A few days ago, we heard some interesting tidbits about Star Wars: Episode IX, as Making Star Wars confirmed a Reddit leak and explained that Kylo Ren’s mask will be back, apparently forged together with some red material, and that BB-8 will have a new buddy.
Shortly after that, MSW’s Amanda Ward posted some more tidbits leaking about the film, apparently coming from marketing meetings. The nature of marketing things means that we probably won’t find out anything of importance plot-wise from these leaks, but that they can be helpful in terms of how things look and setting the stage. That’s exactly what these tidbits help do. As always, take things with a grain of salt since they’re just reported rather than confirmed, but MSW has a pretty solid track record.
Anyway, the most interesting thing to me was about the KNIGHTS OF REN. MSW says that the Knights of Ren will have a role in Episode IX, and they write that,
“In the spring the mantra was that they were “Force Wielding Mercenaries” which has since shifted to a new mantra of “a group with many special abilities.”
I don’t think that description should be all too surprising. We know that the Knights of Ren aren’t Jedi/Sith, but it’s strongly implied in The Last Jedi that they are former pupils of Luke Skywalker. That means that they surely can and do use the Force, but likely not to the extent or prowess of Kylo Ren. That’s probably part of why Kylo is the master of this group, but also why we didn’t see others with lightsabers in that one shot of the (presumed) Knights of Ren in Rey’s ‘Forceback’ sequence in The Force Awakens. MSW further speculates that the reason they’re portrayed as having “many special abilities” is because some of them may use “unnatural” abilities, and I think that’s definitely possible. Selling them as people with many different abilities gives J.J. Abrams and company the freedom to expand the boundaries a bit.
As far as speculation goes, I fully expect to see the Knights of Ren in Episode IX, and I’m glad that it seems we are indeed going to. Many were disappointed that they didn’t appear in TLJ, but Rian Johnson said that he didn’t just want to use them and kill them off, but wanted to save them until they could be given fair and proper treatment. So his intention was never to ignore them, but instead to not try to pack them into an already full script and thus not do them justice. So with J.J. Abrams returning, it would make a ton of sense for the director to include the Knights of Ren, which were teased in Abrams’ previous installment in the franchise. In-universe, too, there’s a reason that’s almost too easy for Lucasfilm: Snoke was sort of mocking Kylo Ren in TFA when he called him the “master of the Knights of Ren,” and given Snoke’s thoughts on Kylo and his mask, it seems likely that Snoke also wasn’t too fond of Kylo’s gang, the Knights of Ren. But now with Snoke gone and Kylo Ren as the First Order’s Supreme Leader, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if the new leader called on the Knights of Ren to help him rule and enforce his ways.
Standing in the way of the First Order will be the Resistance, and they are likely to have an important new ally in the film, as Billy Dee Williams is reprising his role as LANDO CALRISSIAN. MSW reports that people have seen things about Lando for Episode IX but that the information is a bit conflicted, however there is one thing that is clear: Lando has a cape! Yeah, that was pretty much assumed anyway, but it’s nice to see that Lando in his older age hasn’t moved on from his love of capes – something that was evident in the original trilogy but that was particularly highlighted in Solo: A Star Wars Story.
As far as other tidbits go, MSW reports that the SKYWALKER LIGHTSABER will in fact be back in this film – meaning that Rey probably repairs that one instead of just creating a new lightsaber from scratch. They also report that there will be a new RED FIRST ORDER TROOPER, wearing red armor with black stripes, who appears to be a pilot. They mention that there are THREE WORLDS known for the film so far – a jungle world, a desert/sand world (that doesn’t appear to be Jakku), and a swamp world. It’s unknown whether the jungle world and swamp world are two separate planets or the same one, and there’s plenty of guesses as to what these planets could be. And lastly, MSW says that they’ve heard nothing about PHASMA, D.J., or PORGS being in the film (though on that last one, it’s likely that we may see a porg or two in the background on the Millennium Falcon), and they haven’t heard anything about an imminent trailer either. Check out their full article to read more details about these things.
I’m just excited to be getting anything about Episode IX right now, and I think the report about the Knights of Ren is particularly interesting and probably the most informative of these tidbits, since we get a bit of information as to how they’re actually being marketed internally. I think fans will just be happy to know that the Knights of Ren will likely be returning in this installment, however. And fans are of course very excited about Lando Calrissian’s return, and as is typical for Lando, fans will be curious about his look. We don’t know what that will be yet, but we do know it will involve a cape. Because of course it will!