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– by Seth McDonald

Growing up, the red robed guards of Emperor Palpatine were the subject of many discussions amongst my group of friends. Were they also Siths? Some sort of elite darkside practitioners? The thought was that if they were guarding the Emperor, they must be very formidable, though we never got to see them do battle (unless you count Yoda dropping them with a wave of his hand). Though not much is known about the ominous figure Supreme Leader Snoke himself, Disney has begun to pull back the curtain on Snoke’s own version of the red guards. Thanks to Entertainment Weekly, we have some new images and information on the Snoke’s Praetorian guards. Modeled after the Royal Guards of Emperor Palpatine, they are more or less Snoke’s secret service.

“They’re his personal guards,” said the film’s director, Rian Johnson. “They stick with [Snoke]. So they’re essentially bodyguards.”

You can see the photos here

The guards’ appearance highly resembles the Emperor’s guards from the original trilogy, donning the same red color, but instead of robes they look to be wearing something more like armor. Johnson wanted Snoke’s guards to seem more threatening and appear as if they could do some real damage if the need were ever to arise, which leads me to believe that at some point, unlike Palpatine’s guards, fans will see them in action:

“The Emperor’s guards were very formal, and you always got the sense that they could fight, but they didn’t. 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.”

RELATED: Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Don’t Expect To Get All Of Snoke’s Backstory

Snoke’s Praetorian are named after actual highly trained soldiers that protected Roman Emperors. Johnson hopes this may perk the younger fans interest in actual history, “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.”

As usual, Disney has been extremely secretive with details about Supreme Leader Snoke and The Last Jedi in general. This reveal is a nice way to somewhat satisfy fans curiosity, without revealing too much.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi come out of hyperspace and into theaters on December 15, 2017.

What do you think of the updated guards? Let us know in the comments down below!

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SOURCE: EntertainmentWeekly