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All Terrain Scout Transport

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"Affirmative, AT-ST support is on the way."
―An Imperial technician[src]

The All Terrain Scout Transport (AT-ST), also known as a Scout Transport, Scout Walker, or derisively as a chicken walker, was a lightweight, bipedal walker used by the ground forces of the Galactic Empire.

CharacteristicsEdit

AT-STs were commonly used to screen the flanks of larger assault walkers for major ground operations. The Empire used them for swift reconnaissance and troop support.[4] As such, they were essential for cleaning up minor resistance along the path of a pre-planned invasion route, and could quickly eliminate any small threats that managed to evade an AT-ATs barrage. The walker was commonly used on anti-personnel hunting missions, and was piloted by two AT-ST drivers with superior skills of balance and agility.[6]

AT-STs were equipped with two chin-mounted MS-4 twin blaster cannons capable of firing at a range of two kilometers.[1] It also featured one cheek-mounted 88i twin light blaster cannon and one cheek-mounted DW-3 concussion grenade launcher capable of doing massive damage to enemy vehicles and ground troops at close range.[3] They were excellent at dealing with large amounts of infantry as well as mounted turrets that were too risky to be taken out with rocket launchers.[7] Its clawed feet could slash apart wires and fences at ground level.[3]

Reinforced armor plates enveloped the control cabin, protecting the two-person crew. Its two armored viewports were deliberately set to give any viewer the unsettling sensation of staring into the face of a soulless beast or oversized combat droid.[4] Inside the control cabin, the command module featured a holographic 360-degree view of the combat zone. The "head" itself was capable of rotating 240 degrees side to side, greatly improving the gunners target acquisition abilities and capabilities for destruction. The walker's deceptively rickety gait belied a potent patrol vehicle. Gyros, flexible joints, footpad sensors, and shock absorbers formed a sophisticated system that controlled balance and stabilized the walker across a variety of terrains.[3]

Despite its speed and agility, an AT-ST walker's offensive and defensive power were significantly compromised. Offensively, its weapons systems were only good against lightly-armored targets at close range. Defensively, its lighter armor could repel attacks from small arms fire, but not laser cannons, missiles, or other heavy ordinance.[4] Its armor did not cover its entire frame, lest the walker lose its agility. Striking the walker's unprotected gyros underneath the command module could destabilize the walker and cause it to fall. Additionally, deep trenches or cable lines leveled at the height of the AT-ST's ankles and knees could cause it to trip and topple the vehicle.[3]

The Ewoks of Endor discovered that the AT-ST were vulnerable to anti-Gorax traps. Ramming logs could smash through the walker's head, destroying the cockpit. One of its other weaknesses was its susceptibility to hijacking, despite the height of the vehicle seemingly making hijacking an impossibility. A sufficiently strong force could rip the entrance hatch off the top of the walker. If commandeered, the walker's cannons could easily penetrate other AT-STs armor.[1][5]

Variant modelsEdit

AT-ST Mark IIIs were equipped with experimental armor that provided more speed and durability than that of the standard AT-ST. Mounted with twin heavy laser cannons and piloted by veteran crews, they excelled against most targets.[8]

HistoryEdit

Part of the All-Terrain walker family, the AT-STs role in supporting Imperial ground operations earned it the moniker 'scout walker'[1] owing to its ability in ferreting out enemy positions and inspecting locations in advance of larger walkers. It was better equipped than the Republic AT-RT.[3]

The AT-ST was commonly involved in a variety of environments. At least one AT-ST was deployed on Jedha in 0 BBY in a battle during the planet's insurgency.[9] Several fought alongside AT-ATs at the Battle of Hoth.[10] They also notably participated in the Battle of Endor, where they were defeated by the Ewoks and their traps.[5]

Behind the scenesEdit

Atsthoth

The AT-ST model used on Hoth. Unit insignia seen on the side.

ILMATST-SWFB

Members of the ILM team with a model of an AT-ST.

The original model for the AT-ST was created by members of the Industrial Light & Magic team, and George Lucas thought it was "neat" and decided to include it in The Empire Strikes Back alongside the AT-AT, so the ILM model shop disassembled it and added a metal stop-motion armature.[source?]

The AT-ST model received some cosmetic changes for its extensive appearance in Return of the Jedi, thus explaining the minor differences in the models used for the two films.[11]

AppearancesEdit

AT-ST Stop Motion Model Endor

ILM model makers Paul Huston and Larry Tan painstakingly move a chicken walker for Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi

SourcesEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

External linksEdit

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