Timothy Zahn awsome books and first of the EU books. Its the story that should of been the next trilogy.
Actually the first book of the EU was Alan Dean Foster's "Splinter Of The Mind's Eye" in 1978 but I agree the Thrawn Trilogy were awesome books that would have been quite worthy of being the sequel trilogy if they had been filmed at the time...oh well...
Outbound Flight was also important in how it dovetails with KOTOR, Darth Bane, the Thrawn Trilogy and the NJO Vong War to show how despite what everyone believed from the films Palpatine was actually the 'greater-good guy' [not the same as 'nice' good-guy] in SW Galactic history REALPOLITIK and the Rebellion, by destroying the Death Stars which were not coincidentally the only Galactic weapons capable of repelling the Vong invasion, were actually the 'bad guys' responsible for trillions of innocent deaths later due to the shortsighted political naivete and ignorance of the Jedi/Republic [unlike the Sith who were well aware of what was coming for >3000 years BBY and knew what needed to be done to save the Galaxy from it].
Not much wonder that Unca George hated the EU and wanted Disney to destroy it eh - the EU turned SW into REAL SCIENCE FICTION worthy of ADULTS capable of a degree of sophistication of political and philosophical thought rather than being merely dimwitted 'good and evil' fantasy space-opera for 14 years olds and philosophically/politically unsophisticated muggle/sheeple.