Zorba was an inept leader of Desilijic, and he had few supporters in his clan, due to his outlandish schemes and financial mismanagement. During the Separatist Crisis, he was apprehended by law enforcement and sentenced to prison on the planet Kip. Jiliac took over as Desilijic leader, and Jabba inherited much of Zorba's holdings.
In 5 ABY, Zorba was released by agents of Director of Imperial Intelligence Ysanne Isard, and traveled to Jabba's Palace on Tatooine in his ship, the Zorba Express. Zorba was refused admission to the palace, and he later discovered that Jabba had been killed by Princess Leia Organa. Determined to punish Organa, Zorba put out a bounty on her. Using a secret will of his son's, Zorba laid claim to much of Jabba's holdings throughout the galaxy, including his casino on Bespin and his desert citadel on Tatooine.
On Bespin, Zorba won control of Cloud City from Lando Calrissian, and learned that Organa was in the city, in Imperial warlord Trioculus's captivity. He attempted to bargain with Trioculus for Organa to be handed over to him, but he refused, and Imperial forces clashed with Zorba's Cloud Police. Zorba emerged on top, and believed he had killed Organa after destroying an Imperial factory barge. Zorba's minions later informed him that Organa had survived, but he captured her on Hologram Fun World and brought her to Tatooine, planning to feed her to the sarlacc. Trioculus, however, rescued Organa, and fed Zorba himself to the sarlacc. Zorba escaped as well and helped Trioculus's rivals, the false Prophets of the Dark Side, defeat him. Zorba regained leadership of the Desilijic clan, but Jabba's will was later declared a forgery by the Hutt Grand Council. Disgraced, Zorba went into hiding and was rumored to have died soon thereafter.