As Star Wars fans eagerly await the next chapter in the iconic science fiction series, the latest batch of rumors from the set of Episode IX center around Adam Driver’s villainous Kylo Ren. The popular Star Wars podcast Making Star Wars recently suggested that Ren would be getting a new helmet in Episode IX. As fans of the series know, Ren’s mask was a big part of the character’s identity in the 2015 film The Force Awakens. In The Force Awakens, Ren’s mask is part of his hero worship of Darth Vader, the character’s grandfather. Ren destroyed the mask in last year’s The Last Jedi following a harsh exchange with First Order Supreme Leader Snoke. The latest rumors suggest that Ren will be getting a new mask in Episode IX. Those close to the production say that the character has been seen wearing a reforged mask on set, with hints of the original Force Awakens mask mixed with stylings of Darth Vader and Darth Maul, the villain of 1999’s The Phantom Menace.
Another rumor hints at the first major appearance of the mysterious Knights of Ren. The Knights of Ren were an elite unit of the First Order led by Kylo Ren, taking assignments directly from Supreme Leader Snoke. The organization was mentioned in a conversation between Ren and Snoke from The Force Awakens and briefly seen in Rey’s Force vision from the film. A source from Disney’s marketing department claims that the Knights of Ren will be a major part of Episode IX’s marketing campaign. Given that J.J. Abrams, the director of The Force Awakens, is once again returning for Episode IX, it stands to reason that the Knights of Ren might once again appear in the franchise. Speaking with Empire Film Podcast, Last Jedi director Rian Johnson told of how he made a conscious decision to keep the Knights of Ren out of the film. Johnson felt that the film already had a large number of storylines and that incorporating the organization would needlessly complicate the movie.
Episode IX is set to conclude the Skywalker Saga, storyline elements that have been the focus of the Star Wars franchise for the past eight films. By far the biggest question going into the film is if Kylo Ren will embrace the legacy of the dark side from his grandfather or walk the path of light. Star Wars: Episode IX premieres on December 20, 2019.