The Star Wars sequel trilogy is already two movies deep and the insidious Knights of Ren remain, well, mysterious – something Episode IX needs to remedy. Despite the fan-controversy surrounding Star Wars: The Last Jedi, it did answer a number of pressing questions about the main characters, most crucially Luke Skywalker’s exile and Rey’s parentage.

Whether or not all the reveals hit home for every audience member isn’t as important as whether the Saga moves forward. After all, J.J. Abrams and Rian Johnson certainly can’t be blamed for cutting extraneous plot threads from their already story-packed films. But at the same time, it’s unfortunate the shrouded Vader-ites known as the Knights of Ren were totally absent from The Last Jedi after being carefully teased in The Force Awakens; they appeared as a central part of Rey’s Force-back and were namedropped in an introductory quote from Snoke to Kylo Ren: “even you, master of the Knights of Ren, have never faced such a test.

Related: The Last Jedi Explains What Rey’s Force Vision Was Really About

By the end of Episode VIII, Kylo Ren has exceeded his grandfather’s dreams for power. The final chapter in the sequel trilogy is only going to see him go further into the dark, and so should reintroduce the Knights of Ren to really highlight his new-found power.

Who Actually Are The Knights of Ren? (This Page)

The Essential Role The Knights of Ren Could Have in Star Wars 9

Who Actually Are The Knights of Ren?

Knights of Ren Star Wars 9 Needs to Include The Knights of Ren

When J.J. Abrams brought Star Wars out of its 10-year hiatus in 2015, he and Lawrence Kasdan had a lot of ground to cover. Not only did they have to introduce the next generation of heroes and villains but integrate the classic characters, as well as drawing up a tantalizing story arc going forward. One of their most dramatic plotlines was the fall of Luke Skywalker and his new Jedi Order. His own nephew, Ben Solo – after being tempted by Snoke and his low-hung dark side fruits (as well as a perceived betrayal by Luke) – destroyed the Jedi Temple and reworked himself in Darth Vader’s image as Kylo Ren. He then joined the heirs to the Empire, the First Order, and began a reign of terror with his adherents, the Knights of Ren.

The Last Jedi doesn’t dive deep into the curious dark side adepts, but it does suggest their origins. During Luke’s flashback to the destruction of the temple, appears to name several of his former padawans as the Knights, who sided with Ren after he was corrupted to serve the dark side. While Lucasfilm hasn’t confirmed their identity (yet), this would at least place them in the canon and potentially still relevant.

The question now becomes about where they are now – and if they could come back. With the death of Snoke, the First Order was restructured under its new Supreme Leader, Kylo Ren. He may have filled the power vacuum, but General Hux is just as thirsty for the reins. Kylo will need some powerful allies to keep Hux and his Force-cynical military cohorts from staging a coup. Enter his Knights.

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