It’s without a shadow of a doubt that if you ask any Star Wars fan as to what their favorite action scenes from the original trilogy are, they are most likely to name quite a few of them. The Death Star Trench Run, the Sarlacc pit, Luke vs. Vader, the second Death Star attack, all of these are extremely memorable however there’s one that stands among the rest: The Battle of Hoth.
Why Is This Battle So Memorable To Star Wars Fans?
One of the main reasons why this battle is so iconic in the Star Wars lore is because of a few things: It’s the first large ground based battle shown in a Star Wars film as well as one in which the Rebels technically lost. I say “technically” because even though their mission was fulfilled, in the end the Rebels lost a ton soldiers as well as a base that was easily hidden from the Empire.
After they spotted the Rebels while using numerous Probe Droids at their disposal, the Empire sent out an all-out assault on Echo Base and completely took over the Rebels base while laying waste to a lot of their soldiers. The AT-AT (All Terrain Assault Transports) Walkers proved to be a formidable force and posed a huge threat on the Rebel Alliance for the Empire’s invasion on Hoth. If it weren’t for these Walkers, I think it’s safe to say that the Rebels may have left Hoth 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 support 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 to the ground. It’s armor defense isn’t as strong when it’s not in motion as the shields also aren’t up, therefore it’s possible to obliterate the Walker once its inoperable as seen below:
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 harpoon and tow cable attached to the back of the ships.
Used mostly for cargo purposes, Luke instead found a better way to use them against the Empire’s forces. The two cables latched onto a Walker’s legs beautifully allowing the Snow Speeder to fly around it a couple of times in order to tangle up the legs. As a result, the Walker would trip and fall over making it inoperable.
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. I know crazy right!? Anyway, I noticed something rather intriguing in a few of the recent International Trailers that were released for Rogue One. Some of these shots you’ve seen before, however a few of the others are a clear indication that this armor on these AT-AT Walker’s is certainly not the same armor that was used on the one’s 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 penetrate it, it does force it’s head to move to the right as a result of the collision. 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:
As you can see here, it appears that 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 withhold that much firepower, thus rendering it’s armor nearly useless when it comes to an X-Wing fighters laser cannons.
To put my theory in a better perspective, take a look at this graphic made from StormtrooperLarry.com:
The above pic shows you a very detailed look at the differences between both of the Walker types. As you can see, the armor appears thicker in the Hoth version when compared to the Rogue One appearance. Also, the Hoth version is equipped with more firepower as the chin-mounted twin cannons gives it a more bulkier look thus making it far more dangerous than it’s older counterpart.
Why Is This Important To Understand?
I could go on all day about the differences between the Walker types but it truly comes down to one thing: The Empire underestimated the Rebel forces. Though Rogue One hasn’t been featured for audiences to see, 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.
After watching multiple footage from the Rogue One trailers, I have concluded that the Empire appeared to have attacked with more numbers rather than defenses. They appear 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
The Empire Strikes Back takes place roughly three years after the events in A New Hope. Since Rogue One ends about ten minutes prior to the opening of A New Hope, we can therefore conclude that there’s a same gap of time from the end of Rogue One to the start of The Empire Strikes Back. That gives the Empire a good three years to put together a more powerful Walker, one who’s armor won’t be 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. It’s a hard fought battle between both sides, but the Empire comes out on top.
Do you agree? Did the Empire learn from their past mistakes by building a more stronger and durable weapon? What other differences have you spotted between both Walker types? Please share what you have to say in the comment section below!
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