After fans finished their first viewing of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, there were many questions to be asked. Are those Rey’s actual parents? What’s left of the resistance? Did Luke really have to milk that alien?
Warning: Spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi follow.
Another question concerns the Knights of Ren, a group of Force-powered warriors that embraced the dark side. Under the leadership of Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), it was explained in Star Wars: The Force Awakens that the Knights served Supreme Leader Snoke. However, they were nowhere to be seen in The Last Jedi. In fact, the group wasn’t even mentioned.
Now director Rian Johnson is explaining why the group didn’t make it into the film during an interview with the Empire Film podcast. It was done by design for the beginning, so don’t get your hopes up for a deleted scene with the group.
"Truth is, I just didn’t see a place for them in the movie," he says. Looking at the story he told with The Last Jedi, Johnson says the only place the group might fit in is during Kylo and Rey’s (Daisy Ridley) fight with the Praetorian guards after the death of Snoke. However, he thinks that would have would have fundamentally changed the scene.
"I guess I could’ve used them in place of the Praetorian guards but then it would feel like wasting them because all those guards had to die," he says. "And if Kylo had some kind of connection to them it would’ve added a complication that wouldn’t have helped the scene."
Just because they weren’t included in The Last Jedi doesn’t mean fans have seen the last of the Knights of Ren, though. With JJ Abrams returning to direct Episode IX, he could always bring them back into the story–especially now that Kylo has taken over as the Supreme Leader.
It’s going to be a while before the world finds out whether that’s happening, though. Star Wars: Episode IX won’t be in theaters until December 20, 2019. The next Star Wars film heading to the big screen is the Han Solo standalone movie, which arrives in May.