Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

In the Midwest or on Hoth, is the AT-AT or tauntaun the better winter ride?

Illustration by Scott Park

Star Wars creatures, critters, and robots get lots of appreciation, but what about the imaginative carriages that make all the heroes’ galaxy jetting possible? With Star Wars Wars, The A.V. Club showcases some of the best vehicles in the galaxy far, far away by bringing them down Earth—our Earth, specifically the suburbs, where we imagine what Star Wars conveyances make the best modes of transport for gas-guzzling mall treks and country-club jaunts. Vote for your favorite in our poll, and Friday will see the four winners duke it out for the title of best Star Wars suburban ride. Yesterday Luke’s landspeeder faced off against Anakin’s podracer for best ride of the suburban teen; today, we ponder how getting around on Hoth compares to our own frozen hellscapes.

Best transportation for your Star Wars suburban winter

A sprawling tundra buried under heaps of snow. Freezing temperatures unsuitable for human life. Tricky transportation. As much of the northern U.S. readies itself for winter—or is already digging itself out, as our northern-most neighbors are—ice-planet Hoth looks more and more like home. The fictional planet that opens The Empire Strikes Back provides ideal cover for the Rebels until a probe droid finds them out, leading the Galactic Empire straight to the Rebel base. Luke sees the droid from atop his trusty tauntaun, a Hoth native well equipped for hot-footing around the cold planet. The resultant Battle Of Hoth sees AT-AT Walkers, tanks on stilts used by the Galactic Empire, also with firm footing on the inhospitable planet. Back on Earth, we’ve come up with all sorts of ways to remain mobile even when Hoth-like conditions descend. What would you rather have to get you around your frozen suburbs—the nimble tauntaun, or the enormous AT-AT? Read on and cast your vote in the poll below.



Wanting a tauntaun is a natural part of your 20s. They look cool, they give you a reason to buy all the specialized riding gear, and owning one burnishes your hippie bona fides by choosing the eco-friendly counterpoint to the Empire’s nuclear-powered war machines. But no matter how swaddled up you are, you always get wind burn when riding one around, and their smell easily saturates your drafty studio apartment. Eventually you grow up, and you get an AT-AT. Winter in the Midwest can last upwards to six months, so you might as well do your best to make it comfortable. The AT-AT is durable, holds the whole family and the cross-country ski gear, and won’t ever be snowed in the driveway the morning after the plows clear the streets from the most recent storm. And no more anxiety about clipping a rear-view mirror or scraping a bumper when you skid into an uncontrolled slide. Instead, revel in the catharsis as you crush everything flat underfoot: snow banks, cars, seasonal gifts, and cider kiosks. The AT-AT allows you to finally prove your dominance over winter. [Nick Wanserski]



Yes, I know the tauntaun is a mount and not a vehicle, but it’s still a much better way for your family to get around than an AT-AT walker. Winter is a time to bundle up for some outdoor fun, not to sit in an armored car on disturbingly unstable legs where the kids will probably spend the entire ride on their phones instead of taking in the scenery. Considering even the most frigid Midwestern winters are no match for the temperatures of Hoth, you won’t have to worry about your tauntaun’s tolerance, plus your children will get a nice lesson in caring for animals while you all enjoy a day getting back to nature. [Samantha Nelson]


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