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

The laser-ice cutter was a laser cannon used to sheer through ice.[1] In 3 ABY,[2] the Rebel Alliance Corps of Engineers used laser-ice cutters to carve hallways within the ice on the frozen planet Hoth[1] in a matter of weeks[3] with their singular industrial lasers in the construction of Echo Base.

On Hoth, laser-ice cutters were mounted to Rebel cannon sleds. One could be found in Hangar 7 during the Battle of Hoth.[4]

Behind the scenes[]

Luke Skywalker mans the ice cutter in a promotional photo for The Empire Strikes Back

This cannon appeared, unnamed, in Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back.[4] It was mounted on the Rebel cannon sled vehicle. The original blueprints for the vehicle label the laser-ice cutter prop as an "existing cannon unit."[5] The reference book Star Wars: Complete Locations identifies the laser-ice cutter, while later material clarifies the vehicle it is attached to is a Rebel cannon sled.[6]

On set footage of the cannon and vehicle was included in the rare documentary by Michel Parbot, The Making of "The Empire Strikes Back".[7] There were a number of publicity photos of Luke Skywalker manning cannon which, according to Lucasfilm Story Group executive Pablo Hidalgo, were not deleted scenes but rather on-set photos taken with the prop.[8]


Laser-ice cutter and Rebel cannon sled in Echo Base


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