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General Grievous

SWIII: Revenge of the Sith
by yo go re

Boy, if only this character had some kind of short, pithy memetic phrase that was used as an introduction and everyone would recognize. Oh well!

General Grievous was a brilliant Separatist military strategist and a feared Jedi hunter, known for his ruthlessness and hacking cough. His body itself was a weapon, allowing him lightning quick strikes and devasting blows. But he was also quick to run from a fight, a tactic that worked until one final meeting with Obi-Wan Kenobi.

All three of Darth Sidious' underlings in the prequels presaged Darth Vader in their own way: The Phantom Menace had Darth Maul, a rage-fueled monster who had been groomed by Palpatine from a young age; Attack of the Clones brought us Count Dooku, the former Jedi who had turned his back on his Order; and of course, Revenge of the Sith's General Grievous was more robot than man.

Grievous was once... well, not human, but certainly organic. He was a Kaleesh, a red-skinned reptilian race, but over time replaced more and more of his body with mechanical "improvements" so he could be as strong as a Jedi. The movie gave him a hacking cough so we would know he wasn't just a fancier droid; Gendo Tartarsauceski's Clone Wars revealed it was the aftermath of tangling with Mace Windu, who Force-crushed his lungs.

His robo body is designed to look skeletal, with very thin limbs and white metal (or whatever) plates in the place of bones. One of the "rib" panels on my figure is warped, so it doesn't sit properly on the chest - unfortunately, since you can pretty much only find this figure online, there's not much to be done about that. Perhaps boiling water would help? He multi-toed claws for feet, and the digitigrade stance is apparently a holdover from his real body.

Grievous is packaged with his four arms spread wide, but the toy definitely is capable of combining them so he just has the usual two: there are shallow tabs and slots that are easy to misjudge when you're putting them together, but the tiny peg that helps join the hands will help guide you; just remember that the white forearm plates aren't meant to touch one another, there's a gap in between.

Because of the way the arms split, the articulation is a bit unusual. There are no wrists at all, which we know is incorrect because of the scene where he does his little spinny attack. The elbows are swivel/hinges, and there's a swivel in the bicep. That gives you plenty of motion individually, while still retaining a decent(ish) range when the arms are locked together: it's not perfect, but the matching swivels in the elbows and biceps allow those pistons to turn in a manner similar to the radius and ulna in your own forearms work. Each of the separate shoulders has a swivel/hinge, but that won't work when they're together, so the bit of equipment where they join together has a balljoint where it goes into the body. The rest of the joints are pretty standard, making him overall a very poseable and fun figure.

The paint's nice, as well. The "white" panels are actually more of an ecru, furthering the "bones" connection, and there's dirt painted on the front surfaces. Why only the front? Probably to save money on paint apps, but we can imagine it's because he wears a big cape that keeps his back clean. The exposed eyes are done up cleanly, and there are a few spots of silver scratches on the dark grey parts of the body, making this look like someone who's been wandering the universe having adventures for years.

The cape is softgoods, and done in two layers: grey for the outside, and red for the lining. It's stitched closed at the neck, and just slips over his head when you want to remove it. There are four pockets on the inside, where he can store his stolen lightsabers if you remove the blades. Incidentally, what ever happened to the little flares Hasbro used to sculpt at the base of their sabers? Those always looked so much better than the straight, featureless tubes we get now. Grievous also comes with his custom DT-57 blaster rifle, which he named the "Grievance Striker." If you've got the Episode III Obi-Wan, you can loan that to him.

General Grievous is part of the "Deluxe" sub-series, reserved for figures that wouldn't work at the Black Series' usual pricepoint. Between the articulation, the paint, and the accessories, it's easy to see why he ended up there. Grievous may cost a bit more than average, but he's not a rip-off.

-- 10/19/19

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