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Hasbro: Star Wars Black Series Imperial Royal Guard Video and Quick Pics

The Imperial Royal Guards stand out in my memory as these ominous red sentries who were tasked with protecting the Emperor in Return of the Jedi. At the time, I didn’t think much of their role, especially since they were basically furniture in the movie, considering they barely moved. But when I stop and think about what their role actually was — that they provided protection for the scariest and most powerful being in the galaxy — I can’t help but pause and toss a heap of respect their way. Clearly there is much more to them than the movie showed us, and evidently Hasbro felt there is a lot to them as well since the Imperial Royal Guard could be one of the better figures released in the 6-inch Black Series. Let’s take a look!

The packaging — that is a whole lot of red, isn’t it? Standard Black Series fare, but because of the figure’s essentially monochrome appearance, he just sort of disappears into the red interior of the box. Neat non-intentional effect.

Now, I consider this figure a major win based on personal preferences: proper and effective use of soft goods on a well-articulated figure. Seeing the soft-goods robes made my day. Sure, detail may be sacrificed in favor of function, but I will always take something satisfyingly functional over something that simply looks good, which is why the Black Series Jawa was so frustrating for me. With the Imperial Royal Guard, we gat a solid balance of a functional outer robe and a beautifully sculpted armored body. I seriously could not be more pleased.

Even with the robe fully removed, there is a sharp sculpt with a couple nicely contrasting reds to give the figure depth and definition.

The robe can be arranged to completely conceal the armored body underneath, or it can be word sort of like Vader’s cape — flowing and enveloping the armored form underneath. This is the way I prefer the Guard to be displayed because it just hits every mark I want a Black Series figure to hit.

The helmet is appropriately cold and expressionless. Looks awesome.

For accessories, the Guard comes with a staff and a pistol. His hands are sculpted so he can effectively wield each of them, and the pistol can be stored in a holster on his belt when he’s not holding it. It seems to be an okay fit, but I have more confidence in his actually holding it in his hand since i really don’t want to lose it.

Comparison shots. His height is on par with a Stormtrooper, and he looks appropriately imposing next to the Emperor. Vader does dwarf him a bit, but that’s how it should be, really.

In terms of articulation, he’s just about the standard Black Series fare with the following POA:

  • Swivel Head
  • Swivel/hinge shoulders, elbow, wrists, and hips
  • Ball-jointed ab joint
  • Thigh cuts
  • Double-jointed knees
  • Rocker ankles

The only articulation point that takes a hit here is his head. Because of the helmet design, all it can really do is swivel, and it barely does that. Everything else moves fluidly with a strong range of motion.

Despite the fact that the Imperial Royal Guards barely did anything on screen in the Original Trilogy, there has been plenty of extended universe fiction that has featured them prominently as the ultimate badasses they really should be:

The helmet can be removed and replaced with other Black Series heads, like the Death Squad Commander with his perfectly nondescript, all-purpose head sculpt. This adds a lot of character and depth to the figure and immediately humanizes it.

Below is RoboKillah’s video detailing this fantastic figure.

The Imperial Royal Guard should be popping up on pegs everywhere soon, but if online options are more your speed, check out the following options:

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