Hoth is the sixth planet in the remote system of the same name. It is a world of snow and ice, surrounded by numerous moons. Small meteorites that have wandered away from a nearby asteroid field constantly pelt Hoth's icy surface. This icy world has developed a number of indigenous lifeforms, including the wampa ice creature, and the tauntaun. The daytime temperatures of Hoth were bearable for properly dressed humans, but the Hoth nights are too hostile even for the native creatures.
Following their victory at the Battle of Yavin, the core group of Rebel Alliance heroes had to abandon their headquarters at the Massassi temples of Yavin 4. Pursued by the Empire, they eventually set up a new base on the ice planet. Code-named Echo Base, this new outpost was under the command of General Rieekan. The temperature extremes required a great deal of effort from Alliance technicians to keep all their vital supplies from freezing.
An Imperial probe droid -- one of thousands dispatched throughout the galaxy -- eventually discovered Hoth. The Rebels were fortunate enough to learn of the droid, and began evacuation procedures immediately. The Empire -- in the form of the Imperial Death Squadron -- arrived in the Hoth system shortly thereafter.
History records the conflict that followed as the Battle of Hoth, one the greatest setbacks suffered by the Rebel Alliance. The Rebels barely had enough time to evacuate their headquarters and scatter from the pursuing Imperial fleet.
Located in the Hoth system is a chaotic asteroid field filled with dangerous swarms of colliding rocks. Stray bodies from the field get caught in Hoth's gravity well, and enter the ice planet's atmosphere, becoming meteorites.
If the threat of being crushed by massive asteroids is not enough to deter the most foolhardy pilot, the asteroid field is also home to dangerous lifeforms. At least one unbelievably huge space slug has made a home out of one of the larger asteroids. The field is infested by mynocks, leathery-winged energy parasites that attach themselves to passing ships and then chew on the power cables.
The odds of successfully navigating an asteroid field are approximately 3,720 to 1. Han Solo, never being too concerned with the odds, recklessly plunged the Millennium Falcon into the field to escape Imperial pursuit after the Battle of Hoth.
Within three years of the Death Star's demise, the Galactic Empire again proved its evil nature with the construction of a second Death Star in a remote region of space. Fortunately for the galaxy, the Empire never completed this monstrosity. Word of its construction was spread through the Rebel ranks by Bothan spies. The Alliance was able to pinpoint the exact location of Death Star's construction, and mount a pre-emptive strike to destroy the station.
The leaked information was all a ruse. The scheming Emperor Palpatine engineered the Rebellion's discovery of the Death Star in the hopes of trapping the growing Rebel fleet. The second Death Star would not be as vulnerable as the Rebels believed.
To ensure that the Death Star would destroy the lured Alliance fleet, Palpatine entrusted the supervision of its final phase of construction to his Sith apprentice, Lord Darth Vader. Vader motivated the Death Star's commander, Moff Jerjerrod, to see that the battle station was operational when the Emperor arrived for his inspection tour.
The second Death Star was not a complete sphere. Though much of the battle station's recognizable shape was visible, there were huge sections of exposed superstructure and visible skeleton. To protect the half-completed and immobile station during its construction, the Empire projected an immense deflector shield from the nearby forest moon of Endor. The shield was strong enough to protect any breach from both capital and starfighter-clas...
With its sleek arrow-head shape, streamlined cockpit and massive twin engines, the A-wing starfighter suggests raw speed even when parked within Alliance hangar bays. Faster than even the TIE interceptor, the A-wing is well suited for lightning strikes. It sports a pair of pivoting laser cannons on each wingtip. The starfighters of Green Squadron, which flew in the Battle of Endor, were made up of A-wing starfighters.
Tauntauns are a species of snow lizard found roaming the windswept snow plains of Hoth. The Rebel Alliance domesticated the swift creature during their stay on the ice planet, and used the tauntauns for patrol duties outside Echo Base. The animals were useful as the Rebel technicians had difficulty adapting their repulsorlift speeders to the subzero temperatures.
Both Luke Skywalker and Han Solo rode tauntauns on Rebel patrol missions, planting a network of life-form sensors along Echo Base's perimeter. Though tauntauns are sure-footed and well equipped to handle Hoth's daytime temperature, the chilling extremes of a Hoth night will prove deadly.
The bone-chilling cold is not the only danger that awaits a traveler on the Hoth plains. Despite standing over two meters in height, the wampa ice creature is nonetheless a stealthy predator. Its white fur is the perfect camouflage, and the howling Hoth winds mask its approach until it is too late. With a crushing blow from its clawed hand, a wampa is strong enough to snap the neck of even a hardy tauntaun.
Wampas live in caves carved from the ice. It is here that the ice creature drags its prey. It suspends its victims from the cave ceiling until it is ready to feast.
The Rebels were plagued with wampa attacks when they erected their hidden base on Hoth. Commander Luke Skywalker was savagely attacked by a wampa while on scouting duty. Skywalker narrowly escaped becoming a meal and dying in a Hoth blizzard. Despite bacta treatment administered by the skilled medical droid 2-1B, Luke still bears scars from that encounter.
Just prior to the evacuation of the Hoth base, the Rebels had to deal with repeated wampa attacks. The first indication that was something amiss was the discovery of a dead tauntaun, its neck mysteriously broken. Attracted to the sound of astromech droids, several wampa ice creatures penetrated deeper and deeper into the Alliance caverns. The Rebels were able to capture at least one wampa in a pen before having to abandon Echo Base altogether.
Growing increasingly outdated with the advent of sleeker, more powerful starfighters, the Y-wing nonetheless has a proud track record of service in the Rebel Alliance. The sturdy fighter-bomber gets its name from its shape: a reinforced central spar connects the cockpit to a cross-spar. At each end of the cross-spar rests a powerful engine nacelle, which houses the fighter's sublight and hyperdrive engines. Just aft of the cockpit module is the astromech droid socket.
The Y-wing's primary weapons are twin forward-firing laser cannons, housed in a recessed slot in the front of the cockpit module. A secondary weapon is a turret mounted paired set of cannons. Though many Y-wings fly as single-pilot fighters, some sport a two-seat configuration with a rear-facing tailgunner operating the turret canons.
The Y-wing also carries proton torpedo launchers. During the Battles of Yavin and Endor, Y-wing squadrons were influential in helping defeat the Death Star threats. A Y-wing brandishes its squadron colors and markings on its main cockpit module and the forward tips of the engine nacelles.