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
  • 1
    I have to link to this, which explains it so much better. – DJClayworth Dec 30 '13 at 22:28

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
  • 1
    The AT-ST actually was in ESB, albeit very briefly. – Xantec Jan 24 '12 at 13:21
  • 2
    @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
  • 1
    @HorusKol It was in the original version, seen in the background briefly during the Battle of Hoth. – Andy Jan 25 '12 at 3:44
  • 2
    @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

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.