In the most recent episode of The Bad Batch, “Rampage,” we see that some people, along with a young Rancor, have been captured by Zygerrians.
Thus Clone Force 99 is tasked with rescuing one of them, and they ultimately wind up freeing all the prisoners. Echo explains to the others that the Zygerrians are slavers, and fans of The Clone Wars are no doubt familiar with them. The Zygerrians played a major part in a three-episode arc of the show’s fourth season, in the episodes “Kidnapped,” “Slaves of the Republic,” and “Escape from Kadavo,” and that’s where we learn quite a bit about them.
So who are these Zygerrian slavers?
In the days of the Old Republic, the Zygerrians exerted considerable influence in the galaxy thanks to their slave empire, enslaving people and selling them for profit. In reaction to the horrors of the Zygerrian slavers, the Jedi fought against them and effectively destroyed the empire – yet not completely eradicating the presence of slavery in the galaxy. By the time of the invasion of Naboo, slavery still persisted in outer reaches of the galaxy, and the Zygerrians looked for an opportunity to re-build their empire.
By the time of the Clone Wars, the Queen of Zygerria, Miraj Scintel, seized the opportunity to try to do just that. She aligned her planet and her people with Count Dooku’s Confederacy of Independent Systems, and the Zygerrians made a renewed push at enslaving and selling people. They kidnapped seemingly all of the people from the planet Kiros, which caught the Jedi’s attention. The Republic sent Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, and Ahsoka Tano to investigate the disappearance, and Kenobi confronted the Zygerrian commander, Darts D’Nar. Through this encounter, the Jedi learned about the Zygerrian intentions, as well as the fact that the people of Kiros were gone.
The Jedi then headed to Zygerria, undercover, to try to find the missing people. In disguise, Anakin won the trust of Queen Miraj, but the others were not so fortunate, and Obi-Wan wound up enslaved. The others free him, but in the process the entire group – Obi-Wan, Anakin, Ahsoka, and Rex – are all enslaved and mistreated, alongside the people of Kiros. Anakin was personally in service to Miraj, who attempted to get him to join her willingly, but Count Dooku had other ideas. He showed up and questioned the Queen’s plans, ultimately killing her using the Force. With her dying breaths, she revealed to Skywalker the location of Kenobi and Rex, and Anakin set off to rescue his friends and free the slaves. By this time, Republic reinforcements led by Jedi General Plo Koon had arrived at the planet, and with his forces combined with the Republic heroes on the ground, the Zygerrian slave prison was destroyed. The people of Kiros were freed, agreeing to join the Republic in gratitude.
Based on what we saw in The Bad Batch, the Zygerrian slave empire still wasn’t destroyed at this point, even though their Queen was dead and their slave prison on Kadavo was destroyed. These slavers have set up camp on Ord Mantell and seemingly still intend to enslave and sell people, but are thwarted by more Republic forces – this time, Clone Force 99.
As is a theme in Star Wars, evil will continue to find a way to return, but so too will people to fight against it. Even though slavery was not completely eradicated in the galaxy, the Jedi and the Republic fought against it and prevented the Zygerrians from establishing their powerful empire again. Even though they continued to operate on the fringes, they didn’t accrue anywhere near the power and influence they once had.