At the end of The Rise of Skywalker, when Kylo Ren shows up at the Sith Temple on Exegol, he is attacked by the Knights of Ren. This doesn't make a lot of sense to me. As far as I'm aware, the Knights of Ren serve Kylo Ren, not Emperor Palpatine. They didn't hesitate or even talk with Kylo before attacking him on sight.

Why did they turn against their leader?

  • Maybe they followed Rey there. Jan 2, 2020 at 19:26
  • 4
    Question 2 is a separate question that needs to be answered separately.
    – Möoz
    Jan 3, 2020 at 0:48
  • The Knights of Ren are dark-siders. They're not going to follow the leader if his goal is to destroy everything they stand for.
    – Gremer
    Jan 3, 2020 at 2:46
  • 2
    This question needs proper spoiler tags. I just learned something about a movie I didn't see yet. (I don't know how to make the edit).
    – Nelson
    Jan 3, 2020 at 4:03
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    Didn't he take out a few guards before being confronted by the Knights or am I misremembering how that scene went down? Jan 3, 2020 at 14:13

3 Answers 3


Kylo Ren certainly thought that he was their leader and that the Knights of Ren were personally loyal to him. It's not until he arrives at Exegol and finds them guarding Palpatine's shrine and waiting to attack him (presumably forewarned of his treachery by the Emperor's prophetic dark side visions) that he realises that he was being duped. They were never loyal to him or Snoke, they were Palpatine's creatures and always had been.

He reached the end of the Sith monoliths and rounded a corner. Familiar figures manifested in the flashing dark. First Vicrul and his scythe. Then Kiruk and his plasma blaster. And suddenly all six were arrayed before him. His Knights.

For the briefest moment, Ben actually thought they’d come to help.

But hate rolled off them in waves like fetid air. The Knights of Ren had never been his. They had belonged to the Emperor all along.

A final betrayal.

Snoke had been nothing more than a pawn. The Emperor had whispered poison to Ben his whole life. Now even the Knights, those whom he thought his faithful brothers, were raising their weapons for the kill.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: Expanded Edition


He shoots some kind of Palpatine-affiliated guard in the shot before he encounters the Knights of Ren (sorry for the blurry image):

A Ben Solo-shaped blob shooting a darker blob that shot at him

Since the Knights of Ren are apparently working with Palpatine at this point (for unexplained reasons; possibly because the rest of the First Order has been subsumed by the Final Order), they probably saw or heard this happening and correctly surmised that Ben had gone rogue.

Additionally, the Knights of Ren were Force-sensitive to some degree, according to the Visual Dictionary. When Kylo Ren approaches them on Exegol, he's (apparently) already turned back to the light, or at least doesn't seem to still be consumed by the dark side. Since they had spent a good amount of time with him, given that he was their leader, they may have sensed that something was wrong.

  • I thought the Knights of Ren were "fallen" students of Luke's Jedi school ? so definitely force users, no ?
    – Max
    Jan 3, 2020 at 16:04
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    @Max That doesn't seem to be true in the current state of canon. According to the Visual Dictionary and the ongoing The Rise of Kylo Ren comic, the Knights of Ren had already been a group of Force-sensitive marauders before Kylo became their leader.
    – Milo P
    Jan 3, 2020 at 18:09
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    But they attacked before he procured the blue lightsaber from Rey with their shifty see-each-other thing. They'd already beaten him to the ground. He didn't have the blue lightsaber until the middle of the fight.
    – gowenfawr
    Jan 12, 2020 at 2:23
  • At that point he was more in a confused “gray” state, I’d say, having realized the betrayal by the Emperor and the deal with Han on the DS ruins (no details), turning to the light at the final battle. Dec 29, 2020 at 2:58

In the canon comic Kylo Ren, the Knights of Ren already operate under Supreme Leader Snoke. It is possible that they were always under the control of Palpatine, given some information about Snoke that we learn in the movie.

  • Do you have a reference for that, or more details? Jan 3, 2020 at 18:24
  • Everything I said came from the recently released comic, The Rise of Kylo Ren. We see the Knights of Ren, murdering people and doing their dark side thing. They are led by a brand new, masked, lightsaber wielding person. Then we shift to Ben Solo right after Luke confronts him, as seen in the Last Jedi. Eventually, Ben makes his way to Snoke and asks about the Knights of Ren for some unknown purpose. Jan 3, 2020 at 18:31
  • @DarthTyler Which part of that establishes Snoke as being in control of the Knights of Ren? Ben had already encountered them, apparently with Luke while a Jedi trainee (according to the teaser for issue 2), but I don't think either Ben or Snoke describes them as being under Snoke's control.
    – Milo P
    Jan 3, 2020 at 21:56
  • During the first part of the issue, Ren mentions a friend that helps them find Force-sensitives. “We have a friend. He told us about you, Karrst. Said you can touch the Shadow.” Later, Ren mentions this person again, this time referring to them as the Master. “The Master will find us someone else soon enough.” I think it is too be assumed that Ren is referencing either Snoke or Palpatine. Jan 3, 2020 at 22:57

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