The DSS-02 shield generator was a critical part of the defensive system of Hoth's rebel base.
However, this shield generator was built outside, in the open:
Why did the rebels built it outside? I can think of multiple drawbacks to this:
- It stands out like a sore thumb, making it very easy for imperials to be suspicious of what's going on on this planet, since it is supposed to be uninhabited (and this is a shield generator, not a small house, making it even more suspicious)
- It is harder to defend (as shown in the battle of Hoth) than something buried underground.
- It is supposedly harder to maintain because of Hoth's climate. Rebels could live and work fairly effectively inside caves, which is a sign that having this generator buried would make it much easier to work on it.
Therefore, i don't understand why they would not build this generator underground (especially since it seems like Hoth contains a significant number of caves). Here are some possible reasons that I don't find that convincing:
- It is too difficult to built such a thing underground because of its size
- It was faster to build it overground
Out-of-universe, it obviously makes more sense to have it not underground, so that the AT-ATs have a goal that the audience can see. I am looking for in-universe reasons.