Rogue One will have it all — X-Wings, Star Destroyers, Tie Fighters, the Death Star — and oh yes, chicken walkers. There are just under 100 days until Rogue One comes out, and new artwork for the film shows us the Empire’s two-legged, all-terrain vehicles in action.
The AT-ST (sometimes called the Scout Walker or “Chicken Walker”) first appeared in a brief jaunt through the snow on Hoth next to its bigger, badder cousin the AT-AT walker, but got extensive screen time strutting around the forest during the Battle of Endor. Unlike its plodding four-legged mechanical relative, it’s a two-legged, nimble death machine. So far, in all the released footage and promotional art for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story we’ve only seen the modified four-legged AT-ACT attacking our Rebel heroes. But now, in some newly leaked promotional art, it appears this little walker is making its way back into the Star Wars universe.
Though the All Terrain Scout Transport didn’t appear until The Empire Strikes Back, this now establishes the Empire had these kinds of walkers even before the events of A New Hope. In the films, we never get any on-screen explanation as to why the Rebels and Imperials utilize wildly different types of vehicles in their battles against each other. But, in the larger Star Wars lore, there are attempts to explain why the Rebels have obtained the technology their using, specifically. An episode of the cartoon show Rebels introduced us to the inventor of the B-Wing fighter, some five years before A New Hope, even though that particular ship wasn’t seen until Return of the Jedi.
Does this mean Rogue One might show us the inventor of the various types of walkers, tinkering away with different leg designs? Doubtful. But now, with the AT-ST stepping into the picture, the next Star Wars movie might be an homage to both the original film and Return of the Jedi.