Since Grievous could not use the Force, wouldn't a simple Force push always eliminate the danger to a Jedi?

Note: unlike many of the other enemies of the Jedi, Grievous appears to have no weapons but his lightsabers, so he has to get up close and personal. (electrostaff is still a melee weapon).

Correction: he had a blaster as well.

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    It's worth noting that Grievous almost was defeated by a force push, of sorts. The reason for his perpetual cough throughout Revenge of the Sith was that Mace Windu had force-crushed his exo-skeleton in Stars Wars: Clone Wars, damaging his internal organs. Jul 28, 2014 at 14:12
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    Being a cyborg Grievous could literally steel himself against being pushed back and magnetically anchor himself in place.
    – BMWurm
    Jul 28, 2014 at 14:17
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    It's a poor question. The fact that they are able to use Force Push does not make them able to eliminate the danger from any non-Force User every time.
    – phantom42
    Jul 28, 2014 at 14:24
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    What phantom42 said... Imagine a skilled bounty hunter being force pushed but still able to hold his aim at a Jedi and shoot while being pushed. One simple move isn't going to be able to defeat somebody who's obviously as skilled Grievous. Jul 28, 2014 at 14:26
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    Just another example of the Force NOT being some ultra-powerful cure-all that makes them inherently stronger than non-Force-users.
    – phantom42
    Jul 28, 2014 at 14:43

5 Answers 5



General Grievous was, among other things, an expert tactician. His grasp of strategy may not have been excellent, or it may have been hampered by the Separatist's real leadership, but he was indisputably a master tactician.

He was trained in lightsaber and electrostaff combat by some of the best in the Galaxy (notably Darth Tyranus) and his cybernetic body was capable of maneuvers that a typical humanoid couldn't do. It is also possible that his brain (which, if I recall, did have some cybernetic enhancement, and at least had some interface with his cybernetics) was divergent enough from 'standard' to mitigate the Jedi's mental tricks.

In short, he was as fast as a Jedi, he could see and process what he saw as fast as a Jedi, and he was at least as well trained as most Jedi in lightsaber combat.

The Jedi

Your typical Jedi Knight or Master during the Clone Wars era served as a General, or possibly in a support role. Jedi were too rare and valuable to serve as common troops, and there were no specialist Jedi platoons or companies. They typically served as the leadership and left the fighting to their troops. Some Jedi (notably Obi-wan and Anakin) were noted as leading from the front or taking it upon themselves to stage special operations against specific targets.

In an all-out assault, some Jedi would no doubt place themselves on the front lines - Mace Windu in particular was a Force powerhouse, capable of piling droids up like cordwood and knocking common battle droids over in windrows.

What the Clone Wars did not give Jedi much experience at is lightsaber combat. Sure, they primarily used their 'sabers against droids. That said, fighting droids with a lightsaber is primarily a matter of ranged defense. You move fast, using force-enhanced speed, block incoming bolts, close to melee range, and it's done. Even Super Battle Droids are trivial to destroy with a lightsaber - you just cut straight through. They can't block, then can't effectively strike you, and one or two blows will destroy them.

Droidekas, the shielded wheel droids, were a different matter: their shield was apparently proof against lightsabers, as evidenced by experienced combatants not charging at them. In those cases, Jedi typically had to avoid action and let the clones, often with specialized weapons, handle them.

MagnaGuard Droids

These droids, specifically designed by Grievous, were capable of going toe-to-toe with most Jedi. They might win, they might lose, but they could put up a fight. Obi-wan and Anakin both had difficulty dealing with them, and they are noted as some of the more skilled lightsaber combatants in the Order.


General Grievous was immune or resistant to many of the Jedi's common tricks, their equal or superior in single-blade combat, capable of moves Jedi would not easily anticipate or have trained against, and had dozens of tricks up his sleeves.

His training under Dooku would have given him an enormous edge over most Jedi - Dooku, one of the Jedi Order's most notable swordsmen, knew all their tricks and training habits. Grievous' physical attributes were at least the equal of his MagnaGuard's, and he could easily use two (or more) lightsabers.

That last sentence, above, is the final nail in most Jedi's coffins. It was extremely rare for any Jedi to use anything but a single lightsaber. Maul's double-bladed saber, the two-saber style, and other oddities were vanishingly rare. This meant that even an exceptionally skilled duelist would be at a disadvantage: they would be trained to watch two threat sources: their opponent's blade and their opponent's Force abilities. Against two blades, even skilled duelists suffered (reference: Qui-Gonn). Those who were extremely skilled, especially at defense, could handle two blades (or two attackers) somewhat well. But when four blades come into play, controlled by a single mind? Grievous could present dangers from three or four directions at once, and took advantage of this fact.

Against all of that, the ability of a Jedi to use a Force Push (itself an attack which is frequently telegraphed and which seems to be at least moderately tiring to use) to push Grievous back some distance doesn't seem like much of an advantage. Watch him when he battles, you'll see that he almost never puts himself between a Jedi and an environmental hazard (pit, spikes, chemicals or heat) that can hurt him. All a Push will do is tire the Jedi out and put some distance between the combatants.

  • Can you cite any canon?
    – Jack
    Jul 28, 2014 at 17:58
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    @Jack: at what point? Most of this is straight from the movies and Clone Wars TV series. In the movies and series, Magna Guard fight and sometimes beat Jedi. Grievous being as fast and strong as a Jedi is right from his fights on-screen. Grievous moving in ways that humanoids cannot is straight from the movies (moreso in the TV series). What parts need citation?
    – Jeff
    Jul 28, 2014 at 18:02
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    'Immune or resistant' is the only thing on there that isn't straight from the movies. I grant that it's largely conjecture based upon the fact that no Jedi is ever seen attempting to use these tactics against him. For the rest, well, Chapter 20 of the Clone Wars speaks for itself.
    – Jeff
    Jul 28, 2014 at 19:19
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    +1 | Nicely done, Jeff. The only thing I might add was that Grievous may have also had the capacity to move his lightsabers in ways not expected or trained against by most Jedi. With his cybernetic body, he has been seen rotating his lightsabers like propeller blades and having to defend against four individual blades as a single swordsman would overwhelm all but the most skilled defensive Jedi techniques. Jul 28, 2014 at 23:44
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    @SS-3.1415926535897932384626433: Objectively, yes, he could. Grievous, on-screen in the Clone Wars TV show and the prequel movies, wields lightsabers with great skill and finesse. He is inferior in skill to Dooku, but otherwise is at least the equal of most Jedi. This isn't conjecture, it's from the show and movies.
    – Jeff
    Apr 22, 2015 at 18:18

Simply put, the Jedi have a varying range of powers. Obi-Wan is one of the stronger Jedi both in power of the force as well as in skill with a lightsaber. And he was breaking a sweat fighting grievous. Some creatures also showed they were resistant to different force abilities, as well as being half a cyborg grievous appeared to have above average strength, most likely enhanced speed and reflexes as well. as we see Obi-Wan and Anakin aren't force pushing huge objects at people unlike Yoda, the emperor and even Count Dooku. So a weaker Jedi than them may not even have the power to push grievous away from them.

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    If clone wars is taken as canon (as TenthJustice did), then I remember a Jedi using the force to push Grievous quite far. He drives his lightsabers into the ground to help him stop. This would seem to imply that this answer is invalid.
    – Jack
    Jul 28, 2014 at 14:17
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    @Jack Different Jedi have different strengths and weaknesses. Not all Jedi have the same strength, regardless of training. In fact, I'm not even sure it's safe to say all Jedi have the ability to Force Push, since some focus very specifically on certain aspects of the Force, and not all focus on combat at all. In Darth Bane: The Rule of Two, for example, the Jedi Weapons Master was described as focusing so exclusively on lightsaber form that she was practically unable to use other Force powers.
    – Beofett
    Jul 28, 2014 at 15:06

Yes, it should.

Mace Windu Force pushed and severely damaged General Grievous, which made him cough and hack.

Obi Wan Force pushed Grievous into the ceiling and off the platform during their battle, making him drop his remaining light sabers and try to escape. Obi Wan was a master at the time but not considered to be adept with telekinesis, as can be seen by him being bested by Dooku with Force Lift and Force Throw.

Why other Jedi chose to duel with sabers, General Grievous forte, is a little confusing. Some have suggested that they were less capable with force powers but it seems to me that Force push, pull, and lift are ubiquitous skills in the movies and something that Jedi are trained in.

  • Obi-wan was not considered adept at force powers. I think you're just making things up. Do you have any source?
    – The Fallen
    Apr 24, 2015 at 10:55
  • Fair enough, let me be more specific. Obi Wan was not known for his prowess in telekinesis which would include Force push, lift, throw etc. It will always be a matter of opinion because we do not have an official ranking, but he did not often use telekinesis in combat, 2 out of 7 times he faced force using opponents (and Grievous) in the movies; it only worked against Grievous.
    – Sabersmith
    Apr 25, 2015 at 12:30

One detail that everyone seems to be missing is that Grievous's feet had claws that could pierce metal. In his fight against Ki-adi Mundi he is seen using this to walk on walls. If a jedi tried to force push him, he could literally hold his ground. Mace Windu caught him off his guard in this aspect.

As others have mentioned, his mind was probably resistant to mind tricks. Most jedi would not know other force powers that might be effective (such as shooting lightning, or a force scream). Unable to outdo Grievous by Force, and being no match on close combat either, jedi were easy prey for him.


Gevious killed 23 known Jedi. Possibly alot more. Just imagine fighting a computer that can hold 4 sabers, is faster then you, knows all your tricks, loads of experience, and doesnt mind retreating at all or sneak attacks. This man is probably the best Jedi hunter/killer.(palpatine order 66 doesnt count)

  • Welcome to SFFSE! This is a valid attempt to address the question, but doesn't really address the core elements the OP is seeking; if you could improve your level of detail it would strengthen your response Jul 3, 2015 at 8:29

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