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The post-release press tour for The Last Jedi is more than a little unusual. Rather than basking in the film’s overwhelmingly positive critical reception, writer/director Rian Johnson has been anwering a bunch of fan FAQs about supposed plot-holes. So far, most of them can either be answered by paying attention to the movie, or by remembering Occam’s Razor: the simplest explanation is the most likely to be true.
Johnson’s latest answer relates to the Knights of Ren. Namely, why weren’t they in the movie?
The Knights of Ren appeared briefly in The Force Awakens, as a mysterious group of Force-users in a similar vein to the Sith. Kylo Ren’s second name is more like the title “Darth,” referring to the fact that he’s a Master of the Knights of Ren, serving Supreme Leader Snoke. We only saw the other knights during a short flashback sequence, and many fans assumed we’d learn more in The Last Jedi. Here’s why we didn’t, according to Johnson:
“We have a very full movie already there literally was just not room for another element. 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.”
This sounds similar to his explanation for Snoke’s lack of backstory. The Knights of Ren didn’t actually serve a purpose in The Force Awakens, and they would have complicated the intensely personal storyline between Rey and Kylo Ren in The Last Jedi. However, there’s still plenty of room for them to reappear in the next movie.
Kylo Ren isn’t exactly known for his managerial skills and strategic thinking, and with the untrustworthy General Hux at his side, he’ll have a difficult job ruling the First Order alone. The Knights of Ren could be a smart alternative to Snoke’s Praetorian guards, acting as bodyguards and sidekicks to the new Supreme Leader. They may be the only people Kylo Ren can trust.
H/T Comic Book Movie
Gavia Baker-Whitelaw is a staff writer at the Daily Dot, covering geek culture and fandom. Specializing in sci-fi movies and superheroes, she also appears as a film and TV critic on BBC radio. Elsewhere, she co-hosts the pop culture podcast Overinvested.