Who exactly are the Knights of Ren? There has been talk and speculation about the Knights, what their purpose is, and if they're members of the Sith. We didn't necessarily get all of the answers we wanted in The Last Jedi but we did get some info as well as very helpful clues. In fact, some of the clues led us to previous books and video games that now might make them officially Star Wars canon. Do The Knights of Ren have anything to do with a certain Prodigal Knight? Are the Knights of Ren even still alive? Before you read on definitely note there are SPOILERS both big and small for The Last Jedi and other movies in the series.
Don't say we didn't warn you: again, there will be spoilers! Some facts we gathered from the movies, reference books, video games, and other media, others are educated guesses. We know that there are at least seven Knights of Ren, but could one of them be Rey's parent? What do they have to do with Gray Jedi? May the Force be with you as we take a look at 7 things we know about the Knights Of Ren (and 8 disturbing theories that may be true).
15 FACT: THEY ARE NOT SITH
We still don't know a lot about the Knights of Ren, but the thing we do know is that they're not members of the Sith Order. Not everyone that uses the dark side of the Force are Sith Lords and the Knights use the dark side but are not considered Sith. Darth Bane is responsible for the Rule of Two, meaning that in terms of hierarchy, there's a master and an apprentice. It doesn't look like that's present with the Knights of Ren.
Kylo Ren is referred to by Snoke as master of the Knights of Ren. Does that mean that he was in command of the other half dozen or so Knights? He's not Darth Kylo or even Darth Ren, so the Ren part of his name brings him an affiliation with the Knights of Ren, not to the Sith, which is interesting given how much he wants to emulate Darth Vader.
14 FACT: SEVERAL HAVE BEEN IDENTIFIED
Star Wars is a franchise with an amazingly rich and elaborate back story. These elements have been added to by many people over the years, and the books that show the behind-the-scenes productions are just as entertaining and beautiful. The Art of Star Wars series of books has examined each film and provided exposure for all of the amazing work that went into our favorite films.
In The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, we're given some very interesting information about the Knights of Ren. Although we doubt these are their names, we're given one word descriptions of either their role or their archetype. Is it convenient that each member of the Knights of Ren were able to subdivide into smaller roles so easily, or are they all part of larger groups?
13 FACT: THEY ARE FORMER STUDENTS OF LUKE SKYWALKER
In The Last Jedi, we learn that shortly after Ben Solo attacks Luke Skywalker, he kills a majority of the students that Luke was teaching. The remainder of the students leave with Ben Solo and become dark side users under Supreme Leader Snoke. These students reject Luke's Jedi philosophies and become associated with the Knights of Ren.
This begs the question: when did Ben Solo and Snoke meet? Or is his dark side of the Force mojo so strong that he can reach across the galaxy and persuade him with mere thoughts? The Sith more or less disappeared after the deaths of Palpatine and Darth Vader, so why did the Emperor choose to create the Knights of Ren and not revive the Sith Order? Only time will tell.
12 FACT: THEY ARE NOT PART OF THE FIRST ORDER
Once the Galactic Empire fell, the Star Wars galaxy saw the rise of the First Order. Instead of being led by Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, it was led by Supreme Leader Snoke. Both Palpatine and Snoke had dark Force users as their muscle in the form of Darth Vader and Kylo Ren, respectively. Both men also abused the soldiers around them with their Force powers.
Why were they able to get away with it? Kylo Ren and the Knights of Ren are not technically members of the First Order. They aren't in the military in an official capacity, but Kylo Ren for example is able to give orders to military members due to his special relationship with the Supreme Leader. Just when you thought Kylo Ren was getting away with literal murder, he's now doing it amongst the command structure of the First Order.
11 FACT: THERE ARE (AT LEAST) SEVEN KNIGHTS
There are so many questions regarding the enigmatic Knights of Ren. We first got an official glimpse of them due to the visions that Rey experienced in The Force Awakens. We are able to clearly identify Kylo Ren by the crossguard lightsaber that he's wielding in the rain. The six people around him are similar in appearance to him and we can deduce that they are the Knights of Ren.
How many Knights of Ren in total are there? We can definitely assume that there are seven Knights, but there certainly could be more. We're not clear if the Knighthood of Ren is something that was started by Ben Solo immediately after leaving the new Jedi Temple or if it's an order that was revived by Snoke, and we hope their ranks are revealed more clearly in the newest Star Wars movie coming out December 2019.
10 FACT: THEY MURDERED LUKE'S OTHER STUDENTS
In The Last Jedi, we learn that, although Snoke has been using his influence to convert Ben Solo to the dark side of the Force, the real catalyst for Ben becoming Kylo was Luke Skywalker, lightsaber drawn, standing over Ben. Ben saw that Luke was going to strike him down and retaliated with a blast of the Force. Shortly after, even more tragedy struck.
It's possible that Snoke's influence also extended to some other Skywalker students, or perhaps it was Kylo Ren himself that convinced some of Luke's students to reject the ways of the Jedi. Either way, the remaining students of Luke Skywalker were killed by the Knights of Ren, echoing Darth Vader's actions in Revenge of the Sith when Order 66 was given by Palpatine.
9 FACT: THEY USE THE NAME REN LIKE THE SITH USE DARTH
In Revenge of the Sith, after Anakin Skywalker helps Palpatine defeat Jedi Master Mace Windu, Palpatine has Anakin join the Sith Order by giving him the new name Darth Vader. Darth more or less meant Dark Lord, and we got to see Palpatine reveal himself as Darth Sidious, Anakin and Obi-Wan fight Darth Tyranus, and we heard the story by Palpatine of Darth Plagueis.
After the death of Sidious and Vader, we don't really see any more Sith Lords, but we do see the rise in the Knights of Ren. We find out that Ren is what is added to your name when you join the Knights of Ren the way that Darth is added to your name when you join the Sith Order. We're not sure what Ren translates into and how that ranks against Darth, but it still sounds pretty cool to us.
8 THEORY: THEY ARE DERIVED FROM KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC
We're going to have to go old school on this one. For those that remember, in 2003, Xbox released a very popular game called Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. The game took place several millennia before the movies and gave a wonderful backstory already to a series that was rich with history. In The Force Awakens, we see in Luke's hut a necklace with a red kyber crystal, and some fans think this is a shout-out to Knights of the Old Republic.
One of the important characters in KoTOR is Revan, who has served both as a Jedi as well as a Sith Lord. The red kyber crystal could be referencing Revan, and if Revan came up in Luke's teachings then the Knights of Ren could be named after Revan. Sure, the names don't perfectly match up, but perhaps the name's pronunciation or spelling got changed 4,000 years later.
7 THEORY: THEY KILLED EWOKS
In The Force Awakens, we learn about Kylo Ren's unhealthy obsession with his grandfather, Darth Vader. Although he's obsessed with Anakin Skywalker, he doesn't choose to become a Sith Lord but instead a member of the Knights of Ren. We see him in The Force Awakens with the remains of Darth Vader's helmet, but where did he come across such a precious find?
Luke Skywalker was able to flee the Death Star's destruction with the body of his dead father. He put the body of Darth Vader on a funeral pyre on Endor and after burning his body we saw his body as a Force ghost next to Yoda and Obi-Wan. If Kylo obtained the helmet, that meant he had to retrieve it from Endor, and given his temperament, there may have been a lot of dead Ewoks in the aftermath.
6 THEORY: THEY ARE DEAD OR DISBANDED
Everyone was very excited to see more information about Snoke and the Knights of Ren in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Unfortunately, there was little backstory revealed for either. We're not sure why Snoke's history was left untouched, but perhaps we don't hear from the Knights of Ren because they no longer exist?
The Knights of Ren are not Sith, but they are dark Force users. The Sith have the Rule of Two in which there is a master and an apprentice. Eventually that master is killed by the apprentice, becomes someone else's master, and the cycle continues. What if the Knights of Ren somewhat followed that edict, but when the smoke cleared it was Kylo that was left standing? Another rumor is that they disbanded but now that Snoke is dead the band will come back together for the final Star Wars movie.
5 THEORY: REY'S VISION HAS YET TO HAPPEN
In Revenge of the Sith, Anakin Skywalker is haunted with images of Padme dying. In The Empire Strikes Back, while Luke Skywalker trains with Yoda he sees visions of his friends being ambushed in Cloud City. The idea of the Force providing visions of the future is not a new concept, so what if the images that Rey experienced during the Force Awakens are of images that have yet to occur?
Kylo Ren is envisioned by Rey standing in a rainy field that's littered with bodies. Standing with him are figures wearing similar outfits. Those figures are identified as the Knights of Ren and it's assumed that Rey is witnessing the aftermath of the Knights of Ren destroying the New Jedi Temple on Ahch-To. What if it has yet to happen? Could it be the Knights of Ren standing amongst the remains of the Rebels?
4 THEORY: REY'S PARENTS ARE MEMBERS
In The Last Jedi, Kylo Ren forces Rey to admit that she knows who her parents are. Rey says that her parents were actually people of no importance. Rey's parents traded her for away for money and probably died on Jakku and are buried in unmarked graves. However, we also learn in the movie that both Kylo and Rey are being manipulated by Snoke, so why couldn't her reveal about her parents have been a lie?
Rey clearly has a relationship with the Force. Not only does she use the Force to help the Rebels escape in The Last Jedi, she also has considerable abilities fighting with a lightsaber despite having minimal training with it. Because of her innate relationship to the Force, perhaps her parents are members of the Knights of Ren, which may explain why there's such a strong bond between her and Kylo.
3 THEORY: THEY BRING ABOUT THE RISE OF THE GRAY JEDI
You may not have heard the term before but you've seen Gray Jedi before. Whereas the Jedi and the Sith have very strict ideas about how to use the Force and how to to be, the Gray Jedi are a lot more chill. Gray Jedi feel that life is more about balance and that it's possible to walk the line between the light and dark sides of the Force without being overwhelmed by either side.
In The Revenge of the Sith, Obi Wan tells Anakin that only the Sith think in absolutes. You could say that the Jedi have some very rigid viewpoints of their own. Arguably the closest we've come to a Gray Jedi is Qui-Gon Jinn. Qui-Gonn's concepts of the Force, as well as other Jedi, brought him into conflict with the Jedi Council on many occasions.
2 THEORY: THEY ARE ALL HOMAGES TO DARTH VADER
In The Force Awakens, we see Kylo Ren obsessing over the remains of the helmet of Darth Vader. Although Ben Solo doesn't become a Sith Lord, he still vows to his grandfather to finish what he started. Even his parents remark that there was too much of his grandfather in him and that's what prevented Kylo from being saved. If you thought you were Darth Vader's biggest fan, Kylo has you beat.
In The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, we see concept art for the Knights of Ren and although these are concept designs, the creators definitely had Vader on the brain when they put pen to paper. The helmets and designs are clearly evocative of the Sith Lord and even though the Knights of Ren aren't Sith, it's either the Dark Side of the Force or Kylo's influence that make them emulate Vader.
1 THEORY: THEY ARE MANDALORIANS
Who are the Mandalorians? If you're a fan of Boba Fett, you know he's wearing Mandalorian armor. Mandalorians were humans who fought the Jedi in a war, which was then followed by the Mandalorian Civil War. The greatness of the Mandalorians have passed but their influence lived on. You can see their armor designs in the clone trooper armor as well as in the design of the Emperor's Royal Guard and the Praetorian Guards.
One of the Mandalorian clans was called Clan Wren, led by Countess Ursa Wren. Clan Wren had a major role in the Mandalorian Civil War. We already theorized that the Knights of Ren might be derived from Revan, but could Ren be a phonetic version of Wren? This might make more sense given that the Mandalorians have no love for the Jedi.