c. 2 BBY
Few Imperials knew the true origins of the mysterious and powerful Shadow Guard. They were silent and enigmatic warriors that received orders directly from Emperor Palpatine himself and were often sent to eliminate suspected Jedi and other Force users. When necessary they would also be put under the supervision of Lord Vader.
These guardsmen demonstrated Force powers of their own which led many to suspect that they were in fact former Jedi that had been captured, tortured and brainwashed by Palpatine, but this was a rumor that was never to be proven. It was known, however, that this cadre was an elite special operations unit within the Emperor's Royal Guard.
Regardless of the truth, the Shadow Guards commanded a great level of respect within the Empire's ranks and often led elite Imperial commandos into battle against the Emperor's most hated foes. They often called upon the services of the shadow stormtroopers during their battle engagements.
They were capable of using a range of Force abilities such as Force lightning, Force Repulse, Force Push, Force Choke and Force Maelstrom. Due to Palpatine's inherent fear of Force users, however, the members of the Shadow Guard were not especially strong in the Force.
Near the end of the Clone Wars conflict, the apprentice Count Dooku ordered his minion Asajj Ventress to execute most of the Sun Guard organization. Several of the more devoted Sun Guards, however, were placed in Palpatine's Red Guard, later to join his Royal Guard. Those who were Force-sensitive were selected as candidates for the Emperor's Shadow Guard.
In about 17 BBY, two members of the Shadow Guard were sent to a Golan space defense platform in orbit of the planet Byss, to serve Inquisitor Valin Draco as part of a training mission. The station was attacked by the Alderaanian Resistance during the Battle of Byss and the Shadow Guards fought against a number of Resistance agents that had boarded the station.
The Shadow Guard were used during operations in 2 BBY, to silence rogue Dark Jedi Galen Marek. A Shadow Guard, along with several Imperial Navy commandos and a squad of Shadow stormtroopers was sent to Nar Shaddaa when Darth Vader's apprentice Galen Marek tried to find Jedi Master Rahm Kota. A lone shadow guard was sent to Cloud City with a squad of stormtroopers to assassinate both Marek and Jedi Rahm Kota, but Marek grabbed him by the neck before spinning him into the air and electrocuting him with Force lightning. At least one was stationed on Kashyyyk and tried to prevent Marek from getting near the skyhook, but he was subdued and killed by the Force-sensitive. At least one was found on Raxus Prime in the Imperial Ore Facility, though this was actually PROXY using a program based on a Shadow Guard to try to kill Marek.
Shadow Guard members were always guarded by their own "detail" made up of shadowtroopers and Naval Commandos. During Starkiller's battle with two guardsmen they each had their own detail but no matter how impressive they were they were of little use to one of Vader's apprentices.
A final known Shadow Guard led the last line of defense of Palpatine's watchtower on the Death Star I. The guard grappled with Marek and was killed.
Their appearance was identical to the Royal Guard, except that their armor and visor colors were inverted, with the full body armor and robe being black and the visor red. The armor provided them a great deal of protection making it both functional as well as ceremonial in purpose.
Their primary weapon was a lightsaber pike with a red beam extending from the tip of the weapon. In addition to this, their equipment included a heavy blaster pistol as well as a utility belt which included a medpac. Furthermore, they possessed a comlink which was long range, encrypted and miniaturized as well as including holo capability.
- The Force Unleashed novel (First appearance)
- Star Wars: The Force Unleashed video game
- Star Wars: The Force Unleashed comic (Appears in flashback(s))
- (First pictured)
- (First identified as Emperor's Shadow Guard)
- Star Wars Miniatures: The Force Unleashed
- The Art and Making of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
- The Force Unleashed Campaign Guide
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Galaxy at War
- "Star Wars: The Card Game Core Set" (Card: Dark Side Apprentice)
- "Lure of the Dark Side" (Card: Imperial Shadow Guard)