Today Entertainment Weekly released new info on our new favorite bad guy Kylo Ren. The most important part being he took his name from a group called the “Knights of Ren”. So what was his name before? Are the Knights still around? Are they Sith or something else? Let’s dive into the spoilers and piece this together…
What we now know for sure is that “Ren” is a title, assumed from a group called the Knights of Ren and Kylo is not his real name. We also know that Kylo is a leader in the First Order, as is General Hux, although we don’t know if this is a Tarkin/Vader or a Vader/Piett relationship or perhaps something different (I suspect this). We know Kylo built his lightsaber himself and doing so is perhaps representative of his persona. Kylo is obsessed with Vader and this is one of the driving forces behind his actions. He also believes what he is doing is right, he does not see himself as a bad guy. At the San Diego Comic Con panel, actor Adam Driver had similar comments on how he approached the character, and said that the distinction was not bad vs good, but rather bad vs right.
Now we dive into those murky waters of speculation and hypothesis. Let us begin with what the new information seems to debunk. The idea that Kylo and Rey are brother and sister becomes less likely as the main crux of the argument was the similarity of their names: Kylo Ren and Kira Rey. Since we now know Ren is a title this connection disappears. In addition, Kylo is not his real name either. I think we can take the idea of Rey and Kylo being siblings as shaky and no longer supported by their names.
Does that mean they aren’t related, I am not so sure. The fact that the article leaves speculation available as to who Kylo’s parents are leads me to believe we know them. I would say that Kylo is in fact an amalgamation of his parent’s last names Skywalker and Solo. One important theme mentioned by multiple people is Family which leads credence to the idea of them still be siblings or cousins.
I suspect the Knights of Ren are the Seven mentioned by Jason at makingstarwars.net. I am not as sure about how Jason portrays the vision led by Maz Kanata as I think some elements are misplaced. I think the attack on Luke’s Jedi academy is by the Knights of Ren, and this is where Kylo joins up with them, most likely by his own choosing rather than brainwashing/abduction. One could speculate that Snoke leads the Seven and they assume leadership of the Empire’s remnants at least ten years before TFA. By the time TFA rolls around all that is left are Snoke and Kylo the rest having died in battle with the Resistance.
As to their origin I see two possibilities: One they are former Inquisitors that renamed themselves knights once the Empire fell. Two they are another group who were in the shadows, a group that was based on a cult of grey or dark Jedi. They avoided the galaxy until it was forced on them when the Empire’s forces landed on their world after RotJ. The names First Order and Knights of Ren seem to harken back to medieval times, such as the days of King Arthur. Because of this I speculate the second to be more likely. A group that had little to nothing to do with the Empire before its fall or the Sith in general. The inclusion of Inquisitors in the Rebels TV show is more likely being used to show that Vader and the Emperor are not the only Dark side users around and Dark side doesn’t automatically equal Sith.