Villains always have heroes of their own. But they’re not necessarily anyone you’d ever want to meet.
That’s not the case with Star Wars.
In The Last Jedi, Kylo Ren will venture to the side of one of his malevolent icons, and fans will finally get their wish to see the enigmatic tyrant in the flesh.
Supreme Leader Snoke only appeared in The Force Awakens via hologram, but in the new film out Dec. 15, the towering character (performed via motion-capture by Andy Serkis) will finally emerge from hiding.
These will be his protectors – the Praetorian Guard, a variation on the crimson-cloaked Imperial guards who flanked the Emperor in Return of the Jedi.
“The Emperor’s guards were very formal, and you always got the sense that they could fight, but they didn’t,” writer-director Rian Johnson tells EW. “They looked like they were more ceremonial, and you never really saw them in action. The Praetorians, my brief to [costume designer] 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.”
The Praetorians get their name from our own true-life history and the elite special guard who protected ancient Roman emperors. “If we can get kids’ ears to perk up in history class a little bit when they hear that, that’d be a cool thing,” Johnson says.
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