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Why Does General Grievous Have A Persistent Cough?

Why Does General Grievous Have A Persistent Cough?

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Making his movie debut in 2005 in Revenge of the Sith, General Grievous was one of the most distinctive villains in the Star Wars franchise. 

He was depicted as a droid general, and everything about him showed as much except for his human-like eyes, and his persistent cough, which had many viewers questioning what it was. 

This article is going to discuss more about General Grievous and get to the bottom of the cause of this famous cough. 

Who Was General Grievous? 

General Grievous, as mentioned above, was a droid general from the planet Kalee. His body was almost all made from mechanics following an accident. 

One of the most notable (and strange) things about him, was his persistent cough, which left many fans questioning his past and background. After all, George Lucas was very meticulous with his characters, and would never include characteristics and features that did not tell a story. 

Interestingly, the cough that was recorded in order to be used as the General’s cough, was actually George Lucas’s himself! 

What Was The Reason Behind This Cough?

During the fight scene between Grievous and Obi-Wan Kenobi, Obi-Wan forced open his chest plates and several human organs were revealed.

This showed that there was more than meets the eye to this villain, and there must have been a backstory to how he ended up the way he did. 

Although his first movie debut was Revenge of the Sith, his story takes us back to 2003, to the Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated TV series. 

Here, he had a battle with Mace Windu, and Windu used the Force in order to crush and damage Grievous’s chest plates, seriously injuring his lungs and leading to his famous cough. 

The Story Doesn’t End There

General Grievous

However, this isn’t the only aspect of the story. George Lucas wanted the cough to be a microcosm of how imperfect cybernetic technology was back then. 

The real story suggests that General Grievous was offered these cybernetic enhancements by the Sith, who was actually carrying out research into this field at the time.

The General experienced an accident on a shuttle that almost killed him and left his body severely damaged. It was Count Dooku that caused the accident, but he told Grievous that it was the fault of the Jedi, which is said to have been what fueled his hatred towards them later down the line.

As his body was so damaged, the Sith offered him cybernetic enhancements, but as he was still carrying out research into this field, some of the enhancements were poorly done, resulting in his real lungs becoming irritated by some of the implants, leading to his famous cough.

The Sith learned from these cybernetic enhancements that he performed on Grievous, and his research developed and improved. 

Later down the line, the enhancements used on Anakin Skywalker when he was becoming Darth Vader were much better, relating back to the notion that George Lucas wanted Grievous’s cough to show how cybernetic technology was inferior back then. 

General Grievous’s cough can also be seen as a foreshadowing of the famous breathing of Darth Vader, again, as a result of the technology used. 

Final Thoughts 

To conclude, although we aren’t told much about General Grievous in Revenge of the Sith, his background does come with a story. 

His story was supposed to represent how cybernetic technology was not the best when he needed it most, and although many believe his cough is a result of a battle with Mace Windu, it is actually the result of the faulty cybernetic technology during his time. 

However, the Sith learned from the enhancements made on Grievous, and his research improved dramatically when it came to making enhancements on Anakin Skywalker in order to become Dark Vader

Therefore, this cough is a symbol of this technology and also foreshadows the famous breathing we all know well from Darth Vader

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