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|Star Wars character|
General Grievous in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith.
|First appearance||Clone Wars
– "Chapter 20" (2003)
|Last appearance||The Clone Wars: Legacy
– "Dark Disciple" (2016)
|Created by||George Lucas|
|Voiced by||Matthew Wood
John DiMaggio (Star Wars: Clone Wars Season Two)
Richard McGonagle (Star Wars: Clone Wars Season Three)
David W. Collins (Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron and Star Wars Battlefront: Elite Squadron)
Kirby Morrow (Lego Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles and Lego Star Wars: Droid Tales)
|Full name||Qymaen jai Sheelal|
|Occupation||Supreme Commander of the Droid Army|
|Education||Trained in the Jedi arts by Count Dooku|
|Affiliation||Confederacy of Independent Systems|
General Grievous is a fictional character in the Star Wars franchise. A former Kaleesh warlord named Qymaen jai Sheelal, he is the Supreme Commander of the Confederacy of Independent Systems during the Clone Wars against the Galactic Republic and is trained in all lightsaber combat forms to ensure the Jedi's destruction.
Concept and creation
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 sketch for Grievous was refined and made into a 1-foot (30 cm)-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. 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 both TV series. Grievous is depicted as having four fingers per arm in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars series whereas Star Wars: Clone Wars has the general depicted as having 5. Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith and most other comics depicted him as having six fingers per arm. While the original Clone Wars incarnation was fast, acrobatic and powerful, the recent The Clone Wars incarnation was rather dim and incompetent, though still reasonably swift and strong. 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: supervising director Dave Filoni stated that Grievous opted for surgery in order to gain powers that would allow him to rival a Jedi Knight. This is reinforced by 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 having 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 had bronchitis during principal photography.
General Grievous has been voiced by four actors. In the Star Wars: Clone Wars animated series, the character was voiced by John DiMaggio for Season Two's finale episode and by Richard McGonagle for Season Three. The character was voiced by Matthew Wood in the feature film Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars and most of the video game appearances. David W. Collins voiced the character, albeit uncredited, in Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron and Star Wars Battlefront: Elite Squadron.
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 but this was revealed to be a prank.
Revenge of the Sith
In Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, Grievous holds Supreme Chancellor Palpatine hostage aboard his flagship Invisible Hand. After a rescue operation results in Count Dooku's death at Anakin Skywalker's hands, Grievous captures the fleeing Jedi and the Chancellor in a ray shield, and has them brought along with R2-D2 to the bridge. Grievous takes their lightsabers, cackling that he will add them to his collection, just before R2-D2 creates a distraction by feigning malfunction and Obi Wan uses the Force to retrieve his light saber, allowing him to free Anakin and himself. A short battle ensues with Anakin and Obi-Wan overcoming Grievous's MagnaGuards and other droid minions before turning their attention to him. Grievous escapes by using one of the fallen MagnaGuard's electrostaffs to shatter the glass on the bridge, creating a vacuum that pulls everyone towards space, before firing a grapple-hook from his arm to secure himself to the ship, and scaling its exterior en route to an escape pod. Though the Jedi party manages to avoid being blown out into space, Grievous launches all the pods simultaneously to deny the Jedi means to a safe exit from the ship, then sets his destination for the outer galactic planet of Utapau.
Later in the film, Grievous encounters Obi-Wan on Utapau, where he is holding the residents hostage. When Obi-Wan easily overpowers his MagnaGuards, Grievous engages him on his own, revealing that Dooku trained him in the Jedi arts. He fights with Obi-Wan using four different lightsabers, but is eventually disarmed, and flees when Clone troopers arrive to liberate his hostages. Ultimately, Obi-Wan kills him with his own blaster.
In Star Wars: Clone Wars, General Grievous's first public appearance is when he attacked several Jedi on Hypori. After killing Daakman Barrek, Grievous and his droids surrounded Tarr Seirr, Sha'a Gi, Aayla Secura, K'Kruhk, Ki-Adi-Mundi and Shaak Ti. After stating he would grant the Jedi a "warrior's death", Grievous battled the six Jedi all by himself, killing Seirr, and injuring Secura, Ti, and K'kruhk. He managed to possess three lightsabers (one in each hand and the third using his left foot) to fight Mundi. As they fought, lightsabers blazing, clone troopers arrived to save the surviving Jedi from Grievous, though they left K'kruhk thinking he was dead.
Sometime later, Grievous searched for Supreme Chancellor Palpatine on Coruscant and fought several Jedi that took Palpatine to a secret bunker aboard a maglev train. However, while the general's Magnaguards distracted the lead Jedi, Grievous reached the hardened bunker, killed two other Jedi and captured Palpatine. As Grievous was about to escape, Mace Windu Force-crushed his chest plates, severely injuring him. Although many fans believed this to be the reason for his persisting cough heard in Revenge of the Sith, Grievous was actually intended to have had the cough all along (evidenced by him having the cough from the beginning in the subsequent CGI series Star Wars: The Clone Wars). The confusion arose due to the writers of Star Wars: Clone Wars having to produce the series before all of Grievous's final characterizations had been nailed down.
The Clone Wars
In the first season of the computer-animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Grievous is the commander of the huge Separatist warship Malevolence armed with a pair of heavy ion cannons. He also clashes with Obi-Wan Kenobi aboard the Malevolence for the first time when he chases him aboard the warship's railway system. During the ensuing lightsaber duel, Grievous nearly gets the better of Kenobi, but the Jedi Master makes his escape at the last moment. Meanwhile, Anakin secretly sabotages the Malevolence's navigation computer, sending it crashing into a nearby moon. However, Grievous escapes on his starfighter and continues his campaign against the Republic. A few episodes later, Grievous discovers Anakin Skywalker 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's recent string of failures, Count Dooku arranges a test for his cyborg henchman - in the form of Jedi Master Kit Fisto and Jedi Knight Nahdar Vebb. In Grievous's personal castle on the third moon of Vassek, the two Jedi and a squad of clone troopers ambush Grievous and cut off his legs. Once repaired, Grievous duels and kills Vebb. On the outskirts of Grievous's 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's hands and reclaims Vebb's lightsaber. Armed with two lightsabers, Fisto gains the upper hand over 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 the second season, 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 and capture the cyborg general, resulting in a confrontation between the Grievous and Kenobi over the planet Saleucami which Grievous loses. Though the Jedi succeed in rescuing Koth, Grievous, helped by his droids, escapes once again.
In the third season, Grievous, Ventress and their armies attack the clone factories on the planet Kamino. During the battle, Grievous clashes with Obi-Wan again. However, their duel ends in stalemate and Grievous flees the planet with Ventress. Later on, Grievous commands a sabotage mission using infiltrator droids on the Galactic Senate, resulting in a deregulation of the banks.
During the fourth season, Grievous suffers a humiliating defeat when he attempts 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's invasion force. As Grievous pursues Jar Jar, he slaughters many Gungan Grand Army soldiers. At that moment, General Tarpals intervenes and engages Grievous in a duel. Although he is mortally wounded by the cyborg, Tarpals impales Grievous through his chest which allows the Gungan Army to bombard the wounded general with energized projectiles and capture him. However, he is freed in a prisoner exchange with Skywalker between Dooku and Padmé Amidala. Later, Grievous attacks Gallia's ship, engaging her in a lightsaber duel down a narrow hallway. The duel ends when Grievous kicks Gallia in the chest, sending her flying across the hallway. Grievous then captures Gallia. Shortly after, Gallia escapes Grievous's 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. Grievous is later sent to the planet Dathomir under Dooku's orders to exterminate the Nightsisters. Immediately upon landing on the planet's surface, the general begins his rampage and his droid army turns Dathomir into a battlefield. However, Asajj Ventress turns the tables on the battle and fights her way to the general's shuttle where the cyborg emerges to confront her personally. As they duel, Grievous grows overconfident and begins to toy with Ventress until she surprises him by chopping off one of his arms and knocking him to the ground. Grievous then 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 flees. 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. Grievous is later seen on Serenno listening to Dooku's fears about Savage Opress.
In the fifth season's premiere episode, Grievous is mentioned by Hondo Ohnaka 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; the General slaughters a squadron 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 fights Ahsoka. Although she has grown stronger since their last battle, Grievous still proves to be more than a match for her. The duel ends when Hondo picks up Ahsoka in the Slave I and takes off, leaving Grievous to stew in his anger. 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.
Grievous was to undergo a design change in the seventh season to look more like his design in Revenge of the Sith. Though the series was cancelled before this could happen, the unfinished animations of the Crystal Crisis arc showed this design. In this arc, Grievous is sent by Dooku to purchase a giant kyber crystal on Utapau, and while Grievous at first obtains the crystal, it is lost when Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi destroy it by overloading its power.
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 but is saved 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 then sends the general flying across the room into a wall with a powerful punch to the face. Enraged, 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 returns 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 also appears 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 crippled by Windu, Dooku is able to save him so he may fight another day.
Grievous appears as a major character in the four-part comic series, Son of Dathomir, an unproduced story arc intended for Clone Wars season six. The cyborg general is sent by Dooku to hunt down the rogue Sith Lord Darth Maul, who has become a significant threat to Sidious's plans. Grievous is ordered to only wound Maul's forces, but not kill him; this is in order to draw out Mother Talzin, who is later revealed to be Maul's blood mother. Though he thinks it foolish to keep Maul alive, Grievous does as he is told. He takes a huge army of droids to Zanbar and attacks Maul's army of Death Watch warriors. Despite heavy casualties, Grievous' droids ultimately win the battle. During the battle, Grievous briefly fights Maul and wins, forcing him to flee. Later, Grievous and Dooku are lured into a trap by Maul and his minions, and are taken prisoner in order to draw out Sidious. However, Grievous soon escapes and rejoins Sidious, who orders Grievous to attack Dathomir again, where Maul and Talzin are planning using Dooku as a sacrifice to restore Talzin to full strength. Sidious fights Talzin while Grievous duels Maul again. Maul eventually overpowers Grievous and Force-pushes him through a wall. Grievous quickly reappears, however, and after Sidious and Dooku have subdued Talzin (who has thrown Maul out of the battle to save his life), Grievous stabs her through the chest with his lightsabers, killing her.
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 soon launches 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 battles Mace Windu while personally trying to capture Palpatine. Though Windu overwhelms Grievous in combat, the cyborg outwits 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. Grievous also appears as a playable character in Star Wars Battlefront: Elite Squadron. 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.
Grievous, as an evil pig, is a playable character in Angry Birds Star Wars II.
In Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars, General Grievous is featured as a boss in story mode and an unlockable, playable character in free play mode.
In popular culture
In an episode of Ace of Cakes, Duff mentions that a surgical robot "looks like General Grievous".
- Brandon, Laura (2007-01-15). Art and War. I.B.Tauris. p. 123. ISBN 1845112377.
- Jones, Tim (2011-10-29). "Lookalike – Bunker Notes". Christchurch Art Gallery. Retrieved 9 May 2013.
- Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith DVD commentary featuring George Lucas, Rick McCallum, Rob Coleman, John Knoll and Roger Guyett, 2005.
- "Star Wars: The Clone Wars - Story Reel: A Death on Utapau - Star Wars: The Clone Wars". Retrieved 22 October 2016.
- Star Wars: Galaxies
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