Mark Hamill Attempts to Settle Raging ‘Star Wars’ Debate About AT-AT Imperial Walkers

Aside from George Lucas, there might not be anyone more closely associated with the Star Wars movies than Mark Hamill. As Luke Skywalker, he piloted some of the best vehicles in the Star Wars universe. So who better to settle a raging Star Wars debate and let the world know how to pronounce the name for Imperial AT-AT Walkers correctly?

Mark Hamill attends the European premiere of 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' in London in 2015. Hamill settled a Star Wars debate over how to pronounce the name for the AT-AT Imperial Walkers -- sort of,
Mark Hamill | Anthony Harvey/Getty Images

The Imperial AT-AT Walkers first showed up in ‘The Empire Strikes Back’

The Imperial AT-AT Walkers are some of the largest land vehicles we see in the Star Wars universe, but in real life, they were small enough to carry around in one hand.

We first see the Empire deploy Walkers during the Battle of Hoth. Eagle-eyed fans probably noticed an AT-ST Walker in the background, but the Rebellion focused on taking out the AT-ATs during the attack. As Luke, Hamill single-handedly took down an AT-AT. The next time we see Imperial Walkers comes in Return the Jedi, when an AT-AT patrols a landing platform and several AT-STs join the Battle of Endor.

We know elephants inspired the Imperial Walker movements, but how is AT-AT pronounced? Hamill settles the raging Star Wars debate — sort of.

Is it AT-AT or AT-AT? Mark Hamill settles the debate about ‘Star Wars’ Imperial Walkers pronunciation — sort of

In addition to The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, fans see a variation of AT-AT Walkers at the Battle of Scarif in Rogue One. The vehicles might be some of the most impressive elements of the Star Wars galaxy. They help make the worlds feel more lived-in and vibrant. 

The filmmakers and creators put tons of thought into Star Wars vehicles — the U-Wing ship in Rogue One had more than 700 redesigns — but apparently, no one ever figured out how AT-AT is pronounced. When the official Star Wars Twitter account polled fans, Mark Hamill provided his two cents:

In a later tweet, However, Hamill later revealed Lucas gave almost no thought to how to properly pronounce most things in the Star Wars galaxy. 

“FYI: When we would ask George: “Is it Chew-bah-ka or Chew-back-a?” / “Is it Lay-a or Lee-a?” / “Is it Hahn or Han (as in hand)?”- he would just shrug & didn’t really care. He told us it would be pronounced in various ways in different parts of the galaxy. #TrueStory,” Hamill wrote.

So is it at-at, or A-T-A-T? Hamill goes with the former when he doesn’t call them Walkers, but Lucas might not care either way.

Fans react to the Imperial Walkers pronunciation debate

Hamill pronounces it at-at. Some fans prefer A-T-A-T. Based on Lucas not caring about character names, he probably doesn’t have an opinion either way. Fans touched every point of the spectrum when reacting to the pronunciation debate.

“I’m gonna say it’s A-T-A-T and not @-@. Always said it like that and will continue to do so,” wrote one person in response to Hamill’s tweet about Lucas’ shoulder shrug. 

Another replied, “So… questions Star Wars fans have been debating for nearly 50 years. The answer: “Doesn’t really matter…’”

“So what you’re saying is the creator didn’t [nit]-pick details that don’t really matter like the fans do?” another person wrote.

Finally, one person responded to Hamill’s original tweet with, “My childhood officially ended today, the day Mark Hamill says a fictional dog-shaped ships name differently from me,” to which Hamill replied with a joy face emoji.

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