An official image from The Rise of Skywalker focusing on the menacing Knights of Ren has been unveiled. In addition, J.J. Abrams has spoken out about coming back to the franchise after Rian Johnson helmed The Last Jedi. Johnson made some pretty bold story choices that have proven to be divisive over the years, including Rey's parentage, the killing of Snoke, and the bitter Luke Skywalker storyline. With that being said, Abrams was fully prepared to get back into the Star Wars universe.

The latest Knights of Ren image is a closeup and though they look pretty tough, not much is known about them in terms of how they'll fit into The Rise of Skywalker. The Knights of Ren were first teased in 2015's The Force Awakens, but they were completely left out of The Last Jedi, which puzzled some Star Wars fans and angered others. J.J. Abrams has chosen to bring them back and believes he was able to pick up the baton and work from Rian Johnson's ideas for one specific reason. He had this to say.

"I never found myself trying to repair anything. If I had done VIII, I would have done things differently, just as Rian would have done things differently if he had done VII. But having worked on television series, I was accustomed to creating stories and characters that then were run by other people. If you're willing to walk away from the thing that you created and you believe it's in trustworthy hands, you have to accept that some of the decisions being made are not gonna be the same that you would make. And if you come back into it, you have to honor what's been done."

There is a lot of pressure on J.J. Abrams to come up with a satisfying ending for the Skywalker Saga. However, he doesn't feel like what Rian Johnson did was controversial and has stood up for his decisions multiple times over the past few years. Instead of going in and "fixing" things, Abrams says he is going in to "honor" the stories that have been told thus far, which includes what Johnson did with The Last Jedi. The Rise of Skywalker already looks like it's going to be quite different from the last installment as evidenced by the previously released promotional material.

In addition to the Knights of Ren image, two new pictures of Rey and Kylo Ren have been revealed too. All of the latest images come to us from the upcoming November issue of Empire and there will be a lot more to uncover in the coming days. Rey and Kylo Ren take up two different versions of the cover image and they are battling each other. You can check out all three new Rise of Skywalker images below.

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Kevin Burwick