See The Mandalorian Channel The Last Jedi With New Villain Design

Designs for villains in The Mandalorian Season 3 look a lot like The Last Jedi's Praetorian Guard.

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

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The Praetorian Guard in The Last Jedi (2017)

When it comes to modern Star Wars media, fans generally agree that The Mandalorian demonstrates how “this is the way” for the franchise to succeed whereas the controversial The Last Jedi is a beautiful-but-flawed example of what not to do. However, it looks like the next season of The Mandalorian is going to channel The Last Jedi by bringing in the Praetorian Guard, the red-clad bad guys who engaged in an epic duel with Rey and Kylo Ren. And on Twitter, you can get your first glimpse of the modified look these crimson warriors will be sporting on the show.

Our primary clue that this is the Praetorian Guard is the iconic red outfits. In The Last Jedi, the outfits were more reminiscent of samurai (a fitting visual tribute to the Akira Kurosawa film The Hidden Fortress from which the first Star Wars movie took much of its visual and storytelling cues). In The Mandalorian, it looks like the guard has a more streamlined look that is more akin to a special armored variant of Stormtroopers.

Why would the appearance be different? One possible explanation is that different Praetorian Guard masters have different aesthetic tastes. While Supreme Leader Snoke may have preferred a new kind of guard for his new kind of army, The Mandalorian shows Moff Gideon leading a remnant of the original Empire, and he may simply want his special guardians to look a bit more like the rest of his troops.

The other obvious possibility is that the Praetorian Guard outfits simply change over time. The first season of The Mandalorian takes place about five years after Return of the Jedi and The Last Jedi takes place about 25 years after the first apparent death of The Emperor. It would make sense for these outfits to change over a quarter of a century later, and it would arguably be even weirder if these ended up being the only costumes that didn’t get tweaked in the transition from the Empire to the First Order.

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Giancarlo Esposito in The Mandalorian

Other than what the Praetorian Guard will look like and the fact that they will be guarding Moff Gideon, we don’t know much about what these exciting characters will be doing in The Mandalorian. The most logical explanation is that Moff Gideon has stepped his game up after the surprise appearance of Luke Skywalker at the end of the previous season. The calculating Imperial leader may have decided that the best way to deal with a meddling Jedi is to bring on the people who specialize in killing these noble warriors.

At any rate, we won’t have to wait too long to see what the Praetorian Guard and the rest of our favorite characters have been up to in that galaxy far, far away. The third season of The Mandalorian will begin streaming on Disney+ on March 1. In the meantime, you may need to save a bunch of cute pet photos to tide you over before you get to see Baby Yoda in action once more.