10

According to Wookieepedia:

The name "AT-AT" is never spoken in any of the films. Instead, the machines are referred to as "Imperial walkers."

So, where does the name AT-AT originate?

(Of course, AT-AT stands for All Terrain Armored Transport, but neither term is in the script.)

  • 1
    Some sort of product placement by a big telecommunication company? – bitmask Jan 24 '12 at 12:23
  • My memory from the time is that the name "AT-AT" went public before ESB was originally released, probably in some of the advance promo material, comics, etc; maybe even the novelisation (if that was released bfore the movie). I'm almost certain that we knew what it was called when we first saw the movie. – user8719 Dec 30 '13 at 17:55
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    I have to link to this, which explains it so much better. – DJClayworth Dec 30 '13 at 22:28
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I have not found anything about the real-life origin of the term AT-AT, but even if they were not named in the script, they were named by the time the 1981 Kenner toy line came out.

Kenner AT-AT toy picture

From the in-package catalog:

Imagine you're DARTH VADER with your giant 17½" tall, 22" long AT-AT. Legs can be posed and a lever moves head in any direction and also makes the two laser cannons light up and pulsate. Two Action Figures fit in the AT-AT's head. Two laser guns turn with a clicking sound. Remove side door and the AT-AT can hold up to 10 Action Figures. Two "C" batteries not included. Assembly required. Available Summer 1981.

Since I could not find any factual origin information, here are some speculative reasons:

  1. By the time Empire was released, GL and team were writing the script for Jedi and they added different kinds of walkers to that movie. Now they needed a term to differentiate the different kinds of walkers.

  2. Star Wars is heavily connected to merchandise. Since they have a toy based on everything from the movie, marketing might push them to come up with a Star Wars type name for everything in the movie.

  • 1
    Just looking at the box cover gives me a warm glowing feeling. How much do I want one of them... – Reinstate Monica Jan 24 '12 at 13:02
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    The AT-ST actually was in ESB, albeit very briefly. – Xantec Jan 24 '12 at 13:21
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    @AndresF.: I'm imagining it now, in a conversation with marketing: "You have failed me for the last time." – Reinstate Monica Jan 24 '12 at 13:43
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    @HorusKol It was in the original version, seen in the background briefly during the Battle of Hoth. – Andy Jan 25 '12 at 3:44
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    @HorusKol This image I pulled from the bonus disc of the DVD edition of ESB that I have. Supposedly it is the original, unmodified theatrical release; but I don't know if that is true or not (GL can't seem to leave well enough alone). Is there any way I can verify how true to original this copy is? – Xantec Jan 25 '12 at 3:45

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