Welcome back, Rebelscum fans! This week we’re closing off our coverage of the Star Wars prequel trilogy with a week dedicated to 2005’s Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith. Make sure to check out the “Expand Your Mind” article first to learn about the film’s development, history, and its impact on the saga. Also be sure to check out our “Timeline Breakdown” explored other connections to the Star Wars universe. Stay tuned for more coverage of Episode III. Our “Force Facts” will offer some fun trivia . Make sure to check out Bobby’s videos adding additional commentary, and exploring the coolest Revenge of the Sith merchandise for collectors.
Although the focus of Revenge of the Sith was always intended to be on Anakin Skywalker himself, Lucas knew he wanted to introduce a new villain as well to fit within his epic story. Dooku’s death at Anakin’s hands would be important, and a new villain would be integral to keeping the fans guessing. Lucas tasked his design team with developing a droid antagonist who could lead the Separatist Army after Dooku’s demise.
Fans got a preview of Grievous when he first appeared in the Clone Wars 2D animated series. Originally, the series was set to bring back a revived Durge to stalk the band of Jedi heroes, but Lucas decided that it would be the perfect opportunity to debut Grievous. Only select details about the character were revealed before the release of the film itself, although Labyrinth of Evil offered some insights with its depiction of the Battle of Coruscant.
However, much of Grievous’s backstory has been changed in subsequent years. Original Expanded Universe material developed the backstory of Qymaen jai Sheelal, a Kaleesh warlord who defended his people in an ongoing conflict with the invading Huk species. Sheelal was bitter towards the Republic and Jedi Order for not intervening within the local war, and became renowned for his brutal combat techniques. Sheelal became an early ally of his future employee, the InterGalactic Banking Clan.
Sheelal’s skills courted Dooku’s attention, and he concocted a scheme to nearly disintegrate the Kaleesh leader and force him to be rebuilt using cybernetic upgrades. Rebuilt as Grievous by the Geonosian scientists that would later develop Darth Vader’s suit, he became Dooku’s second-in-command. Although Grievous resented Jedi and slew many throughout the Clone Wars, he was tormented by his lack of Force abilities.
However, this backstory has been up for debate. Lucas himself favored later ideas that Grievous chose to upgrade himself in order to mimic the Force abilities that he lacked, and pegged his surgery as an attempt to join the exclusive ranks of the Jedi. Although some of The Clone Wars hints at this history, a definitive origin has not yet been developed in the new canon.
It’s unclear what the future holds for Grievous's role in the Star Wars universe. Current projects have mostly moved away from the Clone Wars era, and there aren’t a lot of new projects with the droid general being teased. One of the last Grievous-centric storylines planned for The Clone Wars, a four-part arc where Obi-Wan and Anakin travel to Utapau in search of Kyber crystals, has only been released as unfinished reels. Perhaps in a future Disney+ release, the episodes will be restored and fans can learn more about the planet where Grievous met his fate.
What do you think, Rebelscum fans? What are some of your favorite Grievous storylines in the Expanded Universe? Is there an episode of The Clone Wars you love him in? Let us know below, and as always, may the Force be with you!