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Description: Royal Guard, Return of the Jedi
Detachment: Sovereign Protectors
Context: Return of the jedi
- "A Royal Guardsman never seeks special privileges, ever. His entire goal in life is to serve the Emperor, and the New Order he created. This is his goal in life, and his desire in death."
- ―Grodin Tierce
The Emperor's Royal Guard, sometimes referred to as the Imperial Royal Guard or Imperial Guard, was an elite unit of the Galactic Empire's armed forces tasked with the protection of the Emperor, Palpatine. Palpatine was almost never seen without a detachment of Royal Guards at his side, so much that they usually accompanied him to his bed chambers and his office within the Death Star. The exact number of Royal Guardsmen serving the Emperor was unknown, with speculations ranging from less than fifty to tens of thousands, although their numbers were estimated to be at least four hundred at any one point. Like the stormtroopers of the Stormtrooper Corps, the Royal Guards formed a military unit independent of the Imperial Military and answered directly to the Emperor.
The Royal Guard was based out of the Imperial Royal Guard Academy on Yinchorr, a barren planet rendered lifeless by genocidal airstrikes by the Empire. Candidates for tutelage under the Academy, picked from various units in the Imperial Military, underwent rigorous training programs designed to build a sense of extreme loyalty to the Emperor, with students often being forced to kill each other in live combat. Guardsmen were trained in various forms of martial arts, including Echani. Guardsmen were commonly equipped with vibroswords and force pikes, in addition to heavy blaster pistols for ranged combat.
The Royal Guard was the successor of the Red Guard of the Galactic Republic, also taking influence from the Sun Guard, Palpatine's personal Sith military unit led by his alter ego, Darth Sidious. Following the first death of the Emperor during the Battle of Endor, the unit, without a leader, was scattered for several years. However, during the Emperor's subsequent reincarnations in the form of cloned bodies, the unit was reconvened on Byss, fighting for the reborn Palpatine and being nearly destroyed by the destruction of Byss by the Galaxy Gun and Palpatine's flagship, the Eclipse II. When a member of the unit, Carnor Jax, was implicated by Palpatine's personal physician with ensuring the failure of his clone bodies in a bid to become Emperor, he led a slaughter of the unit's survivors on Yinchorr, leaving only Kir Kanos. Jax made a bid for the empty throne previously held by Palpatine before being assassinated by Kanos, whose undying loyalty to the Emperor and his ideals led him on a crusade to murder anyone involved with his death.
The 501st Legion is a worldwide Star Wars costuming organization comprised of and operated by Star Wars fans. While it is not sponsored by Lucasfilm Ltd., it is Lucasfilm's preferred Imperial costuming group. Star Wars, its characters, costumes, and all associated items are the intellectual property of Lucasfilm. ©2014 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™ All rights reserved. Used under authorization