A huge Imperial Star Destroyer rest against a sea of stars, far above the white surface of the planet Hoth.
IMPERIAL STAR DESTROYER - BRIDGE: An Imperial controller approaches his commander.
CONTROLLER: Sir, Rebel ships are coming into our sector.
CAPTAIN: Good. Our first catch of the day.
COMMAND CENTER WOMAN
CONTROLLER: Stand by, ion control... Fire!
ICE CAVE - ION CANNON: The giant ball-shaped ion cannon rotates into position and blasts two red energy beams skyward.
REBEL TRANSPORT: The Rebel transport and its escort race away from the white planet, closely followed by the two red energy beams.
As the Rebel transport races toward the waiting Imperial Star Destroyer, it is overtaken by the two scarlet energy bolts.
The Imperial Star Destroyer is hit in the conning tower by the powerful bolts, which set up fiery explosions on its metal hull.
The big Star Destroyer veers, then spins wildly out of control as the Imperial ship careers into deep space, the Rebel transport races away to safety.
REBEL BASE - MAIN HANGAR DECK: Pilots, gunners, and troopers hurry to their stations and their vehicles.
ANNOUNCER (over loudspeaker): The first transport is away. . . . The first transport is away.
Everyone cheers at the announcement, which echoes through the hangar.
Luke turns and walks on, heading toward his snowspeeder. His gunner, Dack, a fresh-faced, eager kid, is glad to see him.
DACK: Feeling all right, sir?
LUKE: Just like new, Dack. How about you?
DACK: Right now I feel like I could take on the whole Empire myself.
LUKE: I know what you mean.
ICE PLAIN: A thin horizon line cuts across the bleak landscape. Small dot-size objects begin to appear on the horizon, moving in the direction of the Rebel base.
SNOW TRENCH: A Rebel officer lifts a pair of electrobinoculars to his eyes. Through the lens he sees a very close view of a giant Imperial snow walker. He adjusts the view which then zooms back to reveal three more of the ominous battle machines.
The officer lowers his binoculars as the regular rhythmic pounding begins to make the ground vibrate. The officer speaks into his comlink.
TRENCH OFFICER: Echo Station Three-T-Eight.
REBEL BASE - CORRIDOR: Ice and snow begin falling from the walls of the corridor, shaken by the pounding Imperial snow walker as they draw ever nearer.
TRENCH OFFICER (over comlink): We have spotted Imperial walkers!
CONTROLLER: Imperial walkers on the north ridge.
Pilots and gunners race to their waiting snowspeeders.
The Rebel troops aim their weapons at the horizon. They are nervous and their grip on their weapons tightens from the cold and from fear.
LUKE'S SNOWSPEEDER, ROGUE LEADER
LUKE (into comlink): Echo station Five-Seven. We're on our way.
The fleet of snowspeeders races above the ice field at full throttle. They accelerate away from the base and head toward the distant walkers.
LUKE (into comlink): All right, boys, keep tight now.
DACK: Luke, I have no approach vector. I'm not set.
LUKE: Steady, Dack. Attack pattern delta. Go now!
BATTLEFIELD: The cannons mounted on the walker head fire at the speeders. Other walkers loom in the background. Two speeders race away past two of the enormous walkers and bank to the right.
LUKE: All right, I'm coming in.
He turns his speeder and heads directly at one of the walkers, flying toward its towering legs. The horizon twists as the speeder banks between the legs.
LUKE (into comlink): Hobbie, you still with me?
BATTLEFIELD: Two speeders race directly at the head of a walker, then split and fly past it. Three other walkers march onward, firing all cannons.
Rebel troops fire on the approaching walkers, as the snow and ice explode all around them. A speeder banks through and away from the legs of a walker. Two other speeders pass the first speeder from the opposite direction.
Other Rebel craft race just above the icy plain. A giant walker head swivels and fires, striking a snowspeeder and sending it crashing in a ball of flames.
IMPERIAL SNOW WALKER: General Veers and two walker pilots keep a careful eye on the racing Rebel snowspeeders as they maneuver their lumbering war machine forward.
Luke's speeder banks in from the side of Veers's walker and heads straight for its viewport, blasting away. An explosion hits the walker window, but dissipates, doing no harm.