The Funny Story Behind Why General Grievous Has a Cough

The Funny Story Behind Why General Grievous Has a Cough

Despite being a formidable opponent and a very tyrannical general, General Grievous was kind of a sickly individual that was being kept alive by the technology he was encased in since there was very little of him left. What biological parts he still had were seen to be enough to keep him mobile via the connection to his cybernetic enhancements, but apart from that, he would have perished quite some time ago if it wasn’t for Count Dooku seeing something worthwhile in the warrior. In the movies and in the animated series Grievous is by far one of the more dangerous combatants, at least until one pits him against a master Jedi. Wielding four lightsabers is indeed impressive but if Master Kenobi was able to take him down it’s very easy to think that other masters could have done the same at one point. But his debilitating cough, the reason for this article, in fact, is kind of funny since it stems from George Lucas coming into the studio one day with bronchitis, and a sound designer had the idea that his illness could be the base sound for Grievous. Inspiration hits in very amusing ways, even if Lucas wasn’t feeling too hot that day, and sometimes a person just has to run with it. As it stands, the sound would go on to become an iconic part of Grievous’ character since it gave him another dimension that created the thought that he wasn’t all machine and therefore wasn’t as perfect as he could have been. The coughing and grumbling he did so often became an indication that despite his upgrades and technologically-superior body, he was still ruled more or less by his biological parts, which were still anything but healed up and were definitely not fully compatible with his cybernetic body.

Biological and technological components don’t always get along so to speak since rejection is quite possible when introducing something foreign into a biological form or, in this case, encasing biological remains into a metal body. Living tissue will sometimes reject anything that is thought to not belong in the body, and it’s easy to think that Grievous’ biological parts would reject bonding with the metal shell encasing them or anything that’s being used to keep him alive since there’s very little of his original form left. In fact, when one comes to think of it, there’s probably little more than hatred and the venomous feelings towards his enemies that really keeps Grievous going, since his body and the cybernetics encasing it tend to get along just well enough to keep him upright and not falling all over himself. The will to live is something that many individuals throughout history have utilized in order to keep going long when their body should have given out, and in the Star Wars universe, this is often seen to be something that can go a long way towards explaining why certain characters don’t just die out when they should. Force-users have been seen to be even more adept at sticking around once their physical body is done with, as Darth Nihilus and Exar Kun have shown in the past. But for someone that’s not a Force-user, Grievous is without any doubt just tough and hateful beyond measure since it takes a serious thrashing to put him down. Mace Windu likely worsened the coughing fits when he nearly crushed Grievous at one point, but as that apparently isn’t canon any longer it’s hard to say that it’s another reason for his impairment.

In his own way, Grievous feels like a character that was thrust upon the fans just so they could have another antagonist in the bunch and one that was deadlier than many that had been seen in the prequels at that time since the Neimodians were a joke considering that they weren’t fighters and tended to back down to anyone when they didn’t have an advantage. Darth Vader hadn’t come along yet, while Darth Sidious had to maintain his position as Chancellor Palpatine, and Darth Tyranus, aka Count Dooku, didn’t really engage with anyone unless he had no other choice. If you want proof of this watch Attack of the Clones and you’ll see that when confronted by another Jedi during the arena battle he allowed Jango Fett to take on the challenge, and only drew his lightsaber when facing Obi-Wan, Anakin, and then Yoda. Grievous obviously did the same thing, but he looked far more intimidating than most. It’s interesting to note that most of the Star Wars villains didn’t go out of their way to just throw down whenever they could, as they attempted to be smarter during a fight unless there was no other option. But of course, if Grievous had been really smart he might have allowed his droid army to just shoot Obi-Wan in Revenge of the Sith rather than think he could take on a master Jedi.

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