Star Wars: The Last Jedi will reportedly feature a new take on the AT-AT—a larger, sturdier, and likely deadlier version of the classic ground assault vehicle employed in campaigns by the Imperial Army.
This comes on the heels of the AT-ACT's debut in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. That particular vehicle was a bigger version of the classic AT-AT designed to carry larger cargo and wasn't meant for battlefield deployment.
But this new AT-AT, called the "First Order Heavy Assault Walker," seems to be a more powerful and robust assault vehicle, giving the First Order more firepower when dealing with Resistance scum.
The rumor was reported by Making Star Wars, who said they were referred to informally by the production as "gorilla walkers."
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They describe the vehicle thusly:
So if the classic AT-AT foot is a shoe connected to a leg, this is a boot with a sleeve that is thick running up more than halfway through the leg. From the front it resembles a gorilla with its front arms firmly planted on the ground. When I first heard about these, I was told they would resemble gorillas. Imagine looking directly head-on at a gorilla and how its front arms are thick and give it an intimidating presence. For this reason, they were called "Gorilla Walkers" informally by some during production.
Imagine pissed-off gorillas with their front arms on the ground looking at you and then transform them into AT-ATs and you have the First Order Heavy Assault Walkers.
It sounds cool, but let's face it: the Walker design is a flawed concept from inception. All it took were some reinforced tow cables and a quick game of All Around The Maypole to down those suckers. And instead of maybe focusing on some deadlier sweet-ass hover tanks, the First Order engineers decided to dwell on that design.
No wonder the Resistance is going to whoop them.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi will be in theaters December 15.
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The film follows-up and continues the story of the next generation of the saga as Rey, Poe, Finn, and Kylo Ren find their place in the galaxy and follow the legacy of Luke Skywalker, Leia, and Han Solo. Daisy Ridley returns to star as Rey, with other returning stars John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Domhnall Gleeson, Gwendoline Christie, Peter Mayhew, Andy Serkis, Anthony Daniels, Lupita Nyong'o Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher as General Leia Organa. Benicio Del Toro and Laura Dern join the cast in as-yet-unrevealed roles.