The IG-100 MagnaGuard, also known as the Self-Motivating Heuristically Programmed Combat Droid, was an advanced type of battle droid that was used during the Clone Wars as bodyguards of General Grievous, as per Count Dooku's order, as well as being specialized infantry on the battlefield. After the InterGalactic Banking Clan secured Grievous's services as an enforcer, they refused to hire his Kaleesh, and thus the cyborg general demanded a cadre of "more intelligent battle droids" to serve him. The construction of the MagnaGuards was then commissioned for Grievous's service, though the Jedi-killing droids were also occasionally employed to escort Count Dooku himself.
Appearance and characteristics
- "Remember what you were saying about 'worse than destroyers?' I think we're looking at them."
- ―Anakin Skywalker, to Obi-Wan Kenobi
Constructed by Holowan Mechanicals, MagnaGuards were roughly two meters tall, with a humanoid body shape, but possessed a far-superior mechanical anatomy. This allowed for superhuman acrobatics, speed, and combat ability. Their internal systems were furnished with advanced combat learning programs, which, compared to most of the droids utilized by the Confederacy of Independent Systems, allowed the MagnaGuards to adapt to a highly diverse variety of tasks. These tasks ranged from melee and ranged combat to starfighter control. The faces of the MagnaGuards featured two red photoreceptor "eyes," which were complemented by a backup system mounted on the chest. The droid's weapon of choice was the lightsaber-resistant electrostaff, and wore cloaks and head wraps similar to the garments of Grievous's old Izvoshra elite during the general's time as a Kaleesh warlord. They were known to sport Mumuu markings on their cloaks matching those on Grievous' mask. Several models of the IG-100 existed, superficially denoted by color—black, alabaster, blue, and the rare gray were all spotted throughout the war. Each model had a specific programming, training, and thus specialty. These droids were part of the same Holowan Mechanicals series as the later IG-88 line. MagnaGuards were also capable of speech and were programmed to taunt their opponents in a low growling Basic. Aside from Human speech, they appeared to occasionally use an audible form of droid language. When in distress, such as when pinned to the ground, they also make yelping sounds.
MagnaGuards were fully optimized to battle and kill Jedi. This was due to not only their impeccable melee functionality but also their capability to withstand a massive loss of structural integrity before total system failure, as well as their inability to feel pain. Even after decapitation, or bisection, they could continue to effectively engage a target. The only sure way to destroy a MagnaGuard would be to stab them in the chest. In addition, they were partly plated with strong duranium armor making it very hard for even a Jedi to destroy the droid.
- "The age of the Jedi is over."
- ―An unknown MagnaGuard
General Grievous was given the bodyguards even though he was very impatient with droids due to their many limitations such as limited artificial intelligence. Count Dooku then commissioned Holowan Mechanicals to develop a cutting-edge warrior droid that would meet Grievous's standards. Upon activation, Grievous destroyed all the MagnaGuards present, venting his frustration at being treated as a droid.Grievous then personally trained the rest of his bodyguards in the seven classic styles of lightsaber combat so that they could effectively engage and then kill Jedi. Grievous would not allow any repairs to be made to the droids, believing that their numerous scrapes and battle scars made them more intimidating to enemies. Grievous engaged his bodyguards in practice fights as part of training, often damaging them in the process.
- "What in the galaxy was that?"
- ―RC-1262, upon first sighting an IG-100
The droids were first used in combat during the Battle of Parein II 4, where one of Grievous's MagnaGuards killed the Jedi Sannen by thrusting its electrostaff through his throat. The MagnaGuards soon proved to be formidable, capable of taking on Jedi and clone troopers with ease, and were regarded as being even more daunting than droidekas by some. Despite their many strengths however, they were by no means invulnerable as Boba Fett managed to momentarily incapacitate one with an ion stunner during the Second Battle of Xagobah, though the bounty hunter was ultimately defeated and left for dead by Grievous himself. Along with their combat duties, General Grievous eventually began using MagnaGuards to do his dirty work, such as when they were used to torture Jedi Master Koth on Saleucami.
The MagnaGuards also played a role during Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano's mission to Tatooine, they were attacked in the exosphere by several MagnaGuards piloting Rogue-class starfighters. After destroying the droids and reaching the surface of the planet, Ahsoka Tano fought and destroyed three more MagnaGuards, while Anakin fought off Count Dooku .
MagnaGuards were present at Grievous's castle on Vassek's third moon. Upon Grievous's return to his castle, he discovered his force of elite MagnaGuards had mysteriously been deactivated. When Count Dooku alerted him of the infiltration of his castle by Jedi Master Kit Fisto and his former apprentice, Nahdar Vebb, Grievous realized Dooku himself had deactivated his guards to see if Grievous was adept in handling the Jedi by himself, as Grievous had recently suffered a chain of defeats. During this mission, one MagnaGuard was sent to destroy the Nu-class attack shuttle with a rocket launcher, while another squad was sent to destroy Kit Fisto's Jedi starfighter. However, Fisto's astromech droid managed to personally pilot the ship to safety. Meanwhile, Nahdar Vebb, who was already in the Castle, managed to destroy Grievous's entire escort of droids, only to be killed by Grievous himself. 
The bounty hunter, Cad Bane, while under contract with the CIS, was given several MagnaGuards for use in capturing keeper of the Kyber memory crystal, Jedi Master Bolla Ropal. One stood sentry as Cad Bane tortured the Jedi to death, afterward using its staff to crudely check for any vital response from the dead Rodian.
The droids were often employed to capture or kill Jedi, such as during the capture of Jedi Master Eeth Koth over Saleucami. The droids aided the General in getting the upper hand on Koth, surrounding the Jedi and slowly wearing him down with electrostaff strikes. Once Koth was captured, the droids tortured the Jedi in a transmission sent to the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. However, they were unaware that the Zabrak was still cognizant, resisting their torture, and sending a coded hand signal to alert the Jedi to his location. Dooku also used MagnaGuards in subduing Skywalker during a skirmish on Naboo. Dooku and the MagnaGuards were able to capture Skywalker in order to do prisoner exchange for General Grievous.  Two of these droids fought Skywalker and Kenobi atop STAPs on Utapau. The droids were also used during the Battle of Boz Pity, under Dooku. During the battle, two of them distracted Mace Windu long enough for the Count to make his escape, and one of them almost killed Asajj Ventress with a blaster under Dooku's orders.
Near the end of the war, MagnaGuards assisted Grievous in the kidnapping of Supreme Chancellor Palpatine during the Battle of Coruscant. Shaak Ti faced off dozens of MagnaGuards with difficulty before they retreated, alerting her to the Chancellor's danger.. This led to a rescue mission, in which Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi fought two of the droids on the bridge of General Grievous's command ship, the Invisible Hand, before rescuing the Chancellor. Kenobi beheaded his opponent, only to find himself engaging a still-functioning headless droid. Skywalker managed to bisect the second droid as Kenobi finished the first off.
Kenobi also faced four MagnaGuards on Utapau shortly before his fight with Grievous. He incapacitated three of them immediately upon using the Force to drop a large block of metal upon them. The fourth was partly pinned under the block, and then decapitated by Kenobi.
Following the massacre of the Separatist Council by Darth Vader, under Darth Sidious's orders, all IG-100 MagnaGuards were deactivated. However, the Geonosian Gizor Dellso would later reactivate and use IG-100 MagnaGuards as infantry in his personal army. At least a decade later, two MagnaGuards were reactivated by the Galactic Empire for use as N-K Necrosis's bodyguards, and re-designated as NK-3s. In addition, a delivery was made for a TK-555 bobble-head, a battlefield diorama, and blueprints for the IG-100 MagnaGuards. The bureaucrat Narp Pilyev owned two MagnaGuards and used them as security guards, to protect his apartment on Coruscant. Aside from these examples, other persons of note occasionally employed them as guards and henchmen. Many IG-100s were commissioned at the end of The Clone Wars which was part of the reason that there were enough IG-100s to create a private army.
MagnaGuards in the galaxy
- "Crush them! Make them suffer!"
- ―Grievous, to his MagnaGuards aboard the Invisible Hand
Distinguished MagnaGuards include IG-101 and IG-102, both of whom served on the Invisible Hand. Other MagnaGuards who were named were IG-109 and IG-138, who were both destroyed in a training session with Grievous. Another pair, IG-153 and IG-182 were employed by Grand Moff 4-8C. One of the most noteworthy MagnaGuards was IG-179, Iron Knight Luxum's chief lieutenant.
Weapons and equipment
Grievous’s bodyguards notably wielded several models of high-quality phrik alloy electrostaffs, blunt energy weapons which emitted a visible, pink, electromagnetic pulse on each end. The lightsaber-resistant nature of phrik allowed the MagnaGuards to effectively deflect and attack a Jedi’s lightsaber. This, coupled with the specialized combat mechanics of the droids, made them a dangerous enemy, even to those skilled in the Force. Despite their specialization in electrostaffs, the on-board combat systems of the MagnaGuard, coupled with human like hands allowed them to be trained to operate a vast array of available weapons in addition to much more specialized armaments. Depending on the time and necessity, MagnaGuards were known to use blaster rifles, grenades, rocket launchers, remote-controlled drones, and lethally irradiating weapons as well as regular melee weapons.
Along with their weapons, the droids made use of many gadgets, such as built-in tow-cables, a personal cloaking device, and magnetized limbs. At least one MagnaGuard was known to have the ability to extend its arm many times its usual length. Another tool was a violent self destruct sequence, used if the system was still functional after severe damage. This was utilized by MagnaGuards who were encountered by clone commando squad Delta on Kashyyyk. In addition, these particular droids could fire pairs of small seeking missiles from internal magazines in their back plating.
Behind the scenes
Grievous's MagnaGuards were acted in Revenge of the Sith by stunt performers wearing green and blue jumpsuits, which were then replaced by computer generated models. The MagnaGuard design was originally proposed by concept artist Warren Fu as a design for Grievous himself. George Lucas himself then reviewed it and asked for Grievous's final appearance to be developed from it, but it was nonetheless eventually used as the MagnaGuard. In the original script of Episode III, MagnaGuards could talk, but this concept did not make it to the released film.
In Star Wars Galaxies, as part of the Second Delivery subquest, the player has to obtain blueprints for the IG-100 MagnaGuards as one of the required items for the sidequest. It along with two other required items (a TK-555 bobble-head and a battlefield diorama) were obtainable only through Email Collection system.
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