Day 17 of the 2023 Star Wars LEGO Advent Calendar sees the Empire prepare to strike back against minifigure Princess Leia and her assault on the shield generator: the All Terrain Scout Transport, or AT-ST for short—or, better yet, the chicken walker—is ready to defend the Death Star!
The AT-ST was first introduced in Star Wars: Episode V—The Empire Strikes Back at the Battle of Hoth. These walkers served two primary purposes: They could, as the name implies, scout ahead on their own, ferreting out Rebel scum and providing all sorts of mayhem for opposing infantry while supporting their own. (How many boss battles have we all fought in Star Wars video games against a singular AT-ST?)
But they were better at accompanying larger units—the AT-AT, for example, as we saw on Hoth—and flanking opposing forces. They weren’t well-armed, making them particularly susceptible to, say, logs, stones, and other things furry critters on forest moons might use as weaponry.
Interestingly, the design of the AT-ST was improved from the Battle of Hoth to their appearance in Star Wars: Episode VI—Return of the Jedi. The look is a bit more polished, though these chicken walkers still stumble about, whether in snow or in forests.
But what is cool for long-time fans of the Star Wars Advent Calendars (or at least, fans two years running like me) is that this year’s AT-ST build is slightly different from last year’s build. Sure, the base brick is a forest brown this year as opposed to last year’s snowy white, but that’s not all: the legs are longer this year—comprised of two pieces instead of one—and the “head” feels more enclosed and well-defended. (Last year’s build, though, did allow the cockpit to turn.)
Listen: It’s a minor detail, but I think it’s super cool. The LEGO designers’ attention to the evolution of the AT-ST from Hoth to Endor deserves some recognition.
In any case, we’re really building out the final battle of Star Wars: Episode VI—Return of the Jedi now!