Origin and designEdit
Joe Johnston's original design for the Empire's war machines was a giant, multi-wheeled vehicle; this design later became the "Juggernaut" in West End Games' roleplaying material, and the design was reworked into the clone turbo tank for Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.
For The Empire Strikes Back, however, the final design was a four-legged walker. Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) created models ranging from 6 to 50 centimeters in height. ILM filmed the AT-ATs using stop-motion animation against matte paintings created by Mike Pangrazio because attempts at compositing miniature footage against live-action background footage yielded mediocre results. Additionally, ILM studied elephants to determine the best way to animate the four-legged AT-ATs. Although the stop-motion animation style gave the AT-ATs a jerky, "staccato-like" effect on film, ILM found this movement acceptable because of the AT-ATs' mechanical nature. The sound of the AT-AT walking was created by Sound Designer Ben Burtt, by using the sound of an industrial sheet metal stamper.
A common myth is the design drew from prominent container cranes at the port of Oakland, California, a myth both Lucas and visual effects expert Phil Tippett deny. The inspiration for the AT-AT was Paraceratherium, an extinct rhino-like species found in Pakistan and the largest land mammal in history.Template:Cn
Dialog in National Public Radio's adaptation of The Empire Strikes Back states that AT-ATs "look like animals"; the character goes on to describe the vehicles as carrying "extremely heavy armor and armaments". The AT-AT, designed to favor "fear over function", is manned by two men to drive the vehicle and can carry up to five speeder bikes and 40 Imperial stormtroopers. The walkers themselves carry two blasters and two laser cannons. Manufactured by Kuat Drive Yards, Expanded Universe sources describe the AT-AT as being either Template:Convert or Template:Convert tall. Their armor is resistant to most standard blaster weapons; however, the "neck" column of the walker holds no such invulnerability and, if shot, can cause the entire walker to be destroyed.
The AT-AT is the primary assault vehicle during the Battle of Hoth, first depicted in The Empire Strikes Back. In the film, the AT-ATs are responsible for destroying the shield generator protecting the Rebel headquarters, taking out many soldiers, vehicles, and installations in the process. Luke Skywalker, realizing that the walkers are all but imperious to blaster fire, orders his squadron's snowspeeders to entangle their legs with the tow cables--a trick he remembered using on Tatooine to rein in hard-to-control farm animals. Wedge Antilles is able to wrap his cable around one, causing its collapse. Skywalker destroys another by hoisting himself underneath it, slicing open its belly with his lightsaber, and tossing in a concussion grenade. The AT-AT also makes a cameo appearance in Return of the Jedi, where one guards a landing platform on Endor.
- ↑ Script error
- ↑ clone turbo tank (Behind the Scenes). Star Wars Databank. Lucasfilm. Retrieved on October 14, 2007.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Template:Cite video
- ↑ All Terrain Armored Transport (AT-AT walker) (Behind the Scenes). Star Wars Databank. Lucasfilm. Retrieved on October 8, 2007.
- ↑ Script error
- ↑ Watercutter, Angela. 35 Years After Star Wars, Effects Whiz Phil Tippett Is Slowly Crafting a Mad God. WIRED. Retrieved on May 24, 2012.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 All Terrain Armored Transport (AT-AT walker) (Expanded Universe). Star Wars Databank. Lucasfilm. Retrieved on October 8, 2007.
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 All Terrain Armored Transport (AT-AT walker) (The Movies). Star Wars Databank. Lucasfilm. Retrieved on October 8, 2007.
- ↑ Lund, Kristin; Simon Beecroft, Kerrie Dougherty, and James Luceno (2005). The Complete Locations of Star Wars: Inside the Worlds of the Entire Star Wars Saga. Dorling Kindersley. ISBN 0-7566-1419-8.
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