The mythology and history surrounding the events of the Star Wars sequel trilogy are still shrouded in mystery but some of those burning questions are starting to unfold as we approach the release of The Rise of Skywalker. The film is set to be the finale of the Skywalker Saga and will tie the sequel trilogy with the original films and even the prequels. Once the film is done, I’m sure we’ll get a lot more books and comics about the time period before The Force Awakens and more stories featuring new characters. In fact, we don’t have to wait long for a highly anticipated comic from Marvel, which will show the origins of Kylo Ren.
Written by Charles Soule, who wrote the excellent Darth Vader comics, Dark Lord of the Sith, and the Poe Dameron series, Kylo Ren will be an origin tale of Ben Solo’s transition from Jedi to Dark Disciple of Snoke. I suspect many fans would have hoped this story would have been explained in the films or even a novel, but Soule is a capable writer and his Star Wars Marvel comics rank as some of the best.
The cover of issues two of Kylo Ren was recently revealed however and it certainly dropped a major bombshell on the fandom. Ever since their introduction in The Force Awakens, fans have been curious as to who the Knights of Ren are. We saw them briefly in that movie and learned that Kylo is their master. Then they sat out the sequel, The Last Jedi, in favour of Rian Johnson using the Praetorian Guards. Thanks to the marketing for Skywalker, we do know the Knights will make an appearance in the movie. But like myself, many fans thought these characters were the other Jedi that defected with Ben Solo after the burning of Luke’s Jedi Temple. It looks like we were very wrong in this department.
Thanks to his cover, we see that Luke Skywalker and his padawan, Ben, are fighting the Knights of Ren together. This is very much against the popular and widely accepted theory that the Knights were made up of the former Jedi that defected with Ben. If the Knights aren’t Jedi, specifically Luke’s students, who are the Knights and where are the other Padawans?
In the book Absolutely Everything You Need To Know About Star Wars, which is a reference book for children, it states that after Luke pulled his lightsaber on Ben, he burned down the temple and murdered many of Luke’s padawans with the help of the Knights of Ren. After that, a handful of survivors left with Ben, who would assume the position of leader of the Knights. Since this information isn’t made aware to most fans, many thought outright that the defecting students would become the Knights since they looked up to Ben. Not so.
So Ben and Luke fought with the Knights in the past. In the cover, Ben looks much younger than he does in the flashback scenes, suggesting he’s maybe 15 or so if I had to guess. So the Knights have likely been established for some time now. A likely explanation is that they are the next step in the Acolytes of the Beyond. They’ve only appeared in the Aftermath trilogy thus far, during the interludes, and were described as being Dark Side fanatics who began stockpiling relics associated with the dark side, including Vader’s lightsaber (possibly). We know Kylo Ren is something of a Vader fanboy, so perhaps these Acoyles formed into the murderous Knights of Ren and upon learning that Vader had a grandson, saw him as a sort of messiah figure, placing him at the head of their order. Seeing as the Acolytes are not Force Sensitive, they use weapons like clubs and swords, which lines up with the imagery we’ve seen of the Knights so far.
Time will tell who the Knights really are-we hope-but for now, it seems like Lucasfilm has thrown a curveball at fans and broken yet another fan theory. But it’d be pretty cool to have the mainline movie tie a critical story beat back to the books which debuted five years ago.