Today, a preview for the second issue of Charles Soule’s upcoming Kylo Ren comic, and it’s a stunner. This is the cover (drawn by Will Sliney) for the second issue, due out in January:
Yes, that’s right, the cover shows Jedi Master Luke Skywalker and his apprentice, Ben Solo, fighting the Knights of Ren!!
Here’s the official preview description of what’s coming in this issue:
With the new Jedi school in ruins and fellow students hot on his trail for the murder of their master, Ben Solo flees to the only friend he has left in the galaxy…a man named Snoke. But Snoke has plans for Ben…and ideas about the Force that are as dangerous as they are intriguing for the troubled young jedi.
If Ben wishes to be truly free…the answers might lie with the dark side. And with the Knights of Ren!
But it won’t be the first time he’s tangled with the Knights. In the past, Jedi Master Luke Skywalker journeys to the Unknown Regions and brings young Ben along for the mission. Can even Luke Skywalker stand against the fabled Knights of Ren?!
I mean, wow. This is pretty significant, and it makes me even more excited to read this comic series, which will launch in December and include four issues detailing, as Soule puts it, Solo’s journey from Ben to Ren. And even just the preview of this second issue is enough to tell us quite a bit. Here’s what we learn just from the cover and preview.
- The Knights of Ren existed before Kylo Ren. This isn’t too surprising, since that’s always been pretty much assumed, but this is an important starting point. Kylo Ren didn’t form the Knights of Ren, he joined them – at some point after he had already faced them.
- One of the Knights of Ren had a lightsaber. The most interesting Knight of Ren on the cover is the one in the background holding a red lightsaber, and it certainly looks like this is the leader of the group. So does Ben Solo kill this person and take over as the master of the Knights of Ren? I think that would make a lot of sense. But beyond that, I wonder if this ties us into something else in the Star Wars canon: the Acolytes of the Beyond. This was a group of dark side followers who were not Force sensitive but who had a deep fascination with the Sith, and in the days following the Battle of Endor they actually acquired what they believed to be the lightsaber of Darth Vader. People have long wondered whether the Knights of Ren are connected with the Acolytes of the Beyond, and this comic cover does nothing to stop that speculation. Besides, wouldn’t it be pretty cool if Luke and Ben faced off against someone wielding Vader’s lightsaber?
- Luke and Ben faced the Knights of Ren at some point. This is a pretty stunning revelation, but it’s also really exciting – and I can’t wait to read about it: at some point during Ben Solo’s training, Luke took him on a mission to the Unknown Regions, where they encountered the Knights of Ren. It will be really cool to see Luke in action as the wise and powerful Jedi Master, exploring the galaxy – and, apparently, fighting these dark side fanatics.
- Ben Solo didn’t kill Luke’s other students?!? In The Last Jedi, Luke Skywalker says that Ben took a handful of his students and slaughtered the rest. But is it possible that Luke didn’t actually know the truth? In the preview for this issue, it says that Ben Solo was on the run from Luke’s other students, who thought that Ben killed their master! So rather than Ben killing all the students, it rather sounds like it went something like this: Ben thinks Luke is going to kill him, so he reacts in self-defense and collapses the hut on Luke using the Force. Ben left Luke presumably for dead, and the other students also thought Luke was dead. So they rebel against Ben, rallying to avenge their fallen Master, and Solo is forced to flee. That’s a much different picture of what happened, and it’s a much more tragic one for Ben Solo. Not only did he feel that his Master (and uncle!) failed him, but then he’s left without the support of any of his fellow students. Of course, here’s the question: what happened to all of these students? Why was the Temple burning when Luke came to? What actually happened?
- Snoke was Ben’s only friend left. Ok, so this makes it seem like Ben Solo already had a relationship with Snoke. It’s clear that Leia, Han, and Luke were all already aware of Snoke, and this makes it seem like Ben was too. So, again, the question comes up: who is Snoke? Whoever he is, Ben feels that he’s the only one to whom he can turn in this moment. And unbeknownst to Ben, Snoke had actually been manipulating things and used Ben Solo’s vulnerability.
And all of that comes just from the cover and brief preview! I absolutely cannot wait to read this comic series, as it sounds like this truly will be the backstory about Ben Solo’s fall to the dark side that we’ve been waiting for!