Wired Runs a Hilarious But Brilliant Breakdown of the Battle of Hoth

February 12, 2013
Source: Wired

Battle of Hoth

Is The Empire Strikes Back one of your favorite movies? Think it's a flawless sci-fi sequel? Think again. At least this may make you think twice about the military strategies and story choices at the beginning of the film. Wired magazine has posted a fun interactive story online called Inside the Battle of Hoth, written by Spencer Ackerman. It turns out to be a scathing breakdown of the entire opening Battle of Hoth, the ice planet, where the Empire sends a fleet of Star Destroyers and AT-AT walkers to try and destroy the Rebels hiding out there and capture Luke while they still can. But it's a massive failure, and Spencer explains why.

It's a very interesting and specific, nit-picking criticism of the opening Battle of Hoth, but it's still amusing to read. Best of all because it uses couple of sleek interactive graphics that explain the very straight-forward battle plans Darth Vader implements. For example: "When Vader enters the Hoth System with the Imperial Fleet, he's holding a winning hand. What follows next is a reminder of two military truths that apply in our own time and in our own galaxy: Don't place unaccountable religious fanatics in wartime command, and never underestimate a hegemonic power's ability to miscalculate against an insurgency." Click to read more:

Battle of Hoth Wired

Battle of Hoth Wired

With new Star Wars movies in the works, it's exciting to get the discussion going on Star Wars again, in so many different ways. This is one example of modern geeky journalism and Star Wars mixing in a brilliant way. I love the graphics and the writing and as much as I hate to say that it's an accurate breakdown, it totally is, and it pains me to see him really show how mindless entertainment can be. I still love The Empire Strikes Back, even if this opening was a massive strategic, military failure. Maybe Vader was never a good strategist, just good at choking people and using the Force in evil ways. At least this battle gave us AT-ATs.

After all this over-analysis of a science fiction battle, what's the point? Ackerman's conclusion: "At the very most, the Empire's assault on Hoth killed a couple of low-ranking Rebels and destroyed a few transit ships — which we don't even see on screen. Instead of crushing the Rebels, it scattered them, leaving them to survive for the additional successes they'll achieve… It's a classic fiasco of overconfidence and theology masquerading as military judgment — and the exact opposite of the Empire striking back." If he can get this much out of just this battle, I want to see him take on the entire saga. Read the full Hoth piece here.

Find more posts: Cool Stuff, Feat, Sci-Fi, Star Wars



Well, at least now that's consistent with the Vader we saw in the prequels. Would anyone believe that emo-ridden Skywalker kid would grow up to be a brilliant strategist?

Baron the Curse on Feb 12, 2013


That guy has way too much time on his hands and I think his assessment of Battle of Hoth is ridiculous...He might as well say why use a regular bomb when you can use a nuclear bomb to blow up a house.

BinaryChaos on Feb 12, 2013


Feb 12th Wired ran a lot of Star Wars related articles. You might want to go read about how (very)old Han Solo might be: and the full Hoth article. Good stuff 🙂

David Banner on Feb 12, 2013



zey on Feb 13, 2013


Don't you mean zits? Or whatever the hell was one commenter going on about in a previous news post about star wars.

ayds on Feb 13, 2013

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