Warning: SPOILERS for Star Wars: Age of Republic - General Grievous
General Grievous may not be a Sith Lord, but he's as legendary for killing Jedi as any Star Wars villain. And now, the real reason he was able to slaughter Jedi so easily may have finally been revealed.
In hindsight, General Grievous may only be rivaled by Darth Maul as the best Star Wars villain to get only a few minutes of screen time (appearing only in Star Wars: Episode 3 - Revenge of the Sith). But his reputation for killing Jedi, then using their lightsabers to kill even more made a lasting impression. The same will likely be true of his new story told in Star Wars: Age of Republic - General Grievous, a comic book exploring his unique connection to The Force.
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While the movies and Star Wars: The Clone Wars showed General Grievous to be a victim of his own emotions, there is no denying his talent for murdering Jedi Knights, regardless of their experience. Until now, that killer instinct was explained by being trained in lightsaber combat by Count Dooku, not to mention the effectiveness of facing down one lightsaber with six. But there may be another reason...
In the pages of Star Wars: Age of Republic - General Grievous by writer Jody Houser and artist Luke Ross, the Supreme commander of the Droid Army allows his ego and arrogance to challenge even The Force itself. First slaughtering two new Jedi Knights (leaving them in total shock as to how he vanquished them so swiftly) General Grievous communes with The Force locus point they sought. He intends only to merge with it so that he may destroy it through brute force--the type of fight his artificial, replaced body is designed for--but gets more than he bargained for.
Seeing General Grievous' original face revealed by the strange voices or inhabitants of The Force is a historic moment of its own. But as Grievous dismisses the restoration of his body, boasting that he has 'upgraded' his physical form, the Force voices offer an alternative perspective. In seeking simple, physical, artificial power, he has sacrificed something greater. By cutting away parts of his living body, General Grievous has simultaneously "carved away" his connection to The Force.
The takeaway isn't that General Grievous would have been a Force User, or even Force-sensitive had he remained in his natural, organic body. The point is that in reducing his true body until only eyes, a spine, and some organs remain (a haunting visual on its own) Grievous has made himself almost non-existent to The Force. And THAT is what may finally explain his legendary ability to take even the most skilled and experienced Jedi Knights by surprise in hand-to-hand lightsaber combat.
The lore surrounding the kyber crystals that power lightsabers has been changed in the new Star Wars canon, but most of the mythology remains the same: the gems are connected to The Force directly, channeling its energy, embodying an aspect of it, and even forming a sentient bond with both The Force and the Jedi whose lightsaber it calls home. In a lightsaber duel, it stands to reason that a Jedi or Sith senses both fighter and weapon through The Force. But with General Grievous essentially invisible to The Force, and using lightsabers as a tool that can't share or emit any of their telltale bond or energy whatsoever, he's the last opponent a Jedi Knight could ever prepare to battle.
You can't call it cheating, per se, but it's not exactly a fair fight either. No matter what, even General Grievous doesn't grasp the cost of his tragic advantage, believing himself to simply be 'a better fighter.' Now the Star Wars fans know better.
Star Wars: Age of Republic - General Grievous #1 is available now from your local comic book store, or direct from Marvel Comics.