Star Wars is going through a state of transition. For twenty years, an Expanded Universe of novels, comics, and games have supplemented the films and TV shows to create an incredibly deep and detailed Star Wars universe. Soon after Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm, however, they wiped the canon slate clean, saying they would no longer adhere to the stories of the Expanded Universe in order to have the greatest creative freedom with their new Star Wars films starting with The Force Awakens.
But with the new films, so comes new books, comics, and games in a new continuity to replace the old one. So, what is canon and what isn’t anymore? After twenty years, are these the same characters and planets we’ve always known and loved? Is it even the same universe? Well, in our new column Canon Catch-Up, we’re here to answer those questions and set the record straight.
Today, we’re discussing the planet Hoth.
So, what’s the deal with Hoth in the current continuity?
A barren ice world located in the Anoat sector, Hoth is a snowy wasteland with nothing to distinguish it among other planets in the Outer Rim. Although it holds very little life overall, the planet is known for Tauntauns and deadly predators known as wampas. Hoth’s only notable contribution to history is serving as host to the Rebellion‘s Echo Base, which served as its headquarters following the Rebel’s evacuation of Yavin IV.
Shortly after Echo Base became mostly operation, the Empire discovered its location with a probe droid. The Imperial Navy launched an invasion of the planet with a battalion of stormtroopers and AT-ATs, and although the Rebels managed to evacuate at the last moment they suffered a decisive defeat.
Years following the battle, the planet saw very little activity save for the occasional team of scavengers picking apart AT-ATs the what remains of Echo Base.
What about Hoth in the Expanded Universe?
Once a planet in the long forgotten Rakatan Empire, Hoth existence has been known for thousands of years before the Galactic Civil War. A major battle between the Sith Empire and the Republic was fought there, resulting in a major defeat for Republic forces. For thousands of years, however, the planet sat in space, a forgotten ball of ice.
During the Galactic Civil War following the destruction of the first Death Star, Rebel Forces were scattered and fleeing from the Empire along the outer rim. Rogue Squadron was one of many groups that had to defend convoys along the Ison Corridor.
Eventually, Hoth came to the attention of the Rebel Alliance and they established Echo Base on the remains of an abandoned smuggling operation. Within a year, construction on Echo Base was completed. It was operational for a year before the Empire discovered it and drove the Rebels from the system in what became known as the Battle of Hoth. The Empire captured or killed several unfortunate Rebels, though many escaped intact with a great deal of ships and equipment. One particular team had to abandon their ship mid evacuation and had to survive on the planet’s surface for more than a month before being rescued.
In the years that followed, the planet once again faded into obscurity.
What does the Expanded Universe tell us about Hoth in the new continuity?
In both continuities, the content creators were wise to not over mine Hoth for story. The planet was used by the Rebels for Echo Base because it was an out of the way and obscure planet. If characters kept returning there the same way they did for Tatooine, it would give the planet a sense of false significance. It would be unlikely to see the planet in the new trilogy. At most it may be mentioned in dialogue.