General Grievous’ backstory in Star Wars sheds light on the droid leader’s motives for joining the Clone Wars, tying back to the roots of his species.
General Grievous was the leader of the Separatists’ droid army, but the cyborg was actually an organic Star Wars species. Introduced in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith before becoming a mainstay in the animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the four-armed menace developed a reputation for his cowardice. A mustache-twirling villain, the general proved more than capable of slaughtering Jedi of any rank, making a point to incorporate his victims’ lightsabers as fine additions to his collection. Grievous met his fate on Utapau at the hands of Obi-Wan Kenobi, effectively ending the Clone Wars, but more questions about him were raised than answered.
What came as a surprise to even Kenobi was the (poorly) functioning lungs and beating heart hidden within the general’s cage of armor. That weakness was exploited with an uncivilized blaster, yielding ultimate victory for Kenobi after so many battles with Grievous. The antagonist’s roots were explored deeper in The Clone Wars, when Kit Fisto discovered the general’s secret lair on Vassek. In the bowels of the fortress were an array of replacement parts available to Grievous’ personal doctor, numerous trophies collected from Jedi, and a special heinous pet named Gor. Few stories have delved into Grievous’ full background, but his true appearance has been depicted.
What Does General Grievous REALLY Look Like?
In the Star Wars canon, General Grievous’ face has never been shown on-screen before. It was nearly revealed in The Clone Wars following a battle with Fisto and his entourage, which saw the general take heavy damage to his armor. His doctor and caretaker warned Grievous that the repairs would be uncomfortable, and for an instant, the removal of his faceplate was shown before any further details could be seen. The general’s armor was upgraded a number of times through the duration of the war to improve Grievous’ wild fighting mechanics, with his enhancements in Revenge of the Sith being the last.
Grievous is a member of the Kaleesh species, hailing from the world Kalee in Wild Space. Seeking to improve himself in ways that would inflict fear in the Jedi, Grievous agreed to cybernetically enhance his body out of jealousy for their ability to wield the Force. Age of Republic: General Grievous offers the first and only glimpse of the warlord’s appearance in canon before exchanging most of his body for metal, retaining only vital organs. His enthusiasm to change is a major difference from the original backstory in Legends, making the villain out to be more twisted through his allegiance to the Sith and their experimentation.
Grievous’ Origin Is Different In Star Wars Legends
The goofy escape artist known for lightsaber memes in The Clone Wars was once a tragic figure in Star Wars Legends material. Like every other participant in the Clone Wars, Grievous was manipulated into siding with the Confederacy of Independent Systems by Count Dooku. Known originally as Qymaen jai Sheelal, the Kaleesh warrior was a hero to his people in a war against the Huk, taking up the name Grievous after his love was killed in combat. Grievous successfully defeated the Huk and pursued them to their homeworld, but was thwarted by the Jedi and forced to starve on Kalee with the rest of his species.
Seeking an opportunity to alleviate the pain of people, Grievous took a job with the InterGalactic Banking Clan. It was San Hill, head of the commerce guild, who contacted Dooku with a plan to turn Grievous into a pawn for the burgeoning Separatist movement. On a flight home to fight off the Huks, Grievous’ shuttle was planted with a bomb by Hill’s people, gravely injuring the warrior and forcing him to accept cybernetic enhancements. Though unable to use the Force despite a blood transfusion from the deceased Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas, Grievous became a powerful villain in Star Wars for the Separatists, trained personally by Dooku in the Jedi arts.