12 Things 'Star Wars' Fans Probably Don't Know About The Pyke Syndicate

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Vote up the things you learned about the Pyke Syndicate.

The Pyke Syndicate has been a part of the Star Wars universe for a long time, but most casual fans probably don't know much about the organization. Like other significant criminal cartels spread across the galaxy, the Pykes have an extensive criminal network covering multiple star systems. They're involved in the spice trade, and they've taken part in some of the most important moments in the history of the galaxy since their inception - but how much do you really know about them?

Because the Pyke Syndicate is a criminal organization, much of what it does is kept behind the scenes. Still, any fan who's familiar with the expanded universe of comic books, video games, cartoons, and more knows that there's a lot about the Pyke Syndicate already out there. The homeworld of these criminals is found in the Outer Rim, but that hasn't stopped them from spreading their influence across the galaxy, and they've even worked closely with numerous Sith Lords, including Darth Maul.

If you're unfamiliar with them, you may have come here to answer the question, "Who are the Pykes?" This list aims to answer that question and more because there are probably many things you didn't know about the Pyke Syndicate. Take a look at the most interesting facts about this criminal enterprise from the Star Wars universe below. If you see something you find truly interesting, be sure to give it an upvote before you go!

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    87 VOTES

    Because Of Spice, The Pykes Need To Wear Special Breathing Equipment

    The Pykes are native to the planet Oba Diah, which was introduced alongside the species in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. They made their first appearance in the fifth season, and their appearance was chosen by George Lucas. He used the design of an unnamed Jedi character created by David Hobbins. In most early depictions of the Pykes, they are shown wearing distinctive masks. As a result, it took some time before their true look was revealed.

    The masks worn by the Pykes are meant to aid in respiration, and they are often required whenever they are on the planet Kessel. The environment of Kessel is particularly harsh to the Pykes, so they wear masks with lead-lined clothing to protect themselves. Many Pykes continue to wear the masks elsewhere, making it appear as if the masks are required in other places across the galaxy. In reality, it has more to do with the constant handling of spice than anything else.

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    The Pyke Syndicate Tried To Buy Han Solo After He Was Encased In Carbonite

    In The Empire Strikes Back, Han Solo finds himself frozen in carbonite. If you're reading this list, you likely know this already, but what you may not know is that Solo was a hot commodity, and the Pyke Syndicate was one of the parties interested in... acquiring him. After Boba Fett took Han Solo's frozen body from Cloud City at the end of The Empire Strikes Back, it didn't go directly to Jabba's Palace on Tatooine.

    Agents of the Crimson Dawn managed to get their hands on the carbonite form of Solo, leaving Qi'ra to offer him up for auction. This event occurred before the events of Return of the Jedi, and it wasn't a simple affair - pretty much every seedy element in the galaxy showed up to claim the prize. This included the Pyke Syndicate, alongside many more interested parties. The Pykes made their attempt aboard the Vermillion, but they were outbid by Jabba the Hutt.

    The Galactic Empire was interested in recovering Han Solo from Crimson Dawn, but it wasn't exactly ready to get into a bidding war. Darth Vader crashed the party, insisting that ownership of Han Solo fell to the Empire. When Qi'ra demanded he fork over a million credits to her, implying that the Empire had a habit of welching on its debts, Vader ignited his lightsaber. Qi'ra put up a fight, which impressed Vader enough that he didn't end her.

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    Their Homeworld Is Located At The End Of The Kessel Run

    The Pyke homeworld of Oba Diah is located in the Outer Rim, where it is situated at the end of the hyperspace route known as the Kessel Run. The famous route was used primarily by smugglers to move spice from the spice mines of Kessel to various places around the galaxy.

    Because it was primarily used for the smuggling of spice, the Kessel Run was overseen by the Pyke Syndicate, which managed its operations throughout the galaxy from Oba Diah. The Kessel Run is located in a hazardous area of space, making its passage complex and risky. The Pyke Syndicate used this to its advantage as it dominated the spice trade throughout the galaxy. 

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    Count Dooku Hired The Pykes To Take Out Syfo-Dyas Before 'The Phantom Menace'

    The Pyke Syndicate may have been all about shipping and selling spice across the galaxy, but it occasionally dipped into galactic affairs. One of its most destructive forays into the wider goings-on of the galaxy came via the Pykes' capture, torture, and execution of Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas. The Jedi, who ordered the creation of the Clone Army, was sent by then-Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum to engage with the Pykes over their dominance of the spice trade.

    Instead of working with the Jedi emissary, the Pykes acted on the behest of Darth Tyranus, otherwise known as Count Dooku. The leader of the Separatist movement had the Pykes capture, torture, and kill Sifo-Dyas. To protect themselves, they took the Jedi Master's aide, Silman, hostage to guarantee their safety from both the Jedi Order and Darth Tyranus. This event didn't negatively affect the Pyke Syndicate, as it continued to thrive for some time.

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    The Pykes Were A Key Group In The Five Syndicates

    With so many influential criminal organizations operating throughout the galaxy, there's a good chance for them to come into contact with one another. This could have resulted in some clashes, but there was a way around that. The most powerful criminal groups in the galaxy came together to form the Five Syndicates. This included the Crimson Dawn, Black Sun, the Hutt Clan, the Pyke Syndicate, and the Crymorah Syndicate.

    For the most part, the Five Syndicates operated peacefully across the galaxy, though this was primarily due to their strictly guarded borders. Of course, there were still clashes between the organizations from time to time, and these could be incredibly deadly, as the stakes were often high. While the Hutt Clan was considerably powerful, during the time of the Empire, Crimson Dawn was the largest and most powerful of the Five Syndicates.

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    The Pykes Made Their First Live-Action Appearance In ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story'

    The Pykes Made Their First Live-Action Appearance In ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story'
    Photo: Solo: A Star Wars Story / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

    The Pyke Syndicate (and the Pyke species) first appeared in the fifth season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. They played a more significant role in the series' seventh season, which saw some adjustments made to their depiction. The first time they appeared in live action came in Solo: A Star Wars Story. During this time in the galaxy, the Pykes had expanded their operation, thanks to the Galactic Empire's penchant for "looking the other way" in terms of criminal syndicate operations.

    They showed up in Solo when the Millennium Falcon's crew attempted to steal coaxium from the Syndicate on Kessel. Qi'ra claimed to represent others in a deal with capo Quay Tolsite (pictured), the Pyke minister of mining operations on Kessel. The next time the Pykes were seen in live action, they were unmasked. This occurred on the planet Tattoine in an episode of The Book of Boba Fett. In the episode, the Pykes are seen as the operators of a train that runs spice across the Dune Sea.