|Early concept art of Kylo Ren with Vader's burnt helmet|
What Is the Connection of the Acolytes of the Beyond to Palpatine and the Knights of Ren?
Aftermath describes that the Acolytes were trying to buy Vader's saber from a vendor who claims to have discovered it so that they may ‘destroy it and return it to its master in death.
Isn't that something found in Gatorade?
No, an acolyte is someone who performs religious duties as part of a ceremony or who has been inducted into a particular ministry.
In this case, the acolytes are presumably in the ‘ministry’ of whatever the Beyond is. They worship fallen Sith and wish to venerate them by returning their ‘earthly' weapons to them… in spirit.
We could presume the Beyond is the realm of the Force inhabited by Force ghosts such as Qui-Gon Gin, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and good old Master Yoda.
Remember, if Qui-Gon can learn the tricks of the Force, so can Darth Sidious AKA The Emperor.
Perhaps an even more broad question is did the Knights of Ren form out of the Acolytes of the Beyond? Remember in The Force Awakens, Kylo is certainly trying to channel the spirit of Vader via the helmet…
“No Sith remains. And the lone Jedi that exists–the son of Anakin Skywalker–possesses an untouchable soul. At least for now. We must instead move towards the dark side. Palpatine felt that the universe beyond the edges of our map was where his power came from. Over the many years he, with our aid, sent men and women beyond known space. They built labs and communication stations on distant moons, asteroids, out there in the wilds. We must follow them. Retreat from the Galaxy. Go out beyond the veil of stars. We must seek the source of the dark side like a man looking for a wellspring of water.”
Instead of a metaphysical ‘beyond' like the Force, they are talking about a physical beyond, one that stretches past the known quantities of the universe.
Now let's wildly speculate about this beyond and tie the Acolytes to Emperor Palpatine and any other crazy theory we can up to.
It's clear that Palpatine is back for The Rise of Skywalker.
How is this the case?
How did he survive his apparent Death at the hands of Vader and the destruction of the Death Star II?
He appears to be the same version of Palpatine that Vader lifted up and threw down the well. Albeit one connected to some awful life support system.
Was Snoke a puppet of Palpatine? Some variant of a clone of himself? EDIT: Yes, Snoke was a clone of something…
Time will tell.
What we do now know is that there is a massive fleet of ORIGINAL Empire Star Destroyers in the trailer for the Rise of Skywalker. They are not First Order ships under Hux's control.
Where have these ships been for thirty years?
Have they been hiding out in the great beyond, the place that Palpatine said was beyond the edges of the maps?
Have they been hiding where the labs and communications stations are?
Are these ships under Palpatine's control? Did the Acolytes look after them while he has been ‘dormant'?
Who's been there? Thrawn? The Acolytes? Palpatine himself?
What's cool is the official poster for the Rise of Skywalker features the Knights of Ren. It is quite possible we may learn some answers about who this group actually is, how Kylo uses them and any connections they may have to Palpatine (or even Snoke) and perhaps the Acolytes.
Update: We suspect many of the ‘attendant's Palpatine had on Exogol where indeed Acolytes.
Paul Rose Jr has worked as TV News Producer, Forensic Analyst, and Train Conductor, among many other things. He’s the former TV Editor for Infuzemag.com and owns more books, DVDs, and comics than most people have seen in their lifetimes. When he’s not writing articles, he exercises his creative muscle writing screenplays and acting in film and television in Los Angeles, CA.