The All Terrain Ion Cannon (AT-IC) was an uncommon variation of the All Terrain Armored Transport walker equipped with a massive ion cannon. Although ion cannons were rarely found aboard ground vehicles, the Galactic Empire converted a small number of its AT-AT fleet into mobile ion cannons. The Empire deployed the AT-IC for the mobile defense of strategic locations.
The All Terrain Ion Cannon (AT-IC) was an uncommon variant of the standard All Terrain Armored Transport walker. The AT-IC resembled the standard AT-AT design, except half of its structural body space was dedicated to supporting a massive ion cannon.
Ion cannons required a considerable power output, so they were rarely found aboard small ground vehicles, with some exceptions. During the Clone Wars, the Galactic Republic and Commerce Guild both employed vehicles equipped with light ion cannons as antiaircraft weapons: the Self-Propelled Heavy Artillery walker and the OG-9 homing spider droid, respectively. Years later, the Galactic Empire converted a small number of its AT-AT walkers into mobile ion cannons, which became known as All Terrain Ion Cannon walkers. The Empire utilized the AT-ICs as mobile defense walkers for strategic Imperial locations.
Behind the scenes
- "They were very complimentary. They said that the new characters and vehicles were all very 'Star Wars-esque' and that they really appreciated the fact that we wanted to keep this going, but they just were not ready to pursue that kind of thing."
- ―Kenner designer Mark Boudreaux reflects upon Lucasfilm's rejection of The Epic Continues
The All Terrain Ion Cannon was originally one of several vehicles planned for inclusion in Kenner's 1986 The Epic Continues toy line, an initiative to continue the success of the Star Wars franchise toy line following the 1983 theatrical release of Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi. The Kenner design team developed a number of new vehicle model prototypes for The Epic Continues through a kitbashing process, which involved taking pieces of existing toy models and combining them to create an entirely new model. For the AT-IC prototype, the Kenner designers took a full-size AT-AT toy model and replaced a large portion of its aft section with a rear-mounted ion cannon, calling it a "heavily armed A.T.A.T used exclusively for mobile defense of strategic Imperial locations." However, Lucasfilm rejected Kenner's proposal for The Epic Continues, rendering the AT-IC outside the realm of Star Wars canon.
Details of the AT-IC and the background story behind the failed The Epic Continues toy line were first revealed in the 1995 article Tales of Phantom Toys from Star Wars Galaxy Magazine 2, written by Stephen J. Sansweet. The AT-IC first officially entered Star Wars canon through the 2004 reference book The New Essential Guide to Weapons and Technology, co-edited by Sansweet, which provided a brief mention of the AT-IC among other ground vehicles equipped with ion cannons. In 2008, the AT-IC was provided an entry in The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, co-written by Sansweet, which included the Kenner design team's original description of the vehicle as a "mobile defense of strategic Imperial locations."
At present, photographs of one of Kenner's original presentation binders for The Epic Continues are hosted on The Star Wars Collectors Archive website, including a picture of the original All Terrain Ion Cannon prototype model. The website notes that the AT-IC prototype's ion cannon was recycled from Kenner's original Death Star playset. However, despite mentions in Star Wars reference material, no image of the AT-IC was ever officially included in Star Wars Legends.
- The Epic Continues (Canceled)
- "Tales of Phantom Toys"—Star Wars Galaxy Magazine 2 (First mentioned)
- The New Essential Guide to Weapons and Technology (under Ion Cannon)
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
Notes and references
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. I, p. 23 ("All Terrain Ion Cannon (AT-IC walker)")
- The New Essential Guide to Weapons and Technology
- "Tales of Phantom Toys"—Star Wars Galaxy Magazine 2
- Page 36 - Imperial AT-IC - All-Terrain Ion Cannon (Photo) See