A recent Vanity Fair article confirmed the Knights of Ren are in Star Wars: Episode IX with speculation they are fighting each other. Here are some possible reasons why.
The Knights of Ren where first mentioned in 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and were said to be the followers of Kylo Ren. Aside from a minor cameo during Rey’s “force vision”, they have yet to appear in the new trilogy of films.
The Knights of Ren were speculated to have been in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, however, director Rian Johnson said that he couldn’t find a proper place for them in the script, and thought it would be better to save their reveal for another movie.
Despite not yet being seen, the Knights of Ren are one of the most interesting parts of the new trilogy, and aside from the potential return of the Emperor, they are one of the most anticipated parts of Star Wars Episode IX, partly due to the fact there is a lot of mystery around who they are.
When the trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was released at Star Wars celebration, fans saw a quick glimpse of what they believed was Kylo Ren fighting alongside Stormtroopers against people who appeared to be dressed as the Knights of Ren, although it was unconfirmed to be them.
The speculation that the Knights of Ren would finally appear in film was finally confirmed by a recent Vanity Fair cover shoot, which posted several pictures from the upcoming film, including one of director J.J. Abrams on location in a desert with a several actors dressed as the Knights of Ren. In the post, the Knights of Ren are described as “elite fearsome enforcers of Kylo Ren’s dark will.”
There is a lot of confusion regarding if Kylo Ren is indeed fighting with the Knights of Ren in the trailer. Vanity Fair originally stated that Kylo Ren was fighting against them in the trailer, but then walked back this statement, and only confirmed that they were in the film.
This could mean that it was simply a mischaracterized description of a scene that needed correction, but the fact they corrected this so quickly could be because it was legit and the studio wanted to save the reveal that Kylo and the Knights of Ren turn against each other for the movie.
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Personally, I think the initial statement that they do fight each other was legit, as this has been speculated for several months. If this is in fact the case, the question then remains, “why would Kylo Ren turn against his Knights of Ren?”
One theory is that the glimpse of them fighting from the trailer is Kylo simply lashing out at one of them, either because they disobeyed orders or failed in a mission. Kylo has been shown to throw tantrums when he is angered, such as destroying his helmet or choking General Hux in the previous movie, so it doesn’t seem too unlikely that this is happening.
Another theory is that this is a flashback of them training, however, as one of the other Dork Side writers pointed out, it wouldn’t make sense as to why the Stormtroopers are shooting at them.
It is also possible that the Knights of Ren turn on Kylo and side with Rey at some point in the film. While this idea is a bit more far-fetched, I do have some reasoning behind it.
The Knights of Ren are rumored to be Luke Skywalker’s other apprentices who left with Kylo after he and Luke had their falling out and Kylo destroyed his new Jedi Temple. They then left with Kylo because they thought that Luke was evil for betraying his apprentice and that Kylo was innocent.
However, as Luke revealed to Rey, he didn’t actually want to hurt his nephew, but felt the power dark side and wanted to prevent him from going out of control.
Some of them probably only left with Kylo originally not because they were seduced by the Sith, but because they were betrayed by their Master, believing that he was the bad one who tried to kill his apprentice and that they were still on the side of the light.
A few of, if not all of the Knights of Ren could have second thoughts about what they are doing as their leader turns further and further to the Dark Side, and with Rey now being a full light-side force user, they may turn to her to lead them and bring them back to the light, and join her in her final fight against Kylo Ren.
Perhaps I am overthinking it and there could also be a much more simple explanation, such as the clip from the trailer being misleading, and he is not actually fighting the Knights of Ren, only someone dressed similarly to them.
Either way, we’ll find out more about whats really going on in the trailer once we get closer to Star Wars Episode IX‘s release later in the year.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is due out in theaters December 20th, 2019.