The Darth Ren Hypothesis: Mizzlewump Revisited

In this spoiler-fueled speculation piece we ask the question: Were the Knights of Ren founded by an ancient Sith Lord named “Darth Ren”? What can we learn from combining the latest spoilers and confirmed info with the old Mizzlewump post?

It’s remarkable how many of the original Mizzlewump rumors have held up. If we recall, “Mizzlewump” claimed to have read the second draft from Abrams/Kasdan. Let’s take another look at this old post in light of what we now know. Looking back at the original list most of the points seem highly plausible.  Here is the list:

Leia is made leader of the Republic after her predecessor’s death
Han is a retired veteran of the Republic fleet
Luke hasn’t been seen in nearly 30 years
the lead character is Han and Leia’s daughter
the other lead is the child of Lando, and either a male or female depending on who is cast
the other lead is a Stormtrooper, also either a male or female depending on who is cast
dialogue for these two characters is very rough inthe second draft
Luke has no known offspring
The Empire still exists in the form of a number of loyal galaxies and are in a state of cold war with the Republic
The Empire is simply referred to as the “Empire,” and the Republic is referred to formally only once, as the “Galactic Republic;” no “New” anywhere
There are no Jedi whatsoever, and people still speak as if they are extinct, with Luke being “the last of his kind”
The main antagonists are an older student of the Emperor, and his apprentice
The apprentice takes control of the power dynamic between the two pretty quickly…
The Republic are excavating ruins on a neutral world for a weapon; the world factors into tense negotiations the Empire have had with the Republic, and is referred to as the “Sith Homeworld”
Loredump: In the script, the Sith are a couple thousand years old, founded by an ancestor of Palpatine called Ruin; the apprentice in this film also goes by that name
the ruins within the Sith Homeworld are a control station; the planet itself is the weapon
Luke saves the day at the end, but in a bad way; he has changed


Leia could easily be the leader of the Republic, Han could easily be a veteran of the Republic.  We could easily see that the StarKiller base being built on ancient Sith Ruins on the Sith homeworld, maybe even some ancient Sith magic or technology could have been used in the weapon. Assuming Rey is Han and Leia’s daughter, as many believe, that holds up. It certainly wouldn’t be hard to believe that there are no other known Jedi etc. Some are less likely such as Finn being a child of Lando, although not completely impossible. There are other notable incorrect things such as the Empire existing, but these could be things that were changed in later drafts. In fact, a couple of points seemed to have changed (assuming this was indeed from the script).

One that really jumps out to me now is the character named “Ruin”. In particular this one:

Loredump: In the script, the Sith are a couple thousand years old, founded by an ancestor of Palpatine called Ruin; the apprentice in this film also goes by that name

TStar-Wars-7-Character-Guide-Kylo-Renhe thing that jumped out at me was the part at the end “the apprentice goes by that name”. We recently got confirmation that Kylo Ren, the apprentice, does go by a name different from his own: “Ren”, which is not too far from “Ruin”. Did Kasdan and Abrams end up deciding that “Knights of Ruin” sounded too on the nose, and changed “Ruin” to “Ren”?

Ruin → Ren

DarthRuinWhat exactly do we know about “Ruin”? Presumably, if Abrams and Kasdan have a backstory of a character named Darth Ren in mind, he might be similar the Legends story of Darth Ruin. According to the Wookieepedia Article here, we know a few things. The character of Ruin was created by George Lucas as part of the Sith backstory, to explain where they came from thousands of years before ANH. Ruin was once a Jedi named Phanius, that left the Jedi order to pursue teachings that some consider to be…unnatural. There were a bunch of Sith wars and stuff, and then he got fifty or so Jedi Knights to join his “New Sith Order” and have wars with the Jedi. You might say that this group could have been called “The Knights of Ruin”. Ultimately, Ruin founded the Sith Order thousands of years before the Prequels.

The first thing that I thought when we learned of “The Knights of Ren”, was where did the name “Ren” come from? It would make perfect sense if they are named after a character named Ren that started their order. According to Legends, Darth Ruin’s order of knights quickly disintegrated and he was ultimately defeated by his own order. Now that is Legends material and certainly subject to change. Could it be, that upon developing the script, the backstory character “Ruin” was renamed to “Ren”, and the Knights of Ren are in fact descended from Darth Ren’s order of Dark Side Knights? This doesn’t mean that the Knights of Ren are Sith, of course, as we know they are not. It could, however, mean that this order of knights was founded by a Sith Lord thousands of years before the Phantom Menace.

These Knights could have lasted for many centuries by surviving in the outskirts of the galaxy, and developing the ancient teachings of their founder, and gathering new recruits to carry the torch. They might have even gone on an epic quest to find the source of the Dark Side in the far reaches of the galaxy…

That last part was inspired by a recent quote from Aftermath posted to reddit in this thread by Redditor ReverendY:

“Palpatine felt that the universe beyond the edges of our map was where his power came from. Over the many years he, with our aid, sent men and women beyond known space. They built labs and communication stations on distant moons, asteroids, out there in the wilds. We must follow them. Retreat from the Galaxy. Go out beyond the veil of stars. We must seek the source of the dark side like a man looking for a wellspring of water.”

walkersPresumably these Dark Side Knights would also be interested in this Dark Side power, and could have also been out searching for it in the outskirts of the galaxy.

This quote also got me thinking. Could it also be that the Imperial brigades and scientists sent out to this distant reaches by Palpatine are the same groups that ultimately seed the First Order? In a way, this would make a lot of sense because they could “wait out” the events of the wars that ultimately lead to the destruction of the majority of the Empire’s forces. If the Knights of Ren are also in the outskirts of the galaxy looking for the same Dark Side power, they could have inevitably met up and possibly teamed up after the fall of the Empire. Hence a plausible backstory to the First Order.

We also know that many other Stormtroopers that were scattered throughout the galaxy (from the post from Eric Goldman) and they could have then joined back up with these other groups. That means we have Storm Troopers, Imperial Scientists and explorers, and the Knights of Ren all in the same distant reaches of the galaxy. If they got together, it could have been the start of something not unlike the First Order. In fact, these former Imperial Scientists from the mentioned labs, plus some Dark Side Knights with access to ancient Sith teachings could build a pretty serious StarKiller weapon…