Star Wars All Terrain Scout Transport

An AT-ST walker, as depicted in Return of the Jedi

The AT-ST is a two-legged walker introduced in The Empire Strikes Back and featured extensively in Return of the Jedi. Due to their design and movement, they are often dubbed "chicken walkers".[1]

Origin and designEdit

The AT-ST model used in The Empire Strikes Back was to have more screen time; however, one scene depicting a snowspeeder shooting at the AT-ST model was ruined when the set's background shifted.[2] For Return of the Jedi, ILM made the AT-ST design more detailed.[2] Numerous models were created, including a full-sized AT-ST for on-location shooting.[2] Director Richard Marquand and producer Robert Watts played the AT-ST operators for the scene in which Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) and a pair of Ewoks commandeer an AT-ST.[2]

Lee Seiler sued Lucasfilm in the mid-1980s, claiming that the AT-ST infringed on his copyright on what he called a "Garthian Strider", which he said he created in 1976 or 1977. The case was dismissed with the court noting that not only did Seiler not produce the supposed drawings at trial, but that the copyright came one year after The Empire Strikes Back debuted.[3]


Star Wars guidebooks describe the AT-ST as a "reconnaissance or defensive vehicle [that] is lightweight and built for speed".[1] Their agility allows them to defend the slower AT-ATs or support other Imperial ground forces.[1][4] They are Template:Convert tall (although some sources describe them at seven meters)[1] and seat a pilot and co-pilot.[4] AT-STs are armed with laser cannons on the "chin" and sides, feet claws for destroying small defenses and side-mounted concussion missile launchers.[5]

In The Empire Strikes Back, AT-STs scout for and support the slower AT-ATs during the Battle of Hoth. During the Battle of Endor as depicted in Return of the Jedi, the protagonists and the local Ewok tribes capture or destroy several AT-STs; their precariously balanced nature proves highly vulnerable to the Ewoks' primitive booby traps. In the Expanded Universe, AT-STs are often featured in Imperial attack forces.[5] Video games such as Star Wars: Rogue Squadron and Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire include numerous AT-STs, and they are player-controllable units in several real-time strategy games. Some walker designs have been influenced by the AT-ST.[6]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Slavicsek, Bill (2000). A Guide to the Star Wars Universe: Third Edition. Del Rey and Lucas Books, 14. ISBN 0-345-42066-7. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 All Terrain Scout Transport (AT-ST walker) (Behind the Scenes). Star Wars Databank. Lucasfilm. Retrieved on October 8, 2007.
  3. Seiler v. Lucasfilm, Ltd., 613 F.Supp. 1253 (1984), affirmed, 808 F.2d 1316 (1986). Retrieved 10 Aug. 2013.
  4. 4.0 4.1 All Terrain Scout Transport (AT-ST walker) (The Movies). Lucasfilm. Retrieved on August 15, 2007.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Gorden, Greg (1993). Star Wars Imperial Sourcebook, 2nd edition, West End Games. ISBN 0-87431-210-8. 
  6. All Terrain Scout Transport (AT-ST walker) (Expanded Universe). Star Wars Databank. Lucasfilm. Retrieved on August 15, 2007.
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