“The Empire is a force unprecedented in any age, poised to end history itself. No one should confront it alone.”
Well, I’ve finally gotten around to continuing my Snapshot In Time pieces with another installment. In the pilot article of this series, I talked about the cinematic from Halo 2 in which Thel ‘Vadam was branded as a heretic and sentenced to die. Make sure to check that out here if you haven’t read it and would like to.
In this article, though, I’m going to talk about one of my favorite moments in the Star Wars canon: the Battle of Hoth.
The Power of Symbolism
The main reason why I love the Battle of Hoth so much is because it does a phenomenal job of visualizing the central struggle between the Rebel Alliance and the Galactic Empire.
The Rebellion, burning with passion, creativity, and character, but lacking in firepower and numbers, goes toe-to-toe with the Empire. In stark contrast to the Rebels, the Imperials fight their wars with terrifying ruthlessness and efficiency, marching their cold-hearted, mechanized, and seemingly endless armies towards the enemy.
The Empire: Show No Mercy
The Empire goes into this battle with the intent of finally finishing off the only faction that threatens its dominance in the galaxy: the Rebels.
Their objective is simple: destroy the shield generator of the Rebel base, and the Star Destroyers and bombers in orbit can blast it into dust.
Today, the Rebel scum die.
In order to achieve this goal, the Empire deploys a vehicle that perfectly embodies their regime: the AT-AT walker.
Massive, armed with several heavy laser cannons, carrying dozens of stormtroopers beneath its thickened armor, and built from the ground up to be intimidating, the AT-AT is famous among the Empire’s enemies for a reason. It’s designed to break the spirits of anyone who dares to stand in the Empire’s way.
The AT-AT assault on the Rebel base resembles the Empire’s fighting style closely. With the power of massive tools of destruction at your disposal, march forward at the enemy. Display no fear, and show no mercy; all who oppose the Empire will be annihilated.
This, in essence, is the core of the Imperials. They aim to utilize their technological superiority to dominate and to control. To exert their will over the galaxy and force them to bow to their masters — and to show those who won’t what happens when they don’t.
The Rebellion: Don’t Tell Me the Odds
The Rebels, facing overwhelming odds, dig into the snow and lay into the AT-ATs with everything they have. Blaster turrets, rifles, rockets, ion weapons — you name it, and they used it.
The thing is, though, they knew going in from the start that this wasn’t a battle they could win. Even with creative strategies like wrapping the legs of the walkers with tow cables giving them a way to fight back, the Imperial forces are simply too plentiful and powerful.
With massively poor odds like this, they didn’t have a chance. But they knew they could at least slow the Empire down. They knew that they could buy a significant amount of time for the majority of the Rebel forces to get off-world by delaying the Empire’s destruction of their base’s shield generator.
By holding off the Imperials and forcing them to first destroy their entrenched positions, these Rebel soldiers ensured the survival of not only their faction, but their ideology. The hope that the Rebellion brought to the oppressed citizens of the Empire would have been snuffed out if the transport ships weren’t able to be fueled, loaded up, boarded and launched.
These men and women gave themselves to a cause. They sacrificed themselves willingly, knowing that by delaying their enemy, they allowed the chance of a brighter future to survive past the conflict on Hoth. And that is ultimately the key difference between these two groups. Where the Empire fights to instill fear and maintain control, the Rebellion fights to defend the value of freedom and for a chance to liberate the galaxy.
I love the Battle of Hoth because, in my opinion, it does a perfect job of characterizing the two central groups present in the original Star Wars trilogy. It displays the bravery, creativity, and integrity of the Rebellion, while simultaneously showing us just how ruthless, cold-blooded, and overwhelmingly powerful the Empire is.
It’s a conflict that represents the wider Galactic Civil War as a whole; it pits freedom against control, liberator against oppressor, David against Goliath.
It pits hope against fear.
I hope you guys enjoyed this short little article I decided to save for the end of 2017. I’m very happy with how the first year of this blog has gone; as of this post, I wrote 25 articles in 2017 for the blog. Considering I’ve been balancing college and my job over at Windows Central as well, I’m very proud of the work I’ve accomplished so far. I truly do hope that you enjoy reading my content.
Not much else to say today besides that! I hope you all had a great holiday and I wish you all a Happy New Year. Make sure to keep an eye out for my first 2018 piece in early January!