This paper discusses several aspects of current research on high energy emission from supernova remnants, covering the following main topics: 1) The recent evidence for magnetic field amplification near supernova remnant shocks, which makes that cosmic rays are more efficiently accelerated than previously thought. 2) The evidence that ions and electrons in some remnants have very different temperatures, and only equilibrate through Coulomb interactions. 3) The evidence that the explosion that created Cas A was asymmetric, and seems to have involved a jet/counter jet structure. And finally, 4), I will argue that the unremarkable properties of supernova remnants associated with magnetar candidates, suggest that magnetars are not formed from rapidly ($P\approx 1$ ms) rotating proto-neutron stars. It is therefore more likely that they are formed from massive progenitor stars with high magnetic fields.