Star Wars: Age of Republic – General Grievous #1 Review

by Dennis Keithly

General Grievous seeks to destroy what he doesn’t understand in Star Wars: Age of Republic – General Grievous #1.

This article contains plot points for Star Wars: Age of Republic – General Grievous #1.

Star Wars; Age of Republic - General Grievous #1 Cover

Star Wars: Age of Republic – General Grievous #1

Writer: Jody Houser | Artist: Luke Ross | Colorist: Java Tartaglia | Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham | Cover Artist: Paolo Rivera | Production Designer: Anthony Gambino | Editor: Mark Paniccia | Assistant Editor: Tom Groneman

General Grievous was created as a slayer of Jedi. With each Jedi kill, he added their lightsabers to his collection. The Separatists built him to lead the droid army against the forces of the Republic. Count Dooku trained him in the Jedi arts, and Grievous destroyed Jedi using their own weapons and skills. However, despite Grievous’s claims to understand the Jedi, he never truly did. Grievous looked at the galaxy through a lens of power, and that which he couldn’t understand, he attempted to destroy. That was his faith, and it was tested and found lacking in Star Wars: Age of Republic – General Grievous #1.

Bane of the Jedi – Champion of Cruelty

General Grievous #1 opens on Ledeve with the cyborg general doing what he loves most: killing a Jedi. Grievous is a cruel opponent, and he taunts his Jedi foe: her sacrifice won’t save her Padawan. Indeed, it doesn’t and she quickly falls to his blades, and then Grievous pursues the Padawan. It takes no time at all to catch up. Once he does, Grievous employs his cruelty once again. He informs the Padawan indirectly that his master is dead: “Let’s see if you last longer than your master.” This is completely unnecessary. The Padawan never stood a chance. One move and the fight is over mercifully quick.

General Grievous #1 - The Padawan

Desecration of the Force

After the Jedi on Ledeve are dead, Grievous finds out why they were there. The Jedi have a temple on the planet. It looks very similar to one of the spires of the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. When he finds it, Grievous strides into this temple like he owns the place. He immediately demonstrates his lack of understanding where the Jedi are concerned. Statues of the Jedi line the entrance hall. Grievous remarks that he has statues too, but his were earned.

As Grievous makes that remark, General Grievous #1 features a panel of a statue of Grievous from his former life when he was an organic. The General holds a sword in one hand and the severed head of an enemy in another. In contrast, the statues of the Jedi exhibit defensive postures. For Grievous, statues are only earned in conquest. Naturally, that isn’t what the Jedi are about. Grievous then rectifies the situation in his mind. He destroys the statues of the Jedi. It is an act of petty vindictiveness and another demonstration of his cruelty.

The Heart of the Temple

The Jedi temple seems like something out of Indiana Jones. Numerous traps line the passages. Grievous eludes them all through cunning or brute force. Grievous is no Dr. Jones though. He has no respect for antiquities and destroys all obstacles in his way. Finally, General Grievous #1 reaches the climax of the issue when Grievous gets to the heart of the building.

At the center, Grievous encounters a presence in the Force. The general has no chance of understanding the message the Force, if it is indeed the Force, wishes to communicate. The Force notes what is obvious to everyone but Grievous: he destroys that which he doesn’t understand. This temple is beyond his comprehension. The Jedi are beyond his understanding. Therefore, he obliterates them. Or, at least he tries.

One of the highlights of General Grievous #1 is a peak at Grievous before his transformation. The Force shows Grievous as he was. It notes that he doesn’t understand the Force, and that is because he cut himself off from it when he became a cyborg. In response, Grievous protests he needs nothing from the Jedi, and his current form allows him to destroy them. Without even realizing it, Grievous proves the Force’s point.

General Grievous #1 - the temple

Concluding Thoughts on General Grievous #1

The Force chides Grievous for being small. Like a child, Grievous rebels at the notion and attempts to strike back. His lightsabers spring to life, but they are useless against the presence around him. The Force has no need to strike. After all, the Force is meant for defense. Grievous makes the error of the dark side without even being able to call upon the Force – he attacks with the lighstabers he stole from the Jedi. He doesn’t understand their purpose in the least.

So, what is a cyborg to do in this situation? Get more firepower of course. That is exactly what Grievous does when he has the Invisible Hand fire on the temple while he watches. When the temple explodes, Grievous thinks he won. However, the Force remains. As it noted earlier in General Grievous #1, Grievous carved away his understanding of the Force when he became a cyborg. Grievous’s new understanding of himself is not strength, and it leaves him “small.” In other words, he can’t take any steps into a larger world.

General Grievous #1 concludes the Age of Republic series. Unlike Amidala #1 and prior issues, it doesn’t have a counterpart. However, it may not need one. Grievous represents the worldy and the mechanical in this issue. He employs lightsabers, but he is not organic, and certainly no Jedi. The Force stands in direct opposition. Although Grievous thinks he understands, he is wrong. The galaxy can’t be subdued with force. The Force knows this. No amount of violence will vanquish the Force, and therefore, Grievous is indeed small for thinking otherwise.

Jody Houser took readers on an amazing adventure through Age of Republic. The balance of the Force, mentorship, alliances, and more all found room for discussion in her series. In addition, Age of Republic proved that one shots can work. The Star Wars galaxy is richer for her writing.

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