There are countless dangling plot threads that need to be addressed in J.J. Abrams’ upcoming STAR WARS: EPISODE IX (a movie that really needs an official title and also a trailer). Some of them were raised by Abrams in his initial movie, STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS. Others were raised — or altered — by Rian Johnson in his follow-up film, STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI. But one major intriguing element of the story that was raised, but quickly forgotten, is the Knights of Ren.
And that has led many STAR WARS fans to speculate that they could be a major part of EPISODE IX when it drops in theatres in December.
Don’t feel bad if you hardly remember who the Knights of Ren are. The group was mentioned ever so briefly in both THE FORCE AWAKENS and THE LAST JEDI, though they actually appeared in THE FORCE AWAKENS during Rey’s vision, after she touched Luke Skywalker’s famed lightsaber.
What do we know about the Knights of Ren? Not a whole lot, and J.J. Abrams sure hasn’t tipped his hand to their involvement in STAR WARS: EPISODE IX. But bringing them back after teasing them in THE FORCE AWAKENS makes sense, as it would provide closure for a plot thread that was brought up and left dangling.
We know that they are a band of warriors who subscribe to the Dark Side, and for a while, they were led by Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). Supreme Leader Snoke, in THE LAST JEDI, actually referred to Kylo as “Master of the Knights of Ren,” so there is history there that could be explored.
Some found it odd that Kylo’s personal army was absent from THE LAST JEDI, and many STAR WARS fans wondered where they were in the story. This led to an online rumor that the threat of EPISODE IX will be a force arriving from “the Beyond” — a mysterious location in the depths of the galaxy, where the seeds of the First Order sprouted following the fall of the Empire. It’s possible that the Knights of Ren have been waiting there, training, and with the fall of Snoke — and the death of Luke Skywalker — they have a need to step forward and fill a power vacuum.
This also could cause a rift in Kylo Ren, who has shown a bond with Rey (Daisy Ridley), but will naturally have allegiance to the Knights, should they return to the story and become a threat to the last remaining members of the Rebellion.
There’s the very real possibility that STAR WARS: EPISODE IX doesn’t include the Knights of Ren at all, in which case J.J. Abrams will have pulled a serious case of misdirection to take his story down a new path. But to us, it seems unusual to introduce a powerful band of Dark Side warriors in a pivotal scene in THE FORCE AWAKENS, and then not have them pay off at some point in your trilogy conclusion.
What do you think? Will the Knights of Ren play a significant factor in STAR WARS: EPISODE IX? Or has the storyline moved on to bigger and better things?
J.J. Abrams’ STAR WARS: EPISODE IX will open in theatres on December 20.