|Order of Imperial Knights|
Before 9 NE
The Order of Imperial Knights were formed sometime before 9 NE as a sort of Imperial version of the vaunted Jedi Order. Taking on the role of the Jedi of old, they answer directly to the Empire. Unlike the Jedi, Imperial Knights are trained in a more militaristic fashion, tending to shy away from the more religious aspects of most Force traditions. Imperial Knights view themselves less as Imperial Jedi and more of Force-trained soldiers, doctors, and other service providers.
The Imperial Knights have often been compared to the Jedi, but the comparison is inaccurate. While trained in the Force comparable to any Jedi Knight, the Knights of the Empire most closely resemble elite Force-trained soldiers. They are military in nature, undergoing extensive martial training from survival tactics to hand-to-hand and close combat techniques and even ranged weapons.Also unlike the Jedi, or even the Sith, Imperial Knights are not instilled with any philosophical or religious conditioning. Because they are not a religious organization, such teachings would be inappropriate, and even offensive to some people. The Order does, however, offer religious courses for those individuals who choose to pursue the teachings of the Jedi, Sith, or other Force orders.
The difference between Imperial Knights and the Jedi are even more obvious upon visual inspection. Most notable is the bright red combat armor adorning each member, emblazoned with the Imperial seal on the shoulder pads. They also each carry a silver-bladed lightsaber, which, while provided for them by the Empire, comes in a number of different hilt designs.
Since its founding the Order has churned out over a thousand Knights, most of which never see action. However, when the Organization struck in 9 NE, the Knights were fully brought to bear for the first time. They proved vital in routing out Organization agents planted in the various Imperial branches.
When Lord Karnage attacked Korriban City, ten specially trained Knights, later joined by two additional Knights, were used to do battle with the deranged Emperor. During the initial battle, five of them were struck down accidentally by the Jedi Grand Master while they were connected to Force Illusions being projected by Karnage. Another two were killed during a counter-Darkness attack when Karnage dominated the mind of one and commanded him to attack his comrades. Though the demented Knight was stopped, it was not before fatally wounding another. The survivors of the attack went on to become the first generation of the Shadow Guard, which was formed shortly thereafter.