501st Legion

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The 501st Legion, also known as the 501st Battalion, was an elite unit of clone troopers in the Grand Army of the Republic during the Clone Wars.[3] They were led by Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker,[4] who fell to the dark side of the Force and became the Sith Lord Darth Vader.[5]

One key member of this unit was the ARC trooper "Fives", who discovered a secret inhibitor chip installed into all clone troopers, which would make them carry out Order 66 without hesitation. He was killed to prevent him from revealing the truth regarding the Sith conspiracy to the Jedi or his fellow brothers. However, before his death, he managed to warn Captain Rex about the inhibitor chips hidden within the clone minds. Captain Rex was the commanding clone officer of the 501st Legion, and turned down his post after the death of Fives. After this, Sergeant Appo was promoted to Marshall Commander and took Rex's place as the clone commanding officer of the Legion. Rex, loyal to his Jedi allies, disobeyed Order 66 as he removed his chip and deserted from the Clone Army along with two other clone troopers, the Clone Commando Gregor and Marshall Commander Wolffe.

When the Order was enacted, it was the 501st that accompanied Skywalker - now known as Darth Vader - to the Jedi Temple on Coruscant to purge it. This became the first of many successful assignments for the newly formed Galactic Empire.

During the reign of the Empire, the 501st Legion was nicknamed "Vader's Fist", and became Vader's personal battalion; among their known engagements were the Battle of Hoth.[6][7] By this time, the Empire had abandoned the use of clones in favor of recruited soldiers.[2]

Behind the scenesEdit

"501st Legion" is also the name of a fan costuming organization formed in 1997 by Albin Johnson and Tom Crews. The group originally intended to re-create accurate stormtrooper costumes, but has expanded to include Sith Lords, bounty hunters and other villains from the film series, encompassing EU source material as well as canonical ones. The group goes under the nickname, "Vader's Fist", and was the inspiration for George Lucas to add the organization into official Star Wars canon. The group actively does charity and volunteer work for a number of organizations, and currently consists of over 8000 members worldwide.

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