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Villain Overview

Even you, Master of the Knights of Ren, have never faced such a test.
~ Supreme Leader Snoke to Kylo Ren, the current leader of the Knights of Ren.

The Knights of Ren are a major antagonistic faction in the Star Wars sequel trilogy. They first appeared as cameo antagonists in the 2015 film Star Wars: The Force Awakens, unseen antagonists in the 2017 film Star Wars: The Last Jedi, major antagonists in the Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren comic and supporting antagonists in the 2019 film Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. They are a cult of dark side warriors.

The Knights of Ren are an organization that had existed centuries before the Battle of Endor, and has continued to exist in the years since the Sith were finally extinct. After Ben Solo killed their leader Ren, they would fall under the service of Supreme Leader Snoke, be led by his apprentice, Kylo Ren, and become a sub-faction of the First Order. Although it is later revealed that they were actually loyal to Emperor Palpatine.

History

Origins

to be added

The Force Awakens

Their leader Kylo Ren acts as the chief enforcer of the First Order, searching for a map which leads to Luke Skywalker, the last Jedi in the galaxy.

After touching the Skywalker's lightsaber, Rey has multiple visions, one being the Knights of Ren standing in the rain in an unknown location surrounded by numerous corpses on the ground, led by their master Kylo Ren who kills an unnamed man.

Eventually, Kylo Ren is severely injured in a battle with Rey and called off by Supreme Leader Snoke to complete his training.

The Last Jedi

While they do not appear in the film The Last Jedi, their leader Kylo Ren does.

The Rise of Skywalker

The Knights of Ren make their second and final appearance in The Rise of Skywalker. Their role in the film is bigger and they physically appear in the film as well. They first appear at the beginning accompanying Ren as he meets with the Supreme Council of the First Order, a council of high-ranking generals and military officers within First Order High Command, where they present the severed head of an enemy.

During Ren's search for Rey, the Knights commonly follow him and act as his bodyguards. They capture Chewbacca on Pasaana and deliver him to the First Order. They later went to Kijimi with Kylo to search for the fugitives. After Ben gives up the name Kylo Ren and goes to help Rey in defeating Darth Sidious, Ben is confronted by the Knights as they begin to brutally and savagely beat their former leader. However, through their Force bond, Rey is able to pass Anakin's lightsaber to Ben, and he wields it to quickly gain the upper hand and cut down the Knights, ending the cult.

Trivia

  • Before, it was theorized that the other six Knights hold the "Ren" surname as a result of the group's membership, and that it is similar to that of Darth becoming the title of all members of the Sith. Appropriate, as the Knights of Ren are in essence a new dark side organization picking up where the Sith left off. However, this theory was proven to be false since only Kylo Ren holds "Ren" as his surname while the previous leader, "Ren", uses it as his alias, and the other members do not hold any surnames.
    • In this respect, they could be likened to numerous dark side organizations in the Legends continuity, such as the Blackguards, the Reborn, the Disciples of Ragnos, the Shadow Academy, and so on.
  • Despite being a dark side aligned organization, Kylo Ren and their former leader "Ren" are the only members definitively known to use a lightsaber; the rest all seem to use either blasters, staves, or other weapons. The other Knights have been confirmed to be Force-sensitive, but untrained.
  • According to leaked behind-the-scenes images and concept art, the Knights of Ren were originally supposed to appear in The Last Jedi and might have fought Luke and Rey on Ahch-To.
    • Director Rian Johnson also revealed that the movie was too full and there wasn't any room for the Knights of Ren to appear in The Last Jedi. He explains that he could have put them in the same position as the Elite Praetorian Guards, but then they would have to be killed while fighting Kylo and Rey, and their relationship with Kylo also added a complication to the scene, thus he chose to spare them from such a fate.[1] Despite this in The Rise of Skywalker, the Knights of Ren are placed in a similar position as the Praetorian Guards and end up being quickly wiped out by a redeemed Ben Solo during a confrontation at Exegol.
  • At Star Wars Celebration Chicago 2019, the Knights of Ren were officially announced to appear in The Rise of Skywalker in a major role. However, in the film they ended up being background characters most of the time, have limited screen time (around 2 and a half minutes), and have no speaking lines. Their most significant scene is their fight against Ben Solo in which they are all defeated in around 1 minute of screen time.
  • In the script of Colin Trevorrow, they are killed by Rey.

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