Star Wars Creator George Lucas Briefly Considered Making General Grievous Darth Maul In Disguise [Exclusive]

The "Star Wars" villain General Grievous was introduced in the 2003 "Star Wars: Clone Wars" animated series. (Not to be confused with the 2008 animated film "The Clone Wars" or the 2008 series it introduced, "Star Wars: The Clone Wars." Even as a colossal franchise fan, it still irritates me. There are more words in the English language than "clone" and "wars.") The Separatist General is an organic being whose parts have been replaced with cybernetics. He became a lightsaber expert despite having no Force sensitivity after studying with Count Dooku. His rival is Obi-Wan Kenobi, who ultimately kills him in "Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith." According to George Lucas, the idea was to have him be "an alien in a droid shell, which is sort of an echo of what Anakin is going to become."

General Grievous could have had a very different backstory and one that sounds intriguing, if not particularly feasible. The information comes to us from an interview between /Film's Rafael Motamayor and Henry Gilroy, writer of "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" and "Star Wars Rebels," for which he also served as a co-executive producer. According to Gilroy, Lucas and his concept artists wanted Grievous to be a cover for Darth Maul. It's a bizarre concept, but it does sort of make sense.  

'George was considering that Grievous was Maul behind the armor plate'

Darth Maul was, of course, the most memorable-looking character in "Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace" with his red and black facial markings, horns, and double-sided lightsaber. He fought Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi in the first of the prequel films and was bisected by Kenobi. We all thought he died ... until he returned in "Star Wars: The Clone Wars." As it turns out, Maul went a little mad and used the Force to create a sort of spidery bionic bottom half. He was later saved by his brother Savage Opress, and went on to create a crime syndicate, showing up in hologram form in "Solo: A Star Wars Story." How much would things have changed if he hid his organic half inside General Grievous? 

In the /Film interview, Gilroy says: 

"George was considering that Grievous was Maul behind the armor plate. It made sense. He's cut in half, and he's in this robot body or whatever. I'm glad that Grievous is his own thing anyway, but I thought it was interesting that the concept guys almost talked George into that."

It would undoubtedly have been a big surprise, but honestly, the reveal that Maul was alive was a big one and probably better. It could have worked visually, but the idea of Maul living for that long on a trash planet by himself, having created his own bottom half, was powerful and horrifying. It's a fascinating idea, but it's one that is better left as a curiosity about what could have been.

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