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Only Sith Deal In Absolutes!
date posted: Apr 02, 2006 5:08 PM  |  updated: Aug 30, 2006 1:30 AM
Endnotes for The Story of General Grievous, Part 1: Unknown Soldier
At long last! Here's the beginning of the promised endnotes for The Story of General Grievous. Broken up into more manageable chunks than Endnotes for Droids and the Force, parts one and two will unravel the continuity used to construct Grievous' back story as a Kaleesh warlord and Separatist cyborg in the Star Wars Insider #86 feature, "Unknown Soldier," while parts three and four will be a continuity tour-de-force tracing the plethora of obscure references found in the fan-pleasing "Lord of War." (If you don't have a Hyperspace subscription, sign up for one today!)

Let's rock 'n' roll.


For the very first time, Grievous' Kaleesh birth name is revealed: Qymaen jai Sheelal. Though his personal name is entirely new, that of his race is not. Grievous is first referred to as having been a Kaleesh warlord prior to his transformation into a cyborg in Labyrinth of Evil (2005, Del Rey), which is also the source for the first reference to the Kaleesh' insectoid enemies that lend their name to The Huk War.

The Huk have evolved a complicated origin in a short span of time. When I first wrote "Unknown Soldier" soon after Revenge of the Sith was released, no information on the species existed save that they were "insectile." Oddly, there were already a number of established homonymic alien races in Star Wars literature (including the Huhk and Houk), so I took the liberty to merge the Huk with one of the coolest-looking, pre-existing insect races about which also nearly nothing was known: the Yam'rii. Exemplified by the giant praying mantis Kitik Keed'kak in A New Hope, the Yam'rii were first identified in the Premiere set of the Star Wars Customizable Card Game (1995, Decipher). However, when publication of "Unknown Soldier" was delayed for several months, a brief reference by See-Threepio to the Huk as "vespids" (i.e. wasp-like) appeared in Dark Nest: The Swarm War (2005, Del Rey). At this time, there's no explanation for the inconsistency, except to assume Threepio intended the description in a way other than physiological. Among the Huks' conquered colony worlds are Abbaji from Shadows of the Empire (1996, Bantam) and Tovarskl from the Revenge of the Sith novelization (2005, Del Rey).

Kaleesh Lig swords, shoni spears, and Qymaen's aptitude with a slug rifle are all new, though the concept of the slugthrower -- which shoots metal projectiles rather than blaster bolts (i.e. a gun) -- goes back to one of the earliest Star Wars novels, Han Solo and the Lost Legacy (1980, Del Rey). Ligs and shoni themselves are covered in great detail in Lord of War.

The Death of Ronderu

Qymaen's war comrade Ronderu lij Ku mmar and their relationship are entirely new. Her karabbac-carved mask and Qymaen's mumuu-carved one are references to Kaleesh animals originally mentioned in the Revenge of the Sith Visual Dictionary (2005, Del Rey). Qymaen's Czerka-specific brand of outland rifle is an extrapolation of a rifle introduced in "The Shaman" in Star Wars Gamer #4 (2001, Wizards of the Coast).

While most of the details of the Kaleesh are new, they were largely inspired by the designs and dialogue in the Visionaries story, "Eyes of Revolution" (2005, Dark Horse Comics), including the sacred temple Shrupak which Qymaen and Ronderu are depicted as protecting in one of the "Unknown Soldier's" illustrations. The same Visionaries story is also the source of the planet Kalee's water mass the Jenuwaa Sea, though Abesmi (the "island-monolith" Kaleesh mecca beyond the sea) is new.

The number of Qymaen's children comes from Labyrinth of Evil (2005, Del Rey), though the number of wives he took to sire them is new, as are the circu mstances that led the warrior to change his name to Grievous.

The Birth of General Grievous

Here a number of throwaway references are strung together to create an idea of the Huk War's resolution. The war itself is mentioned in passing in Labyrinth of Evil (2005, Del Rey). The concept of an "Elite" soldiery that served Grievous during this time is also from that novel, and is again expanded upon in Lord of War. Tovarskl, the Huk War's last battle plain, is mentioned briefly in the Revenge of the Sith novelization (2005, Del Rey), though the specific involvement of Jedi Masters Jmmaar and T'chooka D'oon in adjudicating the conflict is new and intended to foreshadow their eventual fates at Grievous' hands. Finally, the consequences of the Republic's sanctions on Kalee are alluded to in Labyrinth of Evil (2005, Del Rey).

The InterGalactic Banking Clan's recruitment of Grievous was a bit muddled prior to its explanation here. While the novel Labyrinth of Evil (2005, Del Rey) tells that Grievous cut a deal with the Banking Clan's chairman San Hill ("The Banking Clan will sign your treaty...") to help Kalee out of its destitute state before the accident that results in the warlord's borgification, "Eyes of Revolution" in Visionaries (2005, Dark Horse Comics) suggests that the Huk War continues unabated just prior to the catastrophe- in the story, Grievous is literally on his way to fight the enemy when the crash occurs. The discrepancy is reconciled in "Unknown Soldier" by simply providing Grievous with a post-war motivation for taking this aggressive action.

Phlut Design Systems is first mentioned in the IG Lancer droid entry in the official Star Wars website Databank (2004, StarWars.com), though the company name was interpolated from reference to the assassin droid IG-88 as a product of "Project Phlutdroid" in Galaxy Guide 3: The Empire Strikes Back (1989, West End Games). Grievous' seizure of the company for the Banking Clan is new, and provides a touch of dramatic irony when his newly requisitioned IG-100 MagnaGuards drag his mangled body from the ship wreckage that will turn him into a cyborg monster. ~ Abel G. Pe´┐Ża

Continue on to Endnotes for the Story of General Grievous, Part 2: The Knight Slayer