The hugely anticipated Star Wars: Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker is set to feature a variety of new characters alongside the series' regular cast. One villainous group that has been teased since 2015's The Force Awakens is the Knights of Ren. It has now been confirmed that they will appear in The Rise of Skywalker, which is directed by JJ Abrams.
The news comes via an article published by Vanity Fair about the making of the new Star Wars movie. In one of the various behind-the-scenes images we see a group of masked characters standing in the desert with stunt coordinator Eunice Huthart. The caption reads: "J.J. Abrams, alongside Stunt Coordinator Eunice Huthart, directs the Knights of Ren; elite fearsome enforcers of Kylo Ren's dark will." Check the image out below:
The Knight of Ren did feature in The Force Awakens, during one of Rey's visions on the planet Takodana. But that scene was short, dark, and set in the pouring rain–this new image gives us a much better idea of what to expect. According to Lucasfilm's creative art manager Phil Szostak, the look of the Knights in The Force Awakens was based on rejected designs for Kylo Ren, and you can certainly see how their appearance influenced Kylo's.
While the Vanity Fair article doesn't provide any further details about how the Knights of Ren will feature in The Rise of Skywalker, we do know more about some of the other new characters. Keri Russell will play a masked villain named Zorri Bliss, Richard E. Grant is First Order leader Allegiant General Pryde, and Naomi Ackie plays Jannah, who is pictured riding a creature called an Orbak.
Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters on December 19. It stars Daisy Ridley as Rey, Adam Driver as Kylo Ren, John Boyega as Finn, Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron, Kelly Marie Tran as Rose Tico, Lupita Nyong'o as Maz Kanata, Domhnall Gleeson as General Hux, Mark Hamill as Luke, and Billy Dee Williams as Lando. For more, check out the movie's first trailer and everything we know about Star Wars Episode IX.
Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker isn't the only new Star Wars release that fans have to look forward to this year. It has also been confirmed that the live-action TV show The Mandalorian will be available on the streaming service Disney+ when it launches on November 12.
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