Rian Johnson, the maker of Star Wars: The Last Jedi has explained why he decided not to feature the Knights of Ren in his film. Johnson’s first Star Wars film has become highly controversial, and passionate fans are ripping apart all of his decisions besides ripping the film apart. While The Force Awakens had faced criticism for being too similar to A New Hope, The Last Jedi is being blasted for being too different from the original trilogy. It’s up to you what you make out of it, but, Rian Johnson’s choice of keeping the Knights of Ren out, seems to be a sensible one.
Warning: Spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi ahead. Read at your own risk!
Rian Johnson had recently been on the Empire podcast to talk about the secrets related to The Last Jedi. The interviewer asked him why we didn’t see the Knights of Ren in the film after they were expected to. Initially, rumors had hinted that Kylo Ren and the Knights of Ren would attack Luke Skywalker and Rey on Ahch-To, and that didn’t happen. Later rumors came up about Snoke’s Praetorian Guards being the Knights of Ren, another rumor that wasn’t true.
When the discussion moved to the Knights of Ren, Rian Johnson merely stated that the tightly stuffed story had no space for them. There was a lot of action taking place, and their inclusion would have been detrimental. Rather, Luke Skywalker made one slight reference to them, and that’s all there was about the Knights. This is what Johnson had said.
“We have a very full movie already there literally was just not room for another element…”
It was revealed that Rian Johnson did contemplate about the Praetorian Guards being the Knights of Ren, but, said it would have under-valued them because they were all doomed. Finally, he said that if the Knights of Ren had been Snoke’s guards, they would have posed a massive challenge for Rey and Kylo Ren to win the mega fight. He explained.
“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.”
It is quite likely that J.J. Abrams will show the Knights of Ren in Star Wars 9. However, that’s presently unconfirmed. It would be fascinating to see whether the fan backlash to The Last Jedi has forced Abrams’ to make changes to his script for the final part of the new trilogy. While the Knights of Ren were briefly glimpsed in The Force Awakens, they were not a key part of the saga. Rian Johnson’s logic for not using the Knights of Ren was first discussed during the Empire podcast.