In 1980 The Empire Strikes Back introduced Star Wars fans to the impressive Imperial walker. The towering behemoths were special effects marvels as they strode unceasingly across the white bleak plains of Hoth towards our heroes who were desperately trying to evacuate their hidden Rebel base. This first appearance and striking visual motif spawned countless walker variations throughout Star Wars media.
Walking war machines became a staple vehicle design in Star Wars films and spin-offs. From the original AT-AT, to the AT-TE which ushered in an age of walkers in the Prequel Trilogy, to the newer AT-ACT from Rogue One, walkers are an integral part of the Star Wars universe. We take a look at some of the most iconic walkers in the Star Wars universe.
All Terrain Armored Transport
Marching ponderously across the icy tundra of the planet Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back, the All Terrain Armored Transports (AT-AT) strikes fear into the hearts of the valiant Rebel defenders of Echo Base. Heavily armored, AT-AT s can shrug off blaster fire from static defenses and fast moving Rebel snowspeeders. Certain parts of the AT-AT are vulnerable however. The neck section that connectsd the head to the body and the leg joints are known weak spots. During the Battle of Hoth Rebel forces took advantage of the AT-AT’s most glaring weakness by deploying snowspeeders armed with harpoons and tow cables to ensnare their legs and trip them over. Even this tactic did not stop their relentless march and eventual victory. The film’s stop-motion animators studied elephants as a reference for how to animate the AT-AT’s walking motions.
Manufacturer: Kuat Drive Yards Height: 22.5 meters Weapons: Chin-mounted laser cannons, head mounted medium blasters Crew: 3 (pilot, gunner, commander) Troop complement: 40
Appearances: Rebels, Episodes V, VI
All Terrain Scout Transport
The All Terrain Scout Transport (AT-ST) is commonly called the Chicken Walker due to its distinctive two-legged gait. AT-STs are deployed throughout the forests of Endor serving as patrol and scouting units for the Imperial forces guarding the Death Star II’s shield generator. Fast and nimble, AT-STs are used in an anti-infantry capacity and as screen protection for larger AT-ATs. Despite all this AT-STs were found to be vulnerable to the low-tech defenses of the Ewoks including rolling logs and swinging tree trunks. They are also very easy to hijack by a Wookiee doing a Tarzan impression. Although the AT-ST debuted properly in Return of the Jedi, a single AT-ST can be seen in the battle sequences of The Empire Strikes Back.
Manufacturer: Kuat Drive Yards Height: 8.6 meters Weapons: Chin-mounted laser cannons, head mounted weapons pod including concussion grenade launcher Crew: 2 (pilot, gunner)
Appearances: Episodes V, VI
All Terrain Tactical Enforcer
The All Terrain Tactical Enforcer (AT-TE) is a six legged walker first deployed at the Battle of Geonosis in Attack of the Clones. Its main weapon is a mass driver cannon mounted on its dorsal surface. During the Clone Wars the AT-TE is the principal battle walker of the Galactic Republic and could be deployed to the battlefield by Low Altitude Assault Transport carriers. During the events of Order 66 Commander Cody orders an AT-TE to kill General Kenobi on the planet Utapau. It very nearly succeeds.
Manufacturer: Rothana Heavy Engineering Height: 9.57 meters Length: 22.02 meters Weapons: 6 laser cannon turrets, mass driver cannon Crew: 2 (pilot, gunner) Troop complement: 20
Appearances: Episode II, Clone Wars, Episode III
All Terrain Recon Transport
The All Terrain Recon Transport (AT-RT) is a two-legged fast-moving single person walker employed by the Galactic Republic. AT-RTs could be carried and deployed by AT-TEs. AT-RTs are generally piloted by specialist clone troopers known as ARF troopers. A patrol of AT-RTs is sent to track down Jedi Master Yoda in the wake of Order 66 on the planet Kashyyyk in Revenge of the Sith.
Manufacturer: Kuat Drive Yards Height: 3.45 meters Weapons: Chin-mounted laser cannon Crew: 1 (pilot)
Appearances: Clone Wars, Episode III
All Terrain Attack Pod
The All Terrain Attack Pod (AT-AP) is a three-legged walker used by the Galactic Republic. The AT-AP is basically mobile artillery as it mounts a massive gun. Technically the AT-AP is a two legged walker – the third leg is only used to stabilize the walker during firing of the main cannon. AT-APs first appeared on screen in Revenge of the Sith during the Battle of Kashyyyk.
Manufacturer: Kuat Drive Yards Height: 11 meters Weapons: Heavy projectile launcher, heavy blaster cannon, medium laser cannon Crew: 3 (pilot, 2 gunners)
Appearances: Episode III
All Terrain Open Transport
We’ve had two, four, and six legs. We’ve even had three legs! Now we get … eight legs! The All Terrain Open Transport (AT-OT) is a troop transport deployed by the Galactic Republic during the Clone Wars. It is an open topped design for carrying clone troopers into battle or possibly as a sight-seeing tour. AT-OTs were introduced in Revenge of the Sith as part of the Republic forces engaged on the planet Felucia.
Manufacturer: Kuat Drive Yards Height: 5.8 meters Length: 14.3 meters Weapons: 2 medium laser cannons, 2 anti-personnel laser cannons Crew: 1 (pilot) Troop complement: 34 (seated), additional 25 (standing)
Appearances: Episode III
All Terrain Defense Pod
The All Terrain Defense Pod (AT-DP) was introduced in Star Wars Rebels. Standing over eleven meters tall, the AT-DP is a bipedal walker that requires a crew of two and is armed with a single Maad-38 heavy laser cannon. Imperial forces on the planet Lothal make extensive use of AT-DPs. The design of the AT-DP was taken from concept art for the AT-ST done by Joe Johnston in 1979 for The Empire Strikes Back.
Manufacturer: Kuat Drive Yards Height: 11.64 meters Weapons: Chin-mounted laser cannon Crew: 2 (pilot, gunner)
All Terrain Armored Cargo Transport
Scheduled to debut in Rogue One, the All Terrain Armored Cargo Transport (AT-ACT) is the newest member of the AT family. AT-ACTs appear to be similar in design to their AT-AT cousins, so much so that many fans thought they were AT-ATs with minor modelling differences until the official name was revealed. Their role in the upcoming film is currently unknown but we do know that the intrepid band of Rebels led by Jyn Erso apparently decide that tackling them head on is the best idea.
Appearances: Rogue One
Combat walkers are not solely the purview of the Star Wars films and television series. Star Wars Legends introduced several relations of the AT family.
The All Terrain Anti-Aircraft (AT-AA) is a four legged mobile anti-aircraft walker employed by the Empire. It is eighteen meters long and is mounted with an anti-aircraft flak pod on its topside.
The All Terrain Missile Platform (AT-MP) is a bipedal walker similar in design to the AT-ST although a lot smaller in size. AT-MPs boast more firepower however, including eight missile launchers and a rotary chaingun. Recently introduced into Canon.
The All Terrain Personal Transport (AT-PT) is a light single personal anti-infantry walker employed by the Republic. AT-PTs are the forerunner to both the AT-AT and AT-ST.
The Aquatic Terrain Armored Transport (AT-AT swimmer) is not a walker at all but is a variant designed for aquatic environments. AT-AT swimmers are usually deployed in tandem with aquatic assault stormtroopers.
The Mountain Terrain Armored Transport (MT-AT) is an eight-legged walker developed on Carida in the years following the Battle of Endor. They are employed by Ambassador Furgan in a kidnapping attempt on Anakin Solo, the third child of Han Solo and Leia Organa Solo.