The Star Wars Sequel Trilogy introduced fans to the Knights of Ren, a mysterious clan of dark side Force users who were led by Kylo Ren. Like so many things in the Sequel Trilogy films, the full story and explanation of how the Knights of Ren fit into Star Wars lore largely fell by the wayside, leaving a lot of fans irritated – especially when the Knights of Ren (and Ben Solo) all fell in battle during The Rise of Skywalker's finale. Since the Sequel Trilogy film ended, it's fallen to Star Wars' other media platforms to fill in the gaps about the Knights of Ren – and now we're getting another key piece of their story!
(WARNING: Star Wars Comic SPOILERS Follow!)
This week marks the release of "Crimson Reign", the latest crossover story event in Marvel's Star Wars comics line. The previous story arc event "War of the Bounty Hunters" revealed that Solo: A Star Wars Story fan-favorite Qi'ra was the new leader of the Crimson Dawn syndicate after Maul's death, and took the group in a very different direction. Between the events of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, Qi'ra re-introduced Crimson Dawn to the Underworld as a shadowy ninja-like cabal, with spies and assassins embedded from the Empire to the Rebellion, to every crime syndicate. In "Crimson Reign" Qi'ra begins moving toward her true goal: freeing the galaxy from the rule of a Sith Lord.
To take down a Sith Lord, Qi'ra knows she needs powerful people around her, and so she invites several groups into Crimson Dawn's inner circle – including The Knights of Ren. Each group in the cabal serves a specific purpose in Qi'ra's grand design: for the Knights of Ren, their task is sneaking into Darth Vader's castle, to pull a heist of Sith artifact that will make them (as Ren puts it) "Legends."
While we have yet to get the full details on what the Knights of Ren steal from Vader's castle (if they are even successful), we do know from the Star Wars timeline that the group will emerge from this period with greater power and knowledge of both Sith and Jedi artifacts of power – some secrets stemming all the way back to the High Republic, and it is at one of those ancient sites that a Young Ben Solo will eventually meet them (and later kill Ren in a duel for leadership – as seen in the Kylo Ren comic miniseries).
This alliance between Ren and Qi'ra also obviously deepens Star Wars' themes about cycles of good and evil extending across generations. Han Solo's old love (Qi'ra) is now shown to have had a pivotal hand in setting up the group that will eventually help lure Han's son to the dark side, leading to Han's death. This tragedy is only getting more Shakespearean...
Star Wars: Crimson Reign is now available from Marvel Comics.