At the 1:04:38 mark of Star Wars VI: "Return of The Jedi" Darth Vader and the Emperor just finished a conversation. The Emperor sends Darth Vader off. He then turns and walks over to two guys, who bow to him, and they begin speaking.

They clearly are not guards. I was surprised to see them in the Emperor's court as at this point because of his dominance, it's usually just him, Vader, and members of his guard or his forces.

Who are these two people? What purpose do they serve?

Two pale, gaunt-looking men in purple robes and high caps stand, left and centre, facing the Emperor, centre-right, whose back is towards the audience.

  • 1
    I felt that my answer to this one was pretty convincing, covering all of the available media; novelisation, factbooks and film script. Is there anything else you'd like me to add before considering an acceptance?
    – Valorum
    Commented Jul 2, 2016 at 17:13

3 Answers 3


The script identifies them as "Council members"

EMPEROR: It is of no concern. Soon the Rebellion will be crushed and young Skywalker will be one of us! Your work here is finished, my friend. Go out to the command ship and await my orders.

VADER: Yes, my Master.

Vader bows, then turns and exits the throne room as the Emperor walks toward the waiting council members.

They don't appear in the official novelisation, but there is a brief mention in the junior novel of "imperial dignitaries":

Vader had been informed that a fleet of Rebel ships had assembled in the Sullust system, and suspected the Emperor wished to do something about it. Ignoring the Imperial dignitaries, Vader arrived before the Emperor and said, “What is thy bidding, my Master?”

Moving down the canon scale, they were named in a trading card pack as Sim Aloo and Janus Greejatus, both part of the Empire's Ruling Council, a...

...collective body of bureaucrats that constituted the uppermost tier of the Galactic Empire.

And the fully canon Tarkin novel gives a pretty fair idea of their rights and powers

Even those who should have known better tended to dismiss Dangor, Greejatus, and Pestage as sycophants, when in fact members of the Ruling Council oversaw the everyday affairs of the Empire and wielded wide-ranging and sometimes menacing powers. Even the Empire’s twenty Moffs were obligated to answer to the Imperial cadre.


These are two of the Emperor's advisors...

... high-ranking bureaucrats in the Galactic Empire. Some of them were part of the Imperial Ruling Council and, as such, they assisted Emperor Palpatine in running the Empire.

Specifically, the two shown are Janus Greejatus and Sim Aloo.

The Emperor probably wanted them close to plan wiping out the Rebellion politically after watching them wiped out militarily.

  • Can you tell me more about them and why they were on the death star at this critical moment? Good Job flushing them out so quickly. +2
    – JMFB
    Commented Sep 12, 2015 at 17:23
  • As the article says these were some of the highest ranking bureaucrats in the Empire. The Emperor probably wanted them close to plan wiping out the Rebellion politically after watching them wiped out militarally
    – David Cox
    Commented Sep 12, 2015 at 17:41
  • @DavidCox: Please add the detail into the answer, as comments are transient and as for links we like to "bring the content here"! Commented Sep 12, 2015 at 20:58
  • @DavidCox Please add the info to your answer. Explain why they would be in the hall in greater detail. Maybe give a quote or two. You did come up with these two first before the other answer did, but you didn't fully answer the question. Look at how Richard did it above and try to frame your answer sort of like how he did. It's a good answer and a correct one, it just needs more oomph.
    – JMFB
    Commented Sep 12, 2015 at 21:53
  • I've added the details from the comment to the answer. Sorry for my conciseness :-)
    – David Cox
    Commented Sep 13, 2015 at 10:31

These characters have variously been described as Imperial "council members", Imperial "courtiers", and Imperial "advisors", as outlined below.

  1. Most reliably, they are the Imperial "council members" that appear in scene 57 of the third (and final?) draft of the script, as presented here:

Darth Vader, standing with other members of the Imperial council, cautiously approaches his master. … Vader bows, then turns and exits the throne room as the Emperor walks toward the waiting council members.

  1. Secondly, they are likely also the Imperial "courtiers" that appear on page 90 of the official 1983 novelization of the film, written by James Kahn and based on the screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan and George Lucas (as reproduced here on Google Books):

The main corridor was filled with courtiers, all awaiting an audience with the Emperor. Vader curled his lip at them—fools, all. Pompous toadys [sic] in their velvet robes and painted faces; perfumed bishops passing notes and passing judgements among themselves—for else who cared; oily favor-merchants, bent low from the weight of jewelry still warm from a previous owner's dying flesh; easy, violent men and women, lusting to be tampered with.

  1. And finally, the Star Wars Wiki has a page for them under Imperial "advisors" here (which lists many references but few inline citations).

The Imperial advisors were a group of several hundred high ranking political bureaucrats of the Galactic Empire.

Here's a screenshot (from the original 1983 release of the film) of them exiting the Emperor's shuttle (barely visible behind his right shoulder) after landing in the Death Star:

Exiting the shuttle with the Emperor.

Here's a wide shot of them walking behind the Emperor and Lord Vader, from that same scene:

Walking behind the Emperor.

Here's a second, better-lit angle of the pair in the Emperor's throne room:

Photo of "council members" from final film.

Here's an uncredited photo of the whole group from the film set:

Photo of "courtiers" from film set.

  • sure looks like Ian there in the upper middle (between....um...pointy head and the other old fella)
    – NKCampbell
    Commented Sep 7, 2021 at 18:48
  • Those are some mighty stupid-ass-looking hats.
    – Valorum
    Commented Sep 7, 2021 at 19:05
  • @NKCampbell: Somewhat, yes, though Ian McDiarmid was only 38 years old or so when portraying the Emperor in “Return of the Jedi”.
    – 2540625
    Commented Sep 7, 2021 at 22:11

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