The Elite Praetorian Guard was a force of eight human warriors who were tasked with the protection of Supreme Leader Snoke, the leader of the First Order. Following the tradition of the Emperor's Royal Guard, the personal bodyguards of Emperor Sheev Palpatine, the Praetorian Guards wore red robes and armor. They specialized in various martial arts, including Teräs Käsi, and carried various high-tech melee weapons.

Following Snoke's assassination at the hands of Kylo Ren, the Praetorians—including the First, Third and Seventh Guards—attempted to avenge his death. They fought very well, and, for a brief moment, almost overwhelmed Ren and Rey but were ultimately killed by the duo. After their destruction, Ren succeeded Snoke as Supreme Leader of the First Order.



The Praetorians utilized several types of melee weapons against Kylo Ren and Rey.

As the First Order mirrored many of the dark traditions of the Galactic Empire, the Elite Praetorian Guard originated from the Emperor's Royal Guard,[1][5] personal bodyguards of Galactic Emperor Sheev Palpatine.[6] The Praetorian Guard was an elite force of eight human warriors who protected the First Order's leader, Supreme Leader Snoke.[7] They flanked the Supreme Leader in his throne room,[2] and held in Snoke's Mega-class Star Dreadnought, the Supremacy.[3] Aside from their obvious origin from the Emperor's Royal Guard, they also were derived to some extent from the Atrisian Emperor's royal guards, in particular how each of them operated in pairs. Three of the guards were known as the First, Third and Seventh Guards, respectively.[2]

The guards were holding court as usual in Snoke's throne room when the Supreme Leader summoned his apprentice Kylo Ren, whom he proceeded to berate for his losses on Starkiller Base. When Kylo responded aggressively to the taunting, the guards quickly assumed combat-ready stances but stood down at Snoke's gesture. When Snoke was assassinated by Ren, the Praetorian Guards immediately sprung into action to avenge the death of their leader. Ren and Rey, who were present for the assassination, engaged all eight of the guards in a short yet intense fight. The guards were at first evenly matched against the two Force-wielders, with their weapons being resistant to their foe's lightsabers and managed to score a wound apiece on them. However, they were ultimately no match for the two and fell one by one, with the last guard being killed when Ren ignited Rey's lightsaber, which she had thrown to him, through his faceplate, killing him instantly. Ren then assumed the title of Supreme Leader.[4]

Equipment and trainingEdit

Praetorian Guard SWDTPG

A pair of Elite Praetorian Guards standing guard wielding vibro-voulges

The Elite Praetorian Guards were clad in ornate crimson armor, robes[5] and plastoid helmet.[8] The layered crimson armor of the Praetorian Guard is a high-tech onion-skin of laminate, impregnated with conductive wirepaths that, once powered, create an intense local magnetic field. Once this energy-intensive field activates, the powered plates can deflect blaster fire. Even a lightsaber will glance off, though a directed thrust will penetrate the shell. The mag-coils are costly, the plates heavy, and mag-field exposure is ultimately painful to the wearer. They were merciless, persistent, and specialized in melee combat, as Snoke sensed they would eventually fight lightsaber users. The Praetorian Guards boasted an arsenal of melee weapons[7] that were high-tech versions of unpowered analogs found in primitive societies across the galaxy, such as long vibro-voulges, electro-bisentos with an electro-plasma energy filament running along the blade's edge[9]—flailing Bilari electro-chain whips, and heavy double-bladed vibro-arbir blades that could also be separated into[7] dagger-like single-bladed weapons to adjust to any battle scenario. [9] The precise, sweeping movements of their martial arts fighting style struck fear into the hearts of foes.[7] The eight Praetorian Guards were really four sets of pairs that wielded the same weapon. The First Guard both wielded vibro-bisentos. The Third Guard utilized Bilari electro-chain whips and the Seventh Guard made use of dual vibro-arbir blades.[2]

Although the Praetorians' weapons and gauntlets—which could resist lightsaber attacks—as well as their training enabled them to hold their own against both Ren and Rey for a time, the guards were ultimately defeated by the Force-sensitive pair.[4]

Behind the scenesEdit

"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 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."
―Rian Johnson[src]
Praetorian Guard EW

The Praetorian Guard was created for Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

The Elite Praetorian Guard was created and developed for Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi,[1] the eighth film in the Star Wars saga, which was released on December 15, 2017.[10] The Praetorian Guard was officially revealed in an article by Entertainment Weekly, released on August 9, 2017.[1] The Guards made their first appearance in Star Wars: Tales of the Force,[11] a young adult Golden Book title published on September 5, 2017 as part of the Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi series.[12]

They were portrayed in Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi by James Cox, Dan Euston, David R. Grant, Florian Robin, Andy Wareham, William Willoughby, Liang Yang and Karanja Yorke.

Rian Johnson, the writer and director of The Last Jedi, wanted the Praetorian Guards to be built to move, to seem dangerous more like samurai; in contrast to the Emperor's Royal Guards, which looked very formal and ceremonial. The Praetorian Guards' costume was designed by Michael Kaplan in parallel to Johnson's vision. The guards were named after the real-life Praetorian Guard whose members served as personal bodyguards to the Roman emperors.[1]



Wookieepedia has 21 images related to Elite Praetorian Guard.

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Breznican, Anthony (2017-08-09). Star Wars: The Last Jedi: Supreme Leader Snoke emerges with elite Praetorian Guard. Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on November 8, 2017. Retrieved on November 8, 2017.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Star Wars: The Last Jedi: The Visual Dictionary
  3. 3.0 3.1 Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know, Updated and Expanded establishes that the Elite Praetorian Guard was headquartered in Snoke's Mega-class Star Dreadnought. In the tour BB-9E gives in the Star Wars App-Enabled Droids by Sphero (screenshot), this Star Destroyer was identified as the Supremacy.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 StarWars-DatabankII Elite Praetorian Guard in the Databank (backup link)
  6. StarWars-DatabankII Imperial Royal Guard in the Databank (backup link)
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know, Updated and Expanded
  8. Florian (2017-09-02). DK: Finale Cover für Enzyklopädie und Risszeichnungen zu Die letzten Jedi (German). Jedi-Bibliothek. Archived from the original on November 8, 2017. Retrieved on November 8, 2017.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Trichkov, Val (2017-10-06). The Last Jedi: New Details on the Praetorian Guards Weapons and Why Kylo Ren Wears a Mask. Star Wars News Net. Archived from the original on November 8, 2017. Retrieved on November 8, 2017.
  10. SWCustom-2011 The Official Title for Star Wars: Episode VIII Revealed on
  11. Star Wars: Tales of the Force
  12. PenguinRandomHouse Tales of the Force (Star Wars) on Penguin Random House's official website (backup link)

External linksEdit