I'm curious how these beasts got down to the surface of Hoth.

AT-ATs on Hoth

Did the Galactic Empire land them in big ships, if so which ones?

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    Yeah - they landed troops so they could cut the generator - enabling them to land troops. Makes no sense. Meanwhile alliance forces escape.
    – niico
    Commented Dec 17, 2014 at 16:02
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    @niico They landed troops outside of the area of the shield because "The field is strong enough to deflect any bombardment." The AT-AT were able to walk through the shield where faster landing craft would (as per most shield dynamics) be hindered Commented Jan 5, 2016 at 15:51
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    Don't forget the base's ion cannon, which was strong enough to deter Star Destroyers from pursuing their transports too closely. A direct course under the base's guns would've been suicide.
    – Cadence
    Commented Dec 18, 2018 at 22:12

4 Answers 4


Star Wars Wikia AT-AT article

AT-ATs were typically deployed for ground assault from orbit by large dropships.

Walkers stationed within larger warships, such as the Executor-class Star Dreadnought, were delivered to planetary surfaces within Incom Y-85 Titan dropships, capable of carrying four 22.5-meter AT-ATs.

Incom Y-85 Titan dropship

Smaller starships, such as the Imperial-class Star Destroyer, deployed single walkers via the Theta-class AT-AT barge.

Theta-class AT-AT barge - very similar to Y-85 as it was also made by Incom

Other designs, including the Telgorn Corporation Warlord Dropship, were capable of delivering a platoon of four walkers.

(Images courtesy Wookieepedia)

Since the commander of Blizzard Force, General Veers, served directly under Darth Vader and was a protégé of sorts, one can assume that the force was headquartered on Executor SSD - therefore the answer to your question as far as Hoth is Incom Y-85 Titan dropships.

This is confirmed by Hoth Battle Wookieepedia:

This mechanized force was deployed by several Y-85 Titan dropships, and larger landing assault craft. (src: Star Wars: Complete Locations).

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    You also see these drop ships used in the games Force Commander and Empire At War (Force Commander even has a Battle of Hoth map)
    – HorusKol
    Commented Jan 19, 2012 at 22:07
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    When I watched the movie as a kid, I couldn't understand how they managed to land AT-ATs to destroy the shield generators in the first place. Wouldn't the planetary shield prevent stuff from landing? I know there is probably an in-universe explanation about the shield only stopping energy weapons, but to a kid it doesn't make much sense: shields are supposed to stop stuff!
    – Andres F.
    Commented Jan 20, 2012 at 2:08
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    @AndresF.: interesting, perhaps the shields were localised around the base? Commented Jan 21, 2012 at 12:27
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    @Wikis: you are completely right. I was mislead by Wookiepedia, which called it a planetary shield. But as you point out, the script is clear: VEERS: My lord, the fleet has moved out of light-speed. Com-Scan has detected an energy field protecting an area around the sixth planet of the Hoth system. The field is strong enough to deflect any bombardment.
    – Andres F.
    Commented Jan 21, 2012 at 14:39
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    @Wikis: I'm reading a script, and when Leia is discussing the evacuation plan, she states: "LEIA: [...] The heavy transport ships will leave as soon as they're loaded. Only two fighter escorts per ship. The energy shield can only be opened for a short time, so you'll have to stay very close to your transports." We can only assume the shield is capable of stopping matter (e.g. ships), which means the AT-ATs must have landed outside the shield, and were firing into it. Which also means the shield cannot stop beam weapons! Seems like a plot hole.
    – Andres F.
    Commented Jan 21, 2012 at 14:52

They landed outside the shield then walked through. Once they destroyed the generator the general told Darth Vader that he could land.

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    Backing this up is the quote from the script VEERS: My lord, the fleet has moves out of light-speed. Com-Scan has detected an energy field protecting an area around the sixth planet of the Hoth system. The field is strong enough to deflect any bombardment.
    – phantom42
    Commented Jan 8, 2013 at 13:32
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    But why not just land all the troops and walk through. Why bother taking the shield down at all? Doing so gives them time to escape. The whole concept of 'walking through' such a shield generally seems unrealistic - but I guess that is the nature of shields in The Star Wars universe.
    – niico
    Commented Dec 17, 2014 at 16:00

The canon answer, out of the book Battlefront: Twilight Company, is that Gozanti-class cruisers. The ship was introduced in The Phantom Menace, and has been shown to have been used by the Empire for carrying AT-ATs and TIE fighters.enter image description here


The Rebels had to deactivate their shields so they could use ion-cannon to neutralize threatening Star Destroyers until shield would closed and transport would get rendezvous point.

Meanwhile Empire landed its AT-AT Walkers because they knew that shield was soon to be closed again and they could destroy the generator only from inside the shield.

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    I appreciate that English may not be your first language, but we do insist on the use of basic spelling and grammar checking.
    – Valorum
    Commented Mar 7, 2015 at 21:52

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