Snowspeeders might have a harder time taking down the new First Order walkers in The Last Jedi. And some of that has to do with the gorilla-like design of the new mechanical war machines.

In an interview with StarWars.com published on Wednesday, design supervisor for The Last Jedi, Kevin Jenkins, explained why the new walkers look like gorillas instead of the dog shape of the previous AT-ATs.

“We went through this whole discussion about iteration. Iteration, to me, makes more sense than random walker design,” Jenkins said. “One of the questions that tied us up a lot is the fact that they’d been taken down by snowspeeders in The Empire Strikes Back, and it felt like everyone else is trying to avoid the problem of a four-legged version of a walker because they had been defeated on Hoth. So I sort of took that on board and I suggested to Rian, ‘Well, instead of a dog, what about a gorilla?’”

The gorilla-shaped AT-M6 of 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi'

Presumably, this will help them maneuver out of any successful tow-cable snares. “Also, the way they are balanced now is like a gorilla, because their knuckles are turned backwards and they’ve got very high shoulders. Maybe they could even sort of kneel down or something,” Jenkins adds.

As was previously rumored, the fact that the front legs are heavily armored and the sheer size of the new walkers, which are called AT-M6s, will also contribute to their invulnerability to tow-cable-based attacks. “The front legs are very heavily armored, and you can see can almost up to the forearm. And again, that’s my take on, “You can’t take these down with a snowspeeder,’” Jenkins said. “They’ve armored up the front or maybe they just cut the ropes because they are too big now.”

The Rebels will have to come up with a new, but still exceedingly cool, way to take out these new walkers in The Last Jedi.


Star Wars: The Last Jedi will open on December 15.