Few life-forms can survive on the ice planet Hoth. Between its subzero surface temperatures, shearing winds and frequent whiteouts, the environment should be considered extremely hostile even to properly outfitted individuals; mechanical equipment and communications technology are prone to freeze and malfunction as well, making any minor setback potentially lethal.
During the war between Republic and Empire, the Hoth system was the site of a major fleet battle. This resulted in a large number of starships falling into Hoth's gravity well and crashing on the planet surface. These derelict ships have become the base of operations for a large group of pirates, as well as a center of dispute between Republic and Imperial forces.