Chuck Wendig’s Star Wars: Aftermath trilogy may tell the origin story of Kylo Ren’s Knights of Ren, who are mentioned in The Force Awakens.
The Knights of Ren are only mentioned once in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, when Supreme Leader Snoke refers to his servant, Kylo Ren (AKA Ben Solo) as the Knights’ master. We don’t know who the Knights are, where the come from, or if they are Force sensitive or not. We only know they serve the dark side.
Chuck Wendig’s Star Wars Aftermath trilogy, however, may provide the answer to one of those questions, at least: where the Knights came from.
The Aftermath trilogy tells the (canon) story of how the Empire fell after the explosive events of Return of the Jedi. In between this main plot, however, Wendig wove interludes which allow the reader a glimpse of different characters, places, and stories happening across the galaxy. One of these stories, which is continued through all three books, describes the activities of a group called the Acolytes of the Beyond. This group all but worships the dark side and the Sith, despite to all appearances not possessing any Force sensitivity among them.
Image Credit: Del Rey Books
Star Wars Explained aptly ties the Acolytes of the Beyond to the Knights of Ren in their theory video below:
As the narrator in the above video explains, the Acolytes start with quiet, if dark activities. Eventually, however, they morph into a dangerous terrorist force.
In the first book in the trilogy, the Acolytes purchase a red-bladed lightsaber which they believe belonged to Darth Vader. Their plan is to honor the departed Sith lord by destroying his weapon, sort of like a post-funeral funeral. In the next two installments in the book trilogy, however, the Acolytes are more violent. Empire’s End, book three, is where they make their presence known to the New Republic by attacking one of the latter’s bases.
To accomplish this attack which Wendig describes in Empire’s End, the Acolytes use Sith artifacts to fuel their anger. Their source for these artifacts is Tashu, one of Emperor Palpatine’s former trusted advisors and also the advisor to Gallius Rax, the new, self-appointed head of the crumbling Empire. Tashu, too, worships the dark side without actually possessing the ability to wield it. Though he dies at the end of Empire’s End (at Rax’s hand), he clearly instilled in the Acolytes a passion for rage and fuelled it with his own dark side knowledge.
The Acolytes of the Beyond are an ideal resource of fighters for Kylo and Snoke to tap into. First of all, their allegiances are already with the dark side of the Force. Second, they worship the Sith. Kylo is the grandson of the most powerful Sith in recent history; he could install himself as the Acolytes’ leader without resistance. Finally, the Acolytes have begun a personal war against the New Republic. Their growing fighting skills and rage will eventually make them expert at putting down resistances and assassinating important New Republic figures (like, say, Luke Skywalker’s Jedi students…?).
More from Dork Side of the Force
- The High Republic Adventures (2023) 1 review
- Daniel José Older named a High Republic Adventures character after someone special
- How animation changed Star Wars: Ewoks and Droids
- Kelleran Beq comes to Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes
- The Mandalorian’s Pedro Pascal becomes No. 1 on IMDb’s Starmeter for 2023
What do you think of the theory that the Acolytes of the Beyond become the Knights of Ren? Do you think Lucasfilm would allow books to reveal important information related to the new movies? Tell us your thoughts and theories in the comments below.