It's been confirmed that Kylo Ren's identity is still a secret to the First Order Stormtroopers in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Kylo Ren is of course the main antagonist of the sequel trilogy played by Adam Driver. Ren will be returning once again in The Rise of Skywalker to continue what he started, possibly with the help of Emperor Palpatine.
Before Star Wars: The Force Awakens was released, fans knew very little about Kylo Ren. While Rey's parentage is still a mystery, it was revealed that Kylo Ren is the son of Han Solo and Leia Organa, who was pulled to the dark side by Supreme Leader Snoke. The Force Awakens and Star Wars: The Last Jedi have focused on Ren's inner conflict as he wants to completely devote himself to the dark side, but can't help but feel pulled by the light side. In the first two films, Ren tried to completely disconnect himself from his identity as Ben Solo by killing his father and attempting to kill his mother. By the end of The Last Jedi, Ren had taken the title of the new Supreme Leader and is one of the most feared members of the First Order. Now, it's been revealed that part of the reason for this fear could be because his true identity is still a secret to many.
According to the book Ultimate Star Wars New Edition, Kylo Ren's helmet is being used to keep his identity of Ben Solo a secret from other members of the First Order. When describing the design and functionality of Ren's helmet, the book explains:
"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."
The passage above also mentions the Knights of Ren, who seem to be making a comeback in The Rise of Skywalker. Very little is known about the Knights of Ren, but they were first seen in Rey's Force vision in The Force Awakens. Since the Knights of Ren were completely absent from The Last Jedi, fans are still in the dark as to who they are and how they connect to Kylo Ren. That being said, The Rise of Skywalker will likely reveal more about Kylo Ren's origin and how/if the Knights of Ren are affiliated with the First Order.
While Ren's helmet is used to conceal his true identity in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, there are some people in the First Order who have seen his face. Snoke and General Hux have of course seen Ren's face and know of his true identity, but most of Ren's subordinates still likely don't know who he really is. That being said, there are bound to be a few Stormtroopers who know Ren's family heritage since the First Order Stormtroopers aren't clones, but actual people. Even if one of his subordinates had heard the tale of Ben Solo turning to the dark side and becoming a leader in the First Order, they are probably too fearful to actually speak about it.
Source: Ultimate Star Wars New Edition
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019