A legion was a type of military unit. Typically, the term indicated a large-scale formation comparable to a division or battlegroup, consisting of several regiments and comprising about ten thousand fighting troops.
Republic and Empire
The Legion was not a standard element in the line Army forces of either the Galactic Republic or Galactic Empire, which identified comparable formations as divisions and battlegroups. It was, however, a key field formation for the white-armored clone troopers of the Grand Army of the Republic and their successors, the Stormtrooper Corps of the Galactic Empire.
A clone legion consisted of 9,216 troops, normally headed by a Jedi General and a Senior clone commander. Imperial stormtrooper legions were equal to the size of Imperial Army battlegroups, and consisted of 8,192 troops, and are likely to have been led by officers of comparable rank to the High Colonels and Major Generals of the Imperial Army.
As a unit designation, the legion goes back millennia, to the earliest ages of Galactic warfare, and it seems to have been used by adherents of both Jedi and Sith traditions. The Legions of Lettow were the Jar'Kai-using warriors of Xendor, the earliest recorded Dark Jedi, while in the New Sith Wars the Third Legion of Light was one of the major component units of the Jedi Army of Light.
In the period of the Clone Wars and Galactic Civil War, it was not simply clone troopers and stormtroopers who were organized into legions. In particular, the term seems to have been widely used in the Trade Federation: it was said that the C-9979 landing craft which bore the Trade Federation's battle droids into action could carry "legions of troops," while the Neimoidian soldiers who guarded Neimoidia and the purse worlds were known as the Neimoidian Home Defense Legions.
Further Legions were found among the forces of governments at galactic, sector and planetary levels. The term was used occasionally by Rebel Alliance units, including the feared Alderaanian Death Legion. The Pembric Security Legion provided security on Pembric II, although in practice they worked hand-in-glove with the Bombaasa Cartel to exclude other factions from a de facto condominium between crimelord Crev Bombaasa and the planetary government.
Order of battle
Different Legions varied quite drastically in size and structure: some were armies charged with guarding entire sectors, while others were little more than local gangs. The term contained connotations of size and importance, however, and in the terminology of the Republic and Empire, a legion was a large force composed of several regiments.
The best-documented legion organization is that of the Grand Army of the Republic, in which a standard legion consisted of 9,216 soldiers, as mentioned above. These were divided among four regiments, each of four battalions of 576 men.
Under the Empire it is known that the strength of a stormtrooper battalion had been raised to 820 men, suggesting some restructuring of the legion organization, although it remained a force of several regiments. Some sources suggest that a stormtrooper "division" was carried aboard each Star Destroyer, and it might be possible to equate this unit with the legion and in turn with the Imperial Star Destroyer's troop complement of 9,700 men, but it appears that there is no unequivocal support for this hypothesis. It is also possible that stormtrooper legions were closer in number to battlegroups in the Imperial Army, which had approximately 10,000 front-line troops in an overall strength of close to 15,000.
Under the Empire of the Hand, it appears that the 501st Legion had been reorganized, with the reduction of the standard company to forty men; it is unclear exactly what this indicates about the overall strength, but if the companies were all indicated by individual letters of the Aurebesh like Aurek Company, the overall strength may have been no more than 1,360 men.
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 26: Vector, Part 2 (Mentioned only)
- Knight Errant (Mentioned only)
- The Clone Wars: Decide Your Destiny: The Lost Legion
- Starfall (Mentioned only)
- Imperial Sourcebook
- Death Star Technical Companion
- Rules of Engagement: The Rebel SpecForce Handbook
- Star Wars Adventure Journal 8
- Mos Eisley Adventure Set
- Shadows of the Empire Planets Guide
- Guide to the Grand Army of the Republic
- The Force Unleashed Campaign Guide
- Star Wars: Imperial Handbook: A Commander's Guide