Vader's revelation

No. I am your father!

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"Even you, master of the Knights of Ren, have never faced such a test."
―Supreme Leader Snoke, to Kylo Ren[src]

The Knights of Ren was a mysterious order of elite warriors that followed the dark side of the Force in an age when the Sith were extinct and the Jedi Order was all but destroyed. They were neither Jedi Knights nor Sith Lords, but members of a new generation of Force warriors that emerged prior to the slaughter of Jedi Master Luke Skywalker's apprentices, the most promising of which was Kylo Ren. Seduced by the power of the dark side, the former Ben Solo renounced the Jedi and adopted a new name in addition to the title master of the Knights of Ren, becoming Supreme Leader Snoke's disciple and a warlord of the First Order. Under Snoke's guidance, the Knights of Ren filled the vacuum left by the demise of Kylo's grandfather, Darth Vader, the last Sith Lord. Kylo, who earned the nickname "Jedi Killer" by destroying the generation of Jedi trained by Skywalker, was determined to kill the last Jedi and fulfill his grandfather's legacy.

During the final days of the cold war, Kylo hunted his former master with the support of the First Order's forces, traveling across the galaxy in search of clues to the location of Skywalker's hermitage. When a chain of events ensued, conspiring to force a confrontation between Kylo and his father, Han Solo, Snoke advised his oft-conflicted apprentice to prepare for his greatest challenge yet. Though still vulnerable to the light side of the Force, the master of the Knights of Ren was confident that the Supreme Leader's training had prepared him to succeed where Vader and his sentimentality failed.

Shortly before the fall of the New Republic, the Jakku scavenger Rey visited Maz Kanata's castle on the planet Takodana, where the Force led her to discover the Jedi lightsaber that once belonged to Luke Skywalker and his father, Anakin Skywalker, before him. Unaware of her own connection to the Force, Rey touched the lightsaber and consequently experienced a series of Force visions, one of which revealed Kylo and the enigmatic Knights of Ren.


"I am a Knight of Ren."
―Kylo Ren[src]
The Rise of Kylo Ren art reveal

The Knights of Ren served under the command of Kylo Ren, the archetype of a new generation of dark side warriors.

The Knights of Ren were neither Jedi nor Sith, but a new generation of dark side users that emerged to fill the void left by the demise of the last Sith Lords, Darth Sidious and Darth Vader. The archetype of this generation was Kylo Ren,[2] the so-called master of the Knights of Ren[5] and heir to the bloodline of the most powerful Jedi and Sith in galactic history. Kylo, who was Supreme Leader Snoke's most gifted apprentice, was not part of the formal hierarchy of the First Order but nonetheless operated with freedom among the military command, who tolerated his presence with some hesitation as his agenda trumped their own.[2]

Kylo wore a black and silver combat helmet based on the battle gear worn by the Knights of Ren.[6] Despite his ties to the First Order, the other knights were not aligned with the Galactic Empire's successor, as Kylo and Snoke were the only two beings who could command the Force in that hermit state.[7] Nevertheless, the Knights of Ren served Snoke as a tool of the dark side along with the First Order.[2]


"The Knights of Ren come for you."
―Kylo Ren[src]

The Knights of Ren operated in the era following the Galactic Civil War[2] and prior to the destruction of Master Luke Skywalker's Jedi Order.[4] Although the Sith lineage of Darth Bane ended with the death of Kylo Ren's grandfather, Darth Vader, the dark side of the Force endured and was strong with both Kylo and his master, Supreme Leader Snoke.[8] Fascinated by the potential of the Skywalker bloodline, Snoke converted Ben Solo, Skywalker's nephew and apprentice, to the dark side of the Force. Adopting the name of "Kylo Ren," the once promising Jedi embraced his new roles as master of the Knights of Ren and champion of the First Order,[1] while Skywalker hid in exile out of shame and regret for his part in Kylo's fall to darkness.[3]

Kylo of the Knights of Ren

Descended from the bloodline of Darth Vader, Kylo Ren became Supreme Leader Snoke's apprentice and the so-called master of the Knights of Ren.

Having forsaken his family and Jedi heritage, Kylo oversaw the First Order's mission to hunt and destroy the last remnants of the Jedi, including his uncle and former Master Luke Skywalker. However, he still felt the pull to the light, and would turn to one of his artifacts—the charred helmet of his grandfather—in hopes of strengthening his connection to the dark side and his commitment to the First Order's cause. As Kylo's quest drew him closer to an eventual reunion with his estranged father, Han Solo, Snoke warned his oft-conflicted acolyte that he would soon face his most difficult task. Confident in his training under the Supreme Leader, the master of the Knights of Ren believed he would not be seduced by the light,[1] and was determined to succeed where Vader and his sentimentality failed.[2]

During the waning hours of the cold war, Rey—a scavenger native to the forlorn frontier world of Jakku—traveled to Maz Kanata's castle on Takodana, where the Force ultimately led her to find the Jedi lightsaber that once belonged to Luke Skywalker and his father, Anakin Skywalker, in turn. Though unaware of her dormant connection to the Force,[1] Rey was able to experience several Force visions[2] by touching the lightsaber. Among the things she saw were the enigmatic Knights of Ren and their master, Kylo Ren.[1] After the galaxy was cast into a state of war as a result of the New Republic's destruction in 34 ABY, Kylo assassinated Snoke and claimed his throne as the new Supreme Leader of the First Order.[3]

Behind the scenesEdit


Concept art of the Knights of Ren

The Knights of Ren were created for the 2015 film Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens and appear in one of Rey's visions on Takodana.[1] They were based on rejected designs for Kylo Ren.[9]

Though the backstory of the Knights of Ren has yet to be revealed, The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams noted in the film's Director commentary that they have a backstory, but the details have not been shared.[10]

According to Rian Johnson, writer and director of the 2017 film Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi, the reason why the group do not appear in the film is that the movie was already full and there was no room for them. Johnson mused that they could have been used in place of Snoke's Elite Praetorian Guards, but it would have been a waste because all the guards had to die and Kylo's connection to the Knights would have added unwanted complications to the scene.[11]

Knights of Ren and JJ

Behind the scenes image of the Knights of Ren in The Rise of Skywalker

In May 2019, Vanity Fair revealed that the Knights of Ren will appear in the film Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker. The article also featured a photograph of the Knights during filming at Jordan, alongside director J.J. Abrams. Vanity Fair described the Knights as "masked warriors with specialized weaponry who add an element of chaos to the war between the Resistance and the First Order" and compared their brutish look to those of the characters from the Mad Max films.[12]


Non-canon appearancesEdit


Notes and referencesEdit

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