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In Star Wars: The Force Awakens we were introduced to a collection of apparently villainous characters called the Knights of Ren. We witnessed them standing in the rain outside of Luke Skywalker's burning Jedi temple, and then, they were gone. We've never seen or heard a word about them since Rey's flashback in the first film of the new trilogy, but now a new report confirms that the Knights of Ren will return in for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
Rumors had been swirling that the Knights would be back for the final film of the trilogy, and the characters were even spottted in a supposedly leaked poster image, but a new Vanity Fair article confirms the Knights will play a part, and even shows the characters off. The Knights of Ren are described as wearing mismatched armor with oversized arsenals of weapons. Whereas the rest of the First Order looks sleek and ordered, the Knights of Ren are put together in a much more haphazard fashion.
The article also confirms that the one good shot that we received of Kylo Ren in the Rise of Skywalker teaser trailer shows him taking down one of the Knights of Ren.
Of course, the fact that Kylo Ren is attacking the Knights of Ren in this shot creates more questions than answers. Is this a flashback? Is the reason we have't seen the Knights of Ren before because they're all dead? Does this mean Ben Solo is going to turn to the light side after all and attack those that he was previously aligned with? Does this mean the Knights of Ren have turned to the light and Kylo Ren is fighting them for that reason?
While it is now confirmed that the Knights of Ren will appear in the new film, no details are being given regarding how they're being used, so your guess is as good as mine. Where have they been all this time and why are they back now? We'll find out in December I guess. One rumor has indicated the Knights have been busy elsewhere over the course of the previous two films.
A great deal will have changed for Kylo Ren when Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker starts. He will, one assumes, have been ruling over the First Order alone for the year that has passed since The Last Jedi. How this has changed him and his relationship with these characters, is certainly an interesting question.
In Star Wars: The Last Jedi Luke Skywalker says that when Ben Solo left after destroying the temple he took some of the students with him. Whether or not these people are the Knights of Ren we don't specifically know, though it seems likely.
Since the Knights of Ren have never been anything more than a name and an image before, we have really no idea what to expect from them in the new film. Even the books and and other Star Wars material that has been released in the last few years has remained remarkably quiet on the Knights of Ren. They may not end up being anybody particularly special or they could end up becoming some of the most popular new characters of the new trilogy. We'll find out December 20.