Back in May this year, a very early Star Wars: Episode IX storyboard leaked online, bringing us a major helping of questionable plot details, including a five-year time jump from the events of The Last Jedi. Slightly under four months later, it remains to be seen just how much of this alleged information will make it into the final film, but more recently leaked resources perhaps add some credibility to at least one nugget of information regarding Kylo Ren.
The new Supreme Leader of the First Order could be meeting up with his old friends, the Knights of Ren, in the J.J. Abrams-helmed flick. While we’ve had little more than a fleeting glimpse of these deadly figures thus far, YouTuber Mike Zeroh reports on some concept art that shows Kylo with six shadowy figures in front of a fire. And in case you need further confirmation that these guys are up to no good, one of the figures is allegedly seen throwing a dead man off their spear and another has their foot on a dead creature’s back.
Another interesting feature to this threatening image is that Kylo’s wearing is a similar mask to the one he sported in The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, before his old master Snoke told him to “Take that ridiculous thing off.” One explanation for the mask’s return is that the scene is part of a flashback to Kylo’s earlier days as part of the First Order. This would certainly line up with the recent rumors that the film will delve into the saga’s past, with Ed Harris said to be in talks to play a younger Snoke.
But now that Kylo’s killed his former boss, it’s not unthinkable that he’d return to his mask-wearing habit. With that in mind, we refer back to that May storyboard leak, which had this interesting little detail from the saga’s post-time jump era.
“The B plot revolves around Kylo Ren hunting down other Force users in secret using the Knights of Ren and trying to discover the mole among his ranks.”
So, in a plot point reminiscent of the slaughter of the younglings in Revenge of the Sith, the Knights are seeking to repress the wider awakening of the Force hinted at in the final scene of The Last Jedi. That would certainly be one way to keep the story’s momentum after Rian Johnson’s film left things unusually open-ended
As new set photos and official details emerge, no doubt some of these points will be confirmed or refuted, but don’t expect too many concrete answers until Star Wars: Episode IX comes out on December 20th, 2019.