I’m not a sports fan by any stretch. However, I understand how frustrating it must be for a fan to watch their favorite team fail. Especially if they started off with a good season, only to have it go downhill. The reason I understand this is because I’m a General Grievous fan.
Although intended as a villain character for Revenge of the Sith, General Grievous made his first appearance in the Clone Wars micro series. He appeared in the last episode of the first season cliffhanger and then in season two which ended with his pursuit and capture of Chancellor Palpatine leading into the opening of Revenge of the Sith. The Clone Wars microseries is almost a forgotten gem at this point and if you haven’t seen it, I encourage you to seek it out. Although it’s not quite canon anymore, there’s good stuff to be had there, especially for a Grievous fan. At least for what he could have been.
The Clone Wars microseries presented Grievous as a truly frightening villain. He was a Jedi killer not out of trickery but of skill. Jedi feared him. After I watched the series I was more excited than ever to see this villain in Revenge of the Sith. I’m also a sucker for conceptual art for films and I was intrigued by the mystery surrounding this character. We’ve seen cyborgs before but he was a step beyond. Did he just have organic eyes? What’s this character’s story? I had high hopes for the general.
Then I saw Revenge of the Sith and while Grievous served the story, he didn’t really rise above it. He was called things like “coward”. He’ll “run and hide”. These were not things I associated with the unstoppable cyborg I witnessed fearlessly plow through a group of Jedi in the microseries. In his battle with Obiwan, he was made relatively short work of in his duel with the Jedi Master. It was a fun battle but I felt this was a much weaker character than expected. High expectations crushed? I will call this the “Phasma Effect”.
This weaker version of the character continued through The Clone Wars animated series where he was seen as a constant failure and a bit of a coward. His victories were few. Probably the best episode for a fan of the general was Lair of Grievous which gave him some minimal backstory where he chose the cybernetics as “improvements” to make him a better warrior. A previous comic book backstory had him severely injured in a shuttle crash. A deliberate “accident” so the Separatists could create a powerful slave to their cause. While The Clone Wars story is the canonical one, it is still far from complete. A true General Grievous origin story has yet to be told.
Right now the prequel era is getting little love or attention. I’m fine with that as we’ve have plenty of media take place in that era over the last decade. However, I would love to read a novel or limited comic series that fleshes out the origin of Grievous. I want to know more because I really love this character. I at least love what he was for a brief moment, and what he could be again. It’s not easy being a General Grievous fan but I’ll keep cheering him on, hoping for that comeback season where he fearlessly crushes his enemies.