When he ignited his sparking red lightsaber through the heart of his father, Kylo Ren finally ceased being the person Han Solo called out to in that climactic scene of The Force Awakens. In The Last Jedi, we saw Luke Skywalker struggling with the realization that his nephew had been seduced by a powerful darkness. And in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, we see a return of the group that first led him astray — the brutal Knights of Ren, revealed for the first time in a desert battle in new images shot by Annie Leibovitz for Vanity Fair.
Also, Kylo has rebuilt the mask he smashed. It now is covered with crimson scars, just like his true face.
The nature of the Knights of Ren has been a Star Wars mystery for nearly four years, ever since director and co-writer J.J. Abrams first revealed that “Kylo” is a name that Ben Solo “came to” after aligning with the monstrous Knights of Ren.
Who are they? Fallen fellow trainees at Luke’s Jedi academy? Ancient dark-side acolytes driven by the sinister side of the Force? Or merely a gang of galactic thugs, aspiring to the mysticism of a Darth Vader while really being nothing but punks? The Last Jedi did not delve into that mythology, but the new film is bringing them back, hopefully for answers. All we learn about them from the Vanity Fair article by Lev Grossman is that they were on the Jordan set, and the Wadi Rum desert there is the setting for a planet known as Pasaana.
Oh, and in the trailer revealed last month, it appears that Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren is driving his crossguard lightsaber into one of their chests in the inferno of an epic battle.
Otherwise, the only things we know for sure is that the boy may have chosen a new name and a new fate after joining the horrific Knights of Ren — but the slaying of his own father, Han Solo, was the final step in his transformation.
Now, he is haunted by the specter of his uncle, Luke Skywalker, whose vision parted ways with him by declaring: “See ya ’round, kid.”
Whatever ambitions Kylo Ren harbored, his cruel and unusual friends seem to have led him nowhere.