How The Praetorian Guard Armor Blocks Lightsabers in 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi'

While Jedi and Sith are some of the most feared and powerful warriors in the Star Wars galaxy, the Supreme Leader of the First Order employed his own guard of fighters capable of going toe-to-toe with those who wield lightsabers.

In Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Snoke's Praetorian Guard put up a good fight and nearly vanquished their foes, even doing the unthinkable and blocking lightsabers with their armor. But how were they able to deflect the weapons capable of cutting through almost anything?

Lucasfilm Story Group executive Pablo Hidalgo explains how in his newest contribution to the canon, in Star Wars: The Last Jedi - The Visual Dictionary.

The entry on the Praetorian Guard explains how their armor is able to deflect the blows from the lightsaber, increasing their defenses and making them more formidable threats to those who would harm their leader.

"The layered armor of the Praetorian Guard is a high-tech onion-skin of laminate, impregnated with conductive wirepaths that, once powered, create an intense local magnetic field. Once this energy-intensive field activates, the powered plates can deflect blaster fire. Even a lightsaber will glance off, though a directed thrust will penetrate the shell. The mag-coils are costly, the plates heavy, and mag-field exposure is ultimately painful to the wearer, but such are the sacrifices of protecting the Supreme Leader. The Praetorians endure this out of unswerving loyalty and duty."

(Photo: Pablo Hidalgo)

The Visual Dictionary also confirms that the guards are masters of various fighting styles, including Teräs Käsi, Bakuuni Hand, and Echani. If that first one sounds familiar, it might be because of that clunky Star Wars fighting game, Masters of Teräs Käsi — named after an advanced form of hand-to-hand combat, used by only the most ardent warriors in the Star Wars galaxy.


The Praetorian Guard might have met their early demise in the new film, but they went out in one of the best fight scenes in a Star Wars movie. They definitely improved on the Emperor's Royal Guard from Return of the Jedi. But despite how strong their armor is, it could not protect from a lightsaber igniting right to the face.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is now playing in theaters everywhere.