About the Star Wars AT-AT Patent
The ATAT (All Terrain Armored Transport) are twenty meter high armored vehicles that were first featured in ‘Star Wars – The Empire Strikes Back’. And subsequently the first toy ATAT was introduced by ‘West End Games’.
Original designs for the Walkers were drawn by Joe Johnston who under instruction from Lucas made them look menacing. The final design in the Empire Strikes back had the walkers being four-legged, elephant looking creatures. Having the walkers symbolizes the Empires might. They were supposedly used to keep the peace in conquered worlds. The AT-AT can be used to gain tactical advantages but there main advantage is psychological effect due to their large sizes.
While still debatable, it is believed that inspiration for the walkers come from an extinct rhino called the Paraceratherium – which is believed to be the largest mammal in history. Some have stated the walkers were modeled after container crates and cranes in Oak Portland; a suggestion that Lucas dismisses.
The Battle of Hoth sequence is cited has one of the favourite amongst Star Wars fans. It featured many iconic Star Wars vehicles, and the powerful symbolism of David vs Goliath. What is also exciting about the sequence is that it was all stop motion, created by a small team of creatives.
In this excellent <a href=” https://www.sfchronicle.com/movies/article/At-the-AT-AT-s-birth-the-improvising-of-an-icon-7695025.php”>2016 San Franscisco interview with Joe Johnson</a>, you’ll find out more about the team behind it all.
In the Battle of Hoth, the AT-AT is the primary assault vehicle. Due to its height and armor carried, the AT-AT are used to destroy the enemy defense by deploying heavy fire. However, they are bulky, and you can easily bring them to the ground. The rebel alliance in Battle of Host sequence famously achieved this by tying their legs with a cable. They can also be destroyed by using snowspeeders. The AT-AT also make a brief appearance in Return of Jedi, where one is used to deliver Luke to Darth Vader.
The AT-AT was developed to be used by the Imperial Army. They were successors to the AT-TE that did battles in Clone Wars. You will often not find the term AT-AT used in any of the games with most of the vehicles being referred to as imperial walkers. The original designs had the AT-AT looking like tanks, but Lucas asked for the idea to be scraped. If you have watched both the Star Wars films and the Star Wars Rebels you will notice that the AT-AT are different.
What are the origins of the AT-AT? Agent Kallus and the empire found the new weapon when they tracked the ghost crew to Seelos. The team was impressed by how massive and powerful the AT-AT was. They realized that their AT-TE could not stand up to the AT-AT.
The Rebel Alliance observed how the AT-AT maneuvered and were able to create a strategy to destroy them. One way was to get a direct hit on the AT-AT neck; this would cause it to topple over.
The AT-AT seen in the battle of Hoth were dropped on snowy terrain, and they marched to the rebel command center. Snowspeeders were unable to penetrate the armor of the AT-AT, which was found to be too strong. In the end, they were destroyed through the use of cables.
In 2017 we also saw a major return of the AT-AT, in another dramatic sequence, in Star Wars: Rogue One. The AT-AT remains one of the most iconic vehicles in the Stars Wars world.