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Luke Skywalker operating an LC-10bW

The LC-10bW, or laser ice-cutter, was a laser cannon used to sheer through ice with quick precision.[1] These cutters were used by the Rebel Alliance Corps of Engineers, alongside excavator machinery, to carve out space inside the caves of Echo Base.[1] The cutters need careful maintenance to operate in sub-freezing temperatures.[2]

The LC-10bWs could be mounted on tripods or vehicles[2]. On Hoth they were mounted on cannon sled ground vehicles.[3] Luke Skywalker once manned an ice-cutter at Echo Base.[4]

Behind the scenes[]

An ice-cutter (left) mounted to a Rebel cannon sled in the hangar of Echo Base.

This device appeared, unnamed, in Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back, where it is briefly visible in the left corner of the frame when Han Solo rides into a hangar.[5] It is mounted on a vehicle named a "cannon sled" in original production blueprints.[3] The vehicle, complete with the laser cutter, can be briefly glimpsed near the Rebel defenses outside of Echo Base.[5] On set footage of the vehicle was included in the rarely seen documentary by Michel Parbot, The Making of "The Empire Strikes Back".[6] There were a number of publicity photos of Luke Skywalker manning the laser cutter which, according to Lucasfilm Story Group executive Pablo Hidalgo, were not deleted scenes but rather on-set photos taken with the prop.[7]

The 2005 reference book Inside the Worlds of Star Wars Trilogy seems to identify the entire cannon sled vehicle as the "laser ice-cutter,"[1] but 2010's Star Wars Blueprints: Rebel Edition refers to the laser ice-cutter as the LC-10bW and suggests that it is only the name of the laser cannon itself, which is mounted onto the separate vehicle.[2]


LC-10bW mounted on a cannon sled in Echo Base


Notes and references[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Inside the Worlds of Star Wars Trilogy
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Star Wars Blueprints: Rebel Edition
  3. 3.0 3.1 Star Wars: The Blueprints
  4. Star Wars: Behind the Magic
  5. 5.0 5.1 Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back
  6. YouTube.png The "Lost" Empire Strikes Back Documentary by Michel Parbot (1980) on the Adywan revisited YouTube channel (backup link)
  7. TwitterLogo.svg Pablo Hidalgo (@pabl0hidalgo) on Twitter: "You may occasionally find photos of Luke in his snowspeeder pilot manning the guns online labeled as a 'deleted scene'. It's not. It's more like a photo opportunity, as this prop / vehicle was on set that day" (backup link)

External links[]