January 8, 2023
by Bespin Bulletin

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Ten months ago images of red helmets being used for the third season of The Mandalorian hit the internet and set tongues wagging. Speculation was rife with many wondering if these red helmets were a new faction of Mandalorians, or even the Praetorian Guards seen in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Shortly after, MakingStarWars.net, reported that the images were taken in Long Beach, California where scenes were being shot featuring Din Djarin facing off against Praetorian Guards as the part of their design and the weapons they were using aligned with the Praetorians seen in Episode VIII.

MSW has now followed up with an image of the Praetorian Guard design in the Mando’s third season. Though not stated, I assume the image was drawn by MSW or an affiliate that has seen the Praetorian Guards final design, or perhaps even saw them in action. You can see the image below.

The Elite Praetorian Guards seen in The Last Jedi were human warriors that severed as personal guards for Snoke, the supreme leader of the First Order, and were inspired by the Royal Guards that protected Emperor Palpatine. The protectors of Snoke were eight fearsome fighters, trained in various forms of martial arts and operated in pairs. Given that the Praetorians seen in TLJ are dubbed the Elite Praetorian Guards, I wonder if the ones we’ll see in The Mandalorian are their predecessors and if they’ll sport a different name. It’s also worth wondering if the appearance of the Praetorians means we’ll see some version of Snoke during the upcoming season.

Experiment seen in The Mandalorian season two | Lucasfilm

During the second season of The Mandalorian, fans got a glimpse of one of the failed cloning experiments taking place on Nevarro which bared a resemblance to Snoke and Palpatine. It’s clear the Empire are chasing down Grogu to use him in experiments for the clone bodies of Emperor Palpatine as he needs DNA of powerful force users to create bodies capable of housing his dark and powerful spirit. These failed clones, or strand casts eventually led to the creation of Snoke, and the father of Rey Skywalker. MSW speculates that we’ll see these Praetorian Guards alongside Moff Gideon, but I’m hoping it’s linked to Snoke or Palpatine personally as Dave Filoni previously stated that The Mandalorian would explore the origins of the First Order.

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