While the Star Wars cinematic saga has spanned two trilogies thus far, and dazzled us with a seemingly unending roster of memorable characters there is one that is near and dear to my heart.
Yes, the Emperor’s Royal Guard. OK, I know what you’re going to say – “these are only background characters”, “they never had any lines of dialogue”, and “they barely moved.” “Yoda took two of them out in Revenge of the Sith with a slight Force nudge!” I get it, not everyone’s first choice, but these guys (and I’m assuming they’re male) captured my imagination when I first saw them in Return of the Jedi. They were silent, intimidating, and mysterious. The Royal Guards protected the Galactic Emperor and were ever-present in the background. Even Vader was on notice that these dudes weren’t-to-be-screwed-with. They sort of held the swagger of Boba Fett, but were even cooler because we never really had a chance to see their real abilities. The guards didn’t need to speak or draw-down on you; folks knew better than to test them. They even looked bad-ass with those sweet ceremonial red helmets and capes. They were clearly way higher in rank and stature than your average Stormtrooper. They watched over Sith Lords (who it could be assumed need no real personal protection) and were the last line of defense against any fools swaggering-in with ill intentions.
I laughed along with everyone else in the theater when they finally had their moment to shine in Episode III and were unceremoniously defeated; but at least it was arguably one of if not the most powerful Jedi ever that defeated them. There may be an opportunity to see a variation of them appear in Episodes VII – IX, but that remains to be seen. Either way, they’re still probably my favorite characters due to their design and presence in the films. Sure, they could have additional backstory or dialogue to develop them further, but I think that would ruin the magic. Some ideas are better left to the imagination, and these guys are already awesome enough as it is.
May the dark side be with you!