It's very clear that General Grievous played a vital role for the Separatists during the Clone Wars, especially after the death of Count Dooku during the events of Revenge of the Sith. He was important enough that the Jedi Council thought that they could bring a swift end to the war if they were to kill or capture him. Mace Windu even said:

Then the Jedi Council will make finding Grievous our highest priority.

It's also no secret (to anyone) that General Grievous is an extremely skilled swordsman, having engaged and killed numerous Jedi in lightsaber combat, and he isn't even Force-sensitive. In one early fight (and arguably his best fight), Grievous fought four experienced Jedi Masters and a Jedi Knight all at once, killing or seriously injuring all except for one of them (and he primarily relied on only two lightsabers in that fight, only resorting to three blades by utilizing his foot). So, given the fact that Grievous is a high-value target, and considering how dangerous he is even to some of the most experienced Jedi, why did the Council decide to only send ONE Jedi Master to Utapau to stop him during Revenge of the Sith? I can understand them not sending Anakin, but I see no reason why Obi-Wan should go alone, regardless of how reliable their intel was.

Granted, Obi-Wan is also a skilled swordsman who has managed to survive at least a few one-on-one fights against Grievous, such as these two examples, but the same can be said for Ki-Adi-Mundi. Even if you want to argue that Mundi was too busy to help Obi-Wan, Mace Windu didn't appear to be occupied at the time, and the same is true for several other Jedi Masters, such as Kit Fisto, Agen Kolar, or Saesee Tiin (who all took part in the unsuccessful attempted arrest of Supreme Chancellor Palpatine). The point is, I just don't see the logic in not sending a team to find Grievous.

  • Are you open to Legends answers? I can think of one instance where the Jedi did send a team of Jedi after Grievous. Apr 6, 2016 at 3:02
  • @Thunderforge I keep forgetting to mention that Legends answers are okay (although, answers from both continuities are appreciated). For the record, my question pertains specifically to Obi-Wan's mission to Utapau. Apr 6, 2016 at 3:04
  • I've edited in the star-wars-legends tag since you've mentioned that Legends answers are okay. This tag is intended to help indicate exactly that.
    – Null
    Apr 6, 2016 at 3:52
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    FYI, the first scene you link to is Legends, while the rest are Disney canon. Although I agree that it is his best fight; proof that some of the Legends stuff is way cooler than new stuff! Apr 6, 2016 at 4:29
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    Jedi suffer from something like "Conservation of Ninjutsu". One jedi alone can topple empires and face down armies. If 100 jedi group together dozens will fall to random blaster shots. Similarly with sith. One sith is a deadly threat, but an army of them are cannon fodder.
    – Murphy
    Apr 7, 2016 at 14:19

4 Answers 4


Mace Windu wanted to convince the Chancellor (and his lackeys) that they didn't have that many Jedi at their disposal, that their Temple was largely unguarded and that they were reluctant to send a non-Master to face given Grievous, given his propensity for killing Jedis. Their aim was to tempt the mysterious Darth Sidious into taking precipitous action against the Jedi.

“It may not be enough,” Mace Windu said. “Let us take this one step farther - we should appear shorthanded, and weak, giving Sidious an opening to make a move he thinks will go unobserved. I’m thinking that perhaps we should let the Chancellor’s Office know that Yoda and I have both been forced to take the field

Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith

In reality, they also wanted to keep Anakin on the planet (to spy on the Chancellor and to bulk out any physical defence of the Temple that was required) and to keep as many senior Jedi as possible on Coruscant in case the Chancellor decided to disband the Jedi Order and they needed to arrest him.

“I believe we all agree on that,” Anakin said briskly. “Let’s move to the operational planning. The Chancellor has requested that I lead this mission, and so I-“

“The Council will decide this,” Mace said sternly. “Not the Chancellor.”

“Dangerous, Grievous is. To face him, steady minds are needed - Masters, we should send.”

Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith


“Given the strain on our current resources,” Mace Windu said, “I recommend we send only one Jedi - Master Kenobi.”

Which would leave Mace and Agen Kolar - both among the greatest bladesbeings the Jedi Order had ever produced - here on Coruscant in case Sidious did indeed take this opportunity to make a dramatic move. Not to mention Anakin, who was a brigade’s worth of firepower in his own right.

Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith

There's also a certain element of "screw-you" in the council's deliberations. Palpatine asked for Anakin to lead the hunt, so they intentionally picked someone else.

It didn’t help that Chancellor Palpatine had recommended Anakin for the job. Doesn’t the Chancellor realize how awkward it is for Anakin to come into the Council and say, “The Chancellor wants me to lead the attack?” It makes him sound arrogant, when he’s just passing on Palpatine’s requests. But the Chancellor wasn’t likely to listen to Obi-Wan’s advice on how to handle Anakin Skywalker.

Revenge of the Sith: Junior Novel

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    That mostly answers my question. I say "mostly" because it raises one more: Why did they think it would be necessary to have a bunch of Jedi Masters on Coruscant if they ended up needing to arrest Palpatine? They didn't know that he was a Sith Lord at that time. Wouldn't Anakin himself been enough for that job (given what they knew at the time)? Or, perhaps just one or two Masters? To me, at the very least, it just seems like it would have been wise at the time to at least send Mace Windu with Obi-Wan, since he's the one who dealt the blow to Grievous that caused his coughing. Apr 6, 2016 at 11:10
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    @spar10Leonidas - The super-short answer is that they didn't trust Palatine. They were already aware (via Dooku) that he was being influenced by a Sith Lord and were worried that he wouldn't give up his emergency powers when the war was over and instead declare himself 'El Presidente for life' They knew that he knew that they were planning to arrest him. What they didn't bank on was a) Him successfully preventing this b) His being a Sith Lord himself and c) That he should have the capacity to use the arrest as a pretext for murdering all of the Jedi everywhere.
    – Valorum
    Apr 6, 2016 at 11:45
  • What sort of resistance did they initially expect from him that required the skills of Jedi Masters? Apr 6, 2016 at 13:16
  • @Spar10Leonidas - He has a highly trained personal guard.
    – Valorum
    Apr 6, 2016 at 13:21
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    @Spar10Leonidas If you look at The Clone Wars TV show, Kenobi has more experience fighting Grevious than Windu does. Plus, it seems to me like Windu is Yoda's second-in-command, so since Yoda was off-planet it would make sense to keep Windu at the Jedi Temple to run things. Apr 7, 2016 at 13:41

Obi-Wan Kenobi had mastered the lightsaber form III "Soresu" as no other Jedi did in the order and was therefore known to have the best lightsaber defense in the galaxy. This particular fighting style made him perfect for fighting Grievous with his 4 Lightsabers and high speed attacks. (His mastery of Soresu was also the reason why he was able to defend hisself so long against Anakin Skywalker who was the better duelist and was finally able to defeat him with his advantage of terrain in combination with Anakins bolt attempt of attack.)

Also Kenobi encountered Grievous several times in combat and was probably more familiar with his fighting style then any other Jedi.

He was imho the best and most logical choice.


As far as I recall, in Matthew Stover's adaptation of Revenge of the Sith, it is stated, that the Jedi Council sent Obi-Wan, because he - even as an experienced Force-user - used the most basic lightsaber technique. Grievous was quick to analyze the techniques used againt him, but this way he wouldn't have this advantage. (Sorry, can't quote the part directly. I only have a Hungarian copy, and even that one is far from me now.)


Well, the primary reason would have been due to the outer rim sieges causing most skilled jedi swordsmen to be out in theory part of the galaxy, and unavailable. Im sure they also didn't want to send two many of their remaining available away from Coruscant.

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