Star Wars Outbound Flight

( 73 )

Overview

It began as the ultimate voyage of discovery–only to become the stuff of lost Republic legend . . . and a dark chapter in Jedi history. Now, at last, acclaimed author Timothy Zahn returns to tell the whole extraordinary story of the remarkable–and doomed–Outbound Flight Project.

The Clone Wars have yet to erupt when Jedi Master Jorus C’baoth petitions the Senate for support of a singularly ambitious undertaking. Six Jedi Masters, twelve Jedi Knights, and fifty thousand men, ...

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Overview

It began as the ultimate voyage of discovery–only to become the stuff of lost Republic legend . . . and a dark chapter in Jedi history. Now, at last, acclaimed author Timothy Zahn returns to tell the whole extraordinary story of the remarkable–and doomed–Outbound Flight Project.

The Clone Wars have yet to erupt when Jedi Master Jorus C’baoth petitions the Senate for support of a singularly ambitious undertaking. Six Jedi Masters, twelve Jedi Knights, and fifty thousand men, women, and children will embark–aboard a gargantuan vessel, equipped for years of travel–on a mission to contact intelligent life and colonize undiscovered worlds beyond the known galaxy. The government bureaucracy threatens to scuttle the expedition before it can even start–until Master C’baoth foils a murderous conspiracy plot, winning him the political capital he needs to set in motion the dream of Outbound Flight.

Or so it would seem. For unknown to the famed Jedi Master, the successful launch of the mission is secretly being orchestrated by an unlikely ally: the evil Sith Lord, Darth Sidious, who has his own reasons for wanting Outbound Flight to move forward . . . and, ultimately, to fail.

Yet Darth Sidious is not the mission’s most dangerous challenge. Once underway, the starship crosses paths at the edge of Unknown Space with the forces of the alien Chiss Ascendancy and the brilliant mastermind best known as “Thrawn.” Even Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi, aboard Outbound Flight with his young Padawan student, Anakin Skywalker, cannot help avert disaster. Thus what begins as a peaceful Jedi mission is violently transformed into an all-out war for survival against staggering odds–and the most diabolical of adversaries.

Timothy Zahn’s unique mix of espionage, political gamesmanship, and deadly interstellar combat breathes electrifying life into a Star Wars legend.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA
It was to be the journey of a lifetime. Fifty thousand men, women, and children, accompanied by six Jedi Masters and twelve Jedi Knights, plan to travel into unknown space aboard the massive vessel Outbound Flight. Their purpose is to establish colonies and contact intelligent life. Masterminded by Jedi Jorus C'baoth, the expedition initially appears fated to be permanently bogged down by bureaucratic regulations until the Jedi Master defeats an assassination attempt against Senate members. Unbeknownst to C'boath, his heroics are part of a scheme by Sith Lord Darth Sidious, whose goal is also to launch Outbound Flight-and then to destroy it. Also unforeseen is the deadly encounter with brilliant Chiss commander Thrawn. Between the insurmountable external and internal obstacles, the project is doomed from its beginning. Popular Star Wars writer Zahn crafts a nearly flawless tale. In its predecessor, Survivor's Quest (Del Ray, 2004), readers explore the aftermath of Outbound Flight, fifty years later. This novel is the first to relate the account in its entirety. There is something for every fan, from delving into the psyche of the most prominent characters to almost nonstop galactic interplay. Typical Star Wars themes of the dangers of unchecked power as well as bravery and sacrifice are prevalent. The reviewer's only complaint is the token appearances by Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker, whose ultimate lack of involvement feels unsatisfactory. It is otherwise a thrilling adventure and a must-read for any Star Wars fan. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2006, Del Rey, 464p., Ages15 to 18.
—Julie Watkins
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345456847
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/30/2007
  • Series: Star Wars Series
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 464
  • Sales rank: 161,760
  • Product dimensions: 4.15 (w) x 6.88 (h) x 1.03 (d)

Meet the Author

Timothy Zahn

Timothy Zahn’s Star Wars novels have more than four million copies in print. Since 1978 he has written nearly seventy short stories and novelettes, nineteen novels, and three short fiction collections, and won the 1984 Hugo Award for best novella. He is best known for his six Star Wars books (Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising, The Last Command, Specter of the Past, Vision of the Future, and Survivor’s Quest). He lives with his family on the Oregon coast.

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Read an Excerpt

1

The light freighter Bargain Hunter moved through space, silver-gray against the blackness, the light of the distant stars reflecting from its hull. Its running lights were muted, its navigational beacons quiet, its viewports for the most part as dark as the space around it.

Its drive gunning for all it was worth.

“Hang on!” Dubrak Qennto barked over the straining roar of the engines. “Here he comes again!”

Clenching his teeth firmly together to keep them from chattering, Jorj Car’das got a grip on his seat’s armrest with one hand as he finished punching coordinates into the nav computer with the other. Just in time; the Bargain Hunter jinked hard to the left as a pair of brilliant green blaster bolts burned past the bridge canopy. “Car’das?” Qennto called. “Snap it up, kid.”

“I’m snapping, I’m snapping,” Car’das called back, resisting the urge to point out that the outmoded nav equipment was Qennto’s property, not his. As was the lack of diplomacy and common sense that had gotten them into this mess in the first place. “Can’t we just talk to them?”

“Terrific idea,” Qennto bit out. “Be sure to compliment Progga on his fairness and sound business sense. That always works on Hutts.”

The last word was punctuated by another cluster of blaster shots, this group closer than the last. “Rak, the engines can’t hold this speed forever,” Maris Ferasi warned from the copilot’s seat, her dark hair flashing with green highlights every time a shot went past.

“Doesn’t have to be forever,” Qennto said with a grunt. “Just till we have some numbers. Car’das?”

On Car’das’s board a light winked on. “Ready,” he called, punching the numbers over to the pilot’s station. “It’s not a very long jump, though—”

He was cut off by a screech from somewhere aft, and the flashing blaster bolts were replaced by flashing starlines as the Bargain Hunter shot into hyperspace.

Car’das took a deep breath, let it out silently. “This is not what I signed up for,” he muttered to himself. Barely six standard months after signing on with Qennto and Maris, this was already the second time they’d had to run for their lives from someone.

And this time it was a Hutt they’d frizzled. Qennto, he thought darkly, had a genuine talent for picking his fights.

“You okay, Jorj?”

Car’das looked up, blinking away a drop of sweat that had somehow found its way into his eye. Maris was swiveled around in her chair, looking back at him with concern. “I’m fine,” he said, wincing at the quavering in his voice.

“Of course he is,” Qennto assured Maris as he also turned around to look at their junior crewer. “Those shots never even got close.”

Car’das braced himself. “You know, Qennto, it may not be my place to say this—”

“It isn’t; and don’t,” Qennto said gruffly, turning back to his board.

“Progga the Hutt is not the sort of person you want mad at you,” Car’das said anyway. “I mean, first there was that Rodian—”

“A word about shipboard etiquette, kid,” Qennto cut in, turning just far enough to send a single eye’s worth of glower at Car’das. “You don’t argue with your captain. Not ever. Not unless you want this to be your first and last tour with us.”

“I’d settle for it not being the last tour of my life,” Car’das muttered.

“What was that?”

Car’das grimaced. “Nothing.”

“Don’t let Progga worry you,” Maris soothed. “He has a rotten temper, but he’ll cool off.”

“Before or after he racks the three of us and takes all the furs?” Car’das countered, eyeing the hyperdrive readings uneasily. That mauvine nullifier instability was definitely getting worse.

“Oh, Progga wouldn’t have racked us,” Qennto scoffed. “He’d have left that to Drixo when we had to tell her he’d snatched her cargo. You do have that next jump ready, right?”

“Working on it,” Car’das said, checking the computer. “But the hyperdrive—”

“Heads up,” Qennto interrupted. “We’re coming out.”

The starlines collapsed back into stars, and Car’das keyed for a full sensor scan.

And jerked as a salvo of blaster shots sizzled past the canopy.

Qennto barked a short expletive. “What the frizz?”

“He followed us,” Maris said, sounding stunned.

“And he’s got the range,” Qennto snarled as he threw the Bargain Hunter into another series of stomach-twisting evasive maneuvers. “Car’das, get us out of here!”

“Trying,” Car’das called back, fighting to read the computer displays as they bounced and wobbled in front of his eyes. There was no way it was going to calculate the next jump before even Qennto’s luck ran out and the fuming Hutt back there finally connected.

But if Car’das couldn’t find a place for them to go, maybe he could find all the places for them not to go . . .

The sky directly ahead was full of stars, but there was plenty of empty black between them. Picking the biggest of the gaps, he punched the vector into the computer. “Try this one,” he called, keying it to Qennto.

“What do you mean try?” Maris asked.

The freighter rocked as a pair of shots caught it squarely on the aft deflector. “Never mind,” Qennto said before Car’das could answer. He punched the board, and once again the starlines lanced out and faded into the blotchy hyperspace sky.

Maris exhaled in a huff. “That was too close.”

“Okay, so maybe he is mad at us,” Qennto conceded. “Now. Like Maris said, kid, what do you mean, try this one?”

“I didn’t have time to calculate a proper jump,” Car’das explained. “So I just aimed us into an empty spot with no stars.”

Qennto swiveled around. “You mean an empty spot with no visible stars?” he asked ominously. “An empty spot with no collapsed stars, or pre-star dark masses, or something hidden behind dust clouds? That kind of empty spot?” He waved a hand toward the canopy. “And out toward the Unknown Regions on top of it?”

“We don’t have enough data in that direction for him to have done a proper calculation anyway,” Maris said, coming unex- pectedly to Car’das’s defense.

“That’s not the point,” Qennto insisted.

“No, the point is that he got us away from Progga,” Maris said. “I think that deserves at least a thank-you.”

Qennto rolled his eyes. “Thank you,” he said. “Such thanks to be rescinded if and when we run through a star you didn’t see, of course.”

“I think it’s more likely the hyperdrive will blow up first,” Car’das warned. “Remember that nullifier problem I told you about? I think it’s getting—”

He was cut off by a wailing sound from beneath them, and with a lurch the Bargain Hunter leapt forward like a giffa on a scent.

“Running hot!” Qennto shouted, spinning back to his board. “Maris, shut ’er down!”

“Trying,” Maris called back over the wailing as her fingers danced across her board. “Control lines are looping—can’t get a signal through.”

With a curse, Qennto popped his straps and heaved his bulk out of his seat. He sprinted down the narrow aisle, his elbow barely missing the back of Car’das’s head as he passed. Poking uselessly at his own controls, Car’das popped his own strap release and started to follow.

“Car’das, get up here,” Maris called, gesturing him forward.

“He might need me,” Car’das said as he nevertheless reversed direction and headed forward.

“Sit,” she ordered, nodding sideways at Qennto’s vacated pilot’s seat. “Help me watch the tracker—if we veer off this vector before Rak figures out how to pull the plug, I need to know about it.”

“But Qennto—”

“Word of advice, friend,” she interrupted, her eyes still on her displays. “This is Rak’s ship. If there are any tricky repairs to be made, he’s the one who’ll make them.”

“Even if I happen to know more about a particular system than he does?”

“Especially if you happen to know more about it than he does,” she said drily. “But in this case, you don’t. Trust me.”

“Fine,” Car’das said with a sigh. “Such trust to be rescinded if and when we blow up, of course.”

“You’re learning,” she said approvingly. “Now run a systems check on the scanners and see if the instability’s bled over into them. Then do the same for the nav computer. Once we get through this, I want to make sure we can find our way home again.”

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 73 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(28)

4 Star

(30)

3 Star

(9)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 73 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 18, 2011

    A great book by Zahn

    Outbound Flight is a mission to explore the galaxies beyond the one Star wars is set in. It's the first book in the Star Wars chronology to include Thrawn - one of the most famous characters in the Extended Universe, and it's for this reason that I chose to read it. And it was a good decision.

    The characters were generally done well. I liked Jorus C'Baoth's Apprentice, Lorana, and Thrawn's guest Car'das quite a lot. Then there was the Chancellor. Palpatine is an incredibly complex character, and a very important one. And I've never seen him portrayed better. But there was also the two main players in the book. Thrawn and C'Baoth. I wasn't amazed by C'Baoth, but I think that's more because I didn't like him as a person, than didn't like how he was written. But Thrawn I did like. I haven't actually read the trilogy he was first written about in, but after reading this book I will be. He's a fascinating character, and I found myself looking forwards to those chapters about his storyline. The only thing he didn't have was any flaws. He was a little too perfect. But that didn't mean I didn't enjoy reading about him. He was extremely well written.

    I felt that the inclusion of Anakin and Obi-Wan was rather unneccesary. I felt like it was done just because they were famous characters, rather than because they would add anything to the story. They weren't major characters, didn't do an awful lot, but hung around where all the important stuff things happened, disagreeing and agreeing with C'Baoth respectively. I didn't really understand what they were there for.

    But it was an excellent story otherwise, two main storylines that merge towards the end of the book, but full of moments that make you think "that was clever". The two masterminds of the book are facinating to read about, and some of the tactics and technology of the various groups was extremely interesting. Especially the methods of the Vagaari, which were brutal, but again were a clever idea. And it manages to link into much of the other stories in the star wars universe. It has ties to the previous books, "The Phantom Menace" and "Rogue Planet". It also links into the Thrawn books, by the same author, by introducing their eponymous character. and then it hints at the events in the New Jedi Order, which is set over fifty years later.

    There was one thing that I felt the story could have done with, was a small bit of back story about Vergere, a missing Jedi. It wasn't an important plot point, just mentioned a couple of times as an indirect mission of Outbound flight. It could be picked up by the end of the book that she had gone missing, and where, but it would have been handy if there had been a brief paragraph about what she was doing when she went missing, or perhaps a bigger mention of Obi-Wan's search for her (This is the subject of the book set before outbound flight, "Rogue Planet").

    From a technical point of view, I couldn't see anything wrong with the writing at all. No typos, no weird formatting. Not even any badly worded sentences. Zahn is a brilliant writer, and this work reflects that. Although reading Rogue Planet before hand might be useful for that one thing, this is a really good entry to the Star Wars saga and a highly interesting read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2006

    Ties up loose ends

    This book describes the events of the Outbound Flight, and event much alluded to in Zahn's other Star Wars books. The book does a great job of also including aspects of the tension just prior to the Clone Wars, as well as early hints of the Yuuzhan Vong Invasion, decades before it began in earnest. I don't see why Obi-Wan or Anakin had to be in this book. Their inclusion seemed forced. I also wished there would have been some lightsaber action. This book will change the way people see Thrawn. He seems much less evil. A good read. I'd highly recommend also reading Survivor's Quest, which covers what happened to the crew of Outbound Flight.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2006

    Excellent prequel to The Thrawn Trilogy

    This book is pre-Clone Wars. Zahn's first, and most greatly known, Star Wars books are the Thrawn Trilogy (Heir To The Empire, Dark Force Rising & The Last Command). Outbound Flight is a prequel to the Thrawn Trilogy. In Outbound Flight you get to know many of the characters of the Thrawn Trilogy and what they were doing about three decades earlier. It is excellently written book, the plot and characters are so well developed. I even loved Thrawn, who is a villian in the later trilogy. It also made me realize that C'Baoth was himself insane, not just his clone in the later trilogy. The plot has tons of twists and turns, so hang on...you will enjoy this book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2006

    Excellent! ObiWan and Anakin shouldn't have been in it, though.

    Finally, the story of Thrawn before he was exiled from the Chiss. First off, this is a book about the Expanded universe characters. If you haven't read many of the other SW books, you might not want to read this one. The only 'movie characters' who appear are Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Palpatine/Sidious, and it isn't really about any of them. On the other hand, if you enjoy the EU stuff, you'll love this one. The book is really about everyone's favorite Art-loving tactical genius, Thrawn, and the crazy Jedi master, C'Boath. (And, of course, the Outbound Flight project) The book is full of short bits reflecting what is to come for the characters. For example Thrawn describes something as having been 'done so artfully,' (also his last words when Rukh assainates him in The Last Command,) and the Yuzhaan Vong are briefly mentioned, as a threat slowly approaching the galaxy. The book never tells how C'Boath was cloned, but it does show his transition from simply a Jedi with a big ego to the crazed force-wielding control freak in Heir to the Empire. The best part of the book, is that it tells the story of Thrawn before he joined the Empire, without ruining his character in the process, by telling the entire 'Thrawn' portion of the story from Car'das' point of view. We see the young Commander Thrawn as he struggles with his ideals and rest of the Chiss race. The reason it only got four stars was the appearance of Obi-Wan and Anakin. It seemed almost as if Zahn had written them into the story because someone was requiring him to. Their characters seemed, well, shallow compared to the others. I strongly reccommend this book. I got it as a gift, and finished it the next day.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Exciting Star Wars tale

    Jedi Master Jorus C¿baoth argues with the Appropriation Senate to support his project to send fifty thousand colonists to another galaxy accompanied by Six Jedi Masters and twelve Jedi Knights along with the crew for six Dreadnaught vessels tied together around a central core. Just as it looks like his project will not go forth, Jorus stops a deadly conspiracy that he finds too convenient and lucky to occur at this moment he wonders who, perhaps evil Sith Lord Darth Sidious or even manipulative Palpatine, orchestrated the potentially lethal incident but also ponders why. Still Jorus gains supporters in influential circles and the mission is on. --- When the Outbound Flight reaches the edge of Unknown Space, the alien Chiss Ascendancy attacks the ship wanting to repel the ¿invaders¿. Meanwhile brilliant strategist Thrawn has his own agenda that could include destroying the mission or worse. Thus instead of the peaceful first contact with alien races and colonization of unknown worlds that Jorus envisioned, the Outbound Flight project members face hostilities and all out war with survival in question. --- This is an exciting tale that brings to life one of the most legendary sidebars in the Star Wars mythos. The action-packed story line showcases Timothy Zahn at his best as the readers will see glimpses of the varying personalities in the early days of power struggles that make up the latter years conflict. Though the inclusions of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker on the flight itself even if they depart before the non political challenges arise seems an unnecessary pampering sidebar to garner readers this is one escapade that does not need extraneous albeit short force as fans will appreciate Mr. Zhan providing the rest of the story. --- Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2014

    Elude

    Elude will do a poem of some sortm

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2014

    Poem Contest- Regestry and Rules

    Okay guys, we want a nice, easy competition. Theres just a few rules.
    <p>
    1- NO se<_>xuality. Anything like so will be disqualified. No ifs, ands, or bu<_>tts. [But<_>ts. Get the pun?]
    <p>
    2- Do NOT call out other poems. You won't be disqualified, but guy, really? It's CYBERBULLYING!!!!
    <p>
    3- Please, make it original and your OWN style. Don't copy others. It's not funny, and you will be disqualified.
    <p>
    <p>
    You can do anything! Limerics, Haikus, or an offbeat, epic poem! Make sure to put your name down in this result, so I can give credit to someone. In the next result, make your poem, and then, in the third result, put your votes.
    <p>
    May the best poet win!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2014

    COOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL!!!!!!!!

    COOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2014

    Sounds good...............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

    Wheeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2014

    Outbou?d (chapter one)

    Smoke. Thick billowing smoke. I cough into my elbow and look around. My people lying on the ground injured, dying. I search through the crowds for my brother, Adahy, but he is nowhere to be seen. "Adahy! Adahy where are you?!" I scream ad loud as i can. I start to walk torwards, what once was my house. Adahy? I whisper sofly

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2014

    A very good book, but conflicting...

    Outbound flight is a very good story, but is conflicting to other. Books such as the Thrawn Triligy.

    Please excuse any spelling error.

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  • Posted August 27, 2013

    Having not read the Thrawn books I think I was missing alot, but

    Having not read the Thrawn books I think I was missing alot, but this was a pretty good book anyway. I loved how Palpatine used his mechanations to keep Anakin safe for his future plans by getting him off the Outbound Flight. The story overall was very intersting and different than alot of Star Wars books. I loved Thrawn and look forward to getting around to the other novels he is in. Maube then this story will mean more to me.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2013

    I wonder

    Would this help me understand Survior's Quest?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2013

    Levi to reuben.

    BUT!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 6, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    Excellent book!

    If you want to know more about Thrawn and what happened to Outbound Flight, then this is the book to read. Timothy Zahn is an excellent author. I would recommend his earlier Star Wars books and especially Star Wars: Survivor's Quest.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2012

    An outstanding book

    This is a great book, especially if you've just finished the Thrawn Trilogy by Timothy Zahn. If you haven't read the Thrawn Trilogy, I recommend that series as well. This book tells you about the past of the great Grand Admiral, and more in the famous galaxy far, far away...

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  • Posted February 4, 2012

    Highly Recommend

    Very good book! Timothy Zahn is a very good writer. Kept me on edge of seat through much of the story. Am loving the Star Wars books.

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  • Posted August 12, 2011

    Ok book

    Wasn't the best book. Okay book. I personally wanted to see what was outside the galaxy.

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  • Posted July 31, 2011

    Great book by Zahn

    I highly recommend it. Tnrawn is introduced for the first time. It is wonderful.

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  • Posted July 25, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A very revealing addition to Timothy Zahn's Thrawn Trilogy

    This noel reveals the new information concerning the Outbound Flight Project that was referred to in Timothy Zahn's classic Thrawn trilogy. It also forces the reader to see the characters and events in that trilogy in a different way. It is a worthy prequel to Zahn's trilogy.

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