- "Did you honestly think you'd get away with fooling a Pyke?"
- ―Marg Krim, to Trace and Rafa Martez
The Pykes were a species of sentient humanoids native to the planet Oba Diah. The species was distinguished by their unsettlingly large heads and undersized faces. A notable group of Pykes was the Pyke Syndicate, the galaxy's preeminent suppliers of spice, a narcotic substance mined by slaves on the planet Kessel.
Biology and appearance
A sentient species, the Pykes were humanoid, although slimmer and taller than most humans. They had two long, lanky legs, and two arms that ended in three-fingered hands. Their heads were large and elongated, with a tapered skull and a proportionately undersized face, a feature which some other species found unsettling. Pykes had two narrow, almond-shaped eyes which could be magenta or blue in color. The species had two sexes, male and female. Pykes had yellow blood. The atmosphere of the planet Kessel could provoke lethal allergic reactions in Pykes if they were exposed to it for too long, necessitating the wearing of special protective gear if they remained there long-term.
Society and culture
- "I pay attention to the world around me, like the fact that the Pykes are gangsters!"
"Gangsters? What, like Pintu back on Coruscant?"
"No. Much worse. Galactically worse. They'll take your ship, your life, everything!"
- ―Ahsoka Tano and Trace Martez, on the Pykes
Pykes hailed from Oba Diah, a terrestrial planet marked by obsidian cliffs. Visitors to Oba Diah viewed both the population and terrain as unwelcoming. The Pyke homeworld served as the headquarters of the Pyke Syndicate, a criminal organization which profited from distributing spice, an illicit substance harvested by slaves in the spice mines of the planet Kessel. The Pykes on Kessel had to wear special breath masks and lead-lined clothing to protect themselves from the planet's harsh climate. To deliver spice to their customers, such as crime families on Coruscant, the Pyke Syndicate relied on smugglers and freighter captains to complete the dangerous Kessel Run.
- "Spice dealers connected to all the crime families on Coruscant."
"The Pykes. They will be the next to join us."
- ―Pre Vizsla and Maul
Before the Invasion of Naboo, the Pyke Syndicate was set to enter clandestine negotiations with Sifo-Dyas to resolve an underground war. Unbeknownst to him, the Pykes had made an alliance with Sith Lord Darth Tyranus to gain advantage over the other crime families. Tyranus hired the Pykes to shoot down Sifo-Dyas' ship over the Oba Diah moon, killing Sifo-Dyas. The Pykes subsequently locked up Sifo-Dyas' aide, Silman, as insurance against the Sith Lord.
During the Clone Wars, the Pyke Syndicate, led by Lom Pyke, joined the Shadow Collective, a criminal alliance formed by Sith Lord Maul. The collective aimed to defeat the Galactic Republic and Confederacy of Independent Systems by uniting the galaxy's criminal underworld. Under Maul's guidance, the Pykes, the Black Sun cartel, and the Mandalorian extremists of Death Watch launched a takeover of Mandalore, which resulted in a planet-wide civil war.
In 19 BBY, the Jedi traced Sifo-Dyas' lightsaber back to Oba Diah, where Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi confront the crime syndicate. In exchange for Silman, the Pykes asked the Jedi to forget the act of treachery the former carried out against the latter. Tyranus arrived soon thereafter and engaged the Jedi and Pykes in battle, killing Lom.
Ahsoka Tano bore witness to the Pyke Syndicate's role in the spice trade when she accompanied the Martez sisters to Kessel to pick up the spice and deliver it to Oba Diah. Though they were captured by their current leader Marg Krim, they eventually managed to escape, and Tano learned of the syndicate's alliance with Maul.
After the rise of the Galactic Empire, the Pykes continued to expand their territory throughout the galaxy. At one point, they made a deal with the Devaronian Roland Durand of the Durand crime family in exchange for spice. However, the spice was stolen by Clone Force 99 with the help of Cid, leading the Pykes to threaten Durand's life. The spice was eventually returned to them and the Pykes punished Durand for his failure by cutting off one of his horns.
Later, a few members of the Pyke Syndicate attended the auction for Han Solo aboard the Vermillion on the planet Jekara. The auction was hosted by Lady Qi'ra and her recently returned crime syndicate Crimson Dawn. The Pykes attempted to buy the smuggler, but were outbid by the Hutt Clan..
Behind the scenes
The Pykes were developed by George Lucas for the animated television series Star Wars: The Clone Wars. The species debuted in the season five episode "Eminence," which first aired in 2013. The 2018 film Solo: A Star Wars Story marked the live-action debut for the species.
The design that became the Pykes originated in an April 2007 sketch of a Jedi character by David Hobbins, which was then selected by Lucas. In mid-2009, Douglas Wheatley refined their looks, and they were planned for inclusion in the cancelled game Star Wars: 1313.
Notes and references
- Dark Disciple
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Eminence"
- Solo: A Star Wars Story
- Star Wars: Alien Archive
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Lost One"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Lawless"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Deal No Deal"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Dangerous Debt"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Together Again"
- Star Wars: The Bad Batch – "Infested"
- Doctor Aphra (2020) 12
- War of the Bounty Hunters 2
- The Art of Solo: A Star Wars Story