The Knights of Ren are making a comeback in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and their return might connect directly to Darth Maul. Vanity Fair recently dropped a plethora of new images and information for fans to speculate over, and one behind-the-scenes photo of director J.J. Abrams standing among the Knights of Ren might have accidentally revealed a huge Star Wars: Episode IX spoiler.
Possible spoilers for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker below.
Upon closer inspection, the staff one member of the Knights of Ren is carrying looks awfully familiar. It’s the same one pictured in Solo: A Star Wars Story, where it showed up in a scene featuring the Crimson Dawn crime syndicate that Han had to take on.
Redditor u/Ultimastar posted an enlarged image of the staff from Solo side by side with the image from the set of The Rise of Skywalker. Nope, you’re not imagining it, they’re identical. Does that mean the Knights of Ren are connected to Crimson Dawn, which was secretly controlled by Darth Maul?
First spotted in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the Knights of Ren appeared briefly in one of Rey’s visions. They were missing in action in The Last Jedi and, though they’ll finally make a real debut in The Rise of Skywalker, we still know almost nothing about the infamous group.
There isn’t a lot of information to go on since the newest trilogy hasn’t divulged much about who the Knights of Ren are or what they want beyond hinting that they were Luke’s other students who sided with Kylo Ren when he turned to the dark side.
However, the fact that the symbols they’re carrying match Darth Maul’s crime syndicate might offer a major clue. Here’s what we do know: Kylo Ren obviously used to work with these masked warriors and their possible connection to Darth Maul and the Crimson Dawn might his legacy inspired them. Darth Maul is powerful and, though he was thought to have died in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, his reappearance in Solo could further tie in all of the Star Wars movies and play a pivotal role in The Rise of Skywalker.
Lucasfilm presumably planned to expand on this plotline before Solo flopped at the box office and Disney scuttled any plans for a sequel. Now, it looks like the final film in the Skywalker saga may also offer closure on this fan-favorite villain who never really got his due (at least on the big screen).
With Emperor Palpatine also apparently making a comeback in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, it sort of makes sense that his first apprentice would get a shoutout as well.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters December 20, 2019.