I had totally forgotten this set existed...I got it when it was new, in 2008, but I never put it with my other Star Wars figures, so it was out of sight, out of mind, until I found them in a box last night!
This six-pack was an exclusive in Previews, and is based on the Crimson Empire comic series. When Dark Horse started producing the Star Wars comics, I didn't read them for the first decade. I remembered how bad the Marvel Star Wars comics were so I gave the a wide berth, until the first Free Comic Book Day in 2001. I happened to visit Racing City Hobbies in South Glens Falls, NY, which was supposed to be a trip for models, which the store also does. I had totally forgotten it was Free Comic Book Day but I walked in and saw a free Star Wars comic on the counter, so naturally, I got one. I really enjoyed it- it was A LOT better than I even thought it would be, nothing at all like the Marvel run of 1977-85. Shortly after a trip was made to Barnes & Noble in Wilton, NY to get whatever I could get in the form of trade paperbacks. I'm not much of a trade person, I prefer the original comics, but I figured it would be a good way to get some of the Dark Horse Star Wars comics. The first ones I ended up reading were the Crimson Empire I and II trades, so they have always been stories I've favored.
Eventually, Hasbro realized there was a lot more to Star Wars than just the movies, and started making figures based on the comics. This set happens to be one of them. Most of the comic-based figures were issued as promos, and like I mentioned above, this one is no exception.
It includes 4 figures that are mostly the same except head sculpt and paint job, and repackages of Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine, with some minor paint differences.
The story of all three Crimson Empire series, plus several other stories, follows Kir Kanos, who was the last survivor of the Emperor's Royal Guard. The Crusible Arena, which this set is based off of, was the final test for prospective Royal Guards, where they faced each other...and then Darth Vader. If they survived, they joined the Royal Guard ranks. It's a big IF!
I also, as is my usual practice, did not include weapons in the photos. Both Sith came with Lightsabers, and all 4 Royal Guard trainees came with dual-bladed battle staffs.