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I've heard fans pronounce the acronym for Imperial Walkers by saying each letter (A-T-A-T) and also by saying the two parts as words (At-At). Is there any consensus on which is right?

AT-AT stands for All Terrain Armored Transport, but they're only referred to as Imperial Walkers in Empire Strikes Back.

Was the name introduced through the action figures, and people just interpreted the pronunciation differently? How does George Lucas refer to them?

How are they referred to in canon materials now that they're showing up in Rebels? Is there a canon explanation of why people would pronounce it differently?

UPDATE: There's a lot of great stuff going on in the comments regarding the pronunciation in video games of varying canonicity, which makes it seem like both pronunciations have been in use in new Disney continuity. Can anyone verify this? Is there an in-universe explanation of why there might be two? Is it rebel v imperial jargon?

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    I always say At-At, my friends say A-T-A-T maybe it's prefrence. – tox123 Apr 24 '16 at 21:54
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    "At-at"?? Then what would that make an AT-ST? – zahbaz Apr 25 '16 at 0:09
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    @zahbaz An Atst, obviously. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Apr 25 '16 at 4:12
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    Probably not Canon, but in Battlefront they call it an A-T-A-T, spelling the letters. – jmite Apr 25 '16 at 6:18
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    My guess is that in the Star Wars world people disagree about the proper pronunciation of this just as much as we do. It seems more human that way. – Captain Man Apr 25 '16 at 14:11
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"At-At", according to LucasFilm.

Joseph Lin, a journalist at Time Magazine, asked LucasFilm this very question. They responded that the official pronunciation rhymes with "hat-hat".

As for the A-T-A-T pronunciation preferred by many fans, I can remember it being in common use as early as the late 1980s. It likely emerged from the way droid names such as R2D2 and C3PO are pronounced.

As for Rebels, the Toys R Us chain of toy stores, which sells Disney products, has produced a series of short videos called Secrets of Star Wars: Rebels. In it, they refer to the walkers with the letter-by-letter pronunciation.

If Disney has decided to drop the LucasFilm convention in favour of the fan pronunciation (which is unclear — we don't know how much consultation Disney lent to Toys R Us), the reasons are unclear.

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    This was in 2010. A lot has changed since then :-) – Valorum Apr 24 '16 at 22:00
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    @Richard : Star Wars has changed hands since then, but the OP wants to know Lucas' opinion, and so a LucasArts statement from prior to the Disney acquisition seems appropriate. :-) – Praxis Apr 24 '16 at 22:06
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    @dunraven : The A-T-A-T fan pronunciation is quite old. I can remember it being used in the late 80s or early 90s. – Praxis Apr 24 '16 at 22:22
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    I just realised that doing the same with C3P0 basically makes him Creepo (since initial /kθr/ isn't phonotactically valid). – Janus Bahs Jacquet Apr 25 '16 at 4:15
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    At-At doesn't even make any sense. It's one of several types of all-terrain walkers - AT-ST, AT-PT, AT-RT, AT-MP, etc...most of those aren't even pronounceable except by each letter. Using one set of rules for AT-AT, and another set of rules for the rest seems unlikely. – coburne Apr 25 '16 at 14:08
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Both are correct

According to Dave Filoni, producer of Star Wars Rebels and former director of the Clone Wars the answer is both. In an interview during Star Wars Celebration 2016 he says:

I say you can say at-at, you can say A-T-A-T, and you can say walker. I'm for all three. ... That's canon because in the show I have Imperials say walkers, I have them say at-at, and I have them say A-T-A-T.

Source:

2

There is no canon pronounciation of AT-AT. There are, however, some Legends products that pronounce the name. The following is sourced from http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/All_Terrain_Armored_Transport/Legends#First_use_discrepancy:

AT-AT is pronounced "at-at" in Star Wars: Force Commander, and Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds. They are also called "A-T-A-T"s briefly in Star Wars: Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader. In Star Wars: Battlefront II both terms are used. However, in Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron, it is pronounced "A-T-A-T".

  • I haven't played it in awhile, but I'm pretty sure Empire at War used the "A-T-A-T" form too. – coburne Apr 25 '16 at 14:10
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A.T.A.T

Source: Disney Star Wars Rebels S03 E10 aired 12/3/16

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The original pronounciation (presented to us by the toy commercials) was @@.

We were aware that it was an acronym but it made sense, in-universe for the characters to colloquialize it. Along the same lines, a High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle is often referred to as a HUMVEE 'cause if your friend Pete is looking the wrong way and you say,

"Pete, watch out for that runaway aich em em double-yew vee!"

then it's too late, and Pete is already dead.

  • Hi Joe, welcome to the site! As you may have seen, we're a Q&A site and you can read more about us here. As a Q&A site, we operate on a strict basis of questions at the top, answers to those questions, with good supporting evidence at the bottom. And that's it. Everything that comes down here has to be an answer to the question, and as such, posts which attempt to have discussions, or offer opinion or whatever like you might have on a forum would usually be deleted. – Au101 Jan 18 '18 at 6:11
  • However, in your case, the link you've provided is actually a pretty good data point. I don't spend very much time in the star-wars tag, but I reckon you could turn this into a pretty good answer if you changed your approach from defending your personal pronunciation, into an objective answer with reference to this commercial. However, you should consider the canonicity of a toy commercial and see whether you might be able to find anything else to back you up. The real world analogy you make is also a good one, but is there any evidence to support its use in star wars? – Au101 Jan 18 '18 at 6:13
  • Is Pete necessarily dead? If you see it early enough could he not survive? Also as Au101 says, removing some of the "fluff" in your answer and making it a bit more "professional" might help your case. – Edlothiad Jan 18 '18 at 6:59

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