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Kylo and the Knights of Ren

After their first appearance in Rey’s lightsaber vision in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the Knights of Ren sat out Star Wars: The Last Jedi entirely. Fortunately, it has been confirmed that this enigmatic group will finally be making their long-awaited debut in December’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. The teaser trailer and D23 special look haven’t shown much of them, but a new official photo shows the Knights of Ren looking ready for action in The Rise of Skywalker. Check it out:

It’s about damn time. Might as well call this group the Knights of Godot considering how long we’ve been waiting for them. Thankfully, judging by this image from Empire Magazine, the wait may have been worth it because based on looks alone, the Knights of Ren may live up to the hype.

The Knights of Ren look positively formidable and deadly here, all lined up, ready for battle, completely unfazed and unintimidated by who or whatever stands across from them. Given the smoke before them, though, this may actually not be before a battle, but after. And perhaps not actually a battle, so much as a slaughter, with the blaster smoke wafting from the central knight’s blaster after he performed some dark act.

The image looks like it was drawn not from a family-friendly franchise with blasters and spaceships, but from a gritty medieval epic. The whole thing has a very The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Helm’s deep vibe to it that is really awesome. This is the best close up look we’ve got at the Knights of Ren so far and their look is quite different than other Dark Side forces like the First Order Stormtroopers.

The Knights of Ren seem designed to intimidate, hiding their faces behind masks, much as their leader Kylo Ren has done. Their armor is also scarred and worn, indicating that whatever they were up to over the previous two Sequel Trilogy films, it probably wasn’t a luxury stay at Canto Bight. Perhaps they’ve been in the Unknown Regions as rumors have suggested.

They also are not uniform, with each having their own armor and seemingly their own weapons. This would sort of fit with the idea that once they left Luke’s Jedi Temple, they struck out on their own, forged their own identities as a ragtag group, never becoming corporatized by the First Order.

Although I do still wonder why only Kylo wields a lightsaber. If at least some of the Knights were Luke’s students, did only Kylo reach a level where he got the traditional Jedi weapon? Is this a measure of control by him or do they simply not have the know-how (Kylo’s lightsaber is jagged) or perhaps the Kyber Crystals to fashion Jedi blades for all of them?

Going by the previous pattern of trailer releases, we can hopefully expect the full trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi next month and then maybe, finally, we’ll get a look at these villains in action.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker blasts into theaters on December 20. Check out our 2019 Release Schedule to see what else you can look forward to in the months ahead.

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