Star Wars Reveals What Ren Means

Since Star Wars: The Force Awakens debuted in 2015, fans have been learning more about the [...]

Since Star Wars: The Force Awakens debuted in 2015, fans have been learning more about the mysterious villain Kylo Ren. Once Ben Solo, son of Leia and Han Solo and student of Luke Skywalker, Ben turned to the dark side and joined the Knights of Ren. But neither The Force Awakens nor The Last Jedi explains what the word "Ren" that gives both Kylo and his group their name actually means. The new comic book Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren finally reveals the answer to that lingering question. SPOILERS for Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren #1 by Charles Soule, Will Sliney, and Guru-eFX follow.

The opening scene of Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren takes place "long ago" in relation to the main portion of the book, which begins just after Ben Solo's altercation with Luke Skywalker at the Jedi Temple. In the opening scene, the Knights of Ren are looking to recruit. One of its members reveals that attunement to the "shadow," the group's word for the Force, is a requirement.

He then goes on to reveal that the group follows the Ren, which is their word for a Lightsaber. He expands on this, revealing the philosophy of the Knights of Ren.

"The Ren doesn't stop to worry about what it's burning or the right or wrong of it, or the goals it might achieve. The Ren just is. It lives and it consumes and it doesn't apologize. It is its nature and nothing else… Bathe yourself in the shadow, fight its battles, preserve its tools, eat what it sends you."

Star Wars Ren
(Photo: Marvel)

Star Wars has always been influenced by Japanese samurai culture and cinema. This is another example, as this explanation of the Ren feels inspired by Japanese kenjutsu or kendo, or "the way of the sword."

This is also keeping with Disney era Star Wars' insistence that the Jedi and the Sith do not have a duopoly on practicing Force philosophy tradition. Star Wars: The Force Awakens introduced the Church of the Force. Rogue One introduced the Guardians of the Whills.

In a way, the Knights of Ren are more a dark side mirror image of the Jedi than even the Sith. The Sith contrast with the Jedi in that they attempt to wield the Force as a means to power. But the Jedi and the Knights of Ren both follow the will of the Force where it leads them, though it leads them in opposing directions.

What do you think of this explanation for the meaning of "Ren"? Let us know in the comments.

Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren #1
(W) Charles Soule (A) Will Sliney (CA) Clayton Crain


Young Ben Solo is legendary Jedi Luke Skywalker's most promising pupil. As the son of Rebel Alliance heroes Leia Organa and Han Solo, as well as Luke's own nephew, Ben has the potential to be a great force for light in the galaxy. But the Skywalker legacy casts a long shadow, the currents of the dark side run deep, and Darth Vader's blood runs in Ben's veins. Voices call from both his past and his future, telling him who he must be. He will shatter, he will be reforged, his destiny will be revealed. Snoke awaits. The Knights of Ren await. Ben Solo's path to his true self begins here.

Rated T
In Shops: Dec 18, 2019
SRP: $4.99