The Sith are the main antagonists of the Star wars saga, but they are largely absent from the sequel trilogy, having apparently been replaced by another religion on the dark side: the Knights of Ren. All strife in the Skywalker Saga sooner or later leads back to the Sith, especially their deadliest and brightest Dark Lord, Darth Sidious, aka Palpatine. The Sith apparently died with Palpatine in Return of the Jedi, but the Emperor survived, and so did the Sith Order. With the Sith influence remaining behind the scenes again, the Knights of Ren have become the new face of threats to the dark side of the galaxy, with their leader, Kylo Ren, second in command of the successor state to the Galactic Empire. , the First Order.
While 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 hardly the only Force religions in the franchise. The Sith created a splinter group, the Inquisitors, to use corrupt Jedi as Imperial agents. Star Wars: The Clone Wars included a significantly redesigned version of the Captions-ère Nightsisters, who use the dark side in the form of spells. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story introduced the Guardians of the Whills, a Force-utilizing religion distinct from the Jedi who guarded Kyber Crystals on Jedha. Considering how many religions using the Force exist in the Star wars franchise, the subsequent introduction of a non-Sith Dark Side group 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 gone by the end of the original trilogy, the sequels featured Kylo Ren, the son of Leia Organa and Han Solo, as Vader’s successor and leader of the Knights of Ren. The Knights made only a brief appearance in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and a small role in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, but their origins and philosophies were developed 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 on Moraband. Although they started out as a Jedi splinter group, the Sith Order has a fundamentally different view of the Force and the galaxy than the Jedi. Using the corrupted power of the dark side rather than the Force, the Sith believed in dominating the galaxy from the shadows and enforcing their absolute rule over all other beings. The Sith also developed the Rule of Two as a way to keep order alive and reduce internal fighting. The Rule of Two, created by Darth Bane, kept the two Sith only a master and an apprentice, each trying to replace the other.
The exact origins of the Knights of Ren are unknown, but at one point a gang of marauders using the dark side established themselves in the unknown regions of the galaxy, terrorizing the inhabitants of the galaxy. Unlike the Sith, the Knights of Ren had a much more passive philosophy and use of the dark side. As 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 lure wherever it took them and stealing, plundering and murdering wherever their travels took them. Unlike the Sith, the Knights of Ren did not limit their membership, 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 have also used similar weapons in some cases. The iconic weapon of the Sith are the Red Bladed Lightsabers, which they created by corrupting Kyber Crystals with the Dark Side and rendering them “bleed.While the Knights of Ren use various salvaged weapons, their leader also uses a red bladed lightsaber, although theirs tend 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 drain excess energy from the unstable blade.
Two of the Star wars The main villains of the sequel trilogy, Snoke and Kylo Ren, are not Sith. Kylo Ren, despite worshiping his Sith Lord grandfather, never became a Sith himself. After leaving the resurrected Jedi Order of Luke, Ben Solo joined the Knights of Ren, ultimately killing their leader and taking his place as the new master, Kylo Ren. As the Knight of Ren, Kylo wore a bulletproof vest and fearsome mask, which served several functions. As well as protecting his head and indicating his knight’s title, the mask also made Kylo feel more like his grandfather and idol, Darth Vader.
Snoke was not officially a part of any Dark Side religion, Sith, Knights of Ren or otherwise. Snoke was an unaffiliated Dark Side user and supreme leader of the First Order, although he was Kylo Ren’s mentor, serving as his master of the dark side, which gave him a certain degree of authority over the Knights of Ren. Snoke was ultimately created as a proxy for Darth Sidious, so despite his free will and incredible strength in the dark side, Snoke was yet another tool of the Sith Order, and his betrayal by Kylo Ren perfectly followed the Sith rule of of them.
Although he never joined the Sith, Kylo Ren became an ally of Order in The Rise of Skywalker. Working with Palpatine, Kylo combined the First Order with the Sith Eternal, forming the Final Order. The Knights of Ren also followed Kylo Ren into this alliance, continuing to serve Palpatine after Kylo reverted to Ben Solo. It was a fitting move for the Knights of Ren as they follow the dark side rather than dominate it. With Palpatine, the most powerful dark side user in the galaxy, gaining strength, it makes sense for the Knights to follow his incredible dark side power and serve him. The main difference between the Sith and the Knights of Ren in Star wars is revealed in their names. The Sith Lords rule the dark side of the Force in the Star wars saga while the Knights of Ren serve the dark side.