For other uses, see Ren (disambiguation).

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"You don't decide my worth. But I earned everything I have, this thing included. I took it from the one who held my name before me. An old name. A name of power."
"And what name is that?"
―Ren, holding his lightsaber of the same name, and Darth Vader[2]

"Ren" was an old name that stood for the leader of the Knights of Ren. By the Imperial Era, the Knights were led by Ren, a human male who had gained a red lightsaber—known as the Ren—from an individual who held the same name. After his death, the name passed to the Jedi Ben Solo who was thereafter known as Kylo Ren.

When held by Kylo Ren, the heir to the Skywalker bloodline, the title was also known as the Master of the Knights of Ren. Kylo held the title while he was apprenticed to Supreme Leader Snoke of the First Order. After usurping control of the First Order from Snoke, Ren seized the title of Supreme Leader for himself. Although he became fond of the name in time, he confessed to himself that he, at first, would have preferred a name like "master of the dark side" or commander of the Knights of Ren to be his governmental title. Ren deployed the Knights of Ren to hunt the Jedi apprentice Rey during the final days of the First Order-Resistance War. They also served as Ren's bodyguards, accepting orders only from their master to the consternation of the Supreme Council. During the Battle of Exegol, the Knights revealed their true allegiance to the resurrected Sith Lord Darth Sidious, turning against their former master, who returned to the light side of the Force as Ben Solo. The Knights' combined effort to stop him on Exegol failed, with all six members being killed by Solo.


"Well, I'm Ren. These are the Knights of Ren. And we're legendary."
―Ren, to Ben Solo[2]

Ren was an old and powerful name that was held[2] by the leader of the Knights of Ren,[4] a group of dark side users.[2] Ren was also the name of a red lightsaber that epitomized the philosophy of the group.[5] The name of Ren inspired fear due to the Knights' reputation for lawlessness,[6] preying on the vulnerable, and pillaging worlds in the Unknown Regions of the galaxy.[7]


"My Knights and I are going hunting for the scavenger."
―Kylo Ren[8]

An enclave of masked warriors, the Knights of Ren served the will[9] of a leader,[3] referred to as master,[10] boss[11] or commander,[12] who had sole authority over them. As such, only the master could command the six[3] elite warriors[13] known as Ap'lek, Cardo, Kuruk, Trudgen, Ushar, and Vicrul.[3] Following the Battle at Amaxine Station, the Knights' loyalty was not to their leader alone, with "Ren" and his Knights becoming subservient under fear of death to the Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Sidious.[14] When Kylo Ren became master of the Knights, the Knights' true loyalty did not belong to this master, as their true leader was Sidious.[15]


Heirs to a legendary name[]

"You're Ren."
"I am, as always, guilty."
―Qi'ra and Ren[2]

Ren was an ancient name and title held by the leader of the Knights of Ren.

By the Imperial Era,[2] an independent[7] group of Force-sensitives emerged in the galaxy claiming to be the legendary Knights of Ren from the Unknown Regions.[6] At some point, the name of Ren was held by an individual who was eventually succeeded by a human male that took the name for himself.[2] Ren shared his name with the lightsaber[5] that he had taken from his predecessor,[2] calling it "the Ren."[5] Although he served as the group's leader,[7] Ren claimed that the Knights were not his followers; rather, they followed "the Ren" and all that it stood for to the Knights.[5]

During the Galactic Civil War, Lady Qi'ra of Crimson Dawn convinced the Knights' leader, whom she addressed by name, to support her war against the Sith and the Galactic Empire. Ren led the Knights on a heist at Fortress Vader on the planet Mustafar, where they were confronted by the Sith Lord Darth Vader. The Dark Lord of the Sith was unimpressed by Ren's use of a lightsaber, which he judged the Knight unworthy of wielding. Ren refuted Vader's opinion by stating that he had earned the lightsaber after taking it from his namesake, the previous Ren. Vader's response to the revelation of his opponent's identity was to comment on how far he considered the Knights of Ren to have fallen, for in his estimation, they were little more than "rabble."[2] Believing Qi'ra's plans would fail, Ren and the Knights saved Sidious and Vader from the Fermata Cage during the battle at the Amaxine Space Station and submitted to their rule.[14]

The rise of Kylo Ren[]

"Now you will be who you are. Who you were always meant to be. […] Yes. Yes. Claim your birthright and strike him down."
―Darth Sidious, to Ben Solo[16]
KnightsOfRen TFA

Solo reinvented himself as Kylo Ren, master of the Knights of Ren, while apprenticed to Supreme Leader Snoke.

In the era of the New Republic, Jedi Master Luke Skywalker and Padawan Ben Solo encountered the Knights and their leader, who introduced himself as "Ren" to the Jedi.[17] After leaving the Jedi Order, Solo joined the Knights by killing their leader and assuming his title[7] under the adopted name of Kylo Ren.[18]

Under the influence of Snoke[17] and, by extension, the resurrected Sidious,[16] Solo was trained to believe that his new name represented his "truest self"[17] and the version that he was always meant to become.[16] But though he vowed to finish the legacy of his grandfather, Darth Vader, Ren struggled to overcome the light that remained within him in spite of his new identity and role as the master of the Knights of Ren.[10]

In time, Ren established himself as a warlord[19] and champion of the First Order.[3] As Ren oversaw the First Order's hunt for his exiled uncle, Luke Skywalker, the Supreme Leader sensed that a reunion would ensue between Ren and his father, Captain Han Solo.[10] Though Ren had forsaken all he once loved, at the time he did not know that a Sith trial of ascendancy required the sacrifice of a loved one.[3] Snoke warned his apprentice to prepare himself, for even the master of Knights of Ren had never faced such a challenge.[10] Through the Supreme Leader's training, Ren believed that he would succeed where his grandfather failed.[20]

Supreme power[]

"'Supreme Leader.' Not what I would have chosen for myself. 'Master of the dark side,' perhaps… 'Commander of the Knights of Ren'… But this is where I have landed. And now, it sounds… Right. Just. Head of the First Order. My word, unchallenged."
―Kylo Ren[12]

Ultimately Ren did not succeed in his trial;[21] despite the death of his father, who was slain at the hands of his own son,[10] Ren remained at war with himself and was lost more than ever before.[19] The experience, however, strengthened Ren's resolve to carry on the tradition embodied by his fallen grandfather—by becoming the absolute ruler of the galaxy.[3] After killing Snoke, Ren seized control of the First Order as the new Supreme Leader.[22] It was not Ren's favored title, however, preferring to be known as a "master of the dark side" or "commander of the Knights of Ren." Nonetheless, he grew accustomed to the name and the authority of his new role while consolidating his reign over the galaxy.[12]

The Rise of Kylo Ren art reveal

Ren rebuilt his mask to mark his reign as Supreme Leader of the First Order and master of the Knights of Ren.

The title of Supreme Leader granted Ren the power and independence that he coveted during his time as an apprentice. No longer beholden to the will of a powerful master,[3] Ren had his mask rebuilt to mark his status as master of the First Order[23] and the Knights of Ren as well. Repairing his helmet was also symbolic of Ren's efforts to rebuild his identity as a Knight of Ren. It marked his identity as a Knight of Ren, and by killing his master Ren believed that he could wear the mask on his own terms.[3]

The Knights of Ren returned to their master's side at the time of his helmet's reconstruction[8] in 35 ABY.[1] Ren sensed through the Force that the Knights were bewildered to see their leader without his mask. Despite their confusion, the Knights still accepted Ren as their master. They saluted him by raising their weapons as he redonned his helmet.[24] Their close proximity to the First Order's hierarchy did not alter their status as an independent group that only Ren could command. The Supreme Council was displeased by the Knights' autonomy. Nevertheless, the Knights became the personal bodyguards of the new Supreme Leader, replacing Snoke's Elite Praetorian Guards[3] that Ren killed during his usurpation of the First Order.[22]

The true master[]

"I have given him one final test to prove his worth: Kill the girl, end the Jedi, and rule the galaxy. Even though he knows what must be done, I fear my young ally lacks the strength to do it."
―Darth Sidious[6]
ZombieSid SWII

Ren was unaware that the Knights' true loyalty was to the reborn Sith Lord Darth Sidious.

During the last days of the First Order-Resistance War, Ren discovered the ancient Sith planet of Exegol[8] where Darth Sidious was reborn under the care of the Sith Eternal. Though aware of Ren's internal struggle with the light side of the Force, Sidious tasked Ren with destroying the last remnant of the Jedi Order as a test to gauge his worthiness of inheriting the mantle of Galactic Emperor.[6] Unbeknownst to Ren, his Knights' true allegiance was to Sidious.[15]

Following his return from Exegol, Ren utilized the Knights as Jedi hunters in order to locate the Jedi apprentice Rey.[8] He failed to capture her on Pasaana, but the Knights succeeded in tracking the former scavenger to Kijimi, resulting in another confrontation between their master and the last Jedi. Ren's leadership of the First Order and the Knights of Ren ended when he renounced the dark side after his final battle with Rey on Kef Bir.[8]

The Knights regrouped on Exegol, where Darth Sidious planned to launch the Sith Eternal's fleet, the Final Order, against the galaxy. While the Battle of Exegol raged between between the Resistance and the Sith Eternal, Ben Solo arrived to stand with Rey against her grandfather. The Knights confronted Solo upon his return, surprising their former master who still saw them as his allies. Solo sensed their hatred of him and realized that their true loyalty was to Sidious. He felt betrayed by the Knights whom he trained with and considered his brothers.[15] The Knights, however, regarded Solo's return to the light as a betrayal.[25]

Like Father Like Son

During the Battle of Exegol, the Knights of Ren were killed by their former master who reclaimed his identity as Ben Solo.

Although Solo was unarmed and outnumbered by the Knights, his connection with Rey allowed him to take the Skywalker lightsaber from her through their Force-bond.[8] Claiming his grandfather's weapon as his own,[15] Solo demonstrated his proficiency in lightsaber combat to remind the Knights why they had originally followed him. Neither anger nor the desire to kill motivated Solo as he launched his counterattack on the Knights. He fought back with the focus of a trained Jedi, swiftly killing all six Knights of Ren[24] before proceeding to aid Rey in the destruction of Sidious.[7]

Behind the scenes[]

The title first appeared through Kylo Ren in the 2015 film Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens, the first installment of the Star Wars sequel trilogy.[10]


Non-canon appearances[]


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Notes and references[]

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