We’re still a good five months away from the release of Star Wars: Episode IX, and we’re hungrier for details than Rey heating up her portion of instant bread on Jakku. With the flood of imagery we saw at San Diego Comic-Con, and the news about new comics focused on Kylo and the Knights of Ren, we’ve been thinking about our favorite bad boy and his iconic mask.
So far, in all the official promotional material we’ve seen for The Rise of Skywalker, Kylo has appeared sans mask. In the trailer, he’s seen throwing down a Knight of Ren in a forest.
On the cover of Vanity Fair, and in the spread within, he’s also fresh-faced and maskless. Also, in an image shown at Star Wars: Celebration, Kylo is seen with all of Adam Driver’s face glory.
If you’ll recall, at the beginning of The Last Jedi, after being absolutely roasted by Supreme Leader Snoke’s incredible burn: “You’re just a child… in a mask” Kylo smashes his Vader-inspired mask to smoking pieces. He spends the rest of the film without it, letting this part of his past die. While the trailer for Episode IX seems to show some mysterious hands at work repairing the mask, we haven’t actually seen Kylo in it — apart from some other marketing materials at advertising expos and on toy boxes.
This is where this theory comes in. What if — and stay with us here — Kylo doesn’t actually put his mask back on in The Rise of Skywalker? What if someone else is sporting his First Order look to lead the Knights of Ren on whatever nefarious plan they’re executing through the course of the film?
A brief concession: this theory would then posit that Kylo would indeed be helping the Resistance in one way or the other. So, this is a pro-“Bendemption” theory. Further, Kylo putting his own mask back on in The Rise of Skywalker would seemingly revert the character development he went through in The Last Jedi. So, a mix of hope and previous movie logic have led me to believe that it is in fact, someone else, under the mask.
But who could this imposter be?
Redditor Masters25 added fuel to this fire, positing former Doctor Who alum Matt Smith is the one donning the helmet:
“I was thinking about this earlier today. I cannot think of a reason, convincing enough, for Kylo to put the helmet back on, given the events of TLJ. Is it possible that we see one of the Knights of Ren, say Matt Smith’s character, actually put on the mask and parade as the Supreme Commander (probably after they have a falling out)?”
Hmm, interesting! This also lines up with how coy Matt Smith has been about his role in Episode IX. While Smith was apparently cast last year, as announced by Variety, this past March, he denied his involvement to the LA Times:
“As far as I can tell, I’m definitely not.”
Is Smith telling the truth? Or is he appearing in The Rise of Skywalker under Kylo Ren’s mask? Could we see the Knights of Ren continue their campaign of terror in the galaxy if Kylo joins up with the Resistance? Again, this is all just a wild theory, but it’s definitely worth considering. We’ll just have to wait ’til December to find out.