Star Wars Episode IX: Knights of Ren Rumor Could Explain Their Absence

A crazy Star Wars Episode IX rumor suggests that we'll finally see the Knights of Ren again and learn where they've been.

Ever since they were first introduced in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the Knights of Ren have remained one of the most enigmatic groups of bad guys in the Star Wars universe. While they appeared in a flashback in Episode VII, Kylo Ren’s minions were nowhere to be found in The Last Jedi. Where the heck were they when the new Supreme Leader of the First Order was about to face off against Luke Skywalker on Crait?

A rumor that popped up on Making Star Wars suggests that we’ll finally get the answers we’ve been looking for in Episode IX. In fact, the site has heard from its sources that the Knights of Ren will actually play a big part in the conflicts to come in the final installment of the Sequel Trilogy. While the following potential plot details are strictly rumors, Making Star Wars has a proven track record of Star Wars scoops. 

According to the new report, the reason the Knights of Ren were not present during the events of The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi is that they were in a place called “The Beyond.” While Making Star Wars doesn’t go into details about The Beyond itself, it’s possible that this place is located somewhere in the Unknown Regions, an uncharted part of the galaxy where the Empire retreated after its final defeat and rebuilt itself as the First Order. Or perhaps it’s somewhere beyond the edges of the galaxy itself…

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Kylo apparently sent the Knights of Ren out to explore The Beyond, but they reportedly return in Episode IX after the Supreme Leader has consolidated his power across what used to be the New Republic. Here’s where things get interesting: according to Making Star Wars, a major threat to the galaxy arrives from The Beyond, an enemy that forces Kylo Ren and Rey to fight alongside each other once again. Going the Game of Thrones route, it sounds like the good guys and the bad guys will have to rally around a much bigger cause in order to repel the invaders.

Making Star Wars speculates that perhaps the Knights of Ren turn on their master and become the threat that both the First Order and the Resistance have to stop. But it’s unclear just how big this particular faction is, as only a small group has appeared in the movies. So it’s likely that the new enemy is a much bigger force that no one is expecting. Perhaps it followed the Knights of Ren back to their galaxy? 

There is precedence for this sort of invasion of the Star Wars universe. In fact, the old Legends canon had an entire maxi-series of books and comics back in 1999 called The New Jedi Order, which told the story of a massive alien invasion by Force-immune warriors known as the Yuuzhan Vong. The bloody war that proceeded claimed many lives, including Chewbacca’s, who died in one of the most epic scenes created in a Star Wars story.

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The Disney era canon has also dropped hints that there might be something lying in wait beyond the known galaxy. The novel Star Wars Aftermath featured an interesting little tidbit about how the Emperor had sent Imperial agents to chart unknown parts of space because he believed the source of his dark side powers could be found out there. The implication at the time is that these beliefs were what prompted the Imperial remnant to retreat to the Unknown Regions after the end of the war. But what if his search was the precursor to the Knights of Ren’s journey to The Beyond?

This could be a huge gamechanger for the Star Wars universe, to say the least. With plenty of hanging plot threads left to tie up from the first two movies, the introduction of yet another major faction might end up being one twist too many, but it’s possible director J.J. Abrams already had this all planned out when he first set out to make The Force Awakens, a creative process that also involved Michael Arndt and an early collaboration with George Lucas himself. Introducing the Knights of Ren in The Force Awakens might have been a way to set up their much bigger role in Episode IX

Before you get ahead of yourself, it seems from the lack of even a proper title for the upcoming installment that we’re still a few months away from learning any official plot details. That reveal will most likely happen at Star Wars Celebration in April. 

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Star Wars Episode IX will arrive in theaters on Dec. 20.

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John Saavedra is an associate editor at Den of Geek. Read more of his work here. Follow him on Twitter @johnsjr9