Outbound Flight Project
Outbound Flight was a project financed by the Old Republic and the Jedi Knights during the years leading up to the Clone Wars. The goal of the project was to search out and catalog life outside the galaxy. A secondary goal was to discover other races which were sensitive to the Force. The project called for a huge starship - which became known as Outbound Flight - to serve as the base of operations for the exploration team. This starship turned out to be more like a mobile space station, consisting of six full-sized Dreadnaughts attached around a central storage core. It was launched from Yaga Minor, just prior to the Clone Wars. Note, however, that Dark Force Rising places this event 47 years before the Clone Wars. The main group of explorers was led by six Jedi Masters, of which Jorus C'baoth was presumably the senior member, and twelve Jedi Knights. 50,000 other individuals, including the crew and their families, also went along on the mission. A wealth of supplies was stored in the central core ship, and it was believed that the Trade Federation donated some supposedly surplus droidekas for defensive measures. Funding for Outbound Flight was approved by Chancellor Palpatine some five years before the Battle of Geonosis, when he passed Senate measure 4213.0410. The initial leg of the mission took them through the Unknown Regions, where they ran into the Chiss. Chancellor Palpatine, realizing that the Jedi Knights needed to be exterminated in order for him to realize his goals, assigned a huge, fifteen-ship task force to intercept and destroy the mission, along with its six Jedi Masters. They met up with Thrawn, who was in command of the Chiss Expansionary Defense, and he wiped out all the ships save one. This one was allowed to return to the Republic with news of their defeat. Among the survivors was Kinman Doriana, who convinced Thrawn of the necessity for eliminating the Outbound Flight Project. Thrawn agreed to help, and wiped out the Jedi when they arrived. This was the first of many actions that led to Thrawn being exiled from his poeple. Following the loss of the Jedi Masters, whose exact consequences were withheld by Palpatine, the Outbound Flight Project was abandoned. The remains of the Outbound Flight starship were found nearly fifty years later by Chiss explorers, who agreed that the remains should be turned over to Luke Skywalker and his new Jedi Knights. The Dreadnaughts were partially buried into the surface of a remote planetoid.