Forgotten Star Wars Story Connects The Best And Worst Villains

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

general grievous

When it comes to Star Wars villains, many agree that General Grievous was one of the worst…he has a cool design and all, but a knock-off of Darth Vader who suffers from emphysema just isn’t all that intimidating. Conversely, Grand Admiral Thrawn is considered one of the best villains in the franchise and someone we would never expect to have connections to Grievous. However, a forgotten Star Wars story linked these characters together by having Thrawn retrieve the mask of the deceased Grievous for his own art collection.


For this tale of two Star Wars villains to make sense, you need to know a bit more about our two players. General Grievous was introduced in Revenge of the Sith as something of an anomaly: a cybernetic leader of the Droid Army who hunts and kills Jedi despite having no real connection to The Force.

He proves to be a worthy foe to Obi-Wan Kenobi, but the Jedi Master soon dispatches the droid commander with a few well-placed blaster bolts.


Grand Admiral Thrawn was introduced in Timothy Zahn’s novel Heir to the Empire as a tactical genius who very nearly brings the Imperials back to full power.

He quickly became a fan-favorite character who has been brought to life onscreen in both Star Wars Rebels and Ahsoka. Notably, Thrawn is an art collector who believes that he can gain insight into different alien cultures by studying their works of art.

Now, how exactly are these two Star Wars villains connected? It goes back to a story written by Abel G. Peña. The author penned “Unknown Soldier: The Story of General Grievous” for the Star Wars Insider magazine and later wrote an official online supplement for that story titled “The Story of General Grievous: Lord of War.”

Grievous’ Origin

general grievous

True to its name, the original story answers many of our questions about the earlier of the Star Wars villains, including where he comes from and what his motivations are. The fandom was very interested in such questions because one of the most glaring issues of Revenge of the Sith is that it introduced Grievous as a major villain without giving us any real information about him.

He is onscreen to give us scary dialogue and fight scenes and then be killed so we can get the title bout between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker.

Grievous Post Mortem

Speaking of his death, Peña’s short Star Wars story detailed what happened to this cybernetic villain after his destruction. His mask ends up in the Invisible Market (think of it as a black market for the black market), and the story mentions how it was eventually purchased by an Imperial admiral who desired “a Kaleesh work of art.”

Thrawn is not explicitly name-dropped, but the author later confirmed that “the art-loving tactician Grand Admiral Thrawn” is the one who ended up buying the mask.

Thrawn And Grievous Meeting?

With such a connection between Star Wars villains, does this mean we can expect to see Thrawn onscreen with Grievous’ mask in the immediate future? It’s not likely–like everything else from the Expanded Universe, this story was removed from the canon by Disney.

However, if the House of Mouse hopes to appeal to longtime fans with future series, it might be time for them to study the EU with all the passion and insight that Grand Admiral Thrawn studies art.