Star Wars has revealed that Kylo Ren's helmet was inspired by the Knights of Ren - not the other way round. Star Wars: The Force Awakens introduced viewers to a new villain, Kylo Ren, who was revealed to be the son of Han and Leia. In one key scene, Kylo Ren was described as "master of the Knights of Ren."
The Knights of Ren are something of a mystery. The Knights of Ren have been glimpsed in trailers, a few behind-the-scenes photos, and even on the cover of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: The Visual Dictionary, but Lucasfilm seem determined to parse out as little information as possible. It's reasonable to assume they're destined to play a major part in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, which has the task of bringing the entire trilogy of trilogies to an end.
Lucasfilm has just released the official Ultimate Star Wars New Edition as part of their "Journey to the Rise of Skywalker" range. It doesn't give away much about Star Wars 9, but one fascinating detail suggests that the relationship between Kylo Ren and the Knights of Ren may be a little different to the one fans had assumed. Discussing Kylo Ren's helmet, the book reveals that Kylo Ren was inspired by the Knights, not the other way round.
"Kylo Ren's helmet is designed in the style of the Knights of Ren. It is also reminiscent of the infamous mask of his grandfather, Darth Vader, connecting Kylo Ren to the dark side of his family heritage. The helmet conceals his former identity as Ben Solo (also obscured by the helmet's vocoder which makes his voice sound more threatening), and serves to intimidate both his enemies and his subordinates in the First Order. Beyond this and the protection it affords, the helmet has no special functions."
This subtly rewrites Star Wars history. Most viewers had assumed Ben Solo fell under Supreme Leader Snoke's influence, and that the Knights of Ren were formed in his honor. The truth appears to be very different; this quote suggests that the Knights of Ren already existed, and that Ben Solo was drawn to them, actually taking inspiration from the mystery group. It's reasonable to assume that he joined them, and that he then rose through their ranks, proving himself worthy to be considered their master.
Meanwhile, the Ultimate Star Wars New Edition also seems to debunk another popular theory. Chuck Wendig's Aftermath trilogy included a group of Sith cultists known as the Acolytes of the Beyond, who had collected Sith artifacts such as ancient masks. There'd been some speculation that the Acolytes of the Beyond ultimately evolved into the Knights of Ren; however, it's important to note that the Sith masks collected by the Acolytes were strong in the dark side of the Force. This quote suggests that Kylo Ren's mask has absolutely no special features at all; if that's true for the Master of the Knights of Ren, then it's presumably true of the others as well. Whatever the case, the truth will be revealed in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, as well as an official tie-in comic book series on Kylo Ren's rise in the First Order.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019