I have been a Timothy Zahn fan since he re-booted the Star Wars franchise with his Heir to the Empire trilogy, way back in the early 90’s. So when I saw that he had another Star Wars book out I of course jumped right on it, even if it did take me four years to finally getting around to reading it. What I didn’t know is that Outbound Flight was Zahn‘s version of a prequal where we are introduced to the villain of the Heir to the Empire story line, Grand Admeral Thrawn, before he is in anyway a part of the failed empire.

The story begin with another character from the Heir to the Empire trilogy, Joruus C’Baoth, who is pushing to get funding from the senate for Outbound Flight – an exploration project that will venture into the deepest reaches of known space, out into the outer-rim regions of the galaxy, and simply see what is there. Speculation varies as to what they will find. Rumors swirl that an unknown, extremely advanced race resides in this unexplored region, waiting to attack the Empire, but nobody really knows what they will find.

However, Darth Sidious is determined to make sure that Outbound Flight fails and those on board disappear, forever. This is were a man by the name of Kinman Doriana comes in. Doriana is the second-hand man of both Senator Palpatine and Darth Sidious. What Dorianna and C’Baoth don’t expect are beings in this unknown part of space that will play both the savior and destroyer, namely Thrawn.

Like all Star Wars books this one is a must read. It has twist and turns, space battles and explosions… the only thing that it could possible have used is a love story – sorry, but all the great fiction stories have some kind of love found or love lost secondary story line.

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