Star Wars: The Clone Wars’ General Grievous is one of the franchise’s most intriguing villains – and was almost another notorious villain in disguise.
Lightsaber-wielding cyborg General Grievous was one of the more interesting characters to come out of the Star Wars prequels, and George Lucas almost created the character as a secret identity for another one of the trilogy’s most notorious villains, according to Star Wars: The Clone Wars writer Henry Gilroy.
“George was considering that Grievous was Maul behind the armor plate,” Gilroy told /Film. “It made sense. He’s cut in half, and he’s in this robot body or whatever. I’m glad that Grievous is his own thing anyway, but I thought it was interesting that the concept guys almost talked George into that.”
The Brief Histories of Darth Maul and General Grievous
Separatist military leader General Grievous was introduced in Genndy Tartakovsky’s Star Wars: Clone Wars animated series, a full two years before his first live-action appearance in 2005’s Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith. The character was largely a mechanical construct, with his yellowish eyes serving as his only visible organic component. Obi-Wan Kenobi killed Grievous in that same film, but went on to appear in several episodes of the animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars series beginning in 2008, which took place prior to Revenge of the Sith.
Sith apprentice Darth Maul first appeared in 1999’s Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. The deadly, double lightsaber-wielding Maul faced Kenobi alongside Jedi Knight Qui-Gon Jinn, with the latter not surviving their encounter. Kenobi avenged his master by finishing the battle with Maul, cleaving him in two before Maul plummets down a nigh-bottomless shaft.
Despite Kenobi cutting Maul in half, the Sith survived — providing Lucas the impetus for Lucas to potentially bring the character back as Grievous. As it unfolded in canon, though, Maul lost his legs — and his sanity — but nonetheless constructed himself a spider-like cybernetic set of limbs to replace them, as also seen in The Clone Wars. Maul and Kenobi met and faced off again in the course of the animated series, and had their final encounter in the Star Wars: Rebels episode “Twin Suns,” when a broken Maul seeks out Obi-Wan — now Ben — Kenobi on Tatooine, but is quickly neutralized by Kenobi before subsequently dying.
The cybernetic incarnation of Maul actually first appeared in the non-canonical “Old Wounds” story by Aaron McBride, featured in the 2005 Star Wars: Visionaries graphic novel anthology – published three years before The Clone Wars aired.
The above-mentioned Star Wars films and series are currently streaming on Disney+.
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