My latest article lands over at StarWars.com as I take a look at the new fleet of vehicles that The Empire Strikes Back gave us, from the heavy armour of the Empire to the swift airspeeders of the Rebellion, the deadly arsenal of a bounty hunters craft to the elegant curves of a Bespin patrol ship.
You can thank General Veers for bringing these mechanical monstrosities into the field of battle on the ice plains of Hoth as the Empire’s Blizzard Force advanced toward the shield generator. Over twenty-two meters high, heavily armored, replete with heavy laser cannons, turbolasers and depending on internal configuration able to carry speeder bikes, scout walkers, E-web heavy repeating blasters and up to 40 troops, AT-ATs were often the first vehicle to enter the war arena. Oftentimes, their imposing size and strength was enough to make the enemy yield. Thankfully, the warriors of the rebellion were savvy enough to figure out a way to trip up these technological terrors, slowing their progress enough to allow for the evacuation of Echo Base to proceed.
Behind the Scenes: The familiar sound of the walker was created by the legendary Ben Burtt and used a metal stamping machine, made rhythmic to convey the walking motion and a dumpster lid for the knees.