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[Rise of the Empire]
Events that occur between 67 years and up to 2 years before the Battle of Yavin.

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Paperback Novel
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Audio Book
Read by Jonathan Davis.
Published as abridged
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[Outbound Flight - audiobook]

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Outbound Flight
Timothy Zahn
Del Rey [US]
Arrow Books [UK]
Story published as:
Hardcover Novel (2006)
Audio Book (2006, 2007)
Paperback Novel (2007)
e-Book (2011)

If you have read this book, please rate it:
3 reviews [Average Review Score: 3.5 / 5]

Outbound Flight was an ambitious project that sent an expeditionary mission of six Jedi Masters, 12 Jedi Knights and 50,000 men, women and children beyond the borders of known space to make contact with intelligent life. It was the brainchild of Jorus C'baoth, but even so influential a Jedi Master had to navigate the cumbersome Republic bureaucracy to get this monumental proposal approved.
With the foiling of a murderous plot, C'baoth gained the influence he needed to get Outbound Flight underway. In truth, this turn of fortune was carefully engineered by Darth Sidious, the shadowy Sith Lord who wants Outbound Flight to begin, and ultimately, to fail.
The mission is doomed from the start, for lurking within Unknown Space is the Chiss Ascendancy, and the brilliant alien mastermind who will someday become Grand Admiral Thrawn. Not even the presence of Obi-Wan Kenobi and his young Padawan learner, Anakin Skywalker, aboard the gargantuan vessel can avert disaster.

The paperback edition also includes the short story Mist Encounter.

This story occurs approximately 27 years before the Battle of Yavin.

Related Stories (in chronological order):


Review by Darth Kondorr, Poland, 2014:
"The book is a delight to read, a true page turner... almost.
"It all starts really intriguing... (an alien force kidnaps republic citizens (which of course are smugglers), C'Baoth tries to get Outbound Flight free of political obstacles), only to be slowed down by an overly long, not to necessary side quest, which is meant to introduce some characters and give the main story a jump start. But once you get through it, Outbound Flight flies...
"Timothy Zahn really knows how to make you want to keep reading, even though C'Boath's rule is to fast accepted and Obi Wan is reduced to a helpless bystander at times. The author also tends to overuse the phrase "his/her's throat/stomach/whatever tightened" every time someone feels kinda threatened...
"Still, the book has a lot going for it, especially some revelations hinted at in the book Rogue Planet, but spelled out completely here, connecting this book not only with the other Zahn books, but also to the invasion from the New Jedi Order series .
"Maybe not a perfect book, but definitely worthy of a Star Wars fan's time.
"Reading it I felt like being that teenage boy again having Heir to the Empire in my hands for the first time."
4 / 5

Review by A-Oz, UK, 2006:
"It's a good jumping-on point for anyone coming straight from the films, however anyone who's read Zahn's earlier books will recognize how he's filling in his own back story, setting up characters and species who first appeared in Heir to the Empire and Zahn's other sequels. Lucas's back-to-front storytelling has got a lot to answer for...
"It is clumsily structured at times, with Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker feeling rather misplaced, even in their restricted supporting roles. They're there to pull in the fans, but the book would have done better to drop them altogether and focus more on the relationship between the female Jedi Lorana and her overbearing master.
"However, parts of the book are truly dramatic, with a flurry of late reversals, and the best scenes going to the sort of shades-of-gray characters whose presence would have livened the prequel films."
3.5 / 5

Review by Ewan, Star Wars Books & Comics, 2006:
"Zahn finally completes his Outbound Flight story arc after letting us wait more than ten years. Unfortunately, Outbound Flight is not one of Zahn's best Star Wars books, just as in Survivor's Quest, Zahn 'sneaks' in plotlines and story arcs that he didn't initially raise in his own books and attempts to supplant them as being original to the larger EU story arc, eg Sidious' fear of the Far Outsiders (Yuuzhan Vong) as a reason for his plan to liquidate the Jedi. He has also used this book to give some form of closure to many of the characters that he created.
"The inclusion of Obi-Wan and Anakin Skywalker is a mistake, their roles on Outbound Flight are totally superfluous to the overall story and Zahn is quite capable of good storytelling without the need to include two leading Star Wars prequel characters (of course their inclusion helps sell to a new Star Wars audience and removing Obi-Wan and Anakin would require a rewrite of Survivor's Quest).
"Where Zahn excels is with Thrawn's story and his relationship with his 'alien prisoners', his family and the Chiss hegemony. We get a rather beautiful insight into the background of the mastermind that would eventually threaten the New Republic in Heir to the Empire. Thrawn is portrayed as a more sympathetic character (than he would later become) and the reader is more readily able to identify with this younger Thrawn."
2.5 / 5

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