The Royal Guard is Coruscant's most elite security force. During his rise to power, Palpatine seized control of all senate security, consolidating the blue senate guard and his own crimson personal guard under his direct authority.
It’s no secret that Star Wars fans like to see things come full circle in the Star Wars films. While a film like Episode I broke new ground for fans, George Lucas was courteous and included the occasional background characters that were of the same species we saw in the Original Trilogy. The dots really started to get connected in full swing by the third Prequel Trilogy film and Revenge Of The Sith contained many nods to Original Trilogy characters. Take for instance the Royal Guard. Also known as an Imperial Guard or the Emperor’s Royal Guard, these handpicked elite soldiers were visually some of the most incredible Imperials in Return Of The Jedi. In fact, fan affection for them was so strong that multiple Expanded Universe stories were created to explain their history and development. But probably nothing was more special than for George Lucas to include them in the final Star Wars film ever to be made. Revenge Of The Sith brought us another, yet final, look at the Royal Guard. The film showed Yoda kicking their butts which certainly provided a relatively humorous perspective to their previously intimidating stature, but let’s be honest. How cool did they look serving the Emperor years before the creation of the second Death Star? We think that ranks pretty high on the “awesome” scale.
Although appropriately labeled Royal Guard on the figure’s packaging, the red Royal Guard is actually the running change variant in the Revenge Of The Sith line, the “rarer” of the two, although 2005 pretty much proved that nothing was that rare save for the Commander Bly (III 57) and Commander Gree (III 59) paint job updates. Both the blue Senate Guard and the red Royal Guard are shown in the stills on the front and back of the packaging, but it is the Senate Guard action figure that is solely pictured in an enlarged format next to the character’s description and to the left of the Revenge Of The Sith line checklist. Many, many collectors initially had great difficulty locating the red Royal Guard, but Hasbro made many efforts to ensure that it made its way across the country and into collectors’ homes. We actually prefer the red Royal Guard to the blue Royal Guard [Senate Guard] figure. The red just totally makes the figure pop out and most importantly plays on our childhood psyche and reminds us of the original 1983 vintage Kenner Emperor’s Royal Guard figure from long ago. Despite its drastically different appearance, the red Royal Guard is actually just the blue Royal Guard [Senate Guard] with a new head sculpt and differently colored body and soft-goods. The same environmental display stand and accessories are included with both figures.
And because the two figures are essentially “identical” to each other, so are the figure’s issues. As brilliant and crimson as the red Royal Guard’s soft-goods are, they’re cut much too big and you are forced to tuck them in as closely as you can to the figure to help them not look ridiculously oversized. However, it’s a smaller sacrifice when weighed against how much more awesome it is to have real fabric for the robes instead of the plastic molded robe we received in the 2002 Star Wars “Saga” line. The limitations in the swivel elbows make posing more difficult than you may believe, but obviously you have a lot more options here than we did on older action figure interpretations. Again, EU fans will be thrilled with the effort Hasbro put forth into what the red Royal Guard looks like underneath his robes. (We meant for that last sentence to come out a little differently than it sounded.) Fans of the Original Trilogy are waiting on pins and needles for an Episode VI specific version of the Emperor’s Royal Guard, especially since that character carries a force pike. (Editor’s Note: An update to the Emperor’s Royal Guard is part of the 2012 The Vintage Collection lineup.) The Royal Guard is still a great figure nonetheless and many Star Wars action figure collectors bought this figure in bulk. There is just something about that bright red/crimson outfit that just completely grabs our attention.
Status: Royal Guard is an all-new figure. (It is technically a rework of 2005's ROTS Royal Guard [Senate Guard] (III 23) figure with a new head sculpt and has been repainted in the colors of the Emperor's Royal Guard.)
Articulation Count: 12 points
Articulation Details: ball-jointed head, 2 ball-jointed shoulders, 2 swivel elbows, 2 swivel forearms, swivel waist, 2 swivel hips, 2 ball-jointed knees
Accessory Count: 4
Accessory Details: blaster rifle (with strap), blaster pistol, removable soft-goods outer robe, environmental display stand
Date Stamp: 2004
Assortment Number: 85295/85174
Retail: $5.99 USD
Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on listings.