UPDATE! Never Before Seen Concept Art for the Knights of Ren from The Force Awakens!

During the production of The Force Awakens, a couple pieces of leaked concept art came to be in our possession, but we decided not to share the images at the time out of respect for Lucasfilm. One of the two images eventually found its way into The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens book, but the other has still never seen the light of day. We contacted our artist friend Venamis, who did a sketch recreation of the other piece for us. Both pieces are concept art for the Knights of Ren, still one of the most mysterious groups in the Star Wars universe.



One thing we have discovered over the long design history of Star Wars is that unused concepts rarely ever go unused forever. Most recently, Dave Filoni has proved this point time and again with Star Wars: Rebels, a show that often uses designs directly inspired by the work of the great Ralph McQuarrie. Filoni even used an unused concept from The Force Awakens for the Fifth Brother Inquisitor in season 2 of the show (see below).



As mentioned above, the Knights of Ren are a mysterious bunch, and we really don’t know very much about them. We know from Snoke’s comments to Kylo Ren in TFA that Kylo is their leader, and we see a glimpse of them in the “Forceback” vision that Rey sees in Maz’s castle.


Concept Art for the Knights of Ren (The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens)


So far, the Knights of Ren haven’t appeared in any other Star Wars material (save for the possibility that the Acolytes of the Beyond in the Aftermath trilogy might be precursors to the order), so it will be interesting to see how they are fleshed out in future installments of the sequel trilogy. It appears that The Last Jedi might just give them a little bit of screen time if fans are right about their speculations that Rey and Luke will be going up against them in the film.




So without further ado, here is Venamis’ sketch of the other piece (click the image for a larger view):



Here are some of the things we observed from the image:


  • The second character from the left is definitely a female (notice the female stunt performer in the above photo with Daisy Ridley) and is very similar in design to the Kage warriors from Clone Wars and the character Deathstick, an assassin in the mobile game Star Wars: Uprising.




  • The character on the far right seems to have been used for a member of Tasu Leech’s Kanjiklub gang.



  • The third character from the left seems to have a blaster for an arm.


  • Also, notice that the characters all appear to be human (or near-human) and the unmasked characters look to be middle-aged.


Obviously, the Knights of Ren ended up resembling the art in The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens book more so than this image. But with the knowledge in mind that some of these designs have been and may be used again at some point, we thought it was worth sharing.



It’s possible that Woody Harrelson’s character “Beckett” (above center) from the upcoming Han Solo film may have even been inspired by the character on the left side of the image. Keep an eye out for these designs in the future and share your thoughts and observations in the comments below.



Make sure to check out Venamis’ Instagram page for more awesome Star Wars fan art here.





Since some people thought that we were describing another art piece from the book The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, to avoid further confusion, here’s the actual photo that we have:




It has a few different characters from the book.



+ posts

Jordan Pate is Co-Lead Editor and Senior Writer for Star Wars News Net, of which he is also a member of the book and comic review team. He loves all things Star Wars, but when he's not spending time in the galaxy far far away, he might be found in our own galaxy hanging out in Gotham City or at 1407 Graymalkin Lane, Salem Center, NY.

Jordan Pate (Hard Case)

Jordan Pate is Co-Lead Editor and Senior Writer for Star Wars News Net, of which he is also a member of the book and comic review team. He loves all things Star Wars, but when he's not spending time in the galaxy far far away, he might be found in our own galaxy hanging out in Gotham City or at 1407 Graymalkin Lane, Salem Center, NY.

84 thoughts on “UPDATE! Never Before Seen Concept Art for the Knights of Ren from The Force Awakens!

  • July 20, 2017 at 8:22 pm

    Does people realize how much of a hype gave that shot of the knights under the rain? I just hope we don’t get upset when we see the actual guys.

    • July 20, 2017 at 9:37 pm

      Indeed. I am hoping for an elite group of force warriors, but they might just be desposable bounty hunters

      • July 20, 2017 at 11:17 pm

        I’ve had it in my mind that the Knights of Red are not force users — that Kylo Ren’s force abilities are what set him apart to become the leader. I don’t think he could be the leader of an “elite group of force users” (yet). But then I always imagined them being much younger than these drawings suggest.

        • July 20, 2017 at 11:29 pm

          I feel we fans have been overthinking the Knights. I speculate they were put in by JJ Abrams simply to be a mysterious element, but Rian Johnson may not have cared to expand upon them. (He hasn’t mentioned them, from what I can recall; and there have been no leaks about the Knights in TLJ.)

          So the Knights will be quickly disposed of early on in TLJ and forgotten. (e.g. They’ll fight Luke and Rey, and be easily defeated, Force-pushed off the cliffs — one of them will do the Wilhelm scream. The End.)

          This is just my cynical prediction. 🙂

          • July 21, 2017 at 12:50 am

            I’ve had similar thoughts. After all, Obiwan mentioned the Jedi Knights in IV and we really didn’t learn much about them or what they looked like for a long time. (Although there was much discussion of the Force.) Then we found out they all dressed like hermits hiding in the deserts of Tatooine. 😉

          • July 21, 2017 at 4:09 am

            Yeah I’ve mentally written off the Knights of Ren in this next movie. I’m very familiar with the series LOST — the Knights of Ren feel to me thematically similar in idea to The Others. JJ Abrams created them to be a “mystery box” element for the next writer/director to take up. But I’ve sensed Johnson doesn’t care for them. Instead, it’s all about the Praetorian Guards (who it appear could have been the Knights of Ren), because he created them. LOL

            So the Ren team look like fodder to be explored/exploited commercially in the new expanded universe canon (i.e. comics, novels, etc.).

            I actually do hope I’m wrong about this, and I get proverbial egg on my face. So let’s see.

          • July 21, 2017 at 3:54 pm

            That would be a shame, they’re a great concept.

    • July 20, 2017 at 11:27 pm

      The cynic in me says we won’t see much of the Knights. Like, they’ll make a quick appearance and be wiped out early and forgotten. lol.

  • July 20, 2017 at 8:37 pm

    Nice drawings, I’d like to see them more uniform and cohesive, like wearing the same kind of outfit/armor, symbolizing their allegiance to the Knighthood, instead of yet another motley crew of misfits.

  • July 20, 2017 at 8:56 pm

    I really hope at least some of them have lightsabers..seeing multiple crimson blades would give off an Old Republic vibe which would be really cool.

  • July 20, 2017 at 9:46 pm

    These guys are Sons of Anarchy and Kylo Jax their leader…

    • July 20, 2017 at 10:16 pm

      Snoke is Clay for sure lol

      • July 21, 2017 at 4:31 am

        Clay had trouble in his hand, he betrayed and he was betrayed by Jax… I wonder he should be Luke, father figure but not biological…

        • July 21, 2017 at 4:35 am

          He beatryed Kylo by wanting Rey instead, and now Kylo is left to turn the tables to betray and kill Snoke and the Irish…I mean the resistance…

          • July 22, 2017 at 9:26 am

            What are you talking about?
            Have you watched “The Force Awakens”?
            Are you talking about Snoke or about the lightsaber?

          • July 22, 2017 at 4:46 pm

            SNOKE!! What do you mean the lightsaber??!! Lol

          • July 22, 2017 at 9:45 pm

            I read the novelization and Snoke never talked with Rey hehe

          • July 23, 2017 at 9:07 am

            I didn´t remember this from the novelization.
            It is funny because in the movie it seems the force awakens in her, but in this paragraph you are quoting it looks like the the dark side called her.

  • July 20, 2017 at 10:37 pm

    Seven Samurais ?

    • July 21, 2017 at 1:56 am

      Seven brides for seven brothers?

  • July 20, 2017 at 10:42 pm

    i m assuming Kylo Ren is not in the group. So why is there 7 in concept art and 6 in the site top banner ?

    • July 20, 2017 at 11:17 pm

      HAHAHA the master of the knights of ren gets his @ss kicked by a girl that ignites a lightsaber for 2nd time in less than a week… doesnt matter if he was injured, he forces chokes her to death and end of story

      • July 20, 2017 at 11:35 pm

        -Finn is a Stormtrooper with melee weapon training according to the canon book Before The Awakening:

        -Rey is trained to melee weapon combat with her staff as seen in the movie.

        -Kylo doesn’t want to kill Rey “You need a teacher, I can show you the ways of the Force”, he has compassion for her, proof from this canon books:

        -there’s no proof Kylo can Force choke like Vader, Kylo and Snoke are not Sith according to Pablo Hidalgo from the Lucasfilm Story Group.

        • July 21, 2017 at 1:00 am

          +1 on point three. That Kylo didn’t want to kill Rey seems to be missed a lot and really that alone goes a long way to explain it.

          Also, “doesnt matter if he was injured”? He had been actively bleeding for quite a while. A body doesn’t hold up to well to running out of blood.

          • July 21, 2017 at 2:28 am

            A lot of folks just aren’t looking at that fight any deeper than as a simple melee. There was a lot going on there.

          • July 21, 2017 at 2:14 pm

            I believe that is “prequel-induced brain damage”. Most of the times, lightsabers fights and action scenes in the prequels didn’t involve any emotional conflict, at all. They were mainly about “how flashy the fight looks” and the only level deeper than that was “how cool/powerful this character is”.
            Thus, a lot of prequelites can’t come to terms with “How is it possible that a Level 10 ‘Sith Assassin’ was bested by a Level 5 Scavanger who doesn’t even have her ‘Padawan’ Prestige Class yet?”

          • July 21, 2017 at 6:15 pm

            problem is…that was literally her first time using a lightsaber…just horribly done. If they wanted to convey all the things that many of you suggest then they should have shot the scene a little better and then we would not be having this discussion.

            No emotion in the fights in the prequels? Maul and Kenobi? Kenobi and Anakin? Yoda and the empereor? Very intense scenes

          • July 21, 2017 at 6:10 pm

            maybe, and if that is the case then they did a poor job of showing everything that was or was not going on. Poor fighting sequence that leaves the debate open for years to come.

          • July 21, 2017 at 6:19 pm

            “…if that is the case then they did a poor job of showing everything that was or was not going on.”

            Not really. I seemed to figure it out. So did lots of other people.

          • July 21, 2017 at 7:25 pm

            why the debate? I see it completely different. as do many others….Ren, may be the worst semi bad guy to wield a saber.

          • July 21, 2017 at 7:46 pm

            That’s part of what makes the character interesting. He’s a semi-bad guy…and not a very good one at that. Any attempt to create a villain in the hopes to out-do Vader would have failed. You can’t out-Vader, Vader; he’s just too entrenched as the ultimate movie villain. Try, and you get a video game villain. So Abrams and crew created an antagonist that’s sort of a conflicted mess who sort of botches the job when it comes to being a total bad guy. He’s going to try, but he’s not quite up to the task like his granddad was. And he knows it. And he hates that. To me, that was one of the film’s greatest character strengths.

          • July 21, 2017 at 8:34 pm

            nobody wanted another vader…but instead of conflicted, he came across as whiny. That’s why you see the cracks about him all the time.

            if that was their masterstroke….let’s hope Rian does better. As of now, he’s the biggest joke I’ve seen since Jar Jar. But we’re talking about a film flawed in so many ways that it was a laughable experience forms and the group I was with.

          • July 21, 2017 at 8:58 pm

            Well, I disagree. I think you’re wrong. Perhaps your “group” thought it was laughable, but those I frequently talk Star Wars with thought it was a particularly strong entry into the saga and a breath of fresh air after the previous three Star Wars movies.

          • July 21, 2017 at 9:45 pm

            I agree to disagree…to each their own opinion. we thought the prequel stories were stronger, though they had their own issues.

            It would be more fun to debate this over a beer! lol

          • July 21, 2017 at 10:25 pm

            “It would be more fun to debate this over a beer! lol”

            Now THAT I agree with. If you ever find yourself in Cleveland, drinks are on me.

          • July 21, 2017 at 10:40 pm

            Like wise if in SC!….NOW let’s hope TLJ gives us something that we can all agree on !

          • July 22, 2017 at 3:44 pm

            Agreed. It would have been so easy to create an overpowered, “X-TREME!” villain, but instead, they made someone with real characters and story.

          • July 22, 2017 at 3:43 pm

            “if that is the case then they did a poor job of showing everything that was or was not going on.”

            Mmmmm…no. You just wanted Kylo to be an amazing badass like Darth Vader when the final battle ended up being something very different. I understood that, and so did most audience members.

          • July 22, 2017 at 8:45 pm

            not really, but they presented him as a badass. Leader of KOR, Luke’s apprentice, Snokes apprentice, he uses the force to render her unconscious earlier …you know, they flubbed it.

          • July 23, 2017 at 12:13 am

            They showed him TRYING to be badass, but when Kylo had real character moments (not just flashy action for the fanboys), it was clear that he was an unhinged poser who wanted to be like Grandpa, and they portrayed that very well.

          • July 23, 2017 at 4:27 am

            yet, here we are debating the character. too much debate for what people on one side of the argument claim.

          • July 23, 2017 at 7:14 pm

            People debate whether or not the Earth is flat. Just let that sink in.

          • July 23, 2017 at 7:47 pm

            that particular debate ended long ago. We’re talking Star Wars! Stay on target…stay on target….

          • July 23, 2017 at 10:24 pm

            What I meant was that no matter how obvious or seemingly one-sided something is, there are people who will find a way to argue against it. The existence of an argument is not proof of its own validity.

          • July 24, 2017 at 3:30 pm

            while I would normally agree with you on this point….there are enough people on both sides of this argument to validate both sides. It’s apparent that many saw events exactly as they intended. It’s also apparent that there are too many issues or so many people wouldn’t see things as I do.
            as stated in another thread, this is all good debate here and even better over Beer!

          • July 24, 2017 at 5:27 pm


        • July 21, 2017 at 2:04 am

          that depends whether the ‘undercover boss’ sketch is canon as he force-chokes in that. I hope it is.

          Seriously though, it’s a dark-side force ability, why wouldn’t he be able to use it just because hes calling himself something other than a Sith? He certainly managed to drag that officer across the room to his hand. As you said though, he doesn’t want to kill Rey.

          However, for the OP- it is possible to overthink things, if you want to get into plausibility too much then the entire series will seem daft. She beat him because the movie script required it- no amount of lightsaber training can overcome that.

        • July 21, 2017 at 6:08 pm

          but he can stop laser bolts? Throw her a 100 ft with the force? It was a poorly written scene that has created this conversation a 1000 times.

        • July 21, 2017 at 6:34 pm

          He’s already frozen her by this point in the film. And, nope, a thousand times nope. If it’s not in the film, but requires a ‘what JJ REALLY meant…’ from a YA novel it’s BS storytelling.

      • July 21, 2017 at 2:02 am

        Kylo is less powerful than you think. Rey is more powerful than you think. The mastery of the force is not defined by how well you swing a laser sword around. It’s about how well you focus. This is Yoda Jedi training 101. Rey was able to focus, Kylo was not — due to his wound, the killing of his father, and the impending humiliating failure of his military endeavor.

        • July 21, 2017 at 2:20 am

          he was in pain , injured and fully on the dark side because of killing han , the power of the dark side comes from there: pain, fear, anger ,hate. yoda said that too, i really wish she lost to kylo not easy but still lost. She is way too overpowered in that duel.
          PS: Knights of ren is the name of his emo metal band

        • July 21, 2017 at 2:27 am

          I’m baffled by some folks’ inability to get their heads around the Kylo Ren/Finn showdown. As you pointed out, Kylo was injured and a psychological mess; about as un-focused as you could imagine. Finn was a trained First Order warrior. And really, Finn only sorta held his own for a few moments before getting seriously worked over.

          And there’s a LOT we don’t know about Rey.

          • July 21, 2017 at 6:20 pm

            we do know that she has never used a light saber before this scene…to many issues with the scene to try and explain away. just another example of how poorly written the movie was.

          • July 21, 2017 at 6:26 pm

            “we do know that she has never used a light saber before this scene…”

            And it shows. Watch the scene again. For most of the duel, she’s retreating. When she does swing the saber, it’s without nuance; just uncontrolled, defensive hacking. It’s not until the very end that she taps something within herself and grabs the upper hand. And as said before, she’s facing off against and injured, conflicted opponent that might not want to kill her anyway.

            Don’t blame the writers if you can’t see this.

          • July 21, 2017 at 7:23 pm

            awful scene…thats why debate never ends

          • July 22, 2017 at 3:41 pm

            I think disingenuous fanboys are the real reason, personally.

          • July 22, 2017 at 8:49 pm

            disagree…easy to make scenes that don’t conflict with what you’ve shown us earlier in the film. For sure, a huge fan. but TFA was disingenuous and full of missed opportunities to reunite the big 3. They could have done so many things, instead give us mostly rehashed items and a shadow of Jacens character from tge EU.

          • July 23, 2017 at 12:11 am

            “but TFA was disingenuous and full of missed opportunities to reunite the big 3.”

            Just because a film doesn’t fit with your wish fulfillment doesn’t make it bad.

            “a shadow of Jacens character from the EU.”

            Holy shit, Kylo is not supposed to be Jacen. he his his own unique character with this own traits and flaws. the sooner you accept that, the better.

          • July 23, 2017 at 12:56 am

            he was always to be based off attributes of Jacen. it doesn’t take much reading to know that. Of course, they’re not fully going to make him Jacen…which is too bad, because that is a much more interesting character.

            not so much about my wish list, it’s a common complaint that you’ve seen as often as me. He was a poorly developed character in TFA. that came across as a whiny brat.

            Hey, maybe Rian will course correct. I’m sure hoping so. I don’t like bashing something that I’ve loved forever.

          • July 23, 2017 at 3:43 am

            “he was always to be based off attributes of Jacen.”

            I don’t think that the creators of Jacen are the only people in the world who could’ve come up with the idea of Han and Leia having an evil son. It’s a pretty logical story idea.

            “which is too bad, because that is a much more interesting character.”

            Kylo was in one film. Jacen was in countless books. Apples to oranges.

            “that came across as a whiny brat.”

            Agree to disagree, but conflicted ≠ whiny. If it’s “whiny” to be torn up at the thought of murdering your own dad, then fuck, I’d dare say most sane people in the world are awfully whiny.

          • July 23, 2017 at 4:22 am

            yep, no resolution between us on this one. But, whiny in regards to crying to snoke about Rey, or pitching fits and tearing things up when it don’t go his way=whiny.


        • July 21, 2017 at 6:05 pm

          Ren force threw her 100 ft away but couldn’t use the force to choke her out? not buying it then or now…it was bad writing.

          • July 21, 2017 at 7:59 pm

            He didn’t want to choke her out.

          • July 21, 2017 at 8:29 pm

            wouldn’t that make it easier to take her captive? like their first encounter….

          • July 21, 2017 at 9:08 pm

            Would it have been easier for Luke to have just flown his X-Wing directly to the exhaust port on the Death Star instead of flying down that narrow, perilous, weapon-ridden trench? Doesn’t exactly seem like the path-of-least-resistance when it comes to accomplishing their task.

            Why didn’t the dang eagles just fly Frodo to Mount Doom in order to ditch the Ring?

            It’s a story; a movie. And things like this are done for narrative and dramatic effect all the time.

          • July 21, 2017 at 10:45 pm

            yeah, I know…but don’t “f—” with my SW man! Been better if he’d won and chewbacca saves her,

          • July 22, 2017 at 3:39 pm

            Why wasn’t it bad writing when Darth Vader didn’t choke out Luke? He easily could have.

          • July 22, 2017 at 9:01 pm

            You’re right, he could have. And I don’t have a solid answer for you. Except the writing through out the originals and prequels was much better from a story perspective. Maybe he didn’t want to take the chance of killing his son as he thought he’d killed Padme….who knows. but he did have a relationship that wasn’t hid from us with Luke.

            At this point Ren doesn’t appear to know who Rey is…thet show him use the force to render her unconscious earlier…just saying I believe they give us too much to debate. A skilled force user with years of training…would not be taken down by a first time saber user, hurt or not.

          • July 23, 2017 at 12:10 am

            “Maybe he didn’t want to take the chance of killing his son as he thought he’d killed Padme….who knows.”

            So you’re willing to ignore that obvious problem due to the fact that the film is so good as a whole? Then why can’t you do the same for TFA. I smell some hypocrisy. In addition, Kylo clearly wants to train Rey in the ways of the Dark Side (he literally says so) which explains why he doesn’t want to kill her, either.

            “but he did have a relationship that wasn’t hid from us with Luke.”

            Their relationship was hidden until the end of the film. If Rey and Kylo end up having a secret relationship (which seems to be the case) maybe it’ll be revealed in Episode 8. Who knows, right?

            “At this point Ren doesn’t appear to know who Rey is”

            He freaks out when he hears that BB-8 escaped with a girl and says “What girl?”. So you’re wrong there.

          • July 23, 2017 at 12:58 am

            not necessarily wrong…he simply could have meant, what girl?

          • July 23, 2017 at 3:40 am

            But the way he acted suggested that he had an idea in mind. Otherwise, he would’ve been way more pissed off at the fact that a storm trooper defected. I guess we’ll see.

          • July 23, 2017 at 4:23 am

            we’ll see….lets just hope Rian delivers something we can both agree on! Hopefully it will be agreeing on badassdom!

      • July 21, 2017 at 2:22 am

        Luke had never been in space (as far as we know) until leaving Tatooine with Ben, Han, and Chewie. A couple days later, the Rebellion hands him a starfighter and he blows up the Death Star. Blowing up desert rodents aside, it’s a pretty unlikely scenario when looked through the lens of our world. But Star Wars isn’t our world. It’s fantasy. Unlikely things happen; especially when the Force is involved. If people can’t handle that, they’re definitely involved with the wrong franchise.

        • July 21, 2017 at 6:30 pm

          Luke spent literally every spare moment flying and racing airspeeders that we are told are similar to how X/Ws handle. Luke nearly buys it several times in that sequence, and would have if not for the intervention of his friends just as Vader was about to kill him. Luke didn’t march up to Vader and literally kick his….sigh. You know what? It’s not even worth it any more. Sure, Rey being completely invincible, infallible, and omnipotent is exactly the same as Luke having a three film arc where he goes from callow, inexperienced youth to headstrong and impulsive, to sober, considered Jedi. Whatever.

          • July 21, 2017 at 6:38 pm

            “…Sure, Rey being completely invincible, infallible, and omnipotent…”

            Where do we see this Rey? I don’t remember seeing her. When she’s fighting Kylo Ren? Because she’s pretty much barely holding her own until the very last moment; staggering, running away, and swinging wildly.

            If you’re going to argue against her character, going full-blown hyperbolic doesn’t do much for your case.

  • July 20, 2017 at 11:41 pm

    I really wish we got more development on them, hopefully TLJ and Episode 9 elaborate more, because right now I just don’t see the point of them.

    Clearly Snoke is commanding them for a reason, but they seem to be like dark bounty hunters, with Kylo being the only one who can use the force.

    • July 20, 2017 at 11:57 pm

      I’m with you. I have a feeling Rian is going to give us some good bits of story to further deepen our understanding. I really also hope to see more Snoke and Ben. Or I guess it’s better to say I’m ok with there not being a lot of screen-time devoted to them as long as we’re provided with a better understanding of Ben’s place in the First Order and his relationship with Snoke as well as the Knights. Is Ben the leader of the Knights due to his power? Force sensitivity? familial ties? Did he best the others in some sort of trial or did Snoke simply declare that he would be the leader of the group? Do they respect him or after knowing his history do they treat him the same way the foot soldiers of the resistance would (a traitor to his family) and only merely tolerate him…

      What is it… 3 more months till we get the trailer and our tickets? Pumped!

  • July 21, 2017 at 1:00 am

    That pic of Beckett (Harrelson) makes me think that that costume design is based on one of the designs for Han Solo for TFA. There were a few drawings that showed Han in a duster like that and also having two guns, one strapped to each leg.

  • July 21, 2017 at 1:05 am

    What if Luke had something to do with the burning of the temple? “The Jedi must end”

Comments are closed.