In one of George Lucas's early drafts for Star Wars, the Jedi Knights were the bodyguards for the Emperor, until they were overthrown by the Black Knights of the Sith, who wanted to be the true power behind the throne. Obviously that idea got scrapped, but Force-sensitive Imperial bodyguards have returned in Star Wars Legacy.
Imperial Knights Antares Draco and Ganner Krieg
go on an unauthorized mission to save Marasiah Fel, the daughter of Emperor Roan Fel. The Sith hope to capture the deposed emperor by threatening Sia's life, but Roan refuses to risk a rescue attempt. Draco cannot stand by and let the woman he loves fall into the hands of the Sith, even though he knows he and Krieg will be walking into a trap.
The Imperial Knights are Force-users who specifically serve the Emperor - they're fully trained and highly proficient, but have no loyalty to the the Jedi Order. Of course, they also reject the Dark Side, so they're more Gray than light or dark. What, you're surprised that there are more than two choices? Only a Sith deals in absolutes.
As the guardians of the emperor, it makes sense that the Knights wear armor heavily influenced by
the Royal Guards: shaped crimson plates on the torso, shoulders and forearms, plus a bit hanging down below the belt. Of course, a lot can change in 137 years, so the design isn't an exact copy. The double-layered shoulder armor has been raised up off the bicep, and they wear black bodysuits under the armor - and no red robes. And just like Cade Skywalker's pants have the same ribbed texture as Darth Vader's trousers, the Knights seem to have stolen Vader's shirt. Their skirts, capes and hoods are black cloth, and the Imperial symbol is on their left shoulder and right gauntlet - which is made of cortosis, for better defense.
Since the only difference between the two figures in this set is the head,
those faces need to be pretty distinct. We'll begin with Antares Draco, the leader of the Knights. He's an ace pilot, which is apparently enough to start a fanboy rumor that he's a descendant of Wedge Antilles. Yeah, that makes sense. He has curly brown hair, and two scars on his left cheek. Artist Jan Duursema used Doug Wangler as a model for Antares, the same guy she used to model Quinlan Vos, so the two look quite a bit alike if you know what you're looking for,
The second figure
in the set is Antares' best friend, Greg Kinnear. Er, Ganner Krieg. Damn anagrams. "Krieg" is, of course, German for "war," but Ganner is apparently very calm and focused - not particularly warlike, but he does seem to have vengeful streak in him. His look is based on Thomas J. Spanos, a member of the real-life 501st Legion, the SW cosplayers group. The figure's features are a bit softer than both the real man and the comic art, he has the appropriate red hair in a ponytail.
Since they share the same body, both Knights share the same articulation, as well.
That's a balljointed head, shoulders, elbows, knees and ankles, and swivel hips, wrists and waist. The shoulder armor doesn't impede the arm joints at all, and the figures stand securely in numerous poses. They even share the same accessory: the standard Imperial Knight lightsaber. Though all the sabers share the same hilt, they're not mass-produced: each Knight has to make his own, based on the standardized design; it shows unity, and serves as a reminder that the individual is less important than the organization they serve. The blades, which have a flare at the bottom just like the real ones, are nearly clear - meant to show a silver light.
This comic pack includes Legacy #6,
which not only has a striking image of the Imperial Knights on the cover, but shows Antares and Ganner kicking some serious butt. And hey, it even features Darth Talon, too, if you got the other Legacy comic pack. Good issue, but it's too bad we couldn't get a figure of the boys' little female friend from the cover. Who is she, anyway?
The Imperial Knights damn near sold me on Star Wars Legacy all by themelves - I loves me some Royal Guards, and the image of three people in similar armor wielding lightsabers was too good to miss. I managed to avoid getting sucked in, however (not wanting to spend any more money on comics than I already do), but the free issue in this set (as well as the tail end of the Star Was: Vector crossover) has shown me that Legacy has a lot to offer.