There's a tension in the Force — and that is just what the heck happened to Episode VII's Knights of Ren?
Well, Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson finally answers what fans have been talking about since last month's release: The reason he didn't include Kylo Ren's personal battalion is that it would've cluttered up the many storylines already in Episode VIII.
"We have a very full movie already. There literally was just no room for another element," Johnson said in an Empire podcast. "I guess I could've used them in place of the Praetorian guards, but then it would feel like wasting them, because I knew 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."
The scene Johnson's referring to, of course, is when Kylo, aka Ben Solo, betrays and murders Supreme Leader Snoke in his throne room. He and Rey then take out Snoke's Praetorian guards in what's probably one of the most riveting scenes in The Last Jedi.
Should the filmmaker have replaced the red-helmeted baddies with the Knights of Ren, that would have most certainly confused the situation and made a fight scene somewhat difficult since, after all, Kylo's Knights would have been loyal to him.
Johnson didn't drop the Knights of Ren completely, though. When Luke Skywalker, now a hermit on the planet Ahch-To, explains to Rey how Ben burned the Jedi temple down, he mentions that his young Padawan took a group of students with him. What became of these young Jedi wannabes, however, is a question left unanswered.
So what was a major cause for speculation in the new Star Wars trilogy after their brief mention in J.J. Abrams' The Force Awakens is now a mystery that may or may not be resolved when Abrams returns to helm Episode IX.
But don't count the Knights of Ren out entirely. Abrams does have an affinity for his creation, having previously teased to Collider that the Knights could make a "pretty cool" Star Wars stand-alone movie.
We'll just have to wait and see when Star Wars: Episode IX hits theaters on Dec. 20, 2019.