The Sith are the main antagonists of the Star Wars saga, but they are largely absent from the sequel trilogy, having apparently been superseded by a different dark side religion: The Knights of Ren. All the conflicts in the Skywalker Saga lead back to the Sith sooner or later, specifically their most deadly and brightest Dark Lord, Darth Sidious, also known as Palpatine. The Sith apparently died with Palpatine in Return of the Jedi, but The Emperor survived and thus the Sith Order did too. With Sith influence behind the scenes once again, the Knights of Ren became the new face of threats from the dark side of the galaxy, with their leader, Kylo Ren, being second in command to the successor state of the Galactic Empire, the First Order.
Although the Jedi are the most effective and famous Force users in the galaxy and the Sith the most powerful dark side users, the two are not the only Force religions in the franchise. the The Sith created a splinter group, the Inquisitors., as a means of using corrupt Jedi as Imperial agents. Star Wars, Clone Wars included a significantly reimagined version of the Legends-It was Nightsisters, who use the dark side in the form of spells. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story introduced the Guardians of the Whills, a religion that uses the Force separate from the Jedi who guarded the Kyber crystals on Jedha. Considering how many religions that use the Force exist in the Star Wars franchise, the introduction of the aftermath of a dark side group other than the Sith was appropriate.
The Sith orchestrated the Separatist Crisis and the Clone Wars in the Star Wars prequels, paving the way for Palpatine to replace the Republic with the Galactic Empire with Darth Vader by his side. With the Sith seemingly missing at the end of the original trilogy, the sequels featured Kylo Ren, the son of Leia Organa and Han Solo, as Vader’s successor and the leader of the Knights of Ren. The Knights had only a brief appearance in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and a small paper in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, but its origins and philosophies were expanded in the four-issue comic book miniseries Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren.
Thousands of years before the events of Star Wars‘Skywalker Saga, a group of fallen Jedi formed the Sith Order in Moraband. Although they started out as a Jedi splinter group, the Sith Order has a fundamentally different perspective on the Force and the galaxy than the Jedi. Using the corrupting power of the dark side instead of the Force, the Sith believed in dominating the galaxy from the shadows and imposing their absolute dominance over all other beings. The Sith also developed the Rule of Two as a means of keeping order alive and reducing infighting. The Rule of Two, created by Darth Bane, kept the two Sith only as master and apprentice, each trying to replace the other.
The exact origins of the Knights of Ren are unknown, but at some point a band of marauders using the dark side settled in the Unknown Regions of the galaxy, terrorizing the people of the galaxy. Unlike the Sith, the Knights of Ren he had a much more passive philosophy and a use of the dark side. While the Sith sought to control the dark side and use it to control the galaxy, the Knights of Ren followed the dark side, following its attraction wherever it took them and stealing, looting and murdering wherever their travels took them. Unlike the Sith, the Knights of Ren did not limit their members, but given their use of the dark side, only the strongest and most ruthless could join their ranks.
While the Sith and the Knights of Ren have fundamentally different philosophies, the two share some commonalities. In addition to using the dark side of the Force, both organizations also used similar weapons, in some cases. The signature weapon of the Sith is the red-bladed lightsabers, which they created corrupting Kyber’s crystals with the dark side and doing them “to bleed.While the Knights of Ren use various weapons to steal, their leader also uses a red-bladed lightsaber, although his tends to be different from Sith weapons. Ren, the oldest known leader, built a self-destruct mechanism into his weapon, and Kylo Ren modified his weapon with a cross guard to vent excess energy from the unstable sword.
Two of the Star Wars The main villains in the sequel trilogy, Snoke and Kylo Ren, are not Sith. Kylo Ren, despite worshiping his Sith Lord grandfather, never became a Sith. After leaving Luke’s revived Jedi Order, Ben Solo he joined the Knights of Ren, eventually killing their leader and taking his place as their new master, Kylo Ren. As a Knight of Ren, Kylo wore body armor and a fearsome mask, which served multiple functions. In addition to protecting his head and indicating his knighthood, the mask also allowed Kylo to feel more like his grandfather and idol, Darth Vader.
Snoke was not officially part of any religion of the dark side, Sith, Knights of Ren or otherwise. Snoke was an unaffiliated dark side user and the Supreme Leader of the First Order, although he was a mentor to Kylo Ren, serving as his dark side master, which gave him a degree of authority over the Knights of Ren. Snoke was, ultimately, created as a proxy to Darth Sidious, so despite his free will and incredible strength on the dark side, Snoke was yet another tool of the Sith Order, and his betrayal by Kylo Ren followed the Rule of the Two Sith to perfection.
Despite never having joined the Sith, Kylo Ren became an ally of the order in The rise of Skywalker. Working with Palpatine, Kylo combined the First Order with the Eternal Sith, forming the Final Order. The Knights of Ren also followed Kylo Ren in this alliance, and they continued to serve Palpatine after Kylo became Ben Solo once more. This was an appropriate move for the Knights of Ren, as they follow the dark side, rather than rule it. With Palpatine, the most powerful dark side user in the galaxy, growing in strength, it makes sense for the Knights to follow his incredible dark side power and serve him. The key difference between the Sith and the Knights of Ren in Star Wars it is revealed in their names. The Sith Lords rule the dark side of the Force in the Star Wars saga as the Knights of Ren serve the dark side.
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