Developed by Kuat Drive Yards, these swift, two-legged combat walkers were used by the Galactic Empire for reconnaissance, anti-personnel hunting, or as a picket or flanking force during major ground operations – and was one of the earliest LEGO sets in the Star Wars theme.
First introduced to a galaxy far, far away in The Empire Strikes Back when it had a cameo-like appearance during the Battle of Hoth, the AT-ST went largely unnoticed by the original generation of fans until the movies’ release on Betamax tape in 1984, when viewers could spend hours rewinding the tape to discover new details (mostly to find the hidden potato in the asteroid field).
The original concept was created by art director Joe Johnston, who – instead of sketching his idea – threw together a kit-bashed prototype and took it to George Lucas who immediately approved the model for the Revenge of the Jedi, shared StarWars.com in their Empire At 40 coverage.
Dubbed the “chicken walker” by its creator, its fate looked sealed until Phil Tippet, master model-maker and stop-motion guru Phil Tippet recognized its potential. He took Johnston’s work, added a rudimentary armature and quickly created a stop-motion sequence that could be integrated into the background of the Battle of Hoth.
It didn’t get a proper reveal until Return of the Jedi, when it was given the name of All Terrain Scout Walkers (AT-ST). Two of the three examples seen in the third (and final) episode of the Star Wars franchise had an ignominious demise at the hands of the native murder bears of Endor, while the third was captured by Chewbacca and his two smaller – but equally furry – accomplices.
Most fans forget that the very first AT-ST toy – labeled as a Scout Walker Vehicle – was released as part of The Empire Strikes Back line-up by Kenner in 1982, and not the far more common Return of the Jedi packaged version hit toy store shelves in 1983.
It is equally as easy to skip the conveyance’s first LEGO appearance, in the form of 2003’s mini-scale 4486 AT-ST & Snowspeeder, of the cold-weather variant of the Imperial scout walker as a Star Wars collectible, but that would be doing a disservice to those set designers who were around in the earliest years of the LEGO Star Wars theme.
That said, it did take LEGO a further 19 years to bring out a System-scale AT-ST – and when they did it came nearly a year and a half after the 40th anniversary of the original theatrical release of The Empire Strikes Back.
75322 Hoth AT-ST
Youngsters can recreate dramatic Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back action with the first-ever LEGO® brick-built model of the AT-ST from the Battle of Hoth (75322). It has an opening hatch and roof for access to the minifigure cockpit, a wheel-operated rotating head, 2 spring-loaded shooters and posable legs. A cool gift for trend-setting kids aged 9 and up, this building toy also features 3 LEGO Star Wars™ minifigures, including Chewbacca with snow decoration, plus an Imperial Probe Droid LEGO figure, to inspire creative play. Easy-to-follow building instructions are included with this premium-quality set. And check out the LEGO Building Instructions app, which has intuitive zoom and rotate viewing tools to make the experience extra fun. The LEGO Group has been recreating iconic starships, vehicles, locations and characters from the Star Wars universe since 1999, and there are a wide variety of sets to delight fans of all ages.
- The first buildable LEGO® Star Wars™ model of a Battle of Hoth AT-ST – With this authentically detailed building toy (75322), fans can recreate epic Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back scenes
- 3 LEGO® minifigures and a droid – Chewbacca with snow decoration, Hoth AT-ST Pilot and Hoth Rebel Trooper, each with weapons, plus an Imperial Probe Droid LEGO figure
- Lots of play-inspiring features – The AT-ST walker features a minifigure cockpit accessible via a hatch and opening roof, a wheel-operated rotating head, 2 spring-loaded shooters and posable legs
- Premium-quality gift for ages 9 and up – Give this 586-piece building toy as a birthday or holiday gift to creative kids who are into Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
- For play and display – The AT-ST walker measures over 10.5 in. (26 cm) high, 6 in. (16 cm) long and 5 in. (13 cm) wide, and can be displayed between playtimes
- App-assisted building – Instructions are included and, using the LEGO® Building Instructions app, builders can zoom, rotate and visualize a digital version of the construction model as they build
- Construction toys for all ages – LEGO® Star Wars™ sets allow kids (and adult fans) to recreate iconic scenes, make up new stories or just display the buildable models
- Quality assurance – LEGO® bricks and pieces meet stringent quality standards, ensuring that they connect simply and securely
- Safety first – LEGO® components are dropped, heated, crushed, twisted and carefully analyzed to make sure they comply with demanding global safety standards"
Much like the two-legged vehicle, the box that 75322 Hoth AT-ST comes in is tall and dominating with vivid graphics that make it look like the set is going to step straight out of its packaging. Inside are the four bags that contain the 586 parts which form the staged build: drive system with probe droid, cockpit interior, legs and finally the cockpit’s plating.
There’s nothing taxing about this build, and the targetted 9+ builder will have no problem completing this model in an hour, while an experienced builder can get it standing on its own two feet in a quarter of an hour less.
It’s apt that this set is the mainstay of the Winter wave of 2022, giving fans an AT-ST they’ve never had before. Along with the spindly-legged, long-chinned version of the AT-ST that appeared for a handful of seconds in The Empire Strikes Back, LEGO has included a brick-built probe droid and three minifigures.
Fronting for the Empire is the requisite AT-ST Pilot, who is sporting an all-new printed torso. Representing one-half of the Rebel Alliance’s cohort is Chewbacca, complete with snowy highlights to the head and legs elements. Fighting beside him is a female Hoth Rebel Trooper who has a dual-printed face on a medium nougat head piece.
Because there were no concept sketches and the scene that the original AT-ST was in was a scant second or two long, LEGO had very little to go on when they conceived this set. With only a few official reference images in the Lucasfilm archive, and those that did exist barely showed anything of the right side of the vehicle, a certain amount of extrapolation – using the Endor AT-ST as a base – had to be done.
Even after more than 40 years, it’s still hard to imagine the Imperial scout walker in any environment other than a temperate forest, so the arrival of 75322 Hoth AT-ST was met with much delight from the LEGO Star Wars community, who had enjoyed the Return of the Jedi version of this vehicle – as well one from Rogue One and an unfortunately headless version from The Force Awakens – since the release of 7127 Imperial AT-ST. Including this latest Hoth AT-ST, there are now 13 different depictions – including all prior System, micro-build, mini-scale, Advent and Ultimate Collector Series versions – with another one coming along sometime later this year!
Is there room for more, though? With every re-release of a set, LEGO takes purposeful strides to improve on previous models and this iteration is no exception.
Subtle dimensional changes differentiate the Hoth AT-ST from its woodland cousin, with the cockpit of the Hoth version being squatter and the chin shorter. LEGO came close to capturing the correct angles, and it’s only because the set, in profile, is a stud too narrow that the above side-by-sides don’t quite match up. The legs, on the other hand, have just the right amount of spindliness, and the new feet design fully support this macrocephalic vehicle
The amount of detailing squeezed into this set is impressive – there are even color-coded accessory holders in the cockpit – and the rotatable cockpit, which can be actioned from the rear, is a nice enough feature.
However, given the capability of the Technic range, it’s odd that LEGO has still not come up with a mechanism that allows the model to mimic an ambulatory gait as well as hold a static stance. After all, Kenner achieved it in 1982. Perhaps the designers are saving this – as well as an extra cockpit seat (assuming the cold weather AT-ST had a gunner) for a future revision.
Taking into account that the set inventory is a mixed bag of large and small elements, and it comes with three minifigures, the 0.08 dollars per brick isn’t the blowout you’d expect and, all things considered, this is a surprisingly affordable set.
This set is available at LEGO.com (US/CA/UK/EU/AU) and the global chain of LEGO brand stores, as well as at general retailers like Target USA, Walmart, BigW, Toys “R” Us Canada, Smyths Toys (GB/DE) and Argos now, though current distribution issues are making stocks harder to find than usual.
Fervent documentarian, effusive AFOL and founding partner, Jeremy manages the daily news content and set reviews.
Having enjoyed playing with LEGO from his earliest years, Jeremy started collecting LEGO Star Wars in 1999 when the theme was first released. He has shared his thoughts and opinions on LEGO via a number of websites – including starwars.com, rebelscum.com and brickset.com – contributed to the LEGO Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary series and served the LEGO Ambassador Network as a Recognised LEGO Fan Media representative.