AskDefine | Define grievous

Dictionary Definition

grievous adj
1 causing fear or anxiety by threatening great harm; "a dangerous operation"; "a grave situation"; "a grave illness"; "grievous bodily harm"; "a serious wound"; "a serious turn of events"; "a severe case of pneumonia"; "a life-threatening disease" [syn: dangerous, grave, serious, severe, life-threatening]
2 causing or marked by grief or anguish; "a grievous loss"; "a grievous cry"; "her sigh was heartbreaking"; "the heartrending words of Rabin's granddaughter" [syn: heartbreaking, heartrending]
3 of great gravity or crucial import; requiring serious thought; "grave responsibilities"; "faced a grave decision in a time of crisis"; "a grievous fault"; "heavy matters of state"; "the weighty matters to be discussed at the peace conference" [syn: grave, heavy, weighty]
4 shockingly brutal or cruel; "murder is an atrocious crime"; "a grievous offense against morality"; "a grievous crime"; "no excess was too monstrous for them to commit" [syn: atrocious, flagitious, heinous, monstrous]

User Contributed Dictionary



From grieve, from the Middle English greven, from the Old French grever, from Latin gavare (which means to burden). Developed in the 13th century.



  1. Serious, severe, very harmful.
  2. oppressive
  3. Sorrow

Extensive Definition

General Grievous is a fictional character from the Star Wars universe. He was voiced by Matthew Wood.



Revenge of the Sith

The opening crawl of Revenge of the Sith explains that Grievous and Count Dooku have kidnapped Chancellor Palpatine, and are holding him hostage. Grievous soon has Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker captured onboard his vessel, the Invisible Hand. Skywalker and Kenobi are taken prisoner, but escape and confront Grievous on the bridge. Grievous grabs a fallen guard's electrostaff and smashes it through the viewport, sending himself into space. He uses a grappling hook to pull himself to the ship's exterior. He then uses his mechanical feet to magnetize to the outside of his fallen flagship to regain entry into the vessel, and flees in an escape pod.
Grievous directs his escape pod to the nearest Trade Federation control ship, where he orders his armies to retreat. He then travels to the planet Utapau, where the Separatist Council reside. Grievous is now the supreme leader of the Confederacy, Dooku having died at Skywalker's hand in the earlier battle. Sidious orders him to move the Separatist leaders to the volcanic planet Mustafar.
Kenobi arrives shortly after the Separatists leave, and corners Grievous. Grievous takes out his lightsabers and engages Kenobi in combat. Kenobi seems to gain the upper hand, fending off Grievous' lightsabers and slicing off his two lower hands at the wrists; Grievous, however, escapes as the Republic assault force known as the 212th attack battalion begins their attack on the droid armies. Kenobi chases after Grievous throughout most of the battlefield. He eventually upends the General's vehicle, forcing him to engage Kenobi in combat once again. Grievous tries to escape to his fighter by dueling Kenobi through the control room, the top of a tower, and a cave, finally ending up at his landing platform. Kenobi opens Grievous's chest-plates, revealing his internal organs. Grievous throws him around violently before hurling him over the landing platform and seizing an electrostaff and charges. Kenobi, who had managed to grab onto the edge of the platform, uses the Force to retrieve Grievous' blaster, lying on the ground nearby. He fires five shots into Grievous' torso, igniting his flammable organic components. All of Grievous' organs ignite, and he starts to burn from the inside. Flames erupt from his eye sockets before he finally falls to the ground.

Expanded Universe

Clone Wars series

Grievous makes his first chronological appearance in the Star Wars universe in episode 20 of the Clone Wars series. He single-handedly attacks and dispatches seven Jedi in an aggressive display of lightsaber mastery. He begins the swift conquest of almost all of the Outer Rim planets, striking fear into the very heart of the Republic. Grievous leads the assault into the inner systems, along the Corellian Trade Spine, conquering world after world. He harbors an intense hatred of the Jedi, and takes great satisfaction in collecting their lightsabers as trophies after killing them.
As portrayed in the Clone Wars series' final episode, Grievous leads the Separatists in the Battle of Coruscant, using the first wave of his attack as a distraction to kidnap Chancellor Palpatine (who, unbeknownst to Grievous, is also Sith Lord and Separatist leader Darth Sidious). In the process, he pursues Palpatine all the way from his office through the Skyline of Coruscant (on the back of a nearby transport) through the Coruscant Subway System, and finally to Palpatine's private bunker. Grievous finally sneaks into Palpatine's bunker and kills the Chancellor's Jedi guards, Roron Corobb and Foul Moudama, after distracting guard leader Shaak Ti and wrapping her in an electric cord. Mace Windu comes to the rescue after he and Yoda sense the attack on the city is a distraction. As Grievous escapes with his prize, Windu uses the Force to crush the general's chest plates, severely weakening him and leaving him with the asthmatic cough heard in Revenge of the Sith. A slightly different path of events occurs in Labyrinth of Evil, where Grievous is never shown patrolling through Coruscant's Subway in a prolonged chase after the Chancellor, but instead duels and nearly defeats Mace Windu atop one of the myriad fighters in the battle over the city. Windu unbalances and topples the General from the fighter, and uses the Force to crush his chest plates, thus explaining Grievous' wheezing cough in Revenge of the Sith.
He is to be in the new CGI series Star Wars: The Clone Wars as a major villain.

Comic Books

Grievous also appears in the Star Wars: Republic comic book series, in which he massacres Republic and Jedi forces on orders from Count Dooku.
Unknown Soldier: The Story of General Grievous, which appeared in Star Wars Insider 86, provides Grievous' partial backstory. General Grievous is originally a warlord named Qymaen jai Sheelal on his native planet Kalee. Grievous is among the most effective generals for the Kalee against their enemy, the Huk.


The rest of his backstory is supplied in James Luceno's novel Labyrinth of Evil. During the war with the rival Huk, the Republic is called in to settle the dispute. Because the Huk is rich in natural resources compared to the barren Kalee world, the Republic sides with Huk and sends several Jedi Knights to intervene on their behalf. Grievous and his armies are made to appear as the aggressors and their homeworld is left in ruins.
Grievous becomes a security chief for the Intergalactic Banking Clan. San Hill, leader of the clan, notices Grievous' strategic genius, fearlessness, and skills. He is mentioned to the Confederacy of Independent Systems leader, Count Dooku. Led by Darth Sidious, the Sith Lords conspire to draw Grievous into the Separatist army. Despite Hill's generous offers, however, Grievous refuses to lead the Separatist army.
During an attack by the Republic's armies on the clan's base, Grievous' shuttle, with a bomb already attached, explodes and crashes. Grievous is mortally wounded in the crash, kept alive by technology, a transfusion of blood from the deceased Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas, and Dooku's mastery of the dark side; his shattered body is taken to the planet Geonosis, where most of it is replaced with a droid body that complements his natural reflexes. Hill approaches him and offers him the chance to live again in a cybernetic body and lead the Separatist army. Grievous initially resists — he would much rather die a warrior's death than watch his body sustained by technology — but Hill eventually persuades him by appealing to his desire for revenge. In actuality, this was Hill's plan all along, as the Separatists had boobytrapped Grievous' shuttle themselves, meaning to leave the General with no other choice than to accept. Dooku then trains him in lightsaber combat until he is one of the best duelists in the galaxy, and whips his resentment of the Jedi into a frenzy. The metamorphosis is then completed leaving Grievous one of the most fearsome warriors of the Seperatists' army.

Video Games

Matthew Wood reprised his role as General Grievous for the games Star Wars: Battlefront II and the Revenge of the Sith video game.
Grievous next appears in the video game Star Wars: Galaxies. Following the establishment of the Galactic Empire, clone troopers recover Grievous' body, transporting it and his captured starfighter to one of Palpatine's secret storehouses on Utapau. There it remains for years, until the cyberneticist Nycolai Kinesworthy uses the body of the Confederacy's greatest general for the N-K Project, to create the highly advanced droid N-K Necrosis. This war droid has a brief life in the Myyydril Caverns on Kashyyyk before being destroyed by an anonymous group of spacers. The combatants loot the droid's remains, taking its weaponry and anything else of value. The facemask ends up on the Invisible Market where it is purchased for its artistic properties by a high-ranking Imperial admiral — purported to be none other than Grand Admiral Thrawn. General Grievous also made a very brief appearance in Star Wars: Republic Commando, when Delta Squad almost caught him boarding his starship to an "unknown" planet.

Behind the scenes

General Grievous was developed for Episode III as a powerful new villain on the side of the Confederacy. The initial instructions that director George Lucas gave the Art Department were very open-ended: "a droid general." From that vague direction, the artists developed a lot of explorations, some purely mechanical, some not, for Grievous' look.
The initial design for General Grievous was created by Warren Fu. That initial sketch was refined and made into a foot-tall maquette sculpture. That was further refined when it was made in to a realistic computer-generated model by Industrial Light and Magic. This was one of the most complicated models ever created by ILM, with many parts of differing physical qualities. (ILM later broke their own record in this for the many alien Cybertronians designed for 2007's Transformers, some characters with over 10,000 moving parts. The Autobot Ironhide is purported to have over 30,000 individual CGI parts.) General Grievous is completely computer-generated imagery in the movie. On set, Duncan Young read the lines off-screen, while Kyle Rowling wore a bluescreen or a greenscreen suit to act out the fights with Obi-Wan Kenobi.
A deleted scene of Revenge of the Sith (included in the DVD release) in which Grievous kills Jedi Master Shaak Ti was later deemed non-canon and Shaak Ti's survival confirmed. She was (then) meant to die later in another scene involving the raid of the Jedi Temple, which was also deleted (and not included in the DVD).
In the Revenge of the Sith DVD, Lucas instructs his creative team to create an enemy that foreshadows Anakin Skywalker's transformation into Darth Vader: the heavy breathing, the cyborg body, and his seduction into a malevolent faction.

Movie notes

  • Gary Oldman is a friend of producer Rick McCallum, and agreed to submit a voice audition, but his involvement never went beyond that. Lucas never officially offered him the role.
  • For several months following Oldman's reported (but never confirmed) refusal, actor John Rhys-Davies was widely reported to be the voice of Grievous. This was eventually revealed to be a prank by a humor website, which planted the misinformation to see how far it would spread.
  • General Grievous' breathing problems in Revenge of the Sith were intended to emphasize his organic nature as well as the flaws of cyborg prosthetics. Grievous had previously appeared in Clone Wars before many of his personality traits had been finalized. To reconcile the differences between the two presentations, Mace Windu uses the Force to crush Grievous's chest panel towards the end of the show's third season (volume two) as the General makes off with Palpatine. This "explains" why General Grievous' voice is lighter in the Clone Wars series and then deepens dramatically in the movie, although the actual explanation is that the two were portrayed by different voices. The audio effects for the coughing were taken from Lucas himself, who had bronchitis during principal photography.

Action figure

Many action figures of General Grievous were released after the movie by Hasbro. There was also a large figure of Grievous made by Lego in 2008, aside from the regular Grievous Minifigure.


External links

grievous in Catalan: General Grievous
grievous in Danish: General Grievous
grievous in Spanish: General Grievous
grievous in French: Général Grievous
grievous in Italian: Grievous
grievous in Hebrew: גנרל גריווס
grievous in Dutch: Generaal Grievous
grievous in Japanese: グリーヴァス将軍
grievous in Norwegian: General Grievous
grievous in Polish: Generał Grievous
grievous in Portuguese: General Grievous
grievous in Russian: Генерал Гривус
grievous in Finnish: Kenraali Grievous
grievous in Swedish: General Grievous
grievous in Thai: กรีวัส
grievous in Turkish: General Grievous
grievous in Chinese: 格里弗斯将军

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

abominable, acute, affecting, afflictive, aggrieved, anguished, appalling, arrant, atrocious, awful, base, beastly, beneath contempt, bitter, black, blameworthy, bleak, brutal, burdensome, calamitous, careworn, cataclysmal, cataclysmic, catastrophic, cheerless, comfortless, contemptible, damaging, dangerous, demanding, deplorable, depressing, depressive, despicable, destructive, detestable, dire, disastrous, discomforting, disgusting, dismal, dismaying, distasteful, distressful, distressing, doleful, dolorific, dolorogenic, dolorous, dreadful, dreary, dumb with grief, egregious, enormous, exacting, exigent, fatal, fell, fetid, filthy, flagrant, foul, fulsome, galling, grave, grief-stricken, griefful, grieved, gross, harmful, hateful, heartbreaking, heartrending, heavy, heinous, horrible, horrid, hurtful, in grief, infamous, intolerable, joyless, lamentable, loathsome, lousy, lugubrious, major, monstrous, mournful, moving, nasty, nefarious, noisome, notorious, obnoxious, odious, offensive, oppressive, outrageous, painful, pathetic, piteous, pitiable, pitiful, plaintive, plangent, plunged in grief, poignant, rank, regrettable, reprehensible, repulsive, rotten, rueful, ruinous, sad, saddening, scandalous, schlock, scurvy, serious, severe, shabby, shameful, sharp, shocking, shoddy, sordid, sore, sorrowed, sorrowful, sorrowing, squalid, superincumbent, taxing, tearful, terrible, too bad, touching, tough, tragic, ugly, unbearable, unclean, uncomfortable, unfortunate, unpalatable, vile, villainous, weighty, woebegone, woeful, worst, worthless, wounding, wreckful, wretched
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