The Acolyte May Have Just Sneakily Rewrote Kylo Ren

Let’s talk about the Knights of Ren.

Close-up of a person wearing a dark, futuristic helmet with vertical, ribbed details, behind blurred...
The Acolyte

With the kinetic fifth episode of The Acolyte, “Night,” the big bad of the series has finally been revealed. And even though we suspected them all along, the episode was shocking for other reasons, too. It seems very possible that this prequel to the movie prequels is also expanding on Dark Side lore from the sequels.

Here’s how the details of this new Sith-ish helmet could retroactively change Kylo Ren’s helmet, and create a precedent that explains the sequels’ Knights of Ren as separate from the Sith. Maybe The Acolyte’s not showing us the rise of the Sith, who always kept themselves to two, but the rise of the Knights of Ren. Spoilers for “Night” ahead.

The powers of a Sith helmet

Kylo Ren with Darth Vader’s helmet in The Force Awakens.


In “Night,” Qimir makes it clear that he wore a helmet to hide his identity, but also to protect himself from Jedi mind tricks. This makes it a bit like Magneto’s helmet in certain versions of the X-Men; it exists to prevent Professor X from reading and controlling his mind. Qimir doesn’t want the Jedi to learn who he is through telepathy or try to pull any tricks on him.

Some of Qimir’s lightsaber-blocking tech has origins in the comics, but the exact function of his helmet is relatively new to Star Wars canon. Does it use some of the same Force-disrupting mojo the wormy ysalamiri possess? Or is this a deeper Dark Side magic?

If the telepathy-blocking ability isn’t unique to Qimir’s helmet, it makes you wonder if, retroactively, Kylo Ren’s helmet had the same function. Throughout the three sequel films, it seemed like Kylo Ren’s helmet was his homage to Darth Vader and a symbol of his leadership of the Knights of Ren, who wore similar helmets. But if it could block Force powers, maybe it was less Vader fan-boyish than we thought.

Knights of Ren Easter eggs

Is Qimir the first “Ren” of the Knights of Ren?


On Twitter and elsewhere, Star Wars fans are pointing out several parallels between Qimir and the first member of the Knights of Ren, who called himself just “Ren.” Like “Darth,” the title was assumed by many leaders of the Knights of Ren over the years, but the Knights were more like wandering Dark Side warriors and bandits than the tyrant, Empire-building Sith. In various comics, a Ren operated during the Rebellion era and the time leading up to the sequel era. Kylo Ren defeated a Ren to become the new leader of the Knights of Ren before The Force Awakens. And in these comics, “Ren” often rocks a sleeveless look reminiscent of Qimir in “Night.”

Notably, there’s also a much bigger, slightly more on-the-nose Knights of Ren Easter egg at the very end of Episode 5. When Qimir finds Osha in the forest, Michael Abels’ score briefly gives us notes that seem very reminiscent of Kylo Ren’s theme from the sequels. This music cue, combined with the visual Easter eggs, plus the fact that Qimir doesn’t call himself a Sith outright, all seem to suggest that The Acolyte isn’t just telling a story about the Sith and the Jedi. This could be another piece in the Knights of Run puzzle, too.

The Acolyte is streaming on Disney+.

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