'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Photos Show Off Snoke's Armed Bodyguards

Wednesday, 09 August 2017 - 6:48PM
Star Wars
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Wednesday, 09 August 2017 - 6:48PM
'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Photos Show Off Snoke's Armed Bodyguards
Lucasfilm
The idea of Emperor Palpatine having his own personal bodyguards always seemed a bit redundant. Here's a guy who, let's face it, is the single most dangerous person in the known galaxy, who can shoot lightning from his fingertips and move objects with his mind without even having to concentrate (something we'd never seen in Star Wars before Return of the Jedi).

His bodyguards are certainly imposing, with their red clothes and long sticks, but they're not really necessary. By contrast, Supreme Leader Snoke hasn't (yet) shown off any particular Force skills, despite hinting heavily that he must know something that he intends to teach to Kylo Ren. It remains to be seen whether Snoke is quite as deadly in a fight as the Emperor, but one thing's for certain: his bodyguards feel far less ornamental.

New images from Entertainment Weekly show off the Praetorian (a word borrowed from the Roman military) Guards in all their multi-plated glory. We'd had a fuzzy look at them before from a leaked piece of artwork that Disney seemed very proud of at the time, but this new look shows the red-armored bodyguards in far clearer detail:

Lucasfilm


What's most interesting about their design is how they're clearly not meant to be just ornamental. Looking much more like Stormtroopers than regal, gown-wearing symbols of power, and standing in combat stances, it's clear that these guards are going to see some action during The Last Jedi. While like everything in Star Wars, it's mostly designed to look cool, the slit visors could also be designed to shield against lightsabers more than blaster fire, hinting that they may be specially trained in fighting Jedi, although it's tough to come up with a logical reason for any Star Wars designs that doesn't revolve around toy sales.

The next logical question is whether or not we'll see Snoke in combat alongside his guards. Even in the prequels, the Emperor's guards are always quickly removed from the picture before the bantha poodoo hits the fan, but with guards that are a little more designed for fighting, it has to be assumed that someone's going to be bringing the fight to Snoke at some point in this film.

If that's the case, here's hoping that Snoke has the fighting skills to back up his promises about completing Kylo Ren's training. Let's see what other Force powers are out there - we haven't really seen anything new in a movie since Jedi, and it would be amazing to get a good look at someone using, say, Force Drain from various video games, as Snoke sucks the life out of his enemies in a bright, twisty column of energy. Or maybe Snoke can infect his opponent's minds and fill their heads with nightmarish visions that incapacitate them or turn them against their friends, Scarlet Witch style.

Anything new and interesting would be appreciated, even if rocking the boat hasn't been Disney's style with this movies in everything we've seen thus far. Or, maybe the guards are a fake-out, and they serve no purpose except tying The Last Jedi visually to previous movies in this series. That would feel like a waste of a good costume design (although they will still sell action figures purely by looking cool).




In the meantime, there's a few other new photos from EW as well, the most interesting of which features a cutesy alien Porg beside Chewbacca on the Millennium Falcon. Looks like the new adorable replacement for the Ewoks will be accompanying Rey on her journey, and that should be interesting to say the least.

Putting this picture next to the Praetorian Guard, it's hard not to imagine watching one of these red-clad First Order special troopers getting swarmed by a horde of angry little Porg creatures. If any more classic Star Wars tropes make a return, that would be a great one to see.


Star Wars: The Last Jedi comes out December 15, 2017.
Science Fiction
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Star Wars: The Last Jedi
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