Back in 1983, Return Of The Jedi introduced fans to the Emperor's Royal Guard. These red-clad soldiers were some of the coolest characters to be seen in a Star Wars movie, however their only purpose in the film was to simply guard Palpatine's throne room, exiting when they were no longer needed. Thanks to the pre-Disney Expanded Universe, fans learned a little bit more about these mysterious characters, but they just never did all that much on screen.
However, when Star Wars: The Last Jedi hits theatres on December 15th, it will see Andy Serkis back in the role of Supreme Leader Snoke - and he's bringing along his own crimson Praetorian Guard for the ride.
"The Emperor’s guards were very formal, and you always got the sense that they could fight, but they didn’t," writer-director Rian Johnson tells Entertainment Weekly. "They looked like they were more ceremonial, and you never really saw them in action. The Praetorians, my brief to [costume designer] Michael Kaplan was that those guys have to be more like samurai. They have to be built to move, and you have to believe that they could step forward and engage if they have to. They have to seem dangerous."
The Praetorians get their name from the real life elite guard who protected emperors in Ancient Rome. "If we can get kids’ ears to perk up in history class a little bit when they hear that, that’d be a cool thing."
And if you're wondering what function these new characters serve, Johnson has an answer for that as well. "They’re his personal guards," Johnson says. "They stick with [Snoke]. So they’re essentially bodyguards."
That's really cool and all, but all I really want to know is how long before Hasbro gives us a 6" Black Series Praetorian Guard action figure?
Starring Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Gwendoline Christie, Anthony Daniels, Laura Dern, Benicio Del Toro and Kelly Marie Tran, Star Wars: The Last Jedi is directed by Rian Johnson and arrives in theatres on December 15th.
Source: Entertainment Weekly
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