- "So the average ronto dropping is smarter than Isoto. Since he's on the other side, I'm not inclined to complain."
- ―Kapp Dendo
- "I'd gladly cede a Super Star Destroyer to the Alliance if they would take Isoto in the deal."
- ―Sate Pestage
Lon Isoto, a Human male, served the Imperial Navy during the Galactic Civil War. Isoto had become an admiral by 4 ABY, despite being known for his tactical ineptitude both within the Empire and among New Republic circles, who dubbed him "Isoto the Indecisive." He had no great loyalty to the Empire and worked only to further his own gain, using the influence and resources provided by his rank to lead a life of decadence. Though he had a wife, Isoto kept her on Imperial Center when he was posted offworld, allowing him to indulge in pleasures of the flesh without interference. He was also suspected of being addicted to glitterstim.
Shortly after the death of Emperor Palpatine in 4 ABY, Admiral Isoto was posted to Brentaal IV in the Bormea sector. Tasked with defending the prosperous planet, which was joint-owned by numerous wealthy Imperial allies, Isoto was more concerned with the harem of concubines he employed in his lavish palace on Vuultin, Brentaal's capital city. The New Republic began monitoring the planet in anticipation of an eventual offensive, and were aware of Isoto's reputation for incompetence. Meanwhile, Director of Imperial Intelligence Ysanne Isard set into motion her scheme to wrest control of the Empire from Grand Vizier Sate Pestage and eliminate his main rivals for power, the "Cabal."
Isard convinced Pestage to publicly announce that Brentaal's defenses were to be increased, coaxing the New Republic into attacking immediately. The decision to keep or dismiss Isoto lay with the Grand Vizier alone, and although he wanted to put a more capable admiral in charge, Isard dissuaded him: she claiming that the Cabal supported Isoto, and so when his incompetence came to light, they would be forced to make a face-losing plea for Pestage to replace him. However, Isard claimed the exact opposite in her dealings with the Cabal, asserting that Pestage refused to demote Isoto despite her advice, to their fury. Isard was pitting Pestage against the Cabal, using Isoto as the unwitting instrument to do so.
Portions of the elite 181st Imperial Fighter Group were dispatched to assist in Brentaal's defense, with the remainder of the group, among them Colonel Baron Soontir Fel, due to arrive subsequently. The New Republic promptly launched an attack on Brentaal's moonbase, orchestrated by Admiral Ackbar; their forces included the Mon Calamari cruiser Independence, Wedge Antilles's Rogue Squadron, and Horton Salm's Aggressor Wing. Despite having an ample fleet to attempt to repel the attack, Isoto chose to keep his capital ships in orbit around Brentaal, leaving just the 181st and fixed turbolasers to defend the moonbase. The inexperienced Imperial pilots were routed, and the facility was annexed by the New Republic; Admiral Isoto's clumsy tactics had allowed the New Republic to establish a launching pad for their attack on Brentaal itself. He further displayed his tactical ineptitude but deciding to allow the New Republic to establish a landfall on Brentaal itself, from whence he hoped to grind them down.
With the arrival of the remainder of the 181st on Vuultin imminent, Soontir Fel sent instructions to Isoto about the supplementary defenses he wanted to be installed on Brentaal. Admiral Isoto obliged, arranging for the construction of hardened missile sites and a launch bunker for the 181st; some of the planet's irrigation system had to be demolished to do so, which angered locals, but Isoto thought them wealthy enough to import food from other planets. The 181st personnel promptly arrived, and Fel was pleased that Isoto had followed his requests to the letter. The Admiral's attempt to cajole Fel into using the luxuries and courtesans at his disposal fell on deaf ears; Fel was more interested in formulating Brentaal's plan of defense, something Isoto had little time for. The Admiral eventually acquiesced to a brief discourse with Fel, who believed that the New Republic were likely to attack the city of Oradin for its spaceport facilities, rather than Vuultin, which was strategically worthless. Despite his firm belief that the New Republic would strike whatever city Isoto was in, the Imperial Admiral authorized Fel to take most of his fighter group to Oradin, with the caveat that a detachment of 181st pilots remained to protect him at Vuultin.
Isoto was known to both the Empire he served and the New Republic he opposed as an ineffectual leader, often called "Isoto the Indecisive" in closed quarters, but rose to power through the support of the members of the Cabal. Isoto was more interested in his pleasure than the Empire, and used his position to obtain the things he desired most. Although he was married, he kept his wife on Coruscant so as to not interrupt his licentiousness.
He was in command of the Imperial base near Vuultin at the time of Emperor Palpatine's death at Endor, and was allowed to remain in command of the base when Sate Pestage rose to power. Ysanne Isard and Pestage planned to draw the New Republic's forces to Brentaal IV, hoping to prove the Cabal was unable to control the moon, let alone the Empire. Meanwhile, Isoto languished in his fortress, surrounded by women and—if rumors were true—enjoying glitterstim spice. He was shot and killed by one of his concubines, shortly after being ordered by Ysanne Isard to evacuate Brentaal. The concubine was actually working for Isard as part of Project Ambition.
Following his death, Imperial propaganda (presumably to avoid the negative publicity of Baron Soontir Fel's defection), painted Isoto as the hero of the Battle of Brentaal and Fel as the villain. Even as far as the Ciutric Hegemony, pilots such as Colonel Lorrir spoke of him as "one of the greatest heroes our Empire has ever known."
Behind the scenes
In several places, Isoto is referred to as a general. This is presumably an error.
- X-Wing Rogue Squadron 21 (First mentioned)
- X-Wing Rogue Squadron 22 (First appearance)
- X-Wing Rogue Squadron 23
- X-Wing Rogue Squadron 24
- X-Wing: Isard's Revenge (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars Handbook 1: X-Wing Rogue Squadron
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 137 (VUU1-2, Vuultin)
- The New Essential Chronology
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Essential Guide to Warfare