Who are the Pyke family in Star Wars?

The Pyke Syndicate arrives. "Infested." The Bad Batch. Courtesy of StarWars.com.
The Pyke Syndicate arrives. "Infested." The Bad Batch. Courtesy of StarWars.com. /

In episode 13 of The Bad Batch, viewers witnessed the return of the criminal Pyke Syndicate. But just who are these spacefaring criminals and what is their role in the galaxy far, far away?

The Pyke family first appeared in season 5 of The Clone Wars and were personally created by George Lucas himself. Since then, the Pykes have been regular villains whenever an underground criminal enterprise is needed. As such, they have become heavily cemented into the goings-on of galactic events.

The Pyke syndicate shares its name with the species that dominates the cartel from their homeworld of Oba Diah in the Outer Rim. By the time of the Clone Wars, the syndicate was well established in the galaxy and dominated the trading of the illegal and highly addictive drug known as “spice.” Dune, anyone?

The Pykes first enter known galactic history when they aided in the death of Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas, thereby becoming unwitting pawns of Darth Sidious and his plans for control of the galaxy.

How the Pyke family changed the history of the galaxy

Later, the Pykes and their archrivals, fellow criminal syndicate the “Black Sun,” would come under the influence of Maul (formerly Darth) as a part of his Shadow Collective criminal empire when the former Sith apprentice made his bid to take over the world of Mandalore.

Later in the age of the empire, they would once again be allied with Maul’s as a part of his new crime organization Crimson Dawn as seen in 2018’s Solo: A Star Wars Story, making this the family’s live-action debut. Here, we see the Pykes truly ingrained in the lore of Star Wars as they are the proprietors of the famous “spice mines of Kessel” as mentioned by C-3PO all the way back in A New Hope.

The Pykes seem to have survived the fall of the Empire and the rise of the New Republic as they are briefly mentioned in the 2020 young-adult novel Poe Dameron: Free Fall by Alex Segura, which takes place around 18 years after the Battle of Yavin — although it seems that their glory days of criminal networks and spice domination are long behind them.

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