Lucasfilm has officially gotten the ball rolling on its 2022 campaign, which promises to be the biggest year for Star Wars to date. The final wave of Phase 1 of The High Republic publishing initiative launched with Claudia Gray's The Fallen Star, paving the way for a groundbreaking conclusion to the current storyline before The Book of Boba Fett took over Disney+.
Boba Fett was the year's first piece of visual content, with the second episode in the series filled with fun cameos and unique story developments.
Since Disney's acquisition of Lucasfilm, a major emphasis has been put on maintaining continuity. The Lucasfilm Story Group was established to ensure that everything in the new canon flows as a singular narrative, and various creators have found ways to incorporate things from different mediums into their own projects.
With the launch of Disney+, a path was paved for characters to make the jump to live-action stories in ways that were previously impossible. The biggest such appearance has come from Ahsoka Tano in The Mandalorian Season 2, an introduction that also serves as a backdoor into her own series, Ahsoka. Bo-Katan Kryze and the darksaber also slid over from animation to the series, and Cobb Vanth from the Aftermath books debuted as well.
As the amount of content continues to ramp up, the opportunity for familiar entities to appear in different kinds of stories will grow. The Book of Boba Fett has demonstrated this yet again by way of the return of a well-known species - with a historical twist.
The Pykes Make Maskless Live-Action Debut
Warning - This article contains spoilers for The Book of Boba Fett.
In The Book of Boba Fett "Chapter 2 - The Tribes of Tatooine," the Pyke syndicate makes their return to the screen.
During an extended flashback sequence featuring Boba and a tribe of Tusken Raiders hijacking a desert train, the Pykes are revealed to be the ones causing the sand people strife in the Dune Sea. Following their capture, the leader of the attacking group removes his mask, marking the first time a Pyke's face has been shown in Star Wars live-action.
While the Pyke's face is a first for live-action, it isn't the species' debut on-screen. That honor came in Solo: A Star Wars Story, when the titular smuggler and his crew of scoundrels stole coaxium from the spice mines of Kessel. Overseeing the mining operation was a Pyke named Quay Tolsite, who neither removed his mask or spoke basic.
The depiction of the Pykes in The Book of Boba Fett is the truest to that of their appearance in The Clone Wars, in which the crime syndicate played a heavy role in galactic underworld affairs. Working secretly to keep Sifo-Dyas' disappearnce under wraps for Count Dooku and later aligning themselves with Maul and Crimson Dawn, the group was frequently portrayed without face masks, and leaders wore distinctive head dressing.
No Bones to Pyke with New Appearance
The reveal that the Pykes were the assailants responsible for terrorizing the Tusken Raider tribe was a breath-catching moment, yet another connection to Dave Filoni's animated world that makes everything feel so interconnected.
If that wasn't enough, getting to see the face of a Pyke in live-action for the first time was an even bigger treat, making the moment feel like something directly out of The Clone Wars. Jon Favreau and Filoni have long been lauded for their attention to detail and willingness to make ties to other parts of the Star Wars canon, and something as little as showing a Pyke's face in The Book of Boba Fett is enough to elate diehard fans.
A pressing question in the aftermath of "Chapter 2" is why exactly the Pykes were on Tatooine in the first place.
Fett partially answered this question himself when he discovered that the criminals were running spice, though that's only a portion of the syndicate's business. As shown in Solo, coaxium is another critical element of the Pykes' operations, and there's every chance the ones on the train run were delivering spice in exchange for some of the hyperfuel with an unknown entity.
At the time of the flashback sequence, Bib Fortuna would have been the Daimyo of Mos Espa, and likely Tatooine as a whole. The Mandalorian Season 2's post-credit scene demonstrated that the Twi'lek was more preoccupied with culinary matters than business, and the former majordomo was too weak-minded to oversee a competent criminal organization. It's unlikely that the Pykes would be doing business of any kind with the slipping ruler of Jabba's Palace.
Who, then, were the Pykes working with? Or, is the more accurate question who they were working for?
It was previously noted that the Pykes had an alliance with Crimson Dawn at the time of Maul's reign. While the former Sith is no longer alive to terrorize the underworld, the War of the Bounty Hunters and Crimson Reign comic books have revealed that Lady Qi'ra took his place during the time of the Galactic Civil War.
Qi'ra managed to get members of the Hutt Council under her thumb before they were unceremoniously slaughtered by Darth Vader. Given that, it's hardly a stretch to imagine the Pykes maintained a mutually beneficial relationship with the femme fatale.
The plot of Boba Fett has been a slow burn, but the flashback-heavy episodes seem to indicate that the past will have a direct influence on the present. As the mystery of the Pykes begins to unravel, Lord Fett's new foe will eventually be revealed.
New episodes of The Book of Boba Fett stream Wednesdays on Disney+.