It’s been four years since Star Wars: The Force Awakens began a new era of Star Wars and a new era of heroes and villains. But now, in Star Wars: Episode IX — The Rise of Skywalker, out in December, the saga will finally show us the Knights of Ren — when Kylo Ren straight up murders them, which was teased in the trailer.
In a massive Wednesday cover story, Vanity Fair revealed that the Knights of Ren will indeed make their first (real) appearance in the films since their brief glimpse during Rey’s vision in 2015’s The Force Awakens. (The Knights of Ren were absent in 2017’s The Last Jedi).
Not only that, but Kylo Ren will turn on them. He can actually be seen fighting his former Knight brethren in the trailer for The Rise of Skywalker released last month (above).
“Vanity Fair can exclusively confirm that, yes, those are the Knights of Ren that Kylo is mowing down in The Rise of Skywalker trailer,” wrote the magazine.
But who are the Knights of Ren? It’s a question the new trilogy has yet to answer, but it seems The Rise of Skywalker is about to lay all speculation to rest.
We know for sure they’re connected to Kylo Ren, and that they played some kind of role in his turn from Ben Solo — nephew and Padawan of Luke Skywalker — to Kylo Ren, a fanatical warlord who seeks to complete the legacy of his late grandfather, Darth Vader.
As has been theorized by fans, only for Star Wars: The Last Jedi to further tease, the Knights of Ren are probably ex-Jedi students themselves who abandoned Luke’s temple to follow Ben/Kylo. As Luke told Rey in The Last Jedi: “The temple was burning. He had vanished with a handful of my students and slaughtered the rest.” This line suggests that the “handful of my students” are the other members of the Knights of Ren.
Sometime between that and The Force Awakens, Kylo Ren split from the Knights of Ren. In The Rise of Skywalker, he’ll return to finish the job.
It’s worth noting that if the Knights of Ren are former Jedi learners, they didn’t get very far in their training. Unlike Kylo, whose crossguard lightsaber crackles with frenetic energy (which not only emphasizes Kylo’s unhinged personality but an inelegant construction), the other Knights of Ren don’t carry lightsabers at all. They’re far more brutal than that.
As seen in the Vanity Fair spread, the “KOR” carry metal clubs, axes, and oversized anime swords. One of the Knights even replaced their whole dang arm with a blaster, like Samus Aran from Metroid crossed with Mad Max.
It is unknown at this point if the Knights of Ren also seek to follow Kylo into Valhalla like Immortan Joe’s War Boys, but one thing’s for sure: They’re a dangerous group. It seems Kylo Ren is coming to his senses if he really intends to take them on in The Rise of Skywalker.
Update: In a Reddit Q&A on 5/22/2019, Vanity Fair said that the information regarding Kylo Ren fighting the Knights of Ren in the trailer was an error. The Knights of Ren are confirmed to appear in the film, however. The magazine has since updated their information.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters on December 20.