During the Clone Wars, Lom Pyke was the leader of a syndicate of spice dealers known as the Pykes. Operating out of Oba Diah, they controlled the lucrative trade that delivered spice to the ruling crime families of the lower levels of Coruscant. His spice-stained grin and hands suggested that he was more than just a dealer of the contraband substance. Sensing profit and opportunity to expand his operations, Lom allied his forces with Darth Maul's growing Shadow Collective.
Coaxium is a rare form of hypermatter that is essential for faster-than-light travel. Starships’ hyperdrive reaction chambers are coated with a thin layer of coaxium, which is energized to allow passage into hyperspace. Unrefined coaxium is mined on worlds such as Kessel, but is dangerous to transport. Highly volatile, it explodes if jostled or allowed to get too hot.
The Pykes ran their affairs from the planet Oba Diah, where they dwelled in decadent luxury among mountain crags and busy spaceports where much illicit cargo changed hands. During the Clone Wars, Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi came to Oba Diah, where they investigated a conspiracy leading back more than a decade. They discovered the Pykes had shot down a shuttle belonging to the Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas on their planet’s moon and given Sifo-Dyas’s body to Count Dooku, known to them as Tyranus, in return for his assistance against other crime families. But the Pykes didn’t tell Dooku that Supreme Chancellor Valorum’s aide Silman had survived the crash, and kept him locked away as insurance. The Pykes gave Silman to Anakin and Obi-Wan, but Dooku arrived and killed Silman before he could be questioned.