• General Grievous may have had a high midi-chlorian count, which could explain his ability to hold his own against Jedi.
  • Midi-chlorians are less important in determining Force sensitivity, as shown in newer Star Wars movies and shows.
  • Grievous may have learned the Jedi arts from Count Dooku, but he didn’t need to be a full Jedi to wield a lightsaber effectively.

A group of Star Wars fans just realized something about the ruthless warlord with the subtle name General Grievous. This newly discovered (to some) detail could explain why the big coughing cyborg proved to be such a pain in the lekku for the Jedi.

Most will remember General Grievous as the Star Wars villain in Revenge of the Sith who coughed a lot and had 4 lightsabers. Others will remember him for being the reason they impulsively cannot avoid saying “General Kenobi” in response to a “hello there.” But his main thing in the movie itself is proving to be more than a match for the Jedi, even making a point to collect the lightsabers of those he killed. He explained his dueling expertise with a line about training in the Jedi arts with Count Dooku, presumably brought on by a chance meeting in an unfortunate name support group. But there may have been more at work to give Grievous that edge.

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Fans on the official Star Wars subreddit (via u/kingjaymes1234) recently noticed an interesting tidbit in the book Star Wars: Graphics. While technically now non-canon, the informational book details various aspects of the first six Star Wars movies. One such statistic is the midi-chlorian count in several major Force users from the series. Fans will remember that midi-chlorians were a controversial new aspect of the franchise introduced in The Phantom Menace, which alleged they were microscopic organisms that affect an individual’s ability to use the Force. It turns out that, at least in the non-canon Legends continuity, General Grievous boasted a pretty high count of the things himself.

According to an infographic in Star Wars: Graphics, Grievous can claim a midi-chlorian count almost as high as Mace Windu and even higher than Qui-Gon Jinn. At first glance, one might think this means the asthmatic antagonist became his ultimate metal self due to a predisposition for fighting Jedi. But apparently, this seems to have happened after Grievous became a cyborg. One user pointed out that, in Legends continuity, Grievous was infused with midi-chlorian-rich blood. This didn’t necessarily make him a Force user, but it did allow him to heal more quickly from the operations that turned him into the creepy tin can viewers got to know in Revenge of the Sith.

“In Legends Grievous was infused with midichlorian rich blood. It did not transfer force sensitivity, but it did help him heal from his many procedures.”

The thing is, midi-chlorians have steadily become less and less important over the years. While The Phantom Menace seemed to imply they were a crucial factor in determining an individual’s Force sensitivity, other movies and shows since have effectively retconned that idea. As seen with Sabine Wren in Ahsoka, even those without innate talent for the Force can wield it with training. So, a high midi-chlorian count is less of a requirement and more like a musician with perfect pitch among others who are no less skilled.

Still, this could help explain why Grievous was able to learn “the Jedi arts” so effectively. It was unlikely that Dooku took him on as a full apprentice and more probable that he just taught the eager little bloodthirsty cyborg some pointers. But as shown with Finn’s possible Jedi potential in the Star Wars sequel trilogy, one doesn’t have to be a full Jedi to hold their own with a lightsaber or 4.

The Star Wars saga is available on Disney Plus.


Star Wars

Star Wars is a multimedia franchise created by George Lucas and Lucasfilm Ltd with the 1977 motion picture. The science fiction franchise follows the adventures of characters (both humanoid and alien) in outer space, including those who can wield a mystical power known as the Force. Since the release of the original trilogy movies, the franchise has expanded to include multiple films and branched out to other mediums like comics, video games, TV shows, theme park attractions, and more. The IP and Lucasfilm were sold to Disney in 2012.

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Source: Star Wars: Graphics (via kingjaymes1234/Reddit)


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