Fans were first introduced to the Knights of Ren in Star Wars: The Force Awakens when Rey saw them in a terrifying, rain-soaked vision. Led by Kylo Ren, these fearsome warriors have been shrouded in mystery and only hinted at in the Star Wars universe. But Star Wars: The Last Jedi might have given us a better idea than ever as to where these black-clothed baddies came from.

This post contains spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Read on at your own risk.

In Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Luke Skywalker reveals the truth of what happened to Ben Solo. After a few different iterations of the same story, Luke admits to Rey that, in a moment of weakness driven by fear, he almost killed his nephew. Sensing the Dark side rising in Ben, Luke went to Ben’s quarters, armed with his lightsaber, and almost struck him down. He didn’t — but it was a close thing.

Ben, who was teetering on the edge of the Dark side and still contemplating his place in the Force and the galaxy at large, snapped in that moment. Fueled by what he saw as a betrayal by his uncle and mentor, Ben Solo became Kylo Ren.

And according to Luke, Kylo took “a handful” of Luke’s former students with him after they destroyed the new Jedi Academy. That line, simple and understated in the middle of Luke’s greater confession, hints at what so many Star Wars fans have theorized: that the other Knights of Ren are Luke Skywalker’s former students.

This isn’t a full-on admission or a confirmation, but considering that none of the other theories about the Knights of Ren have worked out, this is by far the best option. If Kylo really did take some of Luke’s students along with him post-Academy takedown and they aren’t the Knights of Ren, then where did all those other Force users go?

It would make sense for the Knights to be Luke’s former students.

Undoubtedly, there was some sort of epic speech involved where Ben Solo waxed poetic about the failures of the Jedi and how true power could only be found through the Dark side. Considering that Kylo is driven by rage and finds his power through that, it makes sense why the other students would have been impressed by him in the moments following his uncle’s “betrayal.”

Now, we just need the Knights to show up in Star Wars: Episode IX.


Star Wars: The Last Jedi is now in theaters.

Photos via Giphy, Lucasfilm