First being introduced during the animated series The Clone Wars, the Pyke syndicate has grown into live-action prominence through the plot of The Book of Boba Fett and has a silent connection to the Mandalorians. With that audible teaser at the end of episode 4, it’s starting to make a lot more sense why the Pykes are set to be the primary antagonist. While a criminal war brewing on Tatooine and the Pykes moving into position to fight for Boba’s territory, Boba Fett is going to need backup, and there might be some with an extra layer of motivation.
The Pyke syndicate was perhaps most renowned for their mining and smuggling of Spice around the Galaxy, an illegal and dangerous drug. During the Clone Wars, the syndicate was absorbed as a major player into Darth Maul’s Shadow Collective, a part of his plan during the siege of Mandalore. With the Pykes going to War with Boba Fett and turning up on Tatooine in force, it’s clear that their power has not dwindled and that they might have been chosen as the antagonists due to their unspoken link to the Mandalorians.
As mentioned, the Pyke Syndicate was a major component of Darth Maul’s Shadow Collective, a criminal conglomerate and key part in Maul’s plan to kill Anakin Skywalker during the siege of Mandalore, a siege that both Ahsoka Tano and Bo Katan were major players in. With the Clone Wars era turmoil being a major factor as to why Mandalore was so divided during the Imperial era, it’s likely that the Pykes are one of the few remaining organizations in the Mandalorian grudge book of recent history, having played an instrumental part in the bloodshed and destruction of Mandalore. While it is still unclear exactly what happened to the planet Mandalore, judging from the destruction caused during the several Civil Wars that raged on the lead up to the Empire’s purge, it’s likely not to be pretty. It also seems likely that the destabilization of the planet that allowed it to be purged by the Empire could be aptly blamed on the siege during the Clone Wars, and with the Pykes still out there, it’s doubtful Bo-Katan is friendly with them.
With the Pykes turning up on Tatooine in droves, Boba Fett clearly stating he’s in need of muscle, and The Mandalorian theme teased at the end of episode 4, it’s beginning to look like some familiar faces, or more specifically helmets, might be the muscle that Fett needs. While the episode 4 easter egg specifically teases Din Djarin, his awkward new status as Mand’alor means Bo-Katan is sure to be nearby. If Mandalore itself truly has been destroyed, and the Mandalorians are mustering their strength to take it back, helping out Boba Fett against the Pykes is not only the perfect catalyst to bring the two groups back together again, but proves itself a mutually beneficial situation.
Things were visibly uneasy between Bo-Katan and Boba Fett during The Mandalorian season 2, perhaps due to the presence of the clones on Mandalore during Order 66 and Fett’s clone voice. A common enemy for them to fight once again, mirroring the Mandalorians fighting alongside the clones against the Shadow Collective, might prove to be what their relationship needs, and who knows, Boba Fett might join the Mandalorians at the end of it all. Regardless of how and why the Pykes are being used in the show, it’s undeniable that it’s a seamless way to continue the path of inter-linking various parts of the Star Wars universe.
The Pykes are a ruthless enemy, and despite Boba Fett’s martial prowess, a handful of fighters against a whole Syndicate’s worth of manpower will still most likely be no match. Fennec Shand has hinted at purchasing muscle to help them out, and Black Krrsantan seems to have teamed up, but will that be enough? If it’s not, the Pyke Syndicate’s hidden connection to the Mandalorians might be enough to ensure some timely backup in the latter half of The Book of Boba Fett.