The Emperor's Shadow Guard was an organization of elite, Force-sensitive soldiers recruited from the defeated remnants of the Sun Guard and Jedi Knights who fell to the dark side. They served the Galactic Empire during the Great Jedi Purge. They were trained by Darth Vader.
Few Imperials knew the true origins of the mysterious and powerful Shadow Guard, an elite special operations unit within the Emperor's Royal Guard. They were silent and enigmatic warriors that received orders directly from Emperor Palpatine himself and were often sent to eliminate suspected Jedi and other Force users. When necessary they would also be put under the supervision of Darth Vader. The job of the Emperor's Shadow Guard was mainly to guard the Emperor, also known as Darth Sidious.
These guardsmen demonstrated Force powers of their own which led many to suspect that they were in fact former Jedi that had been captured, tortured and brainwashed by Palpatine, but this was a rumor that was never proven. The Shadow Guards commanded a great level of respect within the Empire's ranks and often led quartets of Imperial Stormtroopers into battle against the Emperor's most hated foes. Shadow Guard members were always guarded by their own detail made up of Imperial Navy Commandos or stormtroopers, or in certain cases, members of the standard Royal Guard, although they were easily defeated during their battles with Starkiller.
Near the end of the Clone Wars conflict, the Sith apprentice Count Dooku ordered his minion Asajj Ventress to execute most of the Sun Guard organization. Several of the more devoted Sun Guards were placed in Palpatine's Red Guard, later to join his Royal Guard. Those who were Force-sensitive were selected as candidates for the Emperor's Shadow Guard.
In about 17 BBY, two members of the Shadow Guard were sent to a Golan space defense platform in orbit of the planet Byss, to serve Inquisitor Valin Draco as part of a training mission. The station was attacked by the Alderaanian Resistance during the Battle of Byss and the Shadow Guards fought against a number of Resistance agents that had boarded the station.
A lone Shadow Guard, along with several Imperial Navy commandos was sent to Nar Shaddaa when Starkiller tried to find Jedi Master Rahm Kota at a local bar called the Undertow, where he had caused a commotion in searching for information as to Kota's whereabouts. The Shadow Guard was killed when Starkiller used a Force Maelstrom to blow him out of the bar. Having extinguished this threat, Starkiller headed to Cloud City on Bespin.
Four other Shadow Guards were sent to Cloud City with a squad of stormtroopers to assassinate both Starkiller and Master Kota but were forced to fight Starkiller in several duels, one of which where their bolts of Force lightning collided in a battle of wills whereas. Despite all the efforts to move the ball of energy towards their opponent, Starkiller easily overpowered the guard. The last guard was then hit with both Starkiller's bolt and his own killing him instantaneously.
At least one was stationed on Kashyyyk and tried to prevent Starkiller from getting near the Imperial skyhook, but he was subdued and killed by the aspiring Sith pupil, who ran him through with his own lightsaber pike.
At least one was found on Raxus Prime in the Imperial Ore Facility, though this was actually PROXY using a program based on a Shadow Guard to try to kill Starkiller. Later, the young apprentice actually encountered a real Shadow Guard at the Ore Cannon Control. He met his end when Starkiller trapped him in a Force Grip and threw him into the ore cannon, incinerating him.
A final known Shadow Guard led the last line of defense of Palpatine's watchtower on the Death Star I, this one backed by a quartet of Royal Guards wielding lightsaber pikes. The guard was grappled by Starkiller, who broke his neck and killed him.
Their appearance was identical to the Royal Guard, except that their armor and visor colors were inverted, with the full body armor and robe being black and the visor red. The armor provided them a great deal of protection making it both functional as well as ceremonial in purpose.
Their primary weapon was a lightsaber pike with a red beam extending from the tip of the weapon. In addition to this, their equipment included a heavy blaster pistol as well as a utility belt which included a medpac. Furthermore, they possessed a comlink which was long range, encrypted and miniaturized as well as including holo capability. Sometimes they carried cloaking devices.
Behind the scenes
In the Wii and PS2 versions of The Force Unleashed, because PROXY fighting against Galen Marek was omitted from the Raxus Prime mission, Marek fought against an actual Shadow Guard. Upon being defeated, Marek telekinetically threw him into the ore cannon, incinerating him.
- The Force Unleashed novel (First appearance)
- Star Wars: The Force Unleashed video game
- Star Wars: The Force Unleashed comic (In flashback(s))
- (First pictured)
- (First identified as Emperor's Shadow Guard)
- Star Wars Miniatures: The Force Unleashed
- The Art and Making of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
- The Force Unleashed Campaign Guide
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Galaxy at War
- Star Wars: The Official Starships & Vehicles Collection 63
- Star Wars: The Card Game – Core Set (Card: Dark Side Apprentice)
- Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side
- Star Wars: The Card Game – Lure of the Dark Side (Card: Imperial Shadow Guard)
- Star Wars Expanded Universe (Set: 75079 Shadow Troopers)