Making Star Wars has a new report discussing the First Order’s answer to the Imperial AT-AT Walker, which sounds like someone took an AT-AT and cranked every dial up to 11 and beyond. Nearly twice the size of the Imperial model, the First Order’s walker—which has the much clunkier name of “First Order Heavy Assault Walker”—is not actually the walker first spotted on Starkiller base in The Force Awakens. These walkers, aside from being humongous, will also be much more heavily armored, with the report describing them as having extremely thick legs in order to avoid the weaknesses of AT-AT’s shown in Rogue One and Empire Strikes Back.
To boot, the site also mentions that several of the Heavy Assault Walkers will take part in a “large sequence” during the film—presumably a large ground battle. Here’s what they had to say
“From the front it resembles a gorilla with its front arms firmly planted on the ground […] it has a high back that slants down towards the rear. The front legs also have a tiny cross-bar type deal that allows its front legs to kind of scoop go forward and then scoop back. In the very brief moment I saw a demonstration of the walking motion, it had a very different rhythm and pace from the classic AT-AT. If I’m not being clear, this thing is a mechanized AT-AT gorilla.”
The on-staff artist at Making Star Wars did a mock-up of what was witnessed by their editor. And the image shows a very menacing face on the front of the AT-AT Walker (though this image has since been removed). It is speculated that these AT-AT Walkers will resemble a gorilla in the way the originals sort of looked like a camel. The outline is there, but the actual details are vastly different. The initial report goes onto say that these new Walkers will be shown in a long battle sequence. This makes one wonder why and how the First Order is attacking the Resistance on the ground. It is further speculated that perhaps the AT-AT Walkers are not battling the Resistance, but instead the First Order is using them to take over cities on various planets. However this all plays out, it sounds quite epic.