It’s without a shadow of a doubt that if you ask any #StarWars fan what their favorite action scenes from the original trilogy are, they most likely will not be able to narrow i down to just one. The Death Star Trench Run, the Sarlacc pit fight sequence, #LukeSkywalker vs. #DarthVader, the second Death Star attack; all of these are worthy of consideration. However there’s one that stands out among the rest: The Battle of Hoth.
Why Is This Battle So Memorable To Star Wars Fans?
There are several reasons why this battle is so iconic in Star Wars lore. It was the first large ground-based battle shown in a Star Wars film as well as one in which the Rebels technically lost. Even though their mission was fulfilled, it was a Pyrrhic victory: The Rebels lost many soldiers as well as a base that had previously been hidden away from the Empire.
After the Empire spotted the Rebels using numerous Probe Droids, the Empire sent out an all-out assault on Echo Base and completely took it over while laying waste to a good portion of the Rebels' artillery. The AT-AT (All Terrain Armored Transports) Walkers proved to be a formidable force and posed a huge threat for the Rebel Alliance against the Empire’s invasion on the ice planet of Hoth. If it weren’t for the AT-AT Walkers, I think it’s safe to say that the Rebels may have escaped Hoth relatively unscathed.
How Did The Rebellion Manage To Take Down The Walkers?
Luke said it best after many failed attempts:
I mean just look at all of these failed attempts on the Walkers by both ground and air attack:
Even the ground defense doesn’t stand a chance:
Take a look at this sorry excuse for a giant powerful laser gun:
The only time the Rebels were able to penetrate the armor was immediately after tripping one and taking it to the ground. An AT-AT's armor defense isn’t as strong when it’s not in motion as its protective shields go down. Therefore it’s possible to obliterate the Walker once it's inoperable:
The Walkers were clearly built to withstand practically any kind of firepower. After many unsuccessful attempts at destroying these Walkers, Rogue Group had to find an alternate way to take down these behemoths. Thankfully, the Snow Speeders that the Rebels were flying had harpoons and tow cables attached to the back of the ships.
Used mostly for cargo purposes, Luke found a way to use them against the Empire’s forces. When fired, the tow cables latched onto a Walker’s legs, beautifully allowing the Snow Speeder to fly around it a couple of times in order to tangle the AT-AT up.
How Are The ‘Rogue One’ Walkers Different From Those Seen In ‘The Empire Strikes Back?’
This will only be the second time we get to see these massive Walkers in action in a Star Wars film. Crazy, right? Anyway, I noticed something rather intriguing in a few of the recent international #trailers that were released for #RogueOne. Some of these shots you’ve seen before; however, a few of the others are a clear indication that this armor on these AT-ATs is certainly not the same armor that was used on the ones at the Battle of Hoth. Still not convinced? Have a gander below:
Here’s one of the clips that was from an earlier trailer:
This missile launcher appears to have done a decent amount of damage to its outside armor. Though it doesn’t completely puncture the armor, it does snap the AT-AT's head to the right. Therefore, the blast here shows that a shot from missile launcher could do some damage to this Walker.
Here’s another scene from one of the international trailers:
Here, the X-Wing fighters have done some massive damage to this AT-AT Walker as it goes up in a ball of flames. The armor doesn’t appear to be able to withstand that much firepower, appearing nearly useless when it comes to an X-Wing's laser cannons.
The most recent Rogue One featurette depicts the teams transport with one of the gunners firing at the legs of a Walker. The gun literally disintegrates the entire leg! Check that out down below!
To put my theory in a better perspective, take a look at this infographic made from StormtrooperLarry.com:
The above pic perfectly illustrates the differences between both of the Walker types. As you can see, the armor appears thicker in the Hoth version when compared to the model in Rogue One. Also, the Hoth version is equipped with more firepower as the chin-mounted twin cannons give it a bulkier look, making it far more dangerous than its older counterpart.
So? Why Is This Difference Important?
I could go on all day about the differences between the Walker types but it truly seems to come down to one thing: The Empire underestimated the Rebel forces. Though Rogue One hasn’t yet been released, I believe that we've seen enough footage to prove this theory correct. It begs to question if in fact the Empire might have underestimated the attack force from the Rebel Alliance. The Empire appears to counter in numbers instead of focusing on the destructive weapons they have. They may not have completely thought of the chances of the Rebels attacking them in the first place.
After watching various footage from the Rogue One trailers, I have concluded that the Empire appears to have attacked with more numbers rather than relying on their defenses. They look to be willing to sacrifice a lot of troops and weaponry rather than focus on a tactical defense system. After all, a good defense is the best offense.
How The Empire Learned From Their Mistakes
#TheEmpireStrikesBack takes place roughly three years after the events of #ANewHope. Since Rogue One ends about ten minutes prior to the start of A New Hope, we can therefore conclude that there’s a same gap of time from the end of Rogue One and A New Hope to the start of The Empire Strikes Back. That gives the Empire a good three years to put together a more powerful Walker, one whose armor won’t be so easily penetrable.
The Empire comes out strong in the Battle of Hoth and chases the Rebels away from their base while claiming it for themselves. The Empire took the time to craft a better weapon to use against the Rebel Alliance, having learned from its mistakes in the battles we'll soon see unfold in Rogue One. They fixed the design flaws in the AT-ATs and, as a result, won the Battle of Hoth.
What other differences have you spotted between both Walker types? Please share what you have to say in the comment section below!