After growing up in a desert, Luke finds himself on Hoth, the most frigid planet in the galaxy, at the start of “The Empire Strikes Back.” The Rebel Alliance secretly relocates its headquarters to an ice cavern on Hoth, only to find the planet’s harsh conditions and native predators more formidable than anticipated. From subzero temperature drops after dark to the hulking wampas, Hoth is among the deadliest worlds in the original trilogy. However, the rebels’ discomfort is quickly tabled when the Empire locates the hidden base, leading to an all-out assault.
For all the spectacle in “The Empire Strikes Back,” the most iconic set piece is the rebels’ ill-fated defense against the Imperial walkers on Hoth. Filmed largely in Norway, the sequence truly captures how unstoppable the Empire is, framed against a snowy backdrop, making the action easy to follow. Even before the Battle of Hoth, the planet’s frozen expanse is well-explored in the movie’s opening, from Luke escaping a wampa’s lair to Han Solo (Harrison Ford) intercepting an Imperial probe. “Star Wars” introduces other icy planets in live-action later in the franchise, but all fail to meet the chilly bar set by Hoth.