Why The Knights of Ren Opposed The Sith Before Siding With Them Later

Warning! Spoilers for Crimson Reign ahead!

The Knights of Ren are shown conspiring against the Sith in the comic miniseries Crimson Reign, yet they later serve the Dark Lords in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. The Knights of Ren have intrigued Star Wars fans since they were first alluded to (and shown via a vision) in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The Rise of Skywalker and Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren finally showed the mysterious dark side-users in detail, with the latter explaining their philosophies. In Crimson Reign, however, the Knights of Ren aren’t quite as friendly with the Sith as they are in The Rise of Skywalker.

The difference between the Sith Lords and the Knights of Ren can best be summed up by what their titles suggest. The Sith Lords seek to rule over the dark side and, ultimately, the galaxy and are easily the most powerful and dangerous dark side users in the galaxy. The Knights of Ren serve the dark side, allowing it to guide them through the Unknown Regions and other hazardous sectors of the galaxy to pillage and murder as they desire. In this regard, the Knights of Ren are similar to the Jedi Knights, though the latter are benevolent beings who serve the people of the galaxy and the Force rather than its dark side.

Related: Star Wars Reveals The Original Knights of Ren, Aliens Included

In The Rise of Skywalker, The Knights of Ren follow Kylo Ren, their master as well as the Supreme Leader of the First Order, but serve the reborn Emperor Palpatine after Kylo Ren becomes Ben Solo once again. This is not the case in Crimson Reign, the comic miniseries by Charles Soule and Steven Cummings that takes place between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. In this comic event, the Knights of Ren are part of a criminal cabal initiated by Qi’ra, the leader of Crimson Dawn who plots against the Sith Lords, knowing that they’re the secret leaders of the Galactic Empire. Qi’ra notes to Ren (Kylo Ren’s predecessor) that Palpatine “stole (his) pride, (his) ambition,” implying that the Sith Lord rejected Ren and his Knights, preventing them from growing in power and serving the dark side as their philosophy dictates.

Crimson Reign is still in progress so the story behind Ren’s grievance with the Sith may eventually be told or explained, but for now, a potential rationale can be extrapolated. The Sith created the Order of Inquisitors in the earliest days of the Empire, training former Jedi in the ways of the dark side until they became Sith in all but name. The Inquisitorius Program no longer existed by the events of A New Hope, as the Jedi were believed to have been destroyed and the Inquisitors thus served their purpose.

It's possible that the Knights of Ren might have tried to join the Empire but were rejected, with the Empire having no use for such warriors despite their power in the dark side. This would prevent the Knights from serving the will of the dark side, thus leading them to loathe the Sith who rejected them. Their services were needed in The Rise of Skywalker, however, so the Knights of Ren served Palpatine, who had become the embodiment of the dark side by that point, ending their feud with the Sith shown in Crimson Reign.

Next: Darth Vader's Knights of Ren Battle Opens up a Sequel Trilogy Plot Hole

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