Borders Books, Chicago, IL
February 23, 2006
Story and Photos by Pat Newell (Jedi Scholar 8)


Sinatra was right, and Chicago is a wonderful Town! I had the pleasure, today, of enjoying some sunshine and decent temperatures while downtown Chicago today. Not that I really need a reason to visit the greatest city on Earth, but there was a purpose to today’s visit. Timothy Zahn was to make an appearance at Borders Books on State Street to sign autographs, from action figures to his latest book, Outbound Flight, along with answering fans’ questions from all around. A wonderfully energetic and comical author, Mr. Zahn was more than happy to sign anything and everything and answer questions from all over.

Timothy Zahn may be best known for a trilogy of books that most likely hooked us all on the Star Wars novels, The Thrawn Trilogy. Zahn introduced into our universe characters such as the mad clone Jedi Master, Joruus C’Boath, Grand Admiral Thrawn, the Noghri, and everyone’s favorite Post-Prequel female Jedi (after RJP of course!), Mara Jade. They all started with Heir to the Empire, Dark Forces Rising, and The Last Command. Zahn continues with The Hand of Thrawn, Books 1 and 2, and Star Wars: Survivor’s Quest, which coincidentally is a book that is tied to Outbound Flight by being its prequel set well after it, if you can follow that!

I saddled up my Dewback, Cleofus, and headed into the city. Finding him a good place to graze in that concrete jungle was difficult, but once I did, I high-tailed it to Borders. As I approached the building, I spied some Stormtroopers, Lord Vader, a Sandtrooper, a TIE Pilot, Mara Jade, and a host of other members from the Midwest Garrison. Great people these are, as they took every chance for pictures with everyone who came near! I made my way into the bookstore - three floors worth - and picked up a copy of Outbound Flight for Mr. Zahn to sign for me. The event was taking place on the third floor, and when I got there, there was already a group of about fifteen waiting patiently. Chicago Force was on hand as well. Finally, Mr. Zahn made his way to his table, where he began to sign autographs for those who weren’t able to stay for the whole time due to work schedules. The Midwest Garrison presented him with an honorary membership as well, which seemed to delight the author. After about a half an hour of questions ranging from where his inspirations come from, to whether or not George Lucas has a say so on his work (he does, both Del Rey and Lucasfilm review every book before an author can finalize it!) to even what kind of musical score he would choose for each of his characters! Mr. Zahn was very personable while signing my copy, and I was truly glad I made the trek to see this man, as he is very fun to listen to.

With my bounty in hand, it was time to return to Indiana. I look forward to reading this book, as I haven’t read one in quite some time. Be sure to pick up a copy if you get the chance!

To see the photo gallery containing 27 photos click here.