The exact way to pronounce the name of the four-legged Imperial Walkers from the Star Wars films has long been the subject of fan debate. However, we're pretty sure the way one news reporter did it is wrong. An Ohio man recently built a massive AT-AT as part of a Halloween decorations display, and when one regional news broadcast covered the creation, the reporter found an all-new way to pronounce AT-AT. Check it out.
The Imperial Walkers are never referred to by name when they first appear in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, and as such, there's never been an official pronunciation. Many choose to simply use the word "at" twice, since the letters a and t do make an English word. Some, however, argue that the letters should each be pronounced separately, as in A-T-A-T. A reporter with CBS Philly, however, doesn't seem to be familiar with these two views, and thus stumbled on a third. She pronounces the letters separately, but uses a short a sound, so it comes out "ah-tee, ah-tee."
It's clear from the way she says it that she's not quite sure what she's saying. She's almost certainly reading off a teleprompter, and it isn't personally familiar enough with the Star Wars vehicle to know what to call it. There's an implied question mark at the end of her sentence since she's not quite sure how to say it. She even remarks that she should know how to say it, but the fact is, nobody really knows.
While the exact name of the AT-AT is one of the more harmless fan debates of all-time, it's certainly the sort of thing that will generate internet comments from people who, for whatever reason, have a passionate view on the topic. For what it's worth, both sides have reasonable arguments. For one thing, the two-legged version of the Imperial Walker is called an AT-ST, and you certainly wouldn't pronounce that name as if those were words, so it would make sense that the four-legged version would get the same treatment. Having said that, Without an official canon decision, we have to base the answer on whatever other sources are out there, like, say, for instance, a toy commercial for the officially licensed products, which clearly says it's "at-at."
We've seen new, First Order versions of the AT-AT in the trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi. While they'll almost certainly have slightly different names, if we actually hear what they are on screen, perhaps the information will lead us to a definitive answer to this decades-long question.
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