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  1. #1

    How long were the Rebels on Hoth?

    It's been 3 to 4 years since the battle of Yavin by the time ESB starts. The events of this part of the film seem to take less than 4 days total - within that time, a probe droid lands on Hoth, discovers the shield generator, and the Imperial fleet assaults the Rebel's Echo Base while the Rebels evacuate.

    So here they are, a sizeable Rebel force with a big hangar, at least a dozen T-47 Airspeeders to defend it, medical facilities, an ion cannon, local tauntaun mounts, a command center, and a shield generator - but how long have they been there? If they've been there a long time, how come the snowspeeders aren't yet adapted to the cold? If they haven't been there a long time, how come they have this big ice base complete with a massive Ion cannon on top?

    It seems like they haven't been there that long, yet the empire is already breathing down their necks. Did Vader simply get incredibly lucky and catch the Rebels just as they were settling in to their new base?
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  2. #2
    I always thought that the Hoth base had been there for quite awhile and that the Rebels had chosen to use the remote base for their large fleet as they move around the galaxy. So, a good portion of the equipment wasn't quite cold proof and their methods weren't up to speed, i.e. having to rely on Taun Taun's for scouting missions.

    The Rebels could have had these outposts scattered throughout the galaxy and they just moved from one to the other to stay one step ahead of the Empire. Perhaps the Empire got wind of their chain of outposts and sent out probe droids to each hoping to catch a glimps of the Rebels.
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  3. #3
    I thought the battle of Hoth was only a few months after the battle of Yavin.

    From the back of TESB novel:

    Though they had won a significant battle, the war between the Rebels and the Empire had really just begun. Now, several months later, the Rebels have established an outpost on the frozen wasteland of Hoth. But even on that icy, backwater planet, they could not escape the evil Darth Vader's notice for long.

    I'm not sure how reliable the backs of the novels are, though.
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  4. #4
    scruffziller's Avatar
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    The frozen tundra of Scandinavia
    The novels info are alot of times skewed.
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  5. #5
    The Rebels make a comment about just equipping the speeders for cold weather, and they're unfamiliar with Wampas, so I'm assuming not too very long. Ozzel (?) mistook their base for a pirate outpost; is it possible they adapted an existing structure to their needs?
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  6. #6
    YES! A Hoth thread!

    I have always been under the impression that the rebels had a series of bases scattered about the universe. Like Yavin, Hoth was always there - just not fully equiped. I would imagine there were other bases located either in remote locations, or in systems sympathetic to the rebelion.

    I would guess a small crew of rebels staffed this location for some time. I mean how easy could it have been to find a herd of Tauntauns if they had just gotten there? Furthermore, the kind of infrastructure present -as mentioned above with the ion cannon, shield generator, even the interworkings of the base itself- could not have just been instantly created.

    As I see it, this is the way any rebelion functions. You have your safe spots among sympathizers or out of view of the opressor. If found, you scatter, and reassemble at another of your predetermined sites.

    There was a pre planned rendez-vous as they abandoned Hoth - only our heroes went in other directions...

  7. #7
    Registered Kidhuman's Avatar
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    Nov 2002
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    I always thought they had been there a few months. They didn't have much equipment ready for the cold. All their scouts were done by Taun-Taun. Wampas were unknown to them. The base was probably there but unutilized until they took it over. It coul dhave been left there by a smuggler or something as well.
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  8. #8
    Registered Fulit's Avatar
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    Re: How long were the Rebels on Hoth?

    Originally posted by JediTricks

    How long were the Rebels on Hoth?
    about 6 feet, most of 'em.

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  9. #9
    EP, I think the Rebels were broken up into cells and moved around a lot, setting up temporary bases as they went. If they have too many secret bases they're not using, that could end up leading the empire to them as you said. I'm not saying it's impossible they had a "cold storage" (no pun intended) backup base, but if they were going to be moving around like that, why bother even having a ground-based base of this size instead of opting for smaller, more expendable exchange stations and a mobile starship base?

    As for tracking the Rebs by their chain of bases, when Vader sends off probe droids to the far reaches of the galaxy, I wouldn't think that would be too focused a search.

    Poggle, like scruff said, the novels are definitely not canon and are more and more often being challenged by the prequels and other EU. The timelines I've seen for the SW saga show ESB to be 3 years after ANH and ROTJ to be 6 months after ESB.

    Chux, that's possible, but I wouldn't think a pirate outpost would have the power supply to fill the needs of the Rebels' equipment, ships, and especially that massive ion cannon. I think the EU says that the Hoth system is used by pirates a lot, and they are who put the slug in the asteroid, but I don't know if any EU says that Echo Base was someone else's before the Rebs'. I think some EU says that Rieekan and Luke and Leia build the base from scratch, but that's just EU and doesn't make entire sense.

    Aceguide, that makes sense, but like I said above, why bother even having a base that large if you plan on moving around a lot when you could have small ground stations supporting a mobile starship-base? I suppose the "Dantooine" line in ANH supports this a little though, but Echo Base seems like a very expensive base to build just for stand-by.
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    Kylo Ren - came from Space Brooklyn, although he moved to Space Williamsburg before it was trendy.

    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  10. #10
    Banned stillakid's Avatar
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    Aug 2001
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    This is a good question!

    I never put a whole lot of thought into the core of your question, rather I always wondered what would possess somebody to choose a frickin' ice planet in the first place?

    I suppose the first "obvious" answer would be that it would be an "unlikely" place for any sane person to go.

    However, it wouldn't be that difficult to "scan" the planet for signs of extraneous heat and other oddities that don't belong. While it was extremely convenient that this probe droid just happened to land on the exact planet...on the exact side of the planet...within eyeshot of a random patrol, eventually a random Imperial search would have easily spotted the signs anyway.

    Perhaps it's easier to look at it in terms of the alternative, such as a planet like Dagobah. Lot's of pre-existing "life forms" to hide amongst, so any "life scans" by the Empire would turn up nothing out of the ordinary, unlike a similar scan on Hoth would. Plus, it would just be a gazillion times easier for the Rebels to exist and do their work. Living in a freezer presents a multitude of challenges that get in the way of accomplishing the primary goal. Mere survival in the elements would take precedence on Hoth.

    As a matter of Production Design, it's an awesome choice, particularly after being introduced to a desert planet, a steel orb, and a jungle world. The obvious next choice is snow. From a practical "in movie" point of view, it was kinda dumb.


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