Star Wars: The Last Jedi is set to introduce countless new characters, species and locations into the universe, and fans are forever clamouring to find out more about them. We’ll get to meet Resistance member Rose Tico (played by Kelly Marie Tran), visit the casino world of Canto Bight and tremble at the sight of the fearsome Praetorian guards.
Clad in blood-red armour, the Praetorian are the elite mercenary force that Supreme Leader Snoke employs to protect him. In a neat historical reference, they’re named after a prestigious regiment of ancient Roman soldiers. Fans will also note that they heavily resemble bulked-up versions of the Royal Guard of Emperor Palpatine back in the Original Trilogy.
Other than that, the force remain mostly shrouded in mystery. Some fresh hints, however, have now arrived thanks to The Last Jedi booth at this weekend’s New York Comic-Con. Mocked up to look like the Starkiller Base control room, the booth featured some fact files about the movie, including this write-up on the Praetorian guards.
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The information panels reveal the two core weapons of the Praetorian’s arsenal: the single-blade sword and the double-blade. The top entry classifies the Praetorian as Snoke’s “personal guard force” and explains that the single-blade is “armed with an electro-plasma energy filament running along the blade’s edge” which “creates a devastating offensive attack.”
With the use of the double-blade, however, the guards are “capable of adjusting fighting style mid-combat by spitting the two ends of their weapon to be dagger-like single blades.” This in turn causes them to be “fearsomely unpredictable in a battle, capable of adjusting to any scenario instantly.”
While we remain in the dark about what role they might play in the film itself – other than guarding Snoke, obviously – this new info goes some way to setting up the Praetorian as a formidable fighting force. If the Resistance are hoping to get past them to get to Snoke, they’ll need all the help they can get.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi arrives in cinemas on December 15th.