Photo credit: Lucasfilm/Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Villains without a face
Perhaps the biggest unknown about the sequel trilogy are the Knights of Ren. We hear about them, we see them briefly in Rey’s vision in The Force Awakens, and we know Kylo Ren is their master.
But what does all that mean?
It is my belief that the common perception is the Knights of Ren are an order of Force Sensitive warriors commanded by Kylo is incorrect. Instead, I think these mysterious knights are highly trained elite soldiers, loyal to the First Order, proficient in lightsaber combat, but not sensitive to the ways of the Force.
The reasons for this are simply based on what has been presented to us thus far.
Firstly, we know that (contrary to popular belief before the fact) Finn is quite capable of fighting with a lightsaber, despite having no apparent Force sensitivity or training with a lightsaber. So it’s quite possible that the First Order has a cadre of knights that invoke fear and respect wherever they tread, but have no innate Force potential of their own.
Secondly, in The Last Jedi, we saw the Praetorian Guard, Supreme Leader Snoke’s personal protectors. Just like Snoke, the Praetorians did not sense any hint of betrayal from Kylo before he cut down Snoke, leading me to believe that none of them were attuned to the Force.
Not to mention the point stands to reason that if Snoke had access to a group of Force Sensitive warriors, why would he give them to Kylo for the Knights of Ren as opposed to keeping them for his own Praetorian guard?
Sure, we still don’t know much about Snoke or his methodology, but the pieces as they exist just don’t explain the KoR as being “dark Jedi,” at least not to me.
In Episode IX itself, I think it would go a long way towards solidifying Rey’s position as this generation’s Chosen One were she to defeat each and every one of the Knights of Ren. Even if all we see of them is a short scene in which Kylo orders them to hunt down and destroy Rey (and then they all die in said mission), it would be a great way to finally resolve this mystery of the sequels.