General Grievous was rescued from a crash and turned into the cyborg that he is. While he was infused with midi chlorians as part of the process, he’s not Force sensitive, nor does he have Force-wielding capabilities.

During the Clone Wars, Grievous is time and time again given huge fleets to command, even though he promptly loses them most of the time. While he may not be technologically superior to the Republic, his army gets 100% accurate intel through Dooku, who gets it from Palpatine. So even though he always knows the location and capabilities of the Republic fleets, he constantly loses. He’s a terrible leader, constantly makes poor strategic choices, and often flees his flagships whenever he begins to lose battles.

Is there any explanation for why he’s kept as a general? Is it because there is no one better (because most of the Separatists, beyond the banking clan, seem to really just be droids)? Or is this just poor writing because the Clone Wars is targeted for younger audiences and Grievous needed to survive until Episode III?

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    Frame challenge. Grievous is fighting against the might of the Republic (comprising millions of systems) and still manages to carve out a spirited defence against both home fleets and the newly minted Grand Army of the Republic (as well as their Jedi commanders) despite the obvious inferiority of his combat droids. Is he incompetent or merely fighting a rearguard action, noting that the ultimate goal of the war isn't to win the war, it's to prolong it. starwars.fandom.com/wiki/Grievous
    – Valorum
    Apr 15, 2020 at 22:28
  • Interesting point. While he may be accomplishing the goal of burdening the Republic, he could be doing it better. He constantly wastes resources and makes strategically poor decisions. When you’re fighting a numerically superior enemy you want to conserve your force as much as possible, but Grievous loses ships and droids due to pure error that any adept commander would not make. Apr 15, 2020 at 22:41
  • Being as incapable as he is, some of the comics, the 2003 clone wars mini series, and quite a few of the books show him to be quite the warrior. Even in one of the clone wars episodes, while he does not kill Kit Fisto, he kills his former padawan inside his hidden fortress, and inside that fortress we see quite the collection of lightsabers.
    – EwokSniper
    Apr 16, 2020 at 15:04
  • I agree that Grievous is a powerful warrior in hand to hand combat and if I’m remembering that episode correctly it actually focused on the incredibly talented killer he used to be. However regardless of how many Jedi he’s killed, he is not proficient at large-scale military operations. Jedi like Obi-wan are generals because they are wise and well-trained; Grievous is neither of those. Apr 17, 2020 at 21:45

1 Answer 1


Keep in mind that the war isn't meant to be "won", just prolonged long enough to create the conditions Palpatine needs to turn the Republic into the Empire. Since he's playing the war from both sides the whole thing is little more than a puppet show to get the Core Worlds afraid enough to give up their liberties in exchange for security, to make the various commerce guilds (aka: the real power in the Republic for quite some time) expend their resources backing the Separatist cause, to beat the more upstart Mid-Rim systems into submission, and to open the door for he eventual Empire to aggressively expand into the vast Outer Rim Territories.

Grievous isn't in that position because he's a tactical genius (he isn't) he's there because he's a useful agent of chaos who's not afraid to go up against Jedi (when the odds are massively stacked in his favour) and survive. If the futility of the whole thing isn't immediately obvious, remember that both sides are using enormous armies of mass produced and very expendable soldiers, allowing the war to go on for as long as it needs to without one side or the other achieving a definitive advantage...until the time is right.

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