|The Battle of Hoth|
20th Century Fox Animation
October 1, 1997
- "I just found out that the Empire is about to ruin our day."
- ―Dash Rendar
The short premiered on February 3, 1998, included in the DVD and VHS release of Shadows of the Empire. It was nominated for a 1998 Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film.
Dash Rendar, captain of the Outrider and mercenary-for-hire, has arrived with a supply shipment of assault blasters for Echo Base. After landing he meets up with his long time friend Han Solo. The two could not have met at a more opportune time. The Empire is on its way and the Rebels could use another good pilot. Dash has never been one to say no to a good dogfight. Han talks to Luke Skywalker and gets Dash a spot in Rogue Squadron. After Solo’s recommendation, Dash instructs Leebo, his copilot droid, to load their cargo into the evacuating transports and to retrieve their payment as he joins Rogue Squadron for the upcoming battle.
In the ensuing battle, Dash flies against the approaching walkers, AT-ST and Viper probe droids, succeeding in destroying some of the AT-AT walkers before the Imperials destroy the Base's deflector shield generator and the Rebels are forced to withdraw. While Rogue Squadron has been able to give most of the Rebels adequate time to escape, they have not been entirely successful. The main generator has been destroyed and Imperial troops have entered the base. Han, Leia and Luke have escaped, but Dash is left behind. With the generator down, the shield to Bay 3 (where the Outrider is docked) is closed. Leebo warns Rendar that the hangar doors of Bay 3 could not be opened to allow the Outrider to leave until power was restored. Fighting his way through the Imperial forces, he used the station's supply of captive wampas as an advantage, setting them free to help his slaughter of the Imperial infantry. Then, Dash proceeds to the base's lower level and activates the emergency generators, restoring power to the hangar door. After restoring the power allowing the rest of the Rebels to escape, his troubles got worse; a lone AT-ST walker managed to slip behind the base's defenses and penetrated the base. Dash, nevertheless, managed to destroy it with a rocket launcher, and he escaped in the Outrider.
Dash has escaped Hoth in one piece, but he's not quite in the clear. An Imperial Star Destroyer has been spotted just off Hoth. As if things weren't bad enough, the Outrider is approaching an asteroid field. With his co-pilot droid Leebo at the helm, Dash mans the gun turrets to fend off incoming TIE Fighters and Bombers. Only when the TIEs are destroyed can escape the Empire in the clearings, the Outrider jumps to lightspeed safety and Dash rejoins the Rebels.
Main characters: Edit
- Dash Rendar (John Cygan)
- LE-BO2D9 ‘Leebo’ (Tom Kane)
Recurring characters: Edit
- Luke Skywalker (Bob Bergen)
- Han Solo (Lex Lang)
- Princess Leia (Joyce Kurtz)
- Darth Vader (Scott Lawrence)
- Stormtroopers (Timothy Omundson)
- Rebel soldiers (Robin Atkin Downes)
During the spring of 1997, FOX's story department began turning their thoughts to their short film. The storyline for The Battle of Hoth originated from a conversation between John Lasseter, Steven Spielberg, David Geffen and George Lucas, the studio's head story team; other films such as Antz, The Prince of Egypt and Chicken Run were also conceived at this lunch. A large portion of The Battle of Hoth was three dimensional and computer animated. Supervising director David Silverman was aiming for something better than the computer animation used in the music video for "Money for Nothing" by Dire Straits. The animation was provided by Pacific Data Images (PDI) and overseen by Tim Johnson. The animators at PDI worked closely with the normal animators on Star Wars and worked hard not to "reinvent the characters".
The Battle of Hoth was released on February 3, 1998, attached as bonus feature on the Shadows of the Empire DVD and VHS release. The short was also released on September 1, 2011, on the Shadows of the Empire Blu-ray.