The images depict early designs for Kylo Ren, which have now reportedly been used as the Knights of Ren.

‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’: Knights Of Ren Concept Art Leaks

The concept art for a mysterious, villainous group known as the Knights of Ren has leaked online, just a week after Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams confirmed their existence in the highly anticipated film.

Star Wars fans were abuzz last week when Abrams revealed the Knights of Ren in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, as the Inquisitr recently noted. Discussing The Force Awakens villain Kylo Ren, Abrams noted that the character’s surname wasn’t given to him at birth, but rather bestowed when he joined the shadowy group of (presumed) dark side Force-sensitives.

“He is a character who came to the name Kylo Ren when he joined a group called the Knights of Ren.”

Now, just days after Abrams’ interview was published, concept art for the Knights of Ren has leaked online, thanks to Indie Revolver. The outlet alleges that the leaked concept art reveals early designs for the character of Kylo Ren in The Force Awakens, which were eventually discarded or refined. Though unconfirmed, their source asserts that the early designs for Kylo have now been re-appropriated as the Knights of Ren. If this is, in fact, true, then the artwork suggests several things regarding the shadowy order.

Fans have speculated wildly about the nature of the Knights of Ren, and what role they play in the newest Star Wars film, but their potential connection to the dark side of the Force has drawn the most interest. As Screenrant points out, the concept artwork features a seemingly ever-present set of lightsabers, and its re-appropriation may suggest that the Knights of Ren, much like Kylo, are Force users of indeterminate ability. Moreover, Abrams revealed in his discussion of the character that Kylo is a Vader-obsessive, causing fans to question whether the Knights of Ren may be a newly established sect bent on revenge for the fallen Sith lord, as opposed to an elder order.

“The movie explains the origins of the mask and where it’s from, but the design was meant to be a nod to the Vader mask. [Ren] is well aware of what’s come before, and that’s very much a part of the story of the film.”

In their discussion of Kylo Ren, Abrams and screenwriter Lawrence Kasden also revealed a great deal more regarding the presumed Star Wars villain. Abrams noted that the controversial crossguard lightsaber Ren wields in The Force Awakens was self-built, suggesting that he may not have the guidance of a dark side mentor at first. Kasden expounded on the character further, calling him “full of emotion,” and singling him out as unique in Star Wars canon.

Whatever the true nature of Kylo and the Knights of Ren, Star Wars fans have just a few months to go before it is revealed in full, when The Force Awakens hits theaters on December 18.

[Image: Disney / Lucasfilm via Metro]

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