Kylo Ren Star Wars: the force awakens

Who Are the Knights of Ren?

In Rey’s vision/flashback, we see Kylo Ren destroy Luke Skywalker’s new Jedi Academy with “the Knights of Ren.” But who is this organization? The only thing J.J. Abrams has said on record about the group is this:

He is a character who came to the name Kylo Ren when he joined a group called Knights of Ren.

Adam Driver gives a little more insight to the LATimes:

It was a group that existed before him, that he was a part of. Their place within everything is maybe more of a satellite group than I would say … This is really tricky.

It should be noted that Kylo is not Ben’s given name, it is most likely a combination of his family names sKYwalker and soLO.

Finn refers to Kylo Ren as “Ren” and not Kylo which seems to suggest he could be the only remaining member of the group. Since we know Snoke convinces Ben Solo to join the dark side, maybe he is one of the other members of the Knights of Ren? Nope. In the movie, Snoke tells Kylo that he is the master of the Knights of Ren. I’m sure we’ll either find out more about the group in future films or in the upcoming books.


Who Is Supreme Leader Snoke? Is He a Giant?

When I first saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens, I just assumed that Snoke was a giant. But remember back to the holographic projections of the Emperor, they featured his head at a gigantic size. Neal Scanlan told People Magazine confirmed the character is “7-foot-something tall; he’s very, very thin.” So it looks like he isn’t a giant after all.

We don’t know much about the Supreme Leader other than he turned Ben Solo to the Dark Side and is set to give Kylo his final training. We know from The Art of the Force Awakens that his conference room was meant to reflect a bit of the Lincoln Memorial, and was originally going to be presented in greyscale but they decided to try to go more photo-real to preserve the reveal of him being a hologram. At one point during the development Snoke was almost made a female.

J.J. Abrams and Neal Scanlan didn’t want him to look old and decrepit like the Emperor. The idea instead was to base him on the ghoulish looks in Hammer horror films. Senior sculpted Ivan Manzella commented, “It’s almost like Snoke was quite handsome when he was younger, and in my mind, the more powerful he’s become, the more the Dark Side consumes him.” They eventually went with a slightly more youthful version of the design.

Darth Plagueis

Is Supreme Leader Snoke Actually Darth Plagueis?

Some Star Wars fans believe that Snoke is Darth Plagueis, a character mentioned in the Star Wars prequels. The filmmakers were asked about the possibility at Comic-Con, where J.J. Abrams denied the character’s presence in the film. But fans are not willing to take the filmmaker’s response as a definitive answer as Abrams has lied in the past to protect secrets (i.e. Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness). Fans also point out the similarities between the soundtrack for Snoke and the soundtrack for the scene in which Palpatine tells Anakin the story of Plagueis.

According to Palpatine, “Darth Plagueis was a dark lord of the Sith, so powerful and so wise. He could influence the midichlorians to create life. He had such a knowledge of the Dark Side, he could even keep the ones he cared about from dying.” While Plagueis had the ability to cheat death, Palpatine claimed to have killed Plagueis in his sleep. George Lucas has said that Plagueis was a Muun, a thin, narrow-faced species of alien with a flair for finances. A Star Wars book, Darth Plagueis, told the story of Plagueis’ backstory but it is no longer considered Star Wars canon.

Bill Hader BB-8

Why Didn’t Snoke Want To Find Luke Skywalker?

After finding out that BB-8 has a map leading to Luke Skywalker, Supreme Leader Snoke issues the First Order to find and destroy the droid if they have to. Kylo Ren tells General Hux that he needs the BB-8 unit in working order as he needs the data he has. Kylo Ren obviously wants to find and destroy Luke Skywalker but Snoke seems fine without that information. Why?

I can understand that Snoke didn’t want the Resistance to get the map, but why why he less concerned about getting the information? Maybe having Skywalker out of the way makes it easier for the First Order to rise up. Or maybe Snoke knows that Kylo Ren is not strong enough to face his old Jedi master.

Han Solo and Princess Leia in Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Why Didn’t Leia Train As a Jedi?

At the Force Awakens junket, IGN asked J.J. Abrams why didn’t Leia become a Jedi after Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. Abrams explains it’s a question that he, co-writer Lawrence Kasdan and even George Lucas discussed.

It was a great question, and one we talked about quite a bit even with Carrie [Fisher]. If there is ‘another’ why not take advantage of this natural Force strength this character had? And one of the answers was that it was simply a choice she made, that her decision to run the rebellion and ultimately this Resistance, and consider herself a General as opposed to a Jedi, it was simply a choice that she took. Not that there isn’t any regret that should could have and didn’t. But clearly we’ve seen and we do again, she is clearly Force strong.

So there you have it, she chose to be a General rather than a Jedi but that doesn’t mean she can’t progress her Force abilities in the future if she wanted to.

kylo ren and fader's helmet

How Did Kylo Get Darth Vader’s Mask?

From the trailers, many fans assumed the shot of Kylo Ren and the Knights of Ren standing in the rain flanked with bodies was from a scene where they go to Endor and recover the remains of Darth Vader, but that was not the case at all. Last we saw Darth Vader, he was played to rest in a fire burial ceremony on the forrest moon of Endor.

We don’t know how Kylo came into possession of the helmet, only that the charred and melted helmet was “scavenged from a funeral pyre on Endor.” We may find out how the relic came into the possession of Kylo and the First Order in one of the Journey to the Force Awakens books that have yet to be released, although I’m not sure the details are important in any way.

The Circle movie cast

Why Was Finn Unable to Kill?

This isn’t a question I had, as I took it at face value. But /Film editor Angie Han posed the question to me and I found the discussion was worth some exploration. In the film, Captain Phasma makes it clear that FN-2187 passed all the tests and scored highly in simulations with no indication of subordinate behavior.

The Visual Dictionary notes that FN-2187 “lacks the combat zeal or submission to authority evident in his squadmates” but “keeps his misgivings well hidden.” And of course when he witnesses the reality of war on Jakku and the death of his squadmate, he finds himself unable to participate and thats when he decides to make a run for it and save captured resistance pilot Poe Dameron.

But the bigger question is why was he unable to deal with the violence of war? Could it be that seeing it in person with real people brought back subconscious memories from his childhood? It’s mentioned in the movie that he has never known his name. I’m wondering if his instincts in the Jakku massacre stem from events in his early former life before he was abducted and brainwashed.

The book Before The Awakening answers some of these questions. The mission on Jakku is Finn’s second real mission in the field and seeing real civilians being slaughtered was too much for him. Finn basically he aces the simulations because he knows his “enemy.” It’s the Republic. He’s been taught that since childhood. He starts to really have doubts, and then the sims start incorporating civilians and he can’t justify shooting at them. He tries to save a fellow stormtrooper (the same one who dies in Force Awakens) in a simulation and Phasma reprimands him.

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