Season One, Episode Ten — “Lair of Grievous”

© Copyright & TM 2016 Lucasfilm Ltd.

© Copyright & TM 2016 Lucasfilm Ltd.

By Jason Gibner. When General Grievous was first introduced to fans back in 2003’s 2D animated, Genndy Tartakovsky-helmed version of Clone Wars, he was little more than a sinister Jedi killing machine with organic alien eyes. But that was more than enough: the fanbase flipped out; nobody saw this character coming, but what’s more, Grievous seemed very much like a serious looming threat, especially leading up to the days of Revenge of the Sith. I liked Grievous a lot in that movie but many fans complained, with good reason — the Grievous we got on screen in 2005 didn’t quite match the one we were teased with just a couple of years before.

Fast forward a few years more to George Lucas and Dave Filoni’s The Clone Wars, where the show’s primary big bads are often the wicked Count Dooku and the cyborg General Grievous. Thankfully, in this show the coughing cyborg finally got his time to shine. Watch as he constantly loses his temper with droids, gets in sweet lightsaber duels, and in this episode, lures poor, unsuspecting Jedi into his freaking haunted house lair to try and kill them off one by one. That’s right, General Grievous lives in a spooky castle. Because honestly, where else would he live?

WHAT WORKED: This episode was really going for a weird creephouse vibe and it totally nailed it. There’s a whole museum in Grievous’ lair that has what looks like statues honoring the memory of Grievous’ more organic years of terror, there’s a room filled with extra body parts for him, his electric bodyguards hang from the ceiling… it’s bogeyman stuff!

Then there’s the fan favorite with the winning smile, Kit Fisto and his way too eager padawan (the Mon Calamari Nadhar) sneaking around the haunted house to see if Grevious is around. It’s definitely one of the few genuinely weirdo-freaky episodes of the series, but it’s one that, in my opinion, really clicks. And you get to see Kit Fisto’s sweet alien tentacle dreadlocks spin around during a saber duel. It’s all win-win.

WHAT DIDN’T: There’s a lot going on in this episode. While the the story with master Fisto and his unpredictable padawan Nadhar really works, it feels at times out of place when placed next to shots of Grievous screaming in pain (like when his mask was removed). An end scene with the Jedi council tries to hammer home the episode’s moral messages, but after all this creepiness they become little more than a bunch of platitudes.


Mace Windu: “What about your former padawan?” Kit Fisto: “His heart was in the right place, but he tried to answer Grievous’ power with his own.” Yoda: “To answer power with power the Jedi way this is not, in this war a danger there is of losing who we are.”

This place looks like a shrine to that strange warrior.” – Kit Fisto.

Count Dooku: “General, the ongoing stalemate in the war has become unacceptable. There is concern you have lost your focus. Lord Sidious demands more dramatic results. More dead Jedi.” General Grievous: “You expect victory over Jedi, but all you give me to fight them is battle droids. Bah!

I will rest when the Jedi are dead.” – General Grievous.

You may have been a proud warrior once, but now you’re just a pawn in Dooku’s game.” – Kit Fisto.

Those who have power should restrain themselves from using it.” – Kit Fisto.

BEST MOMENT: In a bizarre, Frankenstein-like moment, Grievous and his medical droid, A4-D are doing some body part replacements on the damaged General. A4-D says he wonders why Grievous has put himself through all this grief, and the general barks on how he has made “IMPROVEMENTS!” Between that and the shot of the organic Grievous statue holding a decapitated head, we get an eerie glimpse (the most we will ever get) into just whatever Grievous is. Or was.

EPISODE’S MVP: No surprise here — it’s Grievous. Between his legs getting cut off and him running around like a spider and Matt Wood’s always surprising vocal performance, General Grievous finally gets his moment to be freaky-deaky here. He owns it.

© Copyright & TM 2016 Lucasfilm Ltd.

© Copyright & TM 2016 Lucasfilm Ltd.


– In the part where Grievous is being repaired, he makes the same death howl he did during his “uncivilized” death in Revenge of the Sith.

– The voice of A-4D was based on game show superstar Paul Lynde. Naturally.

– The captured lightsaber Kit Fisto is checking out belonged to Jedi Master Neebo. Poor Neebo.

– A bunch of lines were cut out of the original Cartoon Network broadcast. Originally, Vebb was going to say the classic “I have a bad feeling about this” and there were battle jokes about killing Jedi (comedy gold!). These were restored for the Director’s Cut version that is on the Clone Wars Season One DVD and they are in the version currently on Netflix.

– Jedi fortune cookie : “Most powerful is he who controls his own power.

8 out of 10

Next: “Dooku Captured”, soon.

Before: “Cloak of Darkness”, here.