The All Terrain Armored Transport (AT-AT) was a four-legged combat walker of the All-terrain vehicle line used by the ground forces of the Galactic Republic, Galactic Empire, and the First Order. With the Imperial-class Star Destroyer, stormtroopers and the TIE fighter, it was one of the most famous symbols of the Empire's military might.
This model was used during the Galactic Civil War. This variant was shorter than the early model, and featured dual Piperii-Cerlurn R-90C medium blasters located on the sides or "temples," and a pair of Taim & Bak MS-1 fire-linked heavy laser cannons mounted on the "chin."
This was a thicker and heavier armored version of the original AT-AT, this variant featured heavier laser cannons and the crew typically were amongst the best.
First Order AT-AT
Age of the Empire
The AT-AT walker was developed during the Clone Wars and used in the Imperial Army, the ground forces of the Galactic Empire. It was the successor of the All Terrain Tactical Enforcer that also saw use during the Clone Wars, although it constituted a far more imposing example of walker technology. Heavily armored and awe-inducing, the AT-AT positioned itself as the standard of Imperial firepower on the battlefield.
Many AT-ATs were built in the factories of the planet Balmorra. In 14 BBY, the Empire used AT-ATs against the Partisans led by Saw Gerrera on Kashyyyk during an attack on an imperial refinery. During the battle, the Padawan Jedi Cal Kestis stole an AT-AT and used it to provide aid to Partisans. Kestis eliminated most of the imperial troops, but the AT-AT ended up falling.
Galactic Civil War
- "That armor's too strong for blasters. Rogue group, use your harpoons and tow cables. Go for the legs; it might be our only chance of stopping them."
- ―Luke Skywalker, during the Battle of Hoth
In 4 BBY, the Imperial Security Bureau Agent Kallus led three early AT-AT walkers on an assault on the desert planet of Seelos against the Spectres and three retired clone officers aboard an AT-TE.
In 3 BBY, AT-ATs were again used against the Spectres, when Princess Leia Organa arrived on the planet to give the Ghost's crew three Sphyrna-class Hammerhead corvettes. Two walkers were deployed to patrol the transports' landing platform, which were formally on Lothal to offer supplies to citizens impacted by the rebel efforts. When the rebels tried to steal the corvettes, the Ghost started firing on the AT-ATs. Four proton torpedos were not powerful enough to destroy one of the walkers, and it was necessary for Kanan Jarrus to use his lightsaber to cut its legs, toppling it. The second one was knocked down by the engines of the last Hammerhead, piloted by Ryder Azadi.
In 2 BBY, Lieutenant Yogar Lyste deployed two AT-AT walkers, Walker 271 and Walker 414, to combat an attack on the east gate of the Imperial Armory Complex by members of the Lothal resistance group led by Ryzder Azadi. The rebels Kanan, Ezra Bridger, and Chopper escaped in the stolen AT-DP Walker 216. However, Grand Admiral Thrawn realized that the rebels had hijacked the AT-DP walker and ordered his AT-ATs to crush them. One of the AT-AT walkers proceeded to crush the AT-DP under its heavy body but the rebels managed to use their lightsabers to cut their way aboard. Morad Sumar also fired a rocket which hit one of the walker's legs. After knocking out the AT-AT pilots, the two climbed out and escaped with Ryder's cell into the wilderness.
Thrawn then deployed four of these during the battle on Atollon. Jedi survivor Kanan Jarrus then destroyed one with his lightsaber. The Bendu then destroyed two of the AT-AT walkers. However, the last one shot Bendu down from the sky.
During the Rebel assault on the Imperial weapons factory moon of Cymoon 1, a group of Rebels led by Han Solo and Leia Organa stole an AT-AT from Weapons Factory Alpha. They used the walker to escape from the factory after they sabotaged its main power core to explode. During their escape, Solo fired a shot that nearly killed the Sith Lord Darth Vader, using all the AT-AT's powerful armaments. Soon after, Vader managed to overtake the Rebels in their escape and cut down the massive walker's back left leg. The AT-AT fell tremendously and its passengers barely escaped the wreckage before fleeing Cymoon 1 entirely for the safety of the Alliance Fleet.
During the Battle of Hoth, General Maximilian Veers led a squadron of at least five AT-ATs on the icy fields of Hoth to knock out the shield generator that protected Echo Base, the Rebel headquarters. The triumph of Veers' squadron allowed the Imperials to invade Echo Base and rout the Rebels, striking a major blow in the war. However, the battle also revealed that the AT-ATs could be toppled by a cable wrapped around their legs. Although that weakness had been used effectively by the Alliance on Hoth, the Empire continued to use these mechanical behemoths in the later stages of the war, and at least 1 was present on Endor prior to the Battle of Endor.
Shortly after the Battle of Endor, the rogue agents of Inferno Squad Iden Versio and Del Meeko used an AT-AT in order to escape Vardos, during Operation: Cinder. In 5 ABY, at least one AT-AT walker was stationed at Camp Sardo on the planet Kashyyyk. During the Liberation of Kashyyyk, several Wookiee guerrilla fighters, including Kirratha, hijacked the AT-AT walker and threw out the crew. Later, AT-ATs were deployed against New Republic forces during the Battle of Jakku.
Rise of the First Order
The First Order used an updated version of the AT-AT in its army branch. The walkers were deployed under the command of Kylo Ren, the master of the Knights of Ren and grandson of Darth Vader, during the First Order's brief struggle against the Benathy species. Later, during the Battle of Crait, these AT-ATs escorted the newer AT-M6s. This model of AT-AT walker was also stored aboard Commander Pyre's Resurgent-class Star Destroyer, though the warship was ultimately destroyed during the rescue of Tamara Ryvora.
Behind the scenes
Initially, the Empire was to attack the Rebel base on Hoth using tanks. Joe Johnston created many designs of these vehicles, one of which was the basis for the HAVw A6 Juggernaut that appeared in Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith and the HAVw A5 Juggernaut in Star Wars Legends, and the tanks themselves were to be portrayed by remote-controlled vehicles. However, Dennis Muren and Joe Johnston convinced George Lucas to use stop motion instead, which eventually led to the abandonment of the tank design. In the DVD commentary to The Empire Strikes Back, George Lucas explains that he got the idea of the AT-AT from the massive tripods from H.G. Wells' 1898 novel The War of the Worlds. Though it is popularly believed that dock machinery was the inspiration for the AT-AT, Phil Tippett has said otherwise, recalling that it was based on the prehistoric mammal Paraceratherium.
The AT-ATs featured in Star Wars Rebels are different models from the ones in the Star Wars films, inspired by the early concept art drawn by Ralph McQuarrie during the production of The Empire Strikes Back.
- Star Wars Epic Yarns: The Empire Strikes Back
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