Having a sick helmet and an improbable name is what made Boba Fett hot in the eighties and is probably why George Lucas literally cloned his ass in 2002 for Attack of the Clones. Since then, the heirs to the elusive Star Wars club of masked-badasses-who-we-don’t-know-anything-about are clearly the Knights of Ren. Old-school Boba Fett-loving fanboys want to know who they are and everyone else probably just wants to see them get lightsaber-ed by Rey in Star Wars: Episode IX.
Either way, the knights are coming back in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. So, here’s everything we know about Kylo Ren’s space henchmen so far. And, because the future is always in motion, what we don’t know, too…
We only saw them in a Force Awakens dream sequence. Or a flashback. Or maybe…a flash forward?
The Knights of Ren exist in Star Wars canon for two reasons. First, in The Force Awakens, Supreme Leader Snoke said that Kylo was “master of the Knights of Ren.” Then, during Rey’s “Force-back” vision, she saw Kylo Ren, standing with six other Rens, killing someone. The big assumption here is that this vision is part of a moment when Kylo Ren turned on Luke Skywalker’s Jedi school, sometime prior to the new movies. But, there’s also a newer rumor that suggests what Rey say in The Force Awakens was from the future, not the past. Meaning, we could see that scene in The Rise of Skywalker, and not as a flashback, but instead, in real time.
Some of them are probably Luke’s former students, but that’s not for sure (And we don’t know how many there are either.)
In The Last Jedi, Luke says he took Ben Solo, plus “A dozen students and began a training temple.” He also said that after burning the temple, Ben “vanished with a handful of my students, and slaughtered the rest.” So, it seems pretty likely these six knights are former Jedi padawans who decided to become “Knights of Ren.”
But, then again, we actually have no idea how many Knights of Ren there are. In a break-out article about the big Vanity Fair cover story on The Rise of Skywalker, writer Joanna Robinson mentions “But since The Force Awakens, no additional backstory has surfaced about the identities of these knights, their true number, and the part they played in Ben Solo’s transformation into Kylo Ren.” So, the assumption there are six of them and they were all Luke’s students is, by no means, confirmed, like, at all.
Rian Johnson considered putting them in your favorite scene in The Last Jedi
When Rey and Kylo Ren fought Snoke’s red-armored Praetorian guards in The Last Jedi, director Rian Johnson did consider having the combatants be Knights of Ren instead of these faceless guards. But, he had a very specific reason not to make the Praetorian guards the Knights of Ren. In 2018, Johnson said: “..if Kylo had some kind of connection to them it would’ve added a complication that wouldn’t have helped the scene.”
J.J. Abrams had a backstory in mind in The Force Awakens
According to the director’s commentary on the home video release for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Abrams says the backstory for The Knights of Ren exists, but that “it hasn’t been revealed yet.”
They are 100 percent in The Rise of Skywalker
Though some fans thought they glimpsed Kylo Ren battling with members of the Knights of Ren in the first trailer, they weren’t actually confirmed to be back in the movie until the May 2019 Vanity Fair story dropped. This photo (above) shows director J.J. Abrams chilling with 5 Knights of Ren. One of them has a giant sword/knife thing. Nobody has a lightsaber.
There’s a rumor Kylo will turn on them
Interestingly, an early online version of the Vanity Fair story seemed to casually confirm what many fans have already suspected based on one shot in the trailers. Here’s a quote from an early, since redacted, version of the story. “Vanity Fair can exclusively confirm that, yes, those are the Knights of Ren that Kylo is mowing down in The Rise of Skywalker trailer.” But after that, Vanity Fair admitted that confirmation was an error. Our sources tell us, this was an error, and not a sloppy spoiler. Still, none of that means that it’s not, you know, possibly true. Kylo Ren could turn on his grungy Knights of Ren in the movie. We’ll just have to wait and see.
Un-masking them would be a huge mistake
Right now, the fact that Kylo Ren is the only Knight of Ren who doesn’t wear a mask is dope. And, The Rise of Skywalker should keep it this way. Showing us what Boba Fett’s dad looked like under the mask was not a great thing. Sure, revealing who was under Darth Vader’s mask in Return of the Jedi worked, Bbt that’s a one time deal. Let’s keep these guys masked. Their status as weird badasses is on the line!
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is out everywhere on December 20, 2019.