Unlike the Sith Lords he worshipped, Star Wars’ Kylo Ren never received the “Darth” title. Here, we explain why.

When Star Wars: The Force Awakens introduced Kylo Ren, the son of Han and Leia who idolized his Sith grandfather, many fans expressed confusion as to why his name didn’t have “Darth” preceding it. The answer to this is a little complicated. Kylo Ren wasn’t really a Sith by the standards of the new timeline. Palpatine, though he influenced Kylo Ren’s development through Snoke, never formally trained Kylo. Rather, he belonged to a very different group that followed the teachings of the Dark Side of the Force: the Knights of Ren.

Here, we’ll explain who the Knights of Ren were, how are they different from the Sith, and why didn’t Kylo Ren take on a Darth title like his grandfather, Darth Vader.

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How the Knights of Ren Differ From the Sith

The Sith had a philosophy known as the Rule of Two, which commanded that a Dark Side master be paired with a Dark Side apprentice. Darth Vader and Palpatine followed this philosophy, but at the end of Return of the Jedi, both Vader and Palpatine died, and their deaths ended the Sith line. Years later, the Knights of Ren rose up, creating a separate Dark Side order.

The Knights of Ren emerged sometime before 15 ABY, when Luke Skywalker, Lor San Tekka and young Ben Solo traveled to Elphrona. Luke managed to ward off the Knights, acknowledging them as “clumsy” with the Force because they treated it as more of a raw weapon. This indicates that, at this point in time, the Knights of Ren were a young order of Dark Side users, just beginning to understand their abilities.

The Knights of Ren, though they used the Dark Side, were far different from the Sith. They followed none of the rules centered around the Rule of Two, nor did they seem to have formal master-apprentice relationships. They did, however, follow a leader known as Ren, as well as the whims of Supreme Leader Snoke.

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How Did Ben Solo Inherit the Knights of Ren?

After turning on Luke and eradicating the New Jedi Order with the Knights of Ren, Ben Solo faced Ren in single combat. Ben ultimately killed Ren, and as a reward, Snoke gave Ben control over the Knights of Ren. This led the wayward Jedi to rename himself Kylo Ren to show he was the leader of this order.

Ben Solo’s title has little to do with Sith heritage, but rather his own victory against the former leader of the Knights of Ren. As such, Ben’s Kylo Ren name indicates his personal accomplishments in his fall to the Dark Side, and is defined by his current successes rather than the past.

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