One of the things that we saw in episodes 7 and 8 of The Mandalorian season 3 was red-robed warriors in action against the Mandalorians. Of course, we saw them in episode 7 when they took out Paz Vizsla, who didn’t stand a chance against them. Meanwhile, we also saw those warriors fighting Din Djarin and Grogu during the events of the season 3 finale. So, who are those red-robed warriors in The Mandalorian?
The red-robed warriors in The Mandalorian are called the Praetorian Guard, an elite force of warriors created to act as the protector of the emperor or the Supreme Leader of the First Order. They were shown in the Star Wars sequel trilogy as the protectors of Supreme Leader Snoke.
This isn’t the first time we saw the Praetorian Guard in action as they fought Rey and Kylo Ren in Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi. Of course, we also saw similar guards in the prequel trilogy as they acted as the protectors of the newly-crowned Emperor Palpatine. So, with that said, let’s learn more about these red-robed warriors and where they come from.
The Praetorian Guard Explained
The storyline of The Mandalorian continues to connect the dots between this timeline and the events of the Star Wars sequel trilogy. In that regard, in episode 7 of season 3 of The Mandalorian, we met red-robed warriors that appeared out of nowhere to change things up for Moff Gideon’s Imperial remnants. This happened during the time that the Mandalorians were escaping Gideon’s forces.
While escaping, the Mandalorians relied on Paz Vizsla to cover them by killing the Stormtroopers that were going to chase down Bo-Katan and her group. Vizsla killed the troopers but ended up having to face three red-robed warriors armed with melee electro weapons. The trio of red-robed warriors was strong enough to take down a fully armored Mandalorian warrior that could match Din Djarin in a fight.
It was earlier in episode 7 of season 3 that these warriors were named. That was when the Shadow Council asked why Moff Gideon wanted to get the assistance of the Praetorian Guard. These red-robed characters, of course, were the members of the Praetorian Guard that the Shadow Council sent to Mandalore to back Gideon up and help him with his problem regarding the Mandalorians.
The Praetorian Guard is a group of eight elite fighters trained to protect a top Imperial or First Order leader. This group was first revealed during the events of the sequel movies. In fact, they were in action in Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi when Rey and Kylo Ren fought their way through them after Supreme Leader Snoke was murdered. They were installed as the protectors of the Supreme Leader of the First Order as Snoke could no longer protect himself in melee combat due to his deformities and old age.
But the fact that the Praetorian Guard existed during the time of The Mandalorian suggests that this order of elite guards was created during or right after the reign of the Empire. This elite group of guards must have been created to help facilitate the return of Emperor Palpatine or, at the very least, the person that would be tasked to lead the Imperial remnants, which reorganized to become the First Order.
Of course, the concept of the Praetorian Guard isn’t new or novel because we did see Emperor Palpatine having his own elite guards during the events of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. Yoda quickly took out the guards before the Jedi Grandmaster challenged the newly-crowned emperor to a duel.
These guards were yet to be called the Praetorian Guard, but it is possible that the modern version of the Praetorian Guard was conceptualized based on the older version that served the emperor. And because the Imperial remnants wanted to ensure their leader was better protected, the Elite Praetorian Guard must have been created to ensure that there would be guards strong enough to defeat anyone willing to challenge their leader.
Where Does The Praetorian Guard Come From?
We don’t really know where the Praetorian Guard came from. Still, there is a good chance that they were trained by Commandant Brendol Hux, who oversaw the training of soldiers in the Imperial Academy in Arkanis during the reign of the Empire. Hux was someone who admired the Jedi not because he liked them but because he loved how they trained their warriors from a very early age.
In that regard, it is possible that Hux used the Arkanis Imperial Academy as a facility to train elite guards from childhood all the way to adulthood so that they would be suitable candidates for the Praetorian Guard. The members of the Praetorian Guard all happen to be humans, and we all know that most of the soldiers and officers that worked for the Empire were humans.
As such, the fact that the Praetorian Guard was trained in special martial arts, including Teräs Käsi and Bakuuni Hand, means that they were rigorously trained back during the events of the reign of the Empire. It is also possible that they were still undergoing training during the Imperial era, so they weren’t around during the original trilogy when Emperor Palpatine didn’t have elite guards by his side.
During the events of The Mandalorian, Commandant Hux was in command of the Praetorian Guard, which further suggests that he was in charge of their training. And it was due to Hux’s strict nature as a military leader and commandant the Praetorian Guard members rose up to become elite warriors that were strong enough to take on well-trained Mandalorians or even Force users.