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The shield generator on Hoth that the Rebels used was meant to work above ground, but why was it not shielded itself (in case of a ground assault, as in the Battle of Hoth)? Surely the rebels could have had a smaller shield generator to protect the larger main generator?

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    And what would protect the smaller shield generator? An even smaller one? – Hans Olo May 19 '18 at 15:35
  • assume that the smaller generator protects itself and the larger generator with its shield – Boolean May 19 '18 at 15:42
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    @Loki It's shield generators all the way down. – Spencer May 19 '18 at 16:19
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    Why didn't the large shield generator protect itself? Didn't the imperial walkers get inside the shield which didn't shield against being walked through, and then blast the shield generator from inside the shield? If the smaller shield generator generated a shield which was smaller the walkers would have had to get closer to get inside the inner shield to blast both the shield generators. But it would have taken just a few more minutes to drive away the defenders and get close enough to have snow troopers physically attach bombs to the shield generators. – M. A. Golding May 19 '18 at 16:59
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    @Spencer actually, the smallest shield generator is protected by a turtle. – Paul May 19 '18 at 18:05
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  Yes, they could have small shield generator protecting big one, and even smaller generator protecting small one and so on :)

In fact, shield generator you mentioned protected planetary surface and itself from planetary bombardment reasonably well. Rebels have defense emplacement (trenches and turrets) plus T-47 speeders to protect it from ground assault, and of course ion cannon to allow escape.

All of these defenses worked to a degree. Rebels never had resources to go toe-to-toe with Empire, either in space or on land. They relied on remaining hidden, and if Empire discovers them they would flee like they did in the movie. So, shield generator, ion cannon and ground defenses would just buy them so time to retreat.

As we could see from this other clip, Imperials destroyed shield generator only after they entered the Rebel base. At that point of time it would not matter much if Rebels had one or two smaller shields around because Empire would destroy them too.

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  • Surely a smaller generator would be cheaper than a larger one (as seen on screen) so it was not out of question – Boolean May 19 '18 at 15:49
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    @Boolean Yes, but it would be practically useless. As you can see, Imperial ground troops had to get close to destroy existing shield generator, but they eventually managed to do that. Therefore, they would simply get close and destroy both generators if Rebels had them. – rs.29 May 19 '18 at 16:11

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