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The Official Outbound Flight Discussion Thread (Spoilers Allowed)

Discussion in 'Literature' started by dp4m, Jan 9, 2006.

  1. The2ndQuest

    The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jan 27, 2000
    Finished this today- wow, great read. Zahn manages to really surprise the reader with some of Thrawn's plans (gotta love that droid trick! And the deconstruction of the TF fleet was extremely well-done and exicting to read, especially since Zahn avoids repeating how it's done in TPM [with possible exception to the above-the-fuel-cells weakness of the TU ships, but that hasn't really been used much anywhere else surprisingly so it actually brings a grin to one's face), and Thrawn himself is just such a fascinating character to read that it makes it really difficult to put this one down.

    Initially I was usually dissapointed when they would switch away from Jorj and Thrawn over to the Jorus plotline, but even that built up nicely as the sheer danger of Jorus's personality becomes more and more prominent- made all the scarier by the seeming inability to out reason his self-logic. You could feel Obi-wan's frustration.

    The Doriana and Sidious parts were equally entertaining as well- the whole playing-the-double-agent-as-a-fool aspect connects nicely with Doriana during HOC. And I couldn't help but chuckle at Sidious's reaction to being informed about Skywalker's presence aboard OBF.

    And Jinzler was a nice change of pace for a Jedi character, especially given the almost impossible circumstances she was placed into the midst of.

    Maybe the only aspect of the book that felt a bit iffy was how played-up the threat of the Far Outsiders supposedly was in regards to Sidious's plans, but even with that I find it difficult to take issue with since it's such a logical conclusion, especially given to the nature of Thrawn's actions both here and later in HOT regarding preparations for facing great unknown threats from "outside". Not to mention it does shed a lot of light on the motivations for Doriana's allegiance to Sidious (in fact, i think it's actually more important to Doriana's motivations than it is to Sidious).

    Overall, makes me want to reread SQ now, if not for the other SW novels I've yet to read on my shelf...
     
  2. The2ndQuest

    The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jan 27, 2000
    Catching up on the discussion of this thread, just commenting on a few posts from the first half of this thread to start with...


    >>I'm more concerned about the Republic having no grav well technology, when they have it ~4,000 years before that (KotOR), 6 or so years before that (Darth Maul: Saboteur)...<<

    Not having read DM:S yet- what was the use of grav well tech in it?


    >>Vision of the future was published in 1998. TPM was out in 99. ergo I doubt Zahn had any idea about the TradeFederation or the type of equipment etc etc when was writing it.<<

    Rogue Squadron came out in 1998, TPM in 99, yet it was later revealed, after TPM's release, that you could unlock the N-1 in the game. ::)


    >>after reading Dark Lord and saw how Luceno just ripped all the goodies (ex: classic OT star destroyer, Vader TIE fighter) in the interim-20-years that seperates ROTS and ANH. and shove them all in one novel just for the sake of doing it.<<

    A lot of that isn't entirely Luceno's fault but rather Luceno making use of what others already established. For example, the ROTS ICS established that the ISD had just started production at that point in time (most likely included to cover the possibility of an ISD appearing in ROTS itself at the end during the Death Star scene- which almost happened, since they had no wya of knowing if it would be in the final cut or not given the fluid nature of Lucas's editing abilities and the simultaneous production of the ICS, and the reference wasn't removed or couldn't be.

    I do agree Vader's TIE came too quickly though.


    >>(How does one gets "Bill" from "William" certainly isn't readily apparent...)<<

    I asked that myself for som time, given my name, and so i finally looked into it. "William" was shortened to "Will" and then became "Bill" due to an early Irish pronounciation of the name.
     
  3. The2ndQuest

    The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jan 27, 2000
    and the second half...


    >> Afterwards, we don't even have the satisfaction of knowing how Thrawn gets exiled from the Chiss Ascendancy.<<

    I was actually expecting that myself for the end, so Zahn did surprise me with that bit of political manuvering on Thrawn's part. Hopefully we'll get that story one day soon.


    >>iam just happy zahn addressed the issue and somewhat shatter the myth of Sidious planing everythig blah blah ... this whole ""Sidious planing every"" didnt exist back in TPM-era, because we saw Sidious multiple times and we knew when he was pissed and when he was happy. The whole ""Sidious planing every"" started with AOTC which feautred Sidious (everything is going at planned) only at the end of a very confusing movie <<

    The end results were according to plan, but how they were achieved differs from what Sidious originally planned, but Sidious seems to be the master of "Plan B".

    For Naboo, he wanted to use it to leverage his way to the Chancellory via showing the ineffectiveness of the Republic's ability to react, but the lack of the treaty hindered that, but Amidala's actions allowed him to accelerate that goal.

    For Geonosis, the plan was for the Seppies to attack the Republic, forcing them to draw upon the clone army. However Kenobi's unpredictable presence on Geonosis screwed that up by alerting the Republic early. So, Plan B had them use the clones in a preemptive strike. But the end result was the same- the Clone Wars started, which was the ultimate goal of the plan all along.


    >>How do you read through this book knowing any situation Kenobi and his puppy brawl in won't be life threatening... How? How? How?<<

    Well, in this case, Kenobi and Anakin aren't really involved in any of the action shy their participation in the Barlok incident (and there, it's really more about if they'll succeed in stopping the assassin than if they'll survive the situation). They function more as counterpoints for C'Baoth's character development (as well as a subtle moment of humor, IMO, in Sidious's reaction upon learning of their presence).


    >>you know not only the ending of the book, but also the storyline, making the page turning discovery useless. You cannot even learn the tale that is already known, let alone the ending you know.<<

    With the book you only really know 3 or 4 things for certain will happen: Outbound Flight will be attacked by Thrawn and will ultimately crash where it was found in Survivor's Quest, that C'baoth dies, that Thrawn and Cardas live.

    But really, despite the title, the entire book is not about Outbound Flight's destruction, but more about Thrawn's dealing with the Vagaari and Doriana situations, as well as C'Boath's manipulation of events aboard Outbound Flight.

    Not only that, but the execution of Thrawn's plans certainly surprises the viewer on a couple occasions (though since you've probably read baout them in this thread already, they're unlikely to phase you, Ex ;) ).

    And, lastly, you have to keep in mind that foreknowledge of events shouldn't really affect one's emersion in the chronology of the story- if someone started reading the EU today, and saw that the NJO, DN and LOTF books were out and included Luke, Jacen and Corran (revealing that they obviously survive every other book set prior to those series); should they just not read any of the Bantam era material because of that?

    It's the same here- sure we have the benefit of knowing how the Thrawn saga ends up (McEwok's Formbi theories notwithstanding ;) ), but not everyone will, and it's very likely many, many people will read OBF before ever reading TTT, HOT or SQ, so Thrawn, Cardas, Jorus, Lorana and Outbound Flight's fates are a non-issue to those readers.

    The rest of us just want to know what happened on a more initimate level than merely a one sentence "Thrawn destroyed Outbound Flight for Palpatine" sumamry ;)



    >>Does this story take place before or after Hero of Cartao?<<

    Before. You were correct in that HOC is set during the Clone Wars- 1 year into it, to be precise.



     
  4. snap-hiss

    snap-hiss Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 23, 2001
    Ok, I'm sure this has been discussed a million times, but I only just finished Outbound Flight, and I'm wondering about C'boath. Are we just left to assume that he survived? And what's all that business at the end about Uliar being suspicious of Pressor?

    !snap
     
  5. Lord_Hydronium

    Lord_Hydronium Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jun 11, 2002
    C'baoth is dead. The neutron bombs, or whatever they were called in the book, wiped out all life except for the people in the core, since there were no bombs there. Even if he could have hypothetically survived that, his choke on Thrawn drops when the bombs go off, indicating he didn't.

    As for Uliar and Pressor, that leads into Survivor's Quest, where as I recall, members of the Pressor family exhibit Force sensitivity. Uliar isn't too fond of that, given the experience on Outbound Flight.
     
  6. snap-hiss

    snap-hiss Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 23, 2001
    Don't spoil anything in Survivor's Quest for me, because that's what I'm starting next, but how can C'Baoth be dead? He's in Heir to the Empire. Or will this be explained in Survivor's Quest?

    !snap
     
  7. Spike2002

    Spike2002 Former FF-UK RSA and Arena Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Feb 4, 2002
    That's easy. The C'boath in the Thrawn Trilogy was a clone. That was established pretty early on :p
     
  8. Crox

    Crox Jedi Youngling star 1

    Registered:
    Apr 30, 2006
    OF was excellent. Quite possibly my favorite Zahn book, although it's been several years since I read TTT.

    And is it just me, or does Excellence dislike all SW literature except Dark Nest?

    I mean, I like DN too, but Ex seems to be missing the whole point of a book if he only cares about whether or not a character lives or dies.
     
  9. Crox

    Crox Jedi Youngling star 1

    Registered:
    Apr 30, 2006
    (Sorry for the double post)

    Even worse, Ex seems to only care whether very important characters die. The fate of an original character introduced in OF doesn't matter.

    Thank you, Excellence, for teaching me that a book is useless unless there's a chance of a main character dying.

    I guess I should go throw out all my X-Wing books. After all, the stories are completely useless because I already know from TTT that Wedge lives.

    Hell, I should also get rid of Shatterpoint while I'm at it. After all, I know Mace won't die, so what's the point?
     
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  10. AdmiralWesJanson

    AdmiralWesJanson Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    May 23, 2005
    Deaths are meaningless unless the author can Erickson them into furthering the plot. Spitting mouths and shallow tripe may flock readers to the newest beloved hardback, but unless it can follow through with a complex plot and nVidia characterization, the will save to buy is pretty high.
     
  11. Syndic_Machiavelli

    Syndic_Machiavelli Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    May 24, 2004
    Grrrr... Not having time to go out and buy this book is just another reason to hate finals. :) From the comments, synopses etc., I've read it seems that Ar'alani and Thrawn are close allies, despite the difference in rank. (OK, not that big a difference but they do seem to be in very diferent places most of the time.) Do the admiral's machinations supporting Thrawn suggest that he wasn't the only person dissatisfied with the stringent rules of the CEDF (and Ruling Families?) about pre-emptive strikes and had a much more pragmatic view of how to stop the Vong? An alternate view that I've seen floating around a few fanfics is that Thrawn and Ar'alani were either close friends or lovers, but the latter doesn't seem that plausible given the very formal culture shown in the NJO books. My two cents is that Ar'alani saw a possible protégé in Thrawn due to their common tactical ability and was willing to bend the rules - effectively treason - due to the threat of the Vong.
    The profit drive of spin-off publishing really sucks. If Zahn had been given more free reign, or more time, OF probably would have been much improved. Hopefully the upcoming Thrawn-clone book won't suffer the same fate. :(
    [face_laugh] [face_laugh] Yoda clones possible they are. Insane Sith Lord in plotless NJO book could he be and Vong with complex number calculus defeat.
    Noooo! The combination of tacticam genius and the moral scruples are the whole point of his character. Seriously, whe TTT came out Zahn designed the antithesis of Palpatine in a leader who could actually think. He shows the reader that Thrawn's intelligence doesn't just lie in his military finesse: a) he evidently knows how to read and manipulate other people and gain their trust in a xenophobic society and b) even manipulates Palpatine in the HoT duology. His Miltonian 'fall' from moral to unscrupulous is implausible because he keeps ahead of everyone trying to turn him to the dark side cf. "Side Trip" when he's VERY duplicitous but ultimately never immoral.
    Also, presumably from Chiss society Thrawn has very insightful views about culture which contradict the Disra/Ysanne Isard type who regard owning expensive atrworks as a status symbol. He even keeps a sculpture from a species he obliterated, but when he talks about it to Pellaeon he's more interested in the piece itselfand understanding the species instead of having it as a reminder of what a great and glorious tactician he is to make a sentient race extinct. I suppose this is the element Zahn runs away with in OF, but there must be some ruthlessness or manipulation of those around him or he might as well be someone else.

    Either it's forthcoming, which would be welcome, or Zahn has the tact to realise that every Thrawn admirer will have their own exemplar version and he knows it's impossible to guess tham all.
    [link=http://www.fanfiction.net/s/661675/1/]The Poli
     
  12. Sauron_18

    Sauron_18 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 1, 2005
    Well, since this is the official Outbound Flight Discussion thread I'll post the largest image we have of the japanese cover:

    [image=http://img287.imageshack.us/img287/4168/ofae7.jpg]
     
  13. Havac

    Havac Former Moderator star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 29, 2005
    Why the Waru is there a Koorivar on there?
     
  14. 000

    000 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 18, 2005
    Remember the the peace talks where Jorus got to play hero?
     
  15. Havac

    Havac Former Moderator star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 29, 2005
    The Japanese sure choose weird things to emphasize, then. Sure, Dooku may not have really been in TCD, but at least he was a recognizable movie face, good for marketing. The Koorivar is just odd.
     
  16. Sauron_18

    Sauron_18 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 1, 2005
    Hey, they did give us a big number of new characters, as well as different movie characters (transition kenobi, anakin, palpatine). So I wouldn't just go out and criticize it because they put 1 little Koorivar there.
     
  17. QuentinGeorge

    QuentinGeorge Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 12, 2003
    Sure, Dooku may not have really been in TCD, but at least he was a recognizable movie face, good for marketing. The Koorivar is just odd.

    The Koorivar is Passel Argente, who IS a movie character.
     
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  18. Excellence

    Excellence Jedi Knight star 7

    Registered:
    Jul 28, 2002

    It's rude to stare. [face_hypnotized]
     
  19. Crox

    Crox Jedi Youngling star 1

    Registered:
    Apr 30, 2006
    Interesting picture of C'baoth. Does anyone else see a slight Ian McKellan resemblance?

    And giving Kenobi a green lightsaber? C'mon.
     
  20. Sauron_18

    Sauron_18 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 1, 2005
    Do we know when he built a new saber? It coudl be Qui Gon's....
     
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  21. Kwenn

    Kwenn Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Mar 30, 2001
    I believe the novel itself also states his saber is green. And since this is set only a couple of years after Rogue Planet - in which Obi-Wan uses Qui-Gon's saber - it's safe to assume it is his former Master's weapon.
     
  22. Havac

    Havac Former Moderator star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 29, 2005
    Emphasis on "recognizable".;)
     
  23. Sauron_18

    Sauron_18 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 1, 2005
    Just because you didn't recognize him doesn't mean others didn't.[face_mischief]
     
  24. SEPARATESICKLEROOK2

    SEPARATESICKLEROOK2 Jedi Youngling star 2

    Registered:
    Sep 1, 2003
    i read Outbound Flight the other day, and I must say that I am done with Zahn as a SW writer. Outbound Flight was much more interesting in the few bits that were mentioned in the Thrawn Trilogy. I thought the execution and overall story was very weak. The Thrawn Trilogy was very good for its time, and it is unfortunate that Lucas canned Zahn's ideas with the release of the PT. Zahn, as a writer, could try to merge and/or adapt to the new canon of the Clone Wars, but keeps going on with his ruined ideas. Outbound was supposed to be an historic epic of ingenuity, like Apollo 11, but merely took off with little fanfare. Zahn is still holding on to the Katana Fleet Dreadnaughts (which a type of Dreadnaught was used to line the OF core). Something unknown and terrible was supposed to have happened to it, and yeah it got ambushed, but there were survivors, plus a whole slew of people who knew what happened to it returning to the Republic. That is weak on all sides. Thrawn was his usual complicated and flashy self, but it left no real conclusion to or prerunner of how he ended up with the Empire. FUrhter, I expected to see more interaction with C'Baoth (he was supposed to be great as a Jedi, not a narrow minded tyrant). His demeanor explained the attitudes attributed to his clone for later. Where did Sidious get his genetic material though? I totally got the idea that OF was doomed from the beginning, but the whole Chiss-Trade Federation-Vagaari mix came across like Zahn didnt really have much to go on when moving OF to points A&B. I thought that the whole book was rushed, the whole multiple plot lines mainly there for filler, reaching an unsatisfactory conclusion. Zahn should have really expanded on the plot he put forth in Heir to the Empire, and used this book to recover from the damage the PT did to his literature. Overall, I can not remember why Zahn is seen as the cream of the crop in SW fiction. This novel was worthy of a 1 out of 10 at most.
     
  25. Crox

    Crox Jedi Youngling star 1

    Registered:
    Apr 30, 2006
    The PT hardly "canned" the Thrawn Trilogy. And I suggest you reread OF, since some of your questions are answered in it.