Will The Knights Of Ren Have Anything To Do With Emperor Palpatine In Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker?

Emperor Palpatine Revenge of the Sith

Star Wars fans have been eagerly awaiting details on the Knights of Ren since their quick appearance in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and unfortunately, they've been waiting a long time. The good news is the Knights will appear Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, along with someone who hasn't been seen in an even longer time, Emperor Palpatine. The appearance of both parties has caused some to ask, are they linked?

It's the question that has me most interested going into Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and there are some theories around the web about a connection between the two that are absolutely riveting. Let's dive into some of those theories, as well as the reasons some people may think there's a connection between these two parties.

Emperor Palpatine Star Wars: Return of the Jedi

The Knights Of Ren Are Under The Instruction Of Emperor Palpatine

Doesn't anyone else think it's weird the "Knights of Ren" are under Kylo Ren's command, and yet they've been missing in action, save for one scene, in the entirety of this trilogy? Kylo could've used their help a number of times in Episode VII and VIII, but they were nowhere to be found. Could it be that the Knights of Ren are no longer under the new Supreme Leader's control? Who would be a better boss to work for?

Well, according to ScreenRant's theory, Palpatine. Who better to answer to than the guy who actually mentored Darth Vader as opposed to his fanboy grandson? While Kylo Ren is busy commanding the First Order and attacking the Resistance, the Knights of Ren could be working in his interest to resurrect Palpatine's fallen Empire, and following his instruction either in uncovered plans or his actual essence.

It's a wild theory, but there's reason to suggest there could be a falling out between Ben Solo and his minions. The evidence comes in a quick shot in the trailer, which appears to show Kylo Ren taking down someone with a powerful clothesline. Some have alleged that's one of his Knights of Ren colleagues, which would have to mean someone turned on somebody. Is this all because the Knights have a new master?

Emperor Palpatine Return of the Jedi Star Wars

Palpatine IS One Of The Knights Of Ren

Now, this theory may sound even crazier than the last, but in the terms of Star Wars lore, it's more plausible than one may think. This theory, which was first suggested on Reddit, notes that all the Knights of Ren are of exceptional skill and their faces are permanently concealed behind their masks. Could that just be a cover for Palpatine, and he's secretly in the group with the suit serving as a life support system?

It would certainly be some sweet karma for Palpatine to end up in a suit similar to what he made for Darth Vader. In terms of strategy, Palpatine played an unassuming senator for years and was essentially a double agent during the Clone Wars, so this deep cover persona would be nothing new to him. Still though, Palpatine was old at the end of Return of the Jedi, and one has to think a life support system could only be so helpful to that broken body.

With that said, it is possible for Sith to inject their essence into physical objects. One Sith, Lord Momin, had his essence stored within a mask that was capable of influencing living humans to the Dark Side. If they put on the mask, he'd actually be able to control their actions. It's worth mentioning Palpatine had control of this mask at one point, and may have even learned the method in which to do something similar in the event of his death. Basically, the same Sith, but with a new body. Could this be what's happening?

The Knights Of Ren Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker

The Knights Of Ren Have Been Off Protecting Emperor Palpatine

One has to imagine that if Emperor Palpatine is alive, he's in a very fragile slate. If he wasn't, then you'd imagine he would've found his way into a more prominent position within the First Order by now. Of course, it's not like he had the best reputation within the galaxy, so perhaps for PR purposes, the First Order would keep his involvement on the down low.

My theory is that Kylo Ren instructed his Knights to search for Luke Skywalker, which sent them all across the galaxy. Obviously this meant following any and all leads on powerful Force users, which could've led them mistakenly to wherever Palpatine has been hiding ever since he was thrown off that ledge and presumed dead. The Knights told Ren, who probably then instructed them to stick with Palpatine and keep him safe for some future collaboration within the First Order.

Would Kylo Ren join forces with the old Empire to crush the Resistance? That may be why there's a mix of First Order and Imperial ships spotted in that one scene in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and why Palpatine is suddenly back in the picture to begin with. If that's the case, it's a bad move for the First Order considering Papa Palpatine betrayed the Separatists he was aligned with.

Or, Kylo Ren would kept the Emperor's existence on the down low as a contingency plan. After all, we all saw how quickly he turned on Snoke, and it's clear he and Hux aren't the best of friends. Setting something up with the Emperor and whatever he had planned would be a great insurance policy in case things went south with the First Order. Surely Palpatine would like another shot at developing a young an impressionable Force user, right?

Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker’s Runtime Possibly Revealed

Do you think there's some sort of connection between Emperor Palpatine and the Knights of Ren? Sound off in our poll, and then jump down to the comments to share any other theories regarding these parties. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is in theaters on Friday, December 20. Stick with CinemaBlend in the meantime for updates on the movie, and for the latest news in entertainment.

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.