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Guards...leave us.
~ Emperor Palpatine to his Royal Guards
The Emperor's Royal Guard, also known as the Imperial Royal Guard or the Imperial Guard, are villains in the Star Wars franchise. They are an elite order of protective warrios and guardians whose sole purpose was to protect and defend Emperor Palpatine from any known threats to his reign. They aree some of the most elite soldiers of the Galactic Empire and they first appeared in Return of the Jedi the last film of the original trilogy, and have appeared in other forms of Star Wars media in both canon and legends timelines including Revenge of The Sith the last film of the prequel trilogy.

Canon History

Clone Wars

The Imperial Guard was actually formed sometime prior to the rise of the Galactic Empire during the days of the Galactic Republic. Formed during its final years, the Imperial Guard was simply known as the Red Guard and were founded by Sheeve Palpatine for the sole purpose of acting as his personal bodyguards. The guard was created after Palpatine was elected Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Republic and they were personally chosen and recruited from the Senate Guard and eventually replaced their blue armored counter-parts towards the end of the Clone Wars. The red robes of the guard melted in perfectly with the color scheme of the Chancellor's office and were alwasy stationed at the enterence even prior to the outbreak of the Clone Wars. Despite the presence of the guard however, Palpatine kept them a secret and instead had Senate Commandos protect him until the final stages of the Clone Wars when he had the guards show up in public where they remained there silent and imposing figures.

Era of the Empire

At the end of the Clone Wars, Palpatine declared himself as the new Galactic Emperor and dissolved both the Republic and the Confederacy of Independent Systems and formed the two warring governments into the Galactic Empire. After the formation of the empire, the Imperial Guard was the new official name and took their positions at Palpatine's side where they were occuasionally relieved by the Coruscant Guard which would step in sometimes as Palpatine's protectors. By the time of the empire, the Senate Guard was dissolved completely and was phased out in favor of the Imperial Guard and Stormtroopers. In 14 BBY, severl guardsmen accompanied Darth Vader and Sidious on a mission to Ryloth in an attempt to lure out the opposing Free Ryloth Movement from hiding. The shutte carrying them crashed however and several guards were killed in the process. Two of the guards however, managed to survive the crash and accompanied their Sith masters, but were later ambushed by rebel forces on the planet. The mission however, would end in a success for the empire and almost all Ryloth rebel forces were wipped out completely. 

Throughout the Galactic Civil War, the Imperial Guard served as elite shock troops and personal enforcers for the emperor as they often served in various roles from protectors to assassins and other roles. they dawned their iconic blood-red colored robes and wore advanced combat armor and helmets to conceal their identities and carried various weapons such as force pikes, vibroblades, and other concealed weapons. While the primary function of the Imperial Guard was for the safeguard and protection of the emperor, Palpatine did not make exclusive use of them and had them sent on other tasks such as two of the guarding Lord Vader in his castle on Mustafar. In 0 BBY, Vanee warned Vader of the arrival of Director Orson Krennic to discuss the plans and future of the ambitious Imperial project, the Death Star.

While the guards were some of the best soldiers the empire had to offer, the Battle of Endor would end up becoming the ultimate failure of the order and it wasn't on their part. After Luke Skywalker turned himself into the Imperial authorities, Palpatine confronted Skywalker after Vader brought him into his thrown room on the Death Star II and has his guards exit while he personally met with Vader and his son, Luke. A fight between the Sith father and the Jedi son errupted and in the end, Palpatine was betrayed and killed by Vader and the second Death Star would later be destroyed at the hands of the Rebel Alliance killing many Imperial personnal and guards onboard in the process.

New Republic Era

Following the aftermath of the Battle of Endor and the rise of the New Republic, the Imperial Guard remained active despite the death of the emperor and were escorting Imperial General Jylia Shale for peace talks between the fragmenting Galactic Empire and the rising power of the New Republic on the planet of Chandrila. An attack broke out on the planet during the peace talks and the present royal guards ended up fighting and took down five New Republic Senate Guards and began guarding the Imperial entourage. In the aftermath of the failed negotiations, the brother of Arilz Hadrassian had joined the Imperial Guard during the Battle of Jakku. His helmet was later claimed by his brother, who was a member of a proxy group for the First Order and he sold his helmet to Ransolm Casterfo, a Centrist senator of the New Republic.

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Star Wars Villains

Bounty Hunters
Aurra Sing | Bazine Netal | Boba Fett | Bossk | Cad Bane | Dengar | Embo | Gault Rennow | The Great Hunt Champion | Greedo | Hanharr | IG-88 | Jango Fett | Montross | Tarro Blood | Zam Wesell | Highsinger

Confederacy of Independent Systems
Leaders: Darth Sidious | Count Dooku | Nute Gunray | Passel Argente | Poggle the Lesser | San Hill | Shu Mai | Wat Tambor | Po Nudo | Tikkes
Military Leaders: Admiral Trench | General Grievous | General Kalani | Lok Durd
Other Officials: Asajj Ventress | Durge | EV-A4-D | Gizor Dellso | Jenna Zan Arbor | Keeper Agruss | Miraj Scintel | Osi Sobeck | Sora Bulq
Footsoldiers: Battle Droids | Super Battle Droids

Clone Army
501st Legion | Commander Bacara | Commander Cody

Eternal Empire
Leader: Arcann | Valkorion | Vaylin
Soldiers: Knights of Zakuul

First Order
Leader: Supreme Leader Snoke
Officials: Captain Phasma | General Hux | Kylo Ren
Soldiers: Stormtroopers | FN-2199
Other Officials: Carise Sindian

Galactic Empire
Leader: Emperor Palpatine
Dark Assassins: Darth Vader | Galen Marek | Jerec | Joruus C'baoth | Luuke Skywalker | Mara Jade | Sarcev Quest | X1
Inquisitorius: The Grand Inquisitor | Fifth Brother | Seventh Sister | Sixth Brother | Eighth Brother
Imperial Officers: Admiral Ozzel | Admiral Piett | Arihnda Pryce | Commander Jerjerrod | General Veers | Grand Moff Tarkin | C.A. Motti | Merillion Tarko | Natasi Daala | Ozzik Sturn | Rom Mohc | Grand Admiral Thrawn | Trioculus | Ysanne Isard | Admiral Kassius Konstantine
Other Officials: Agent Kallus | Armand Isard | Carnor Jax | Mas Amedda | Orson Krennic | Sate Pestage
Soldiers: Death Troopers | Emperor's Royal Guard | Stormtroopers

One Sith
Leader: Darth Krayt
Sith Lords: Darth Azard | Darth Havok | Darth Luft | Darth Maladi | Darth Nihl | Darth Rauder | Darth Reave | Darth Ruyn | Darth Stryfe | Darth Talon | Darth Wyyrlok (I) | Darth Wyyrlok (II) | Darth Wyyrlok (III) | Darth Vurik | Darth Wredd | Saarai | Vul Isen
Soldiers: Darth Krayt's Sith Troopers | Morlish Veed

Sith Empire
Leader: Sith Emperor Vitiate
Dark Council: Darth Acharon | Darth Arctis | Darth Arho | Darth Arkous | Darth Azamin | Darth Baras | Darth Charnus | Darth Decimus | Darth Drear | Darth Ekkage | Darth Gean | Darth Hadra | Darth Howl | Darth Igrol | Darth Jadus | Darth Karrid | Darth Marr | Darth Mekhis | Darth Mortis | Darth Nox | Darth Nyriss | Darth Ravage | Darth Thanaton | Darth Vengean | Darth Vowrawn | Darth Zhorrid
The Emperor's Wrath: Scourge
Sith Lords: Aloysius Kallig | Darth Andru | Darth Angral | Darth Atroph | Darth Cendence | Darth Chratis | Darth Fastus | Darth Glovoc | Darth Gravus | Darth Ikoral | Darth Jaga | Darth Kallous | Darth Lachris | Darth Malgus | Darth Nurin | Darth Ouzal | Darth Sajar | Darth Serevin | Darth Silthaar | Darth Skotia | Darth Sorranos | Darth Tormen | Darth Venemal | Darth Vich | Darth Viktus | Darth Vilus | Darth Xedrix | Darth Zash | Lord Draahg | Lord Nefarid | Lord Praven | Lord Sadic | Lord Tarnis | Lord Vivicar | Vindican |
Military: Lieutenant Pierce | Malavai Quinn | Moff Broysc | Sith Trooper

Other Sith and Fallen Jedi
Abeloth | Ajunta Pall | Aleema Keto | Alema Rar | Ashara Zavros | Atris | Azrakel | Barriss Offee | Bengel Morr | Dark Apprentice | The Dark Underlord | Darth Andeddu | Darth Bane | Darth Bandon | Darth Cognus | Darth Desolous | Darth Gravid | Darth Guile | Darth Homiiz | Darth Karnage | Darth Malak | Darth Maul | Darth Minax | Darth Morias | Darth Nihilus | Darth Phobos | Darth Plagueis | Darth Revan | Darth Ramage | Darth Rivan | Darth Ruin | Darth Simi | Darth Sion | Darth Scabrous | Darth Tenebrous | Darth Traya | Darth Vectivus | Darth Venamis | Darth Voren | Darth Zannah | Desann | Exar Kun | Freedon Nadd | Haazen | Jaesa Willsaam | Kazdan Paratus | Khem Val | Ludo Kressh | Lumiya | Maris Brood | Marka Ragnos | Naga Sadow | Pong Krell | Reborn | Savage Opress | Sith Master (Dxun) | Son | Tavion | Ulic Qel-Droma | Vemrin | Xalek | Xanatos | XoXaan

Other
King Adas | Almec | Andronikos Revel | Burbakker Teep | Cornelius Evazan | Chop'aa Notimo | Durga the Hutt | The Eagle | Gardulla the Elder | Garnac | General Vaklu | Gorog | Granta Omega | Hondo Ohnaka | Jabba the Hutt | Kleef | Maketh Tua | Meeko Ghintee | Moralo Eval | Ponda Baba | Rakghouls | Saul Karath | Sebulba | Slick | Teedo | Thrackan Sal-Solo | Todo 360 | Unkar Plutt | Visquis | Zillo Beast | Ziro the Hutt | Zorba the Hutt

Other Small Organizations
Bando Gora: Komari Vosa | Groff Haugg
Black Sun: Prince Xizor
Brotherhood of Darkness: Skere Kaan
Death Watch: Pre Vizsla | Bo-Katan | Tor Vizsla
Galactic Alliance Guard: Darth Caedus | Tahiri Veila
Nightsisters: Asajj Ventress | Mother Talzin | Old Daka | Zalem
Prophets of the Dark Side: Cronal | Darth Millennial | Jedgar | Kadann
Star Cabal: Hunter
Trade Federation: Daultay Dofine | Lott Dod | Nute Gunray | Rune Haako
Yuuzhan Vong: Onimi | Peace Brigade | Shimrra Jamaane