In the Star Wars prequels, there is a somewhat-important character introduced named "General Grievous". Being lord of a large droid army and having some number of sophisticated manufacturing plants at his disposal, I immediately assumed he was a droid himself, albeit a sophisticated one with odd idiosyncrasies (such as coughing).

However it becomes clear that he has at least some biological components, which are focused on in the movie, and don't seem to do him any good at all. Why does he have these biological components? What is he, actually?

  • 2
    Dead. A pile of scrap coupled with some tiny number of decayed biological parts.
    – Jeff
    May 13, 2011 at 17:54
  • He's a Android? I think it is an Android, half-machine, half-human. Unfortunately I forgot the exact word. Jun 24, 2011 at 21:39
  • 9
    @fireDude67: 'cyborg'
    – Jeff
    Aug 1, 2011 at 16:37
  • @Jeff, Yes, Cyborg. Aug 1, 2011 at 22:45
  • 2
    Actually Grievous was the best lightsaber duelist in his time. He beat Mace Windu (who was the best jedi duelist) in pure lightsaber combat, so hard that Windu used the force to destroy Grievous's lung. That is why he is coughing.
    – user16829
    Aug 21, 2013 at 19:10

2 Answers 2


From The New Essential Guide to Droids:

"I am Grievous, warlord of the Kaleesh and Supreme Commander of the armies of the Confederacy. And I am not a droid!"

The details of what Grievous is and how he came to be:

From https://starwars.fandom.com/wiki/Grievous:

Grievous, born as Qymaen jai Sheelal, was the cyborg Supreme Commander of the Droid Army of the Confederacy of Independent Systems for most of the Clone Wars. Grievous was originally a reptilian Kaleesh from the planet Kalee, where he lived his early life.


After consulting with his ally, Confederate Head of State Count Dooku, IGBC Chairman San Hill arranged for a bomb to be placed on Grievous's shuttle, Martyr. The Kaleesh was critically injured, but lived, and Hill arranged for the final stage of his plan. Grievous was reconstructed as a cyborg and was presented to Dooku as a potential weapon to be used in the upcoming war that the count had planned against the Republic.

Somewhat less on-topic, Wookieepedia adds (sourced from Star Wars Galaxies: Rage of the Wookiees):

At some point after Grievous's death, his body was used to create the droid warrior N-K Necrosis, who considered himself to be the reincarnation of Grievous.

  • 14
    "Mortally wounded in the line of duty, officer Kaleesh is outfitted by IGBC with bulletproof titanium robotic parts and computer enhanced mobile sensory capabilities. He has become the ultimate super cop, Robo..." owait.
    – HNL
    Mar 16, 2012 at 11:16
  • 10
    "Qymaen jai Sheelal, a Kaleesh barely alive. Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to build the world’s first cyborg Kaleesh..."
    – Mr Lister
    Mar 5, 2013 at 22:14
  • 1
    N-K Necrosis... anyone else think he sounds like a rapper?
    – Daft
    Apr 22, 2015 at 15:28

I guess you could think of him as "Vader 1.0"... The story as I recall is that he was a biological being that was severely injured, and repaired with mechanical parts (and not especially well either). Over time so many mechanical parts were installed that there's very little biological left.

  • i know the coughing is caused by a certain jedis force push, i wonder if there is any more info on his origins in the between 2 and 3 clone wars cartoons.
    – Andy
    May 13, 2011 at 12:25
  • 5
    As I recall, once he had started replacing biological parts with mechanical ones it became like an obsession and he started replacing parts that had nothing wrong (like too much plastic surgery) until very little biological was left.
    – BBlake
    May 13, 2011 at 12:25
  • 1
    @BBlake, that is what they implied in the cartoon at least. Perhaps it was dulled down to prevent being too graphic for children?
    – Kevin Peno
    May 13, 2011 at 15:53
  • 4
    @Andy The force push was from Windu. It was featured at the end of Star Wars: Clone Wars animated television series, Chapter 25. Remark, it's Star Wars :Clone Wars from (2003 to 2005) not Star Wars: The Clone Wars that started in 2008.
    – DavRob60
    May 13, 2011 at 18:06
  • 1
    Sounds like the Tim Woodman from the Wizard of Oz. Jan 23, 2014 at 15:26

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