances.
Gary Oldman (a friend of producer Rick McCallum) agreed to submit a voice audition but his involvement never went beyond that. Several months later, actor John Rhys-Davies was widely reported to be the character's voice of Grievous but this was eventually revealed to be a prank.