Something a little different to what I normally write about.
I love fan theories. Whether it’s about the latest movie that’s just came out, a video game I can’t help but obsess over or that TV series that just gets better with ever season, my brain is always buzzing with possible scenarios and revelations that could be revealed. Chances are, I have my own little ideas around every mystery appearing in every TV show, movie or video game I like. This was by no means an exception when The Force Awakens, the latest episode in the galactically popular Star Wars saga was released last December. It should come to no surprise to those who know me that I am a big Star Wars fan, and ever since I went to that midnight showing on 17th December the fan theory part of me hit the hyperdrive. Almost every day I read a new theory centered around the latest movie – be that the identity of a main character, the motive of a villain or even something as small as a certain droid’s change of costume. As I mentioned before, I am very prone to delve into the fan speculation pit myself and come up with some theories of my own. One of which I’d like to share with you now.
As you can expect, very major spoilers ahead for Star Wars – Force Awakens as well as the rest of the Star Wars saga. Suffice to say, if you haven’t seen the latest movie or any of them for that matter, STOP READING IMMEDIATELY.
—– SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT —–
Star Wars’ latest antagonist, Kylo Ren, is a fascinating character. Even with his inner turmoil and family connections, the layer of mystery behind him is one of my very favourite aspects to him. There are very few facts we actually know about Kylo Ren at this point, one thing we do know however is that – after being trained by Luke Skywalker for a period of time in his new Jedi academy – he was turned to the dark side by the increasingly mysterious Supreme Leader Snoke before killing his fellow students. We also know that he is the current leader of a very elusive group called the Knights of Ren; all of whom (save for Kylo Ren) we are yet to see aside from a vision by Rey. My theory suggests not only these events are very connected, but there is big twist behind Kylo’s team and it’s all hidden within the name.
I first came up with this idea when thinking of the names Kylo Ren and Knights of Ren, they both obviously have Ren in them. Why is this? Is Kylo Ren so egotistical he’s named his new cult after his new persona? Probably not. The word must have some significance, especially if Ben was to use it as part of his new name. And what of the other members of this group? Are they too known as “[Something] Ren”?
Ren is the key word here, so key in fact I think it’s a lot more important than just a simple name. What if Ren is not a name or a word… but an acronym, standing for “Republic [Something] [Something]”. For sake of argument let’s say it stands for Republic Enforcement Network. It’s not impossible for acronyms to be used in the Star Wars universe, they’re everywhere we look. Most notable examples definitely being TIE fighters (standing for Twin Ion Engine) and AT-ATs (standing for All Terrain-Armoured Transport). This theory looks as the possibility that REN was the name of the New Republic’s Jedi Order, or rather the proposed Jedi Order.
At some stage after the fall of the Galactic Empire, Luke Skywalker is tasked with rebuilding the Jedi and bringing them back to the glory they once were in the Old Republic. This would once again make them the peacekeepers of the galaxy and obviously become Luke’s number 1 priority. The galaxy is still plentiful of bounty hunters, terrorists, slavers and Empire sympathies who pose as threats to a New Republic. The Republic would heavily encourage the construction of peacekeepers too, with their politicians knowing all too well of the threat of the Sith and how it took a Jedi to bring the fall of the Empire.
Luke then gets to work at creating a Jedi academy, with his first students eventually graduating to become part of this new Jedi Order; now under the name Knights of REN. It’s possible that as part of this new Order, the Jedi would be known as a REN rather than Jedi Knight/Jedi Master. Afterall, Jedi may still be a very taboo word in the galaxy after Palpatine labelled them a threat to the Old Republic shortly before establishing the Empire. I would imagine the Emperor’s true alliance to the Sith isn’t common knowledge with the general public who perhaps merely see the birth of the New Republic as a dictatorship overthrow; not the constant battling between the light and dark side of the force we the audience have seen for 7 movies.
Kylo Ren of course was one of Luke’s first students, who eventually fell to the darkside at the hands of Supreme Leader Snoke. However, rather than killing the rest of his fellow students, would-be Knights of REN with lots of force potential, he (or Snoke) seduces them too to the dark side. In one quick swoop, the Sith/First Order have turned all of the Republic’s planned peacekeepers into their most feared enemies. The name for whatever reason is kept, possibly due to the brother and sisterhood that was created by the students while together being trained or as a reminder to the Republic of their failures. While the biggest hole in this part of my theory is the fact we’re told Kylo Ren killed the rest of Luke’s students, if there’s one thing Star Wars has taught us it’s always look at things “from a certain point of view”. Several times in the Star Wars universe – most popularly by Obi-Wan Kenobi in A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back – we’ve been told that a character has been “killed” only to learn later they instead fell to the dark side. I feel it’s not unlikely at all that Luke spread this message across to the Republic after the rise of Kylo Ren. Not only would it mean he would be taking a leaf from his old mentor’s book, but also prevents mass hysteria within the galactic community that at least 7 force powerful people are running around with the First Order.
Ashamed that his nephew and students have fallen, along with the fact his entire plans for the New Republic have now crumbled completely, Luke vanishes without a trace; believing the galaxy would be a safer place without his input. Indeed, the galaxy has never truly been safe while under the eye of a Skywalker.
It’s not the best theory ever I’ll admit, nor the most important in terms of the big picture with the sequel trilogy, but as the majority of Star Wars fans are currently desperate to discover the identity of Snoke and the parentage of Rey, this has left some minor questions regarding The Force Awakens to be left untouched. I’m yet to see any fan theories regarding the Knights of Ren on my travels of YouTube and Star Wars fansites (if any have heard of any, I’d love to read them!) so I felt this would be a breath of fresh air onto the Star Wars fan community.
What do you think? Do you agree with any of my ideas or have you got your own theory about the Knights of Ren or anything else about Star Wars for that matter? I’d love to hear what you think!