If you are a Star Wars fan, then you remember the most imposing vehicle of the Empire: The AT-AT. Breaking the rebels during the Battle of Hoth, it is the Empire’s most feared weapon. However, as the Empire has always been in a galaxy far far away, so has the AT-AT … until now.
Mike Koehler started with only a dream, which was to build a full size, working, walking, AT-AT, for the glory of America. In only a short period of time, the idea has spread like wildfire across the internet, gaining coverage from CNET and even TIME Magazine.
While acknowledging the scope of the technical challenges, Koehler is confident that the AT-AT can be built. His posted manifesto states, “To build a fully functional, full-scale model of an AT-AT Imperial Walker from The Empire Strikes Back. Impossible? Perhaps. Inspiring? Of course.” He isn’t doing it alone, though. In fact he has an open invitation right now, for anyone willing to help, with engineering, legal expertise, promotion, etc.
If you aren’t an engineer or lawyer, but still want to be involved, he is also taking monetary donations. Currently the donations are through PayPal, but the popular fund-raising site Kickstarter has agreed to launch a page for the project soon.
The AT-AT will be assembled near Koehler’s home in Oklahoma. However, it will be built in pieces in multiple locations across the US, so if you are interested in helping build the actual physical pieces, there might be a build site close to you.
With all the help coming in, and the word spreading fast, we can only hope that it will be enough to make this dream a reality. I know I’ll be watching it closely. I requested an interview with Koehler to get more details on the project.