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What General Grievous From Star Wars Looks Like In Real Life

The Star Wars prequel trilogy depicts the Clone Wars, giving audiences a taste of the conflict between the Galactic Republic and the Confederacy of Independent Systems. One of the latter faction's key figures is General Grievous, one of the most ruthless Star Wars villains, who leads the Separatists' droid army in "Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith." The character is known for his unique design highlighted by various cybernetic enhancements that make him a threatening opponent for the Jedi. But it isn't just his ability to wield four lightsabers at once that makes Grievous stand out; the general also has a commanding, menacing voice provided by Matthew Wood, a Lucasfilm sound editor who has worked on over 100 projects and been nominated for five best sound editing Oscars.

Despite those accolades, Wood told LRM Online that he's "an actor by trade," but before "Revenge of the Sith," his acting roles were only bit parts, such as Bib Fortuna in "Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace." After "Revenge of the Sith," he's accumulated several credits across various movies, TV shows, and video games, so voicing Grievous allowed him to expand his résumé. However, Wood almost didn't get that opportunity, as one of the industry's most renowned thespians nearly portrayed the Separatist general.

Gary Oldman was almost General Grievous before Matthew Wood

During the 2000s, Batman and Harry Potter saved Gary Oldman during his darkest moment when he portrayed James Gordon in Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy and Sirius Black in the Harry Potter films. He almost lent his considerable talents to another major franchise, revealing on the podcast "Happy Sad Confused" that he actually recorded General Grievous lines for "Revenge of the Sith" director George Lucas. Oldman was very complimentary of his time with the filmmaker, but he had to leave the project due to union rules. The veteran actor (understandably) did not want risk any repercussions, so Lucas had to go in a different direction.

Oldman's union rules issue benefitted Matthew Wood, who anonymously submitted his audition and beat out many other actors to land the part. He's since reprised the villain on multiple occasions, including animated TV shows "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" and "Star Wars: Tales of the Empire," which makes General Grievous scary again. The character's voice is so well-known now that it's difficult to imagine anyone else playing him. As for Oldman, perhaps he can still leave his mark on the galaxy far, far away in one of the many Star Wars movies or TV shows in development.