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- "I appreciate my foes and their abilities. Then again, I would hope a clone would be an improvement over the original."
"You didn't know you were a clone? No, of course not. Isard wouldn't trust the dispersal of her prized captives to just anyone: She gave the job to herself. With you she could actually be in two places at one time."
"So was she."
- ―Wedge Antilles and the clone of Ysanne Isard
Around 4 ABY, the Director of Imperial Intelligence Ysanne Isard, using a Spaarti cloning cylinder from the late Emperor Palpatine's storage, grew a clone of herself on her Executor-class Star Dreadnought Lusankya, which was hidden beneath the surface of the galactic capital of Coruscant. Isard constantly updated the memories of the clone, who was kept in a state of suspended animation, to ensure she would believe herself to be the real Isard upon awakening. After the New Republic conquered Coruscant with the help of the elite starfighter unit Rogue Squadron, Isard retreated to the planet Thyferra, establishing a regime there.
During the Bacta War against Rogue Squadron in 7 ABY, Isard activated her clone and sent her out on a mission to scatter the prisoners of the Lusankya, whom Rogue Squadron sought to rescue. Isard planned to kill the clone when she returned; however, before she was able do so, Isard was overthrown and went into hiding, and the clone was subsequently left alone in the galaxy. Two years later, the clone joined with Prince-Admiral Delak Krennel in the Ciutric Hegemony, giving him political advice during his fight against the Republic and devising a complicated plan to destroy Rogue Squadron. By planting a series of clues to the supposed location of the prisoners, she lured the squadron to Distna, a hollow moon in the Corvis Minor system, where a large force of starfighters provided by Krennel ambushed them. Unknown to the clone, the real Isard had been helping her to lure Rogue Squadron into the trap all the way, only to rescue them in the end. By doing so, she had earned their trust and employed her former enemies against the clone herself.
Posing as the TIE Defender–comprised Requiem Squadron, the Rogues infiltrated Ciutric IV, the capital of the Hegemony and launched an attack to rescue the prisoners, while the New Republic fleet battled Krennel's forces above the planet. The clone forced Colonel Lorrir to pilot a shuttle and attempt to destroy the prison facility where the prisoners were being held, while she hid inside a training center and rerouted her comm system to Lorrir's shuttle in order to appear as though she was aboard the shuttle herself. The attack failed, and Rogue Leader Wedge Antilles saw through her deception when he recognized Lorrir's piloting style. Antilles's men shot down Lorrir, and Antilles himself fired a pair of concussion missiles at the training center, killing the clone.
- "After I had taken control of Thyferra and you began your campaign to oust me, I realized that if you succeeded, I wished to rob you of the goal you truly sought: the prisoners from my Lusankya. I decided to scatter them. This was a mission I felt I could entrust to no one—it was one I wanted to handle myself, but I was needed on Thyferra. What I did was activate a clone of myself, lead her to believe she was me, and charge her with the task of scattering the Lusankya prisoners. When she returned to Thyferra with her task complete, I had her killed—or so I thought."
- ―Ysanne Isard, to Wedge Antilles
The clone of the Director of Imperial Intelligence Ysanne Isard was grown by Isard herself around 4 ABY. Soon after the death of Emperor Palpatine, Isard found the Emperor's personal cloning facility inside the Imperial Palace on the galactic capital of Coruscant. She destroyed all of the Spaarti cloning cylinders except for one, which she transferred to the Lusankya, her personal Executor-class Star Dreadnought hidden beneath the surface of the planet. On the Lusankya, Isard secretly bred a single clone of herself with an intention to employ her when matters needed Isard's personal supervision, but the original Isard was unavailable to attend to them. To this end, the Director kept her double in a state of suspended animation, all the while constantly updating her memories so that upon awakening the clone believed herself to be the real Isard.
In late 6 ABY, the New Republic—thanks to the efforts of Rogue Squadron, its elite starfighter unit—captured Coruscant. Isard was forced to retreat from the planet with the Lusankya and the still sleeping clone aboard to the planet Thyferra, where she became the planet's ruler. Just prior to her departure from Coruscant, the Director of Intelligence had her clone's memories updated one last time. In 7 ABY, Rogue Squadron—against the will of the New Republic—launched a campaign against Isard, intending to overthrow her Thyferran regime. The Rogues' other goal was to rescue prisoners held aboard the Lusankya; among those prisoners was the Rebel Alliance General Jan Dodonna.
Isard wanted to prevent the liberation of the prisoners and decided to scatter them across the galaxy, a task she only entrust to herself. Isard was needed on Thyferra, however, and so she decided to assign the dispersing of the prisoners to her clone; she planned to dispose of the clone afterward by killing her, believing that there was a place for only one Ysanne Isard in the galaxy. The clone was finally brought to life and dispatched on her mission. When the clone returned with her task complete, Isard wanted to kill her, but was not able to do so as at that time Rogue Squadron attacked Thyferra. Isard was overthrown and presumed to have perished in battle.
Allying with KrennelEdit
- "You do have a purpose here, and then?"
"The same purpose as always: the preservation of my master's Empire."
- ―Prince-Admiral Delak Krennel and Ysanne Isard's clone, upon their meeting on Ciutric
Isard had in fact survived, as had her clone, who had no memories of the events on Thyferra as a result of a head trauma she had sustained. Because of the same trauma, the clone was forced to surgically repair her face, and it became asymmetrical and bore a network of raised scars below her right temple. After the loss of Thyferra, both Isards went into hiding, each unaware of the other's existence. While the Republic was preoccupied with fighting Imperial breakaway warlords like Zsinj and Grand Admiral Thrawn, both Isard and her clone kept a low profile and formulated their own plans to strike back at the Republic and Rogue Squadron. During the Thrawn campaign, the clone gathered the Lusankya prisoners back up and had them transferred to a facility that belonged to the bioengineering corporation Xenovet on the planet Commenor.
Prior to leaving them on Commenor, however, the clone had been moving the prisoners from one location to another, but had been keeping the interior of their cells, the food, and the prison staff the same, so that the prisoners believed that they had been held at the same place all the time. At some point, the prisoners were stationed on Distna, a moon in the Corvis Minor system, where the bodies of those of them who had died were buried. While the prisoners were being kept at the Commenor facility, the clone paid for their housing to Xenovet's trustee, the attorney Mem Wooter, from her financial institutions also in the Corvis Minor system. Eventually, Xenovet went bankrupt and the clone took direct control of the facility.
After the defeat of Thrawn in 9 ABY, the clone received word from her contacts on Coruscant that the New Republic Provisional Council had decided to strike at one of the Imperial warlords, thus convincing the others that the Republic had not been weakened by Thrawn. The Council chose Prince-Admiral Delak Krennel, the ruler of the Ciutric Hegemony, as their target. Krennel had previously allied himself with the real Isard after she promised to make him the new Emperor if he brought her the Grand Vizier Sate Pestage. Krennel, however, had murdered Pestage and claimed his holdings, the Ciutric Hegemony, for himself. Possessing the memories of those events and the knowledge of the Republic's plans, the clone Isard made her way to the planet Ciutric IV, the capital of the Hegemony, and offered Krennel an alliance. She provided him with a political program that would crumble the Republic and once again promised to make him the new Emperor, on the condition that he would provide her with resources needed to destroy Rogue Squadron. Believing that the clone was the real Isard, Krennel agreed to the alliance on such terms.
Schemes and machinationsEdit
- "This is unacceptable. I will not tolerate the loss of even one world of mine! You have been here for two weeks, have requisitioned a fortune in equipment, have authorized payment to agents all over, and so far have only succeeded in losing personnel and turning prisoners over to the New Republic. This is no way to deal with our enemies."
- ―Delak Krennel to the clone
The clone's scheme was based on the fact that ever since its creation, the New Republic had been aiming at providing equality between Humans and other species. This meant, however, that many Humans were losing their wealth and power toward non-Humans. Acting on his new ally's advice, Krennel began a pro-Human political program, meant to make the Hegemony appear as a safe-haven for those who did not wish to share their wealth with aliens and felt abused by the Republic. This way, if the Republic were to attack him, it would look as though the aliens had enough influence on the Council to raise arms against someone merely protecting his own people. According to the clone's plan, this would provoke further fear in Humans and might even force some warlords to band together and become a bigger threat to the Republic's stability. Additionally, Krennel debunked the charges against him via the HoloNet, lying that by killing Pestage he had only done what the New Republic had wanted to do all along. Meanwhile, the clone began to leave a long trail of clues to the supposed location of the prisoners, a trail that eventually led the Rogues to Distna, where a large force provided by Krennel ambushed them.
While creating that trail, Isard's clone tried to leave only the slightest hints for the Rogues in order to appear as though she was in fact trying to prevent them from finding the prisoners. Having struck the deal with Krennel, the clone had most of the prisoners transferred from Commenor to Ciutric, leaving the others to die from starvation. She personally visited the Commenor facility and told the remaining prisoners that they were going to die. The clone also had the dead bodies on Distna dug up and re-buried at a graveyard near the Xenovet facility. She then erased the memory of one of the living prisoners, Urlor Sette, and placed a cybernetic implant containing a deadly toxin developed in the Xenovet facility inside his brain. Sette was acquainted with Corran Horn, a Rogue Squadron pilot who had managed to escape from the Lusankya while it had been stationed on Coruscant.
The clone programmed the implant to release the toxin inside Sette's brain upon Horn pronouncing Sette's name, and she sent the prisoner with a "message" to Horn at a party thrown in Rogue Squadron's honor on Coruscant. When Sette arrived at the party, and Horn informed the amnesiac man of his name, the toxin was released, killing the prisoner. Sette's appearance hinted at Isard's survival to the Rogues; they soon discovered the cause of the man's death and the origin of the implant, leading them to initiate an attack on the Xenovet facility. The clone's plan involved Rogue Squadron finding the prisoners on Commenor dead; she believed that they would also find the graveyard and analyze the state of the bodies buried there. The results of the analysis revealed that the bodies were unable to have decayed so much in Commenor's soil, and the clone believed that the Republic would work up a profile of soil composition needed to accomplish the decay and leave the correct trace elements on the bones—the soil composition of Distna.
During the attack, Rogue Squadron liberated some of the prisoners who had managed to survive. The clone had expected the attack to follow later, when all prisoners would have been dead, but even with some of them still alive, she was not concerned, as she believed that they knew nothing beyond what she had wanted them to know, namely, that Isard was alive. The clone believed that since the Republic was now aware of the fact that she was still at large, the Republic's command would theorize that she had allied with Krennel. To this end, she told Krennel to begin negotiations with the refugees from the destroyed planet of Alderaan on the subject of providing them with a world in the Hegemony to settle on, but not to specify which planet just yet. She also instructed him to make a public announcement, apologizing for the Empire's destruction of the planet. When the Republic would attack a world in the Hegemony, Krennel was to state that it was the same planet he had been willing to give to the Alderaanians, a statement that would cause even more infighting in the Republic.
Although Krennel was initially reluctant to surrender one of his worlds, the clone convinced him that it was necessary to do so to achieve victory in the long term. Soon enough, the Republic attacked the Hegemony, trying to destabilize Krennel's regime. When the Republic had conquered the planet Liinade III, the Republic leader Mon Mothma stated that a research station run by Krennel had been found there, containing information about a Death Star–like superweapon, the Pulsar Station, that was being built by Krennel somewhere in the Hegemony. Neither the clone nor Krennel were aware of the facility's existence. The clone sent her agents to check the reported site of the laboratory, but it had already been removed, and they found only a hole in the ground at the place where it was supposed to be. Since there was no actual evidence to connect the facility to Krennel, the clone dismissed the news as Republic propaganda against him, but did not hesitate to use those news to her advantage, hoping to tie the Pulsar Station into her intrigue as yet another lead to Distna.
A fateful misconceptionEdit
- "So you are suggesting that no news from the New Republic indicates that your ambush was wholly successful?"
"I think that conclusion is warranted."
- ―Krennel and the clone, discussing the ambush
The Prince-Admiral, on his ally's instructions, dismissed the charges regarding his involvement in the project in addition to stating that Liinade III had been chosen as the safe-haven for the Alderaan people. In the meantime, the clone released a series of files that supposedly showed that Krennel did not have the resources in the Hegemony to build such a project. One of them, however, the Corvis Minor file, had been tampered with by the clone to show the exact opposite. The clone promised Krennel that once Rogue Squadron was destroyed, the Republic would conduct a major strike in the Corvis Minor system, leaving Liinade III open for a counterattack. Such a counterattack would show that Krennel was capable of maintaining the integrity of his state and would increase his popularity.
The clone was unaware that the research facility on Liinade III actually belonged to the real Isard, who had discovered that her double had survived and was plotting her own agenda against the clone. Isard saw through the clone's plans and was planning to rescue Rogue Squadron from the clone's ambush in order to gain their trust to ally with them, and to use the squadron against the clone. Isard, however, believed that the trail her clone had left was too complicated, and she needed to ensure that the Rogues would fall into the trap, so she had faked the files pertaining to the non-existent Pulsar Station in the facility on Liinade III. Since Distna was a hollow moon in the relatively uncharted Corvis Minor system, Rogue Squadron concluded that Krennel was building the station inside the moon. The squadron fell into the trap and embarked on a scouting mission to Distna to check if the superweapon truly existed. There, they were ambushed by six squadrons of TIE fighters, TIE interceptors, and TIE bombers, but, unbeknownst to the clone, were rescued by the real Isard's TIE Defenders under the command of Colonel Broak Vessery and escorted to Isard's secret hideout.
The clone's entire campaign of machinations resulted in the destruction of the starfighters provided by Krennel, and the deaths of two rookie Rogue Squadron pilots, Lyyr Zatoq and Khe-Jeen Slee. Two more Rogues, Wes Janson and Asyr Sei'lar, were initially presumed perished, but were later recovered from the site of the battle with severe injuries and healed. When Krennel and the clone did not receive word from the ambushing force, the Prince-Admiral instructed the Victory-class Star Destroyer Aspiration stationed in the system to check the site of the battle. The Aspiration found nothing, although it reported that another Star Destroyer had visited the battlefield, but the Aspiration's captain had not contacted it, believing it to be one of Krennel's ships on a mission connected with the ambush.
As the only people who possessed Star Destroyers aside from the Republic and the loyalist Empire were several independent warlords and the criminal Booster Terrik—who was Corran Horn's father-in-law—and none of the warlords had claimed to have destroyed Rogue Squadron, the clone correctly realized that the Star Destroyer was the property of Terrik. She believed that Terrik had attempted to find any survivors and that anything he had seen, he must have reported to the Republic. Since Rogue Squadron was facing a foe that outnumbered them six to one, the survival of any of the Rogues would have been broadcast immediately. As rumors spread about Rogue Squadron's destruction, however, Mon Mothma made a public statement on the HoloNet, saying only that she could not tell anything about the squadron's fate in order to not jeopardize the entire Hegemony campaign. Upon hearing this, the clone assumed that her plan had succeeded.
- "I know you won't reply since you're busy playing dead. Just to let you know, there's one more way I know you're a clone. Isard tried the same trick to escape us on Thyferra. Won't work this time. It's over. Oh, one more thing. Tell Colonel Lorrir he sideslips too much. That's why I got him. And you."
- ―Wedge Antilles, before killing the clone
After the Republic conquered Liinade III, it began to send convoys with supplies to the troops garrisoned there, and Krennel started attacking those convoys. In turn, the clone was analyzing the economic situation on the planets from which the supplies were transferred. When word reached her of another convoy, she did her research and realized that the convoy was only a ruse, created to lure Krennel's fleet into a trap. This conclusion was backed by the fact that a number of New Republic starships were being reported to be "on maneuvers." She relayed this news to Krennel, and the latter planned to use the absence of the Republic ships to make a bold raid on Coruscant itself.
During this time, Requiem Squadron, a squadron of TIE Defenders led by a man who introduced himself as Colonel Antar Roat, appeared at Ciutric, expressing their desire to join Krennel's forces. The squadron—which was, in reality, members of Rogue Squadron in disguise—was accepted into Krennel's military and placed under the command of Colonel Lorrir. The Rogues had allied themselves with the real Isard and infiltrated the planet in order to later bring down Ciutric's planetary shield and neutralize ground defenses around the prison building in the city of Daplona, thus opening the way for Isard's forces to rescue the prisoners. Following the Rogues' instructions, the New Republic force was to engage Krennel's fleet at the same time.
When Krennel was ready to move on Coruscant, he sounded a battle alarm. Requiem Squadron was to be transferred aboard one of Krennel's ships in order to be delivered to Coruscant, but Colonel Lorrir suddenly went missing, thus delaying the loading process, as the rest of the squadron was supposed to wait until he headed up first. When Roat had been told not to wait for Lorrir and to get his people airborne, Krennel contacted the clone, asking her to dispatch someone to search for the missing Colonel Lorrir. The clone, however, decided to find Lorrir herself and located him in the operations room inside the hangar—"Roat," who was in fact the leader of Rogue Squadron, Wedge Antilles, had stunned Lorrir with a blaster and locked him there. She also found Roat's fake two-fingered arm and realized who Roat, in fact, was. As the Republic fleet appeared and engaged Krennel's staging ships, Antilles and his men began an attack on the prison; Horn and another Rogue, Ooryl Qrygg, soon liberated the prisoners and began escorting them out of the prison building.
Meanwhile, quickly setting her plans for escape in motion, the clone brought Lorrir to his senses and forced him to pilot an Imperial Assault Shuttle toward the prison, while she took position inside the Daplona base training center. Patching her comlink through the shuttle's comm unit, she began talking to Antilles—who was flying cover for Horn and Qrygg in his TIE Defender—in order to appear as though she was aboard the shuttle. As a last resort to deny Rogue Squadron their victory, she ordered Lorrir to destroy the prison facility, and the Colonel fired two concussion missiles at it. One missile was destroyed by Antilles in mid-air, but the other reached its target; however, Antilles had warned his men inside, and they helped the prisoners to brace for the explosion, resulting in no casualties. After the failed attack, Antilles revealed to the clone who she in fact was. She did not believe that she was a mere clone at first, but Antilles ultimately told her the facts that proved it to her. Struck by this discovery, the clone cried in anger over the comlink.
Meanwhile, Antilles, who had participated in training simulations against Lorrir, recognized the Colonel's tendency to sideslip in order to avoid attacks. Antilles saw through the clone's ruse, since the real Isard had attempted a similar trick to escape from Thyferra. Thus, he signaled two of his Rogues to attack the shuttle from different directions. After Myn Donos hit the shuttle in the aft port, Lorrir sideslipped to starboard, where Gavin Darklighter finished him; the damaged shuttle crashed into the Daplona River and exploded. Playing dead, the clone put static through the comm system. Antilles, however, traced the comm signature to the training center and, after telling the clone that he had deciphered her plan, shot a pair of missiles at the center, killing her. Krennel had been killed in the space battle, and without a leader, the surviving forces surrendered to the Republic.
It was soon discovered that the real Isard had planned the entire scheme to take down the clone as a distraction for the Republic, while she—on the orders of the reborn Emperor Palpatine—attempted to recover the Lusankya, which had been taken to the shipyards in the Bilbringi system to undergo repairs after the Battle of Thyferra. With some Imperial troops, Isard infiltrated the Lusankya; Isard went to her quarters, while the Imperials tried to secure the ship. This plan, however, had been in turn foreseen by Terrik, and he, along with his daughter Mirax, Asyr Sei'lar, and Republic agent Iella Wessiri, was already waiting for Isard aboard the Lusankya. Terrik lured Isard's men into the auxiliary bridge and captured them, and Wessiri shot Isard in her quarters. At long last, both Isards were dead.
Personality and traitsEdit
- "You are very good at the political manipulation of people—almost as good as I am at killing them. If you confine yourself to what you are good at, I will as well, and our partnership will have a long future."
- ―Delak Krennel
As a clone of the real Isard, the clone stood 1.8 meters tall and inherited her unique features, such as light skin, black-and-white hair and differently colored eyes. The left eye was red and the right one was blue. The clone Isard was cunning, manipulative, and ruthless, having inherited these qualities from the real Isard along with her memories and her hatred toward Rogue Squadron. The clone was determined to destroy the squadron at all costs, no matter how many lives it would have cost. She was willing to let the prisoners on Commenor starve to death, and she did not care about Krennel's people when they had not reported after the ambush.
In order to lure her enemies into a trap, she weaved a long web of deception, spending vast amounts of time and resources on its creation. Thinking one step ahead of the New Republic, she also provided Krennel with political advice which helped him to rise in popularity and gain support in his fight against the Republic. She often employed a deductive approach, figuring out that the ship that had visited the site of the ambush was Terrik's and connecting the economical situation in the Republic to the upcoming attack on Krennel. The clone preferred to contemplate her next moves sitting in a dark room surrounded by computer monitors. When something did not go according to her plan, she reacted quickly and adjusted to the situation, as was the case when she included the Pulsar Station in her plot to lure Rogue Squadron into a trap.
Although scarred as a result of her trauma and the subsequent surgery, the clone was still considered fairly attractive by Krennel. She was also able to sustain her own spy network, which extended as far as Coruscant. She was also self-confident, constantly assuring Krennel that her plans would work, dismissing the New Republic's statement about the Liinade laboratory's connection to Krennel as a hoax, and believing that Rogue Squadron had been destroyed after hearing Mon Mothma's message. Despite all of the clone's planning, however, the real Isard was able to easily see through her schemes simply because the clone had the same mentality as her, and Isard considered the clone's plan to be too complicated. The clone was initially reluctant to believe that she was a mere duplicate, but when Antilles told her some facts that proved it, she cried in anger. The fact that she was a clone ultimately resulted in her death as well, as she attempted the shuttle trick that Isard had already used.
Behind the scenesEdit
The clone of Ysanne Isard was first mentioned in X-Wing Rogue Squadron 35: Mandatory Retirement, Part 4, a 1998 comic book written by Michael A. Stackpole. The clone was later featured prominently in the 1999 novel X-Wing: Isard's Revenge, also by Stackpole. Details of the clone's creation were later explained in Ysanne Isard's entry in the 2002 reference book The New Essential Guide to Characters. She was briefly mentioned at the end of the real Isard's entry in 2008's The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia and in several other sources.
- X-Wing Rogue Squadron 35: Mandatory Retirement, Part 4 (First mentioned)
- X-Wing: Isard's Revenge (First appearance)
- The Essential Chronology
- The New Essential Guide to Characters
- The New Essential Chronology
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 90 (HOR3, Corran Horn)
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 110 (ISA4, Ysanne Isard)
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Essential Atlas
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 The New Essential Guide to Characters
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 2.23 2.24 2.25 2.26 2.27 2.28 2.29 2.30 2.31 2.32 X-Wing: Isard's Revenge
- ↑ Based on the real Ysanne Isard's height, provided in The New Essential Guide to Characters.
- ↑ Based on the depiction of the real Ysanne Isard in The New Essential Guide to Characters.
- ↑ The Essential Atlas
- ↑ X-Wing: Wedge's Gamble
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 X-Wing: The Krytos Trap
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 X-Wing: The Bacta War
- ↑ X-Wing Rogue Squadron 33: Mandatory Retirement, Part 2
- ↑ X-Wing Rogue Squadron 35: Mandatory Retirement, Part 4