Knights of Ren in The last Jedi

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is a very expansive movie, full of multiple characters stretched across multiple storylines. But one set of characters who didn’t make an appearance were the Knights of Ren. These characters, teased in The Force Awakens, had been expected to appear in the highly anticipated sequel, but they were a no-show. Now, director Rian Johnson explains his reasoning for not using The Knights of Ren in The Last Jedi.

Poor Rian Johnson. It seems like every other day he has to answer a question explaining why he made certain decisions in regards to The Last Jedi. Whatever you think of the film (it’s great, btw), it’s clear that Johnson was not content to deliver something easily predictable. The filmmaker eschewed fan service, but that’s not going to stop fans from wanting answers to questions. For instance: where were the Knights of Ren?

The Knights of Ren, a group of former Jedi students who flipped over to the Dark Side under the command of Kylo Ren, were first mentioned in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. During a flashback scene in that film, we get a brief glimpse of them huddled around Kylo in the rain. Folks expecting these characters to show up with more screen time in The Last Jedi were going to be disappointed. Aside from a brief line of dialogue from Luke Skywalker, the Knights of Ren are a non-presence.

Director Rian Johnson offered a pretty blunt explanation for the Knights of Ren absence in The Last Jedi to the Empire podcast (via MovieWeb): “We have a very full movie already there literally was just not room for another element.”

After The Last Jedi came out, I saw a few online rumors suggesting that the red-armored Praetorian guards featured prominently in the epic Snoke throne room fight might have been the Knights of Ren, but Johnson is quick to shoot this rumor down:

“I guess I could’ve used them in place of the Praetorian guards but then it would feel like wasting them because all those guards had to die. And if Kylo had some kind of connection to them it would’ve added a complication that wouldn’t have helped the scene…truth is I just didn’t see a place for them in the movie.”

In other words, Rian Johnson really wasn’t that interested in the Knights of Ren. That’s not to say the characters won’t ever show up again: J.J. Abrams, who introduced the idea of the characters to begin with, could always bring them back for Star Wars: Episode IX.

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