If you’ve ever wondered what some of the other students at Luke Skywalker’s Jedi academy were like in Star Wars before Ben Solo murdered most of them, look no further than the upcoming comic Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren. The four-part comic series takes place immediately after the flashback from The Last Jedi and fills in the blanks of Ben Solo’s turn to the Dark side.
It also creates the possibility that some Knights of Ren are Luke’s former students after all — but definitely not all of them.
In an exclusive reveal on the official Star Wars blog, we finally get an inside look at the fall of Luke Skywalker’s Jedi Academy before the new trilogy of films. Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren #1, written by Charles Soule and drawn by Will Sliney, delivers what’s essentially a Kylo Ren origin story over four issues, and it opens on the Academy in flames.
As the story begins, Ben Solo is looking out at the burning wreckage of the school, believing that he killed Luke Skywalker. A ship flies into the area, and inside are three of Luke’s other Padawans: the squid-like Quarren named Hennix, a human female named Voe, and a bald human male named Tai. We learn their names through early conversations as they land near the destruction and confront Ben.
These three were off-world for some kind of mission while all of the action went down, and based on the little information we’re given, it seems like they’re all rather strong in the Force. Ben Solo may have easily slain a bunch of younglings just like his grandpa did long ago, but it might not be so easy for him to take on these three.
Hennix, Voe, and Tai are all freaking out, wondering what happened to Master Luke and who burned the school down. When they react with disbelief that Ben could do something like this, he flies into a rage. “I’m stronger than all three of you put together!” he throws in their faces. He even refers to himself as Luke’s “prize student.” Yes, this sounds like our petulant emo boy.
We also already know the summary for the second issue in this series, which hints at an ongoing conflict between Ben and these budding Jedi as their former classmate transforms into Kylo Ren:
With the new Jedi school in ruins and fellow students hot on his trail for the murder of their master, Ben Solo flees to the only friend he has left in the galaxy … a man named Snoke.
Previously, a teased piece of cover art for The Rise of Kylo Ren #2 shows Ben and Luke facing off against several Knights of Ren in what’s presumably a flashback to earlier events, which seemingly debunked a popular theory that the Knights of Ren were all Luke’s former students that followed Ben into darkness. Of course, it’s possible this cover could also be a Force vision or some other misdirection.
Based on this new comic preview, only these three survived — four if you count Ben. Is it possible that by the end of this Rise of Kylo Ren comic series, one or more of them will turn to the Dark side? Kylo Ren might strip them of their Jedi title, destroy their lightsabers, and force them into joining the Knights of Ren — which feel a lot like the new age Inquisitors, for what it’s worth.
It’s either that or by the time this comic ends, we’ll have to see Kylo Ren murder Hennix, Voe, and Tai outright.
Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren #1 will be released Wednesday, December 18, just two days before The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters on December 20.