The fictional universe of Star Wars seems nearly endless and is endlessly fascinating, and the heroes and villains that bring life to the dozens of sagas we've all seen play out in every form of media imaginable are some of the coolest characters in fiction history. And while the Star Wars world has a huge array of amazing villains, one of the most distinct and memorable of them all has got to be General Grievous.
The visual impact of General Grievous is enough to make him stand out in your mind, but the story of his character makes him even more fascinating. He's both mysterious and intimidating, and his formidable skills when it comes to warring against the Jedi make him one of the most dangerous characters the SW-verse has ever seen. But even after all we've seen about his character, there are still a lot of questions about him that feel shrouded in a bit of mystery.
General Grievous began his life on his native planet of Kalee, and the Kaleesh warrior's abilities in battle quickly distinguished him as someone not to be messed with. But after sustaining some severe life-threatening injuries, Grievous essentially had to have huge portions of his body rebuilt with cybernetic hardware. He became something that was more mechanical than organic, but Grievous saw his physical restructuring as a bit of an advantage, because his hardware was more durable and more powerful than his original living physique had been. So what is he? He's something that is mostly machine that is still controlled by a living brain, with a few other original parts still mixed in there.
Grievous's home world was a planet called Kalee, a planet that existed in Wild Space. For those of you who don't know, Wild Space is essentially the portions of the Star Wars universe that exist beyond the Outer Rim, that is still technically part of the galaxy but exists beyond all of the galaxy's maps. And Kalee definitely lived up to the description of wild, it was a tropical planet with very few resources, so although the Kaleesh were an intelligent species they spent much of their time trying to scrape up whatever they could for themselves, or often times going to war to win over the limited resources that were available.
It's unclear what exactly happened that led to General Grievous losing the majority of his original flesh form, but we do know that it was obviously a very severe accident.
It seems likely that his injuries were sustained during his early career as a war lord. Grievous's first experience with serious conflict was when the Kaleesh were at war with their neighboring planet of Huk, and the Galactic Republic backed Huk over Kalee. Little is known about Grievous's experience in the war, but his radical transformation into a near cyborg combined with his obvious hatred of the Republic would lend credence to the theory that his near death experience may have been a result of the Republic's support of Huk.
Much like the accident or injury that led to General Grievous nearly dying, the treatments that actually transformed him into what we know him as now are pretty shrouded in secrecy. What's curious is that Grievous is from a harsh and unsophisticated planet in Wild Space, and he was likely on the wrong side of a war against the Galactic Republic when his injuries were sustained.
So how did he get some of the most radical medical intervention that we've ever seen in the SW universe? It's hard to say whether or not the sith themselves were behind it, but considering how important Grievous became to the Confederacy of Independent Systems it seems plausible to assume that they're the ones who saved him.
Well... not much. Grievous is still alive in the way that most of us would think of as being alive, but the remaining portions of his organic form are pretty much only the things he would absolutely need to still be considered a living sentient being. Grievous still has his brain, his eyes, a few of his vital organs, and most likely his spinal cord, but other than that he's pretty much metal and mechanics. What isn't clear about Grievous though is whether or not all of those cybernetic enhancements were necessary, or if he decided to ditch some of his healthy living parts for the sake of what he considered "improvements".
By the time that the Clone Wars began, Grievous was already an experienced and very skilled fighter. In addition to cutting his teeth in the earlier war on Kalee, Count Dooku had trained him in lightsaber swordsmanship, which made him an incredibly threatening warrior. He began fighting for the Confederacy of Independent Systems, and that is where he rose in the ranks to general. Grievous's skills in battle were so great that he eventually became the leader of the entire CIS droid army, and he essentially became the terrifying face of the Confederacy throughout the war against the Galactic Republic.
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out how the animosity between General Grievous and Anakin Skywalker began, they were both generals and key players in a war that they were on opposing sides of. But their rivalry soon grew much larger than that. Grievous originally wanted revenge on the Republic, but eventually his main goal became extermination of the entire Jedi order.
Anakin already feared the threat that the monstrous Grievous posed, but after Grievous took Padme as a hostage Anakin became obsessed with finding him. The rivals spent a huge portion of the Clone Wars hunting each other, and although Anakin wound up the victor he ironically fulfilled Grievous's goal of destroying the Jedi himself.
If there's one thing you can give the Sith props for, it's their planning ability. They managed to keep themselves out of sight for ages, and Chancellor Palpatine's foresight and ability to truly and masterfully play the long game is pretty much unmatched in all of Star Wars history. But when you take that into consideration, you also have to ask yourself, how exactly does General Grievous fit into that game plan? Because when the face of the confederacy is a Jedi hunting lightsaber expert it's pretty easy to figure out who might be really pulling his strings. It seems like Palpatine may have been setting up Count Dooku to take the fall as the "real" threat, and General Grievous may have been a huge tool in that set up.
Although the Sith and Jedi typically construct their own weapons, it seems like a pretty safe bet that General Grievous acquired his lightsabers from fallen Jedi. Grievous was pretty well known for hunting Jedi in particular, and while he undoubtedly has the ability to build lightsabers himself taking them off of the warriors you've killed and using them yourself is both more intimidating and seems more like Grievous's style. Kyber crystals aren't the easiest things to come by, and the varying colors and styles of the general's lightsabers do not make them look like weapons that were created by the same person.
Throughout his campaign for the CIS in the Clone Wars General Grievous killed dozens of Jedi and wreaked unimaginable havoc throughout the galaxy. But during a showdown with Obi-Wan Kenobi on the planet of Utapau Grievous was finally defeated. And ironically Grievous wasn't wrong about his former flesh body being weak and fallible either. During his duel with Obi-Wan the Jedi managed to gain a bit of the upper hand over the mostly cyborg being, ripping open the machinery that protected the few remaining flesh parts that Grievous had left, and with a swift bit of force mojo Obi-Wan shot Grievous's exposed body parts, finally defeating him for good.