- "Kill him!"
- ―General Grievous, to his MagnaGuards, upon seeing Obi-Wan Kenobi
IG-100 MagnaGuards, or Magna Guard, were fearsome bodyguard droids and a type of battle droid created by Holowan Mechanicals. They were a favorite of General Grievous, who used them as his bodyguards during the Clone Wars, though they were also known to accompany other high-ranking Separatist personnel. MagnaGuards were equipped with electrostaffs that could be used against Jedi lightsabers and were capable of continuing a fight even with the loss of one or multiple limbs or even their heads. They were worthy competitors even to the most skilled Jedi; one was even able to back Obi-Wan Kenobi into a corner. While formidable opponents in close-quarters, they were also capable of piloting Rogue-class Porax-38 starfighters and using blasters and RPS-6 rocket launchers, and were often seen wearing cloaks. MagnaGuards usually fought in pairs of two, one to occupy the Jedi's lightsaber and one to attack from the unguarded flanks or behind. The presence of MagnaGuards indicated that high-ranking commanders were present, and gave the droids automatic authority over other battle droids deployed.
Appearance and characteristics
- Obi-Wan Kenobi: "A droid? What kind of droid?"
- Garri: "Droid, big scary one with low voice and red eyes."
- Obi-Wan Kenobi: "Red eyes? Could be a MagnaGuard."
- Anakin Skywalker: "There are hundreds of droids with red eyes."
- Obi-Wan Kenobi: "But there aren't many droids that can kill Jedi."
- ―Obi-Wan Kenobi, Garri, and Anakin Skywalker
The electrostaff was the standard weapon of the MagnaGuard, complementing their training in the seven classic forms of lightsaber combat. The rod, made of phrik metal, could withstand lightsaber attacks, something that initially caught many Jedi off guard, with dire consequences. The IG-100s were notorious for carrying other weapons, particularly for long-range combat, with a preference for spectacular explosives. The large number of MagnaGuard variants, with their different colors, had a wide range of materials, including; missile launchers, tow cables, magnetized or extendable arms, and even personal concealment devices. Grievous inhibited the Magnaguards by assisted Kaleesh capes with mumuu marking and head wraps like a tribute to his destitute Izvoshra bodyguards also harked back to the warrior traditions of the planet Kalee. They also helped to give the IG-100 droids an even more menacing appearance.
Developed by Holowan Mechanicals, part of Holowan Laboratories, ensured that the IG-100 MagnaGuards looked intimidating the dull red glow of their photoreceptor, their expressionless faces, their shear physical built all creating a fearsome impact. The droids had a number of physical attributes to back them up. The guards' operational parameters were chosen by Count Dooku, who wanted a warrior droids that were at the height of Grievous stakes. Previously known to be heuristically programmed combat units, the self-moved tactics of the IG-100s were programmed for many forms of combat. Nevertheless, Grievous ordered that knowledge to be wiped from the droids' memory banks; Dooku trained Grievous in the combat arts of the Jedi Order, while the cyborg in turn taught the guards everything he learned. Even though Grievous' training was hard for the droids, with even those that survived ending up with burns and dents, the training created a terrifyingly effective force of droids.
The cunning cyborg then did not allow his guards to repair their damage, knowing that their combat-tanned aspects could enhance their aura. The MagnaGuards that survived gained numerous nicks and scratches to their body armour and Grievous made sure those were left clearly visible to show their foes that they were facing battle veterans. Ultimately, the fearsome MagnaGuards—with their effectiveness being a clear result of their training and weapons—quickly became as feared as their lord. Rarely working alone, the IG-100 units normally worked in groups of two or three; one or two could therefore battle a Jedi or other opponent, while the third stayed in reserve, waiting for the perfect chance to strike down their foe.
The MagnaGuards remained loyal to their primary directive, they formed a shield around General Grievous that few could pass. Any attacker sneaking to reach Grievous would have to face just such experienced bodyguards as these. Those that did survive were generally too exhausted to prove much more than entertainment for the cyborg general. The droids were such a great success that Count Dooku used a cadre of MagnaGuards as bodyguards.
The IG-100s could lose an arm or both legs and still be a threat. Thanks to a number of redundant systems and a spare photoreceptor in the chest, they could lose their heads and fight on, Jedi and clone troopers eventually learned to target their vital systems but even this wasn't easy as they were heavily armored with duranium used in their main frame and armor plating. Even hitting one with sufficient force to knock it down or stagger it was hard as their feet could anchor them magnetically and their heels could extend for greater stability. IG-100s 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.
Sometime following the outbreak of the Clone Wars on Geonosis, several MagnaGuards accompanied General Grievous when he hired the droid assassin AD-W4 to oversee the Separatist operations on the planet Hissrich.
Several MagnaGuards accompanied Count Dooku during his negotiations with Jabba the Hutt at his Palace on Tatooine. After his Sith assassin Asajj Ventress's failure in "rescuing" Jabba's son, Rotta, Dooku sent his MagnaGuards to deal with Skywalker. A pair of MagnaGuards flew Rogue-class Porax-38 starfighters and were able to shoot down his nemesis Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker's ship before they were destroyed. Later, group of MagnaGuards then attacked Skywalker's apprentice, Ahsoka Tano, with orders to kill Jabba's son near his palace and bring her to the Hutt. Despite being only a Padawan, Tano was able to destroy them all and return Rotta to his father.
Grievous then took another group MagnaGuards with him to Skytop Station on Ruusan 2. When Grievous's spy, R3-S6, reported that Skywalker had infiltrated his station, Grievous tasked his MagnaGuards with taking Skywalker's astromech R2-D2, who was a Separatist prisoner, to his ship. However, Skywalker and R2 were able to defeat the MagnaGuards.
Several MagnaGuards were then stationed at Grievous's fortress on Vassek's third moon. However, Count Dooku, who sought to test the general's skills against the Jedi, had remotely deactivated the guards stationed there prior to the arrival of Jedi Master Kit Fisto, his former apprentice Jedi Knight Nahdar Vebb, and Clone Commander Fil and his squad. After Grievous was ambushed by the Jedi upon arrival, the general retreated to his quarters and reactivated his guards and ordered them to secure the perimeter of the castle. One of the MagnaGuards then used a rocket launcher on the clones' Nu-class attack/transport shuttle. However, R6-H5 was able to make a quick escape before the MagnaGuards attacked him. Though one of them managed to cling onto the fighter as it took off, R6 was able to rid himself of his antagonist by spinning the fighter in mid-air, sending the screaming MagnaGuard flying off it. The MagnaGuards then assisted Grievous, fighting the two Jedi until the cyborg killed the young Mon Calamari. Grievous and his MagnaGuards then surrounded Fisto as the general demanded his surrender. However, Fisto escaped.
Bane then used one aboard his command ship when he attempted to force Jedi Master Bolla Ropal to open the holocron in order to reveal the Kyber memory crystal's information. Grievous was able to use several of his MagnaGuards to subdue and capture Jedi Council member Master Eeth Koth. Grievous also used them in his fight with Kenobi aboard the Republic light cruiser Surrogator at Saleucami.
Later in the war Dooku had four with him at Rish Loo's secret laboratory on Naboo. Together, they were able to capture Skywalker when he snuck into the lab. One of the MagnaGuards then tortured Skywalker with its electrostaff. Several MagnaGuards were also protecting him on Serenno at Castle Serenno and the Box. Dooku also used them when he attempted to kidnap the Chancellor, but were defeated by Kenobi and Skywalker. Several of the droids accompanied Grievous as he massacred the Nightsisters on Dathomir to seek revenge on Ventress for her assassination attempts against Dooku and on the orders of his master Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Sidious since her sisters were a threat to his new evil empire. General Kalani also had several MagnaGuards with him to guard, torture and execute King Rash's prisoners during their execution.
On Utapau, there was a pair of MagnaGuards stationed on the planet when Dooku and Grievous had prepared a deal with the Sugi arms dealers, for a massive kyber crystal for Sidious' secret weapon, but when Jedi Master Tu-Anh was investigating the conspiracy, attempted to find out their plans, they shot and killed her with a precision laser dart. Later, Skywalker and Kenobi were sent to Utapau to investigate Tu-Anh's death. During their investigation, they interrogated a Toydarian named Garri, who informed them that a MagnaGuard was there earlier, during a meeting, and that he was paid by the MagnaGuard to not reveal information. Skywalker and Kenobi eventually tracked down a pair of MagnaGuards. They were both destroyed, but not before Skywalker obtained information about the arms deal.
When Skywalker and Kenobi obtained the crystal, several MagnaGuards pursued them along with Grievous, all but one were destroyed by the Jedi. Two more accompanied Grievous on a Separatist supply ship, holding the kyber crystal that the Separatists had recently stolen from Skywalker and Kenobi. They were both destroyed when the Jedi caused the crystal to explode.
Concurrent to the Clone Wars, IG-100s also served in the Separatist campaign against the Shadow Collective; during the Battle of Zanbar, Grievous deployed his MagnaGuards to duel the renegade Sith Lord Maul, who quickly cut them down with the darksaber. Later, amid the Battle of Ord Mantell, a team of MagnaGuards accompanied Dooku into a Black Sun stronghold, but the droids were quickly cut down by Nightbrothers.
Two MagnaGuards, IG-101 and IG-102, were aboard the Providence-class Dreadnought Invisible Hand during the Battle of Coruscant. When Skywalker and Kenobi reacquired their lightsabers that Grievous had taken, the general ordered the IG-100 droids to attack them. However, both of the MagnaGuards were destroyed by the Jedi quite easily. Another four were with Grievous when he returned to Utapau and one observed Kenobi landing on the planet. They were then destroyed by Kenobi before he engaged Grievous in a final duel that resulted with the cyborg general's death.
However, at the end of the Clone Wars, disputed that Darth Vader assassinated the Separatist leaders, the Emperor ordered the deactivation of both MagnaGuards. They had ceased to be useful. After the Clone Wars, the great majority of MagnaGuards were retired. Some of them were acquired by collectors and given a new use.
Age of the Empire
At some point after the Battle of Yavin, a pair of refitted MagnaGuards were on Nar Shaddaa in the service of Grakkus the Hutt. The two droids battled Luke Skywalker during Grakkus' attempt to steal the young Rebel's lightsaber. Later, many of them fought TIE fighter pilots who arrived to capture Skywalker under orders of Sergeant Kreel.