Check Out the Bizarre New AT-AT and Dreadnought Designs From 'The Last Jedi'

Thursday, 24 August 2017 - 10:01AM
Star Wars
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Thursday, 24 August 2017 - 10:01AM
Check Out the Bizarre New AT-AT and Dreadnought Designs From 'The Last Jedi'
Image credit: The Star Wars Show, Lucasfilm
Let's face it: The Force Awakens is not a very original movie. J.J. Abrams' Star Wars movie borrows heavily from previous films in the series, to the point that all of its main spaceships (and plot points) are pretty much lifted from the original trilogy. It looks like this is something that Lucasfilm is hoping to address with The Last Jedi, as we've seen a variety of new vehicles that mix up the formula, if only a little bit. Two more have just been announced in the form of the gorilla-like AT-M6, and a new, incredibly flat Dreadnought that looks like the Death Star sat on a Star Destroyer and squished it (the Dreadnought even has a large, round crater in the middle!).

Both First Order vehicles were revealed on The Star Wars Show—you can check out the episode below:



We've already seen the AT-M6 in schematic form as part of an earlier press leak, but now we get a full look at how the ape-like transport will appear in the movie. It's hard to argue that this is truly a unique offering for The Last Jedi, considering how similar it looks to the famous AT-AT, and even the AT-ACT that we got in Rogue One last year.

Considering that people are going to naturally draw parallels between The Last Jedi and The Empire Strikes Back, it's a bit disconcerting that the upcoming movie will feature a similar walker battle to the one we're all familiar with from Episode V, but at the same time, the fact that the AT-M6 has a sturdier, monkey-inspired design suggests that the First Order has deliberately made something that won't fall over when tripped by tow cables.

By comparison, it's harder to see any real mechanical difference between the First Order Dreadnought and the Super Star Destroyer (which was introduced in The Empire Strikes Back, making this another example of Star Wars recycling old elements). If we're lucky, we may get some big moment in the movie that plays with this new shape (as we did with the Hammerhead corvette in Rogue One), but it seems that in the creation of the Dreadnought, Lucasfilm simply wanted something that was similar to the Super Star Destroyer, while not being so unique as to risk another Phantom Menace situation where nothing on screen resembles anything that Star Wars fans are familiar with.

It is interesting how slavishly the First Order is adhering to the designs popularized by the Empire. Lucasfilm has found a smart way to bake nostalgia into the mythos of the movies, as Kylo Ren and his Stormtroopers attempt to relive the glory days through mimicking old aesthetics, the same way that Disney is trying to re-engineer the success of the original Star Wars trilogy. Presumably nobody has pointed out to the First Order that the Empire's downfall came from overconfidence in their superior technological might, but since that's also been Lucasfilm's downfall ever since 1997, there's some nice poetry at work here.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi hits US theaters December 15th, 2017.
Science Fiction
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Star Wars
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
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