As his masterplan was coming together, Emperor Palpatine briefly took on General Grievous as something of an apprentice. The four-armed menace was introduced in Revenge of the Sith and later developed further as one of the main antagonists of The Clone Wars. He’s one of the prequel era’s most memorable villains.
Plenty of iconic lines have been uttered by other Star Wars characters to Grievous like Obi-Wan’s casual “Hello there” upon confronting him, but the cybernetic baddie has plenty of memorable quotes of his own.
10 “Anakin Skywalker, I Expected Someone With Your Reputation To Be A Little… Older.”
When General Grievous meets Anakin Skywalker, he comments that he didn’t expect the legendary Jedi warrior with his track record to be so young. It’s actually a pretty flattering compliment, but Anakin fires back an insult: “you’re shorter than I expected.”
These throwaway lines about Anakin and Grievous’ expectations of one another indicated that the opening sequence of Revenge of the Sith was the first time they’d met and necessitated years of mental gymnastics by Clone Wars writers who had to keep their main protagonist and main villain from ever meeting.
9 “Your Skills Are Impressive. Perhaps A Match For My Own.”
One of Grievous’ weaknesses is his arrogance. He thinks he’s a lot more powerful than he actually is, which is how Obi-Wan Kenobi managed to eventually kill him with a blaster.
When Grievous came up against fellow Star Wars Sith narcissist Asajj Ventress, he told her, “your skills are impressive. Perhaps a match for my own, assassin.” She quips back, “Count Dooku may have taught you how to swing a lightsaber, General, but that hardly makes you my equal.”
8 “You Think You Can Defeat Me? You’re Nothing.”
During his violent rampage across the galaxy, Grievous earned a reputation as a fearless warlord akin to the Star Wars universe’s Napoleon Bonaparte or Genghis Khan. The Clone Wars writers gave Grievous a lot of menacing, grandiose quotes like the ones attributed to those historical military leaders. In the season 4 episode “Massacre,” Grievous boldly declares, “I have always been greater than you. Enough of this. You think you can defeat me? You’re nothing.”
7 “Army Or Not, You Must Realize, You Are Doomed.”
Just before Obi-Wan and Grievous are about to engage in a lightsaber duel on Utapau, George Lucas creates tension the same way Sergio Leone did in his classic spaghetti westerns—i.e. with a couple of super-tight close-ups of the characters’ eyes.
On Grievous’ extreme closeup, he warns his Jedi opponent, “army or not, you must realize, you are doomed.” On Kenobi’s closeup, he suavely cracks, “oh, I don’t think so.”
6 “Time To Abandon Ship.”
When the Jedi Knights fight back against Grievous’ robotic enforcers and his command ship starts going down, the general flees the scene, climbs into an escape pod, and smugly says “time to abandon ship.” Grievous’ willingness to simultaneously cower from a fight and abandon his ship shows how cowardly he really is underneath all his cybernetic menace.
5 “That Wasn’t Much Of A Rescue.”
The opening set piece of Revenge of the Sith revolves around Anakin and Obi-Wan infiltrating a Separatist ship to save Chancellor Palpatine, who’s supposedly been kidnapped by Count Dooku and General Grievous. The whole thing is theater, of course, because Palpatine is also the Sith Lord who’s training Dooku and Grievous and leading the Separatists.
Anakin kills Dooku, but, on the way out, he, Obi-Wan, and Palpatine are caught in a ray shield by Grievous, who exhibits his sarcastic wit when he tells them, “that wasn’t much of a rescue.”
4 “I Will Deal With This Jedi Slime Myself.”
After Obi-Wan arrives to fight General Grievous on Utapau and the surrounding droids ready their blasters to shoot the Jedi dead, Grievous orders them to lower their weapons and says, “I will deal with this Jedi slime myself.”
This leads to the awesome revelation that Grievous has four arms, each with their own lightsaber stolen from a murdered Jedi, which is comparable to the reveal of Darth Maul’s second lightsaber blade in The Phantom Menace.
3 “How Does It Feel To Die?”
During one of the many battle sequences in The Clone Wars, when Grievous is slaughtering legions of Gungan soldiers, he inflicts a fatal wound upon one of them and asks, “How does it feel to die?”
A battlefield is hardly the best place to be sweet and sensitive, but, even by those standards, this is a cold and callous thing to say to somebody in their excruciating final moments.
2 “Your Lightsabers Will Make A Fine Addition To My Collection!”
What separates General Grievous from other Sith candidates like Maul and Dooku is that he doesn’t have one red lightsaber that he forged for himself. Rather, he has four lightsabers—two blue and two green—which he stole from the corpses of Jedi he’d killed.
After capturing Obi-Wan and Anakin aboard his Separatist command ship and seizing their weapons, he tells them, “your lightsabers will make a fine addition to my collection.” Grievous’ quest to expand his lightsaber collection has been turned into a bunch of memes, like diving into the ocean to grab Kylo Ren’s lightsaber after he throws it in or digging up Luke and Leia’s lightsabers after Rey buries them on Tatooine.
1 “General Kenobi, You Are A Bold One.”
Arguably Obi-Wan’s most iconic moment—at least the Ewan McGregor incarnation of Obi-Wan—is when he drops down from the rafters, lands right in the midst of General Grievous’ droid armies, and nonchalantly says, “Hello there.”
Grievous replies, “General Kenobi, you are a bold one.” He’s so moved by Obi-Wan’s confidence that he tells his droids, who could probably kill the Jedi in a second, to stand down so he can fight him himself, the hubris of which eventually cost him his life.