These are certainly some interesting political times here in the US of A at the moment. We’re even talking veering into science-fiction. For those of us old enough to remember, recent talk of a “Space Force” reminds us of Reagan’s “Star Wars” program back in the eighties. Whether such programs will ever become realty remains to be seen. That aside, talk of Russian influence and collusion raises a much bigger issue for me. I mean, should we be concerned that Russia is developing its own version of an AT-ST?
Featured in The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, Rogue One, and most recently Solo, the AT-ST was the Empire’s two-legged, armored walker. While AT-ATs got a major upgrade for The Last Jedi, The AT-ST is the baby brother to the AT-AT version that laid waste to Echo Base on Hoth. Though smaller, the Imperial Scout Walker was still formidable in its own right. Now, it appears that Kalishnikov is delivering a version of the vehicle to Mother Russia.
Did Russia Just Develop an AT-ST?
The weapons manufacturer, according to Australian news outlet (with the very original title) News, recently debuted its mechanized walker at the Army-2018 International Forum in Moscow. The walker, like its Star Wars AT-ST counterpart, is described as a “controlled bipedal walker” designed for “engineering and combat solutions.” Though this is just a prototype, Kalishnikov already has plans for a more advanced walker that it will display next year.
Star Wars versus Avatar… versus Russia.
Right now the Russian walker bears little physical resemblance to the AT-ST other than its general, bipedal design. In fact, it reminds me a little more of the AMP (Amplified Military Platform) from Avatar.
(Hmm. Conveniently, Disney now owns both Star Wars and Avatar.) The Russian version is not weaponized (yet) so right now it appears mostly harmless. But if this leads to real-world application of a military walker? Talk about life imitating art.
Of course, this real-world walker will still face the same hurdles and deficiencies as its counterpart from a galaxy far, far away. The biggest issue is, of course, balance. I mean, Ewoks could take an AT-ST out, so there’s that. Still, if Russia is developing real-life versions of Imperial walkers, we might have bigger issues than tampered elections.
SOURCE: News (Seriously, guys. You couldn’t come up with a better name than “News”?)