July 28, 2008

I see AT-AT walkers

I’d heard the rumor that the AT-AT walkers in Empire Strikes Back were inspired by Oakland’s container cranes, and while the resemblance is there I wasn’t surprised to read that George Lucas has debunked the rumor.

However, I recently saw these container cranes in Quebec that look even more like AT-ATs than those do. Maybe I can get a new rumor started.

Previously: I see the Death Star


Cute photo. We have those container cranes in Boston too, and they’ve always reminded me of AT-ATs when viewed from the Expressway.

(photo found on Flickr, not mine)

I see Darth Vader (in the negative space of the blue sky).


Lucas is well-known to make claims about his work that are disproven by documentation. Is he lying, or does he refashion his memories into a more pleasing configuration? Who knows? If one wishes to confirm or debunk a Star Wars theory, George Lucas is a useless source.

Not to mention that the question is unanswerable. You can say that you were not consciously inspired by something, but what ideas and visual images did you absorb from your environment without realizing it?

Nice post!

There is this article (spanish) about the (posible) origin of the resemblance; it seems that the AT-AT designer (Phil Tippett) was inspired by the cranes in Portland


growing up in miami in the early 80s i always thought they resembled the cranes at the port of miami. very similar.

LOL - this is great! My wife referred me to your site and everything she says about the humour and creativity is right on. Good job, my friend.

Star Wars fans have always known that George Lucas liked to take ideas and inspiration from everyday life. Your photos in this collection prove it!

GT :)