Rey’s vision in Star War: The Force Awakens didn’t seem like much of a premonition at the time, but the reappearance of the Knights of Ren in Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker has brought it back to the forefront. The Knights made their first appearance in Rey’s visions, but it was never clear why she was able to see them. The vision presumably took place in the past, but new evidence suggests Rey was actually looking into the future.
Based on the image released by Vanity Fair, a new theory posits The Force Awakens scene is set in the future and that Rey and Kylo Ren will be battling in the exact same location in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
Back in The Force Awakens, After touching Luke’s lightsaber for the first time, Rey experienced a powerful vision. She saw someone reaching out to grab BB-8 from under a hood before the scene cut to Kylo, along with the Knights of Ren, fighting someone. Fans have speculated that Rey was seeing into the past because Kylo is presumably no longer a part of the Knights of Ren. However, considering how vague visions can be, Rey may have been seeing into the future.
Redditor u/Psarrih combined two photos: one of the Knights of Ren in that vision and another of Rey and Kylo battling with lightsabers in Rise of Skywalker. The two images aren’t an exact match, of course, but u/Psarrih insists that they take place on the same planet, possibly both during Episode 9.
The setting is the most striking aspect. It’s easy to tell it’s raining in both photos, even though one is much darker than the other (possibly because of Annie Leibovitz lighting). The landscape is also fairly similar despite the contrast in color. However, it doesn’t help that, in one image, the ground is flooded with water so similarities in terrain are harder to spot. Still, there’s some plausibility in the theory, even if it’s a long shot.
The timeline of when Kylo left the Knights of Ren (if he left them at all) is unclear. Additionally, very little is actually known about them other than they were likely also Luke’s students before they bailed with Kylo. The Knights of Ren made one appearance in that The Force Awakens vision before disappearing in The Last Jedi. The Rise of Skywalker marks their reemergence, but perhaps it’ll be more of an introduction.
Was The Force Awakens teasing their future appearance? Could Kylo still be associated with them? Is that why they’re present when he fights Rey? There’s a lot of unanswered questions and a ton of gray area.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has the opportunity to expand on why Rey saw those moments specifically. After all, if Rey was only meant to see the Knights of Ren in a vision to explain Kylo’s association with them, then there’s no need for them to appear later on unless they’re more important to the story. Plus, Rey didn’t have a handle on her visions back then, so there’s no telling if these moments have even occurred yet.
The theory does seem like a bit of a stretch, though, especially considering that the photograph from Vanity Fair isn’t guaranteed to be in the movie and was set up to look a certain way by photographer Annie Leibovitz.
Just as easily as someone can spot the similarities, there are enough differences to suggest both scenes could take place on different planets. Regardless, the theory may be onto something with regards to Rey’s visions, but we’ll have to wait and see what comes of it when we finally meet the Knights of Ren in Episode IX.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters December 20, 2019.