In the fictional universe of Star Wars, Hoth is the sixth planet of a remote system of the same name. It is a terrestrial planet blanketed by snow and ice. Many meteorites from a nearby asteroid belt pelt the planet's surface, making temporary craters in the planet's ever-moving snow drifts. Hoth has six moons, all uninhabited. Its native creatures include the wampa and the tauntaun.
The Rebel Alliance moved to Hoth after their victory in the Battle of Yavin. However, an Imperial probe droid discovered their base, then self-destructed upon being spotted (and shot at) by Han Solo and Chewbacca. The Rebels immediately began preparations to leave, but Darth Vader's Death Squadron, the 501st legion of the Imperial Army, Blizzard Force, arrived in time to intercept them, forcing the Rebels into a skirmish to cover their escape. Although the Empire won the Battle of Hoth by destroying the Rebel base and capturing many Rebel personnel and equipment, the Rebels didn't attempt a full-scale defense, but rather worked to stall the Empire's forces long enough to stage an effective evacuation, and to allow the deletion of compromising information about the whereabouts of the Rebel Fleet. Since the Rebels did evacuate vital leadership, personnel, and equipment, the Empire failed to do more than stall the Rebels' plans, and the Rebel Fleet remained elusive.
The action on Hoth features prominently in the opening of Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back and is one of the Star Wars series' most memorable sequences.
Hoth is an example of the science fiction stereotype of a planet that has only one climatic zone. However, some Expanded Universe sources show that under-ice caves containing large lichen fields exist on the planet, on which Tauntauns feed.
Echo Base is the Rebel Alliance base established after the Alliance evacuation of Yavin IV. The base, which was featured in the opening sequence of Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, is composed of a series of tunnels and caverns cut from the icy mountainside of the planet Hoth.
Echo Base was not designed with the means to repel an Imperial assault, but instead relied on its shield generator and its hidden location on a desolate planet in an unoccupied system to protect it from the Empire. Because of this most of its equipment and machinery were able to be taken apart and evacuated at a moment's notice, if the base was discovered.
When the Empire's probe droids found the base, the Rebels fought a holding action to give the transports enough time to evacuate. They used the base's planetary defense shield to prevent an Imperial orbital bombardment, and then used small airspeeders modified for the cold climate of Hoth, called Snowspeeders, and a small contingent of soldiers, to slow the advance of the Empire's AT-AT walkers. This holding action allowed the Rebels time to use Echo Base's Planet Defender Ion Cannon to open holes in the Imperial blockade, allowing many transports and their X-wing escorts to escape.
Echo Base suffered a series of attacks by the shaggy and carnivorous wampas soon after Commander Skywalker's encounter with one of the creatures. This is not shown in Empire Strikes Back, but was described in the accompanying novelization.
Echo Base is also featured in the video game Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy. In the game, the player's character, Jaden, is sent on a mission to Echo Base in order to find out information about the Cult of Ragnos. The player ends up finding the Base occupied by the Imperial Remnant.
Dash Rendar lands his snowspeeder in Echo Base soon after the Battle of Hoth to escape on his ship, the Outrider, in Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire. He fights snowtroopers, probots, an AT-ST, and wampas on the way to his ship.
In Darksaber, Luke returns to Hoth with his lover, Callista. They find that Echo Base is now occupied by wampa-pelt hunters who have found their prey too much to handle. Luke and Callista try to help them but instead see the entire group killed.
In the queue for Star Tours, Echo Base is advertised as a tourist attraction. Visitors can explore the ruins of the Rebel base. It is there that visitors can ski the "most incredible slopes in the galaxy" or "ride a tauntaun". In the attraction's successor, Star Tours: The Adventures Continue, guests can travel to Hoth during one of the randomized ride sequences.
- Tim Turi, “Top Ten Hoth battles,” GameInformer 201 (): 14.
- Kevin J. Anderson, Darksaber (1995). ISBN 0-553-57611-9
- Information on film location Hoth
- Hoth in the Official StarWars.com Encyclopedia
- Hoth on Wookieepedia: a Star Wars wiki
- A scientific investigation into the planet Hoth
- Star Wars Databank entry
- Echo Base on Wookieepedia: a Star Wars wiki