What is the 501st Legion?
Since 1997, the costuming organization known as the 501st Legion has spread the magic of the Star Wars genre worldwide through its authentic-looking costumes, and has become the leading force in fan-based charity events. The 501st, also known as “Vader’s Fist,” is truly dedicated to brightening the lives of those less-fortunate.
Where did the 501st name come from?
Legion Founder Albin Johnson (TK-210) chose the name in 1997 to represent our fictional unit of Imperial Stormtroopers. Author Timothy Zahn, with the approval of Lucasfilm, honored us by incorporating the name into his Star Wars novel Survivor’s Quest in 2004. Since then, the 501st name has continued to appear in official Star Wars material including books, toys and video games. See our official listing in the StarWars.com Databank. Read more about the origin of the 501st name.
What type of activities does your group do?
The Knightfall Garrison makes appearances at events ranging from media conventions to performing local community and charity work. Causes we have “trooped” for include the Monash Children’s Hospital, Ronald McDonald House and all the major Conventions to name a few. To keep up to date with what the Garrison has been up to, please check our “Completed Mission Reports” section.
What can the 501st Legion do for me?
There is nothing quite like a group of Imperial Troopers to bring attention to an event. Unlike individual entertainers, the 501st Legion functions as a group creating a true science-fiction/fantasy ambience with a wide range of professional-grade costumes and props. Our internal standards ensure a high level of professionalism in both actions and appearance to ensure your event runs smoothly. Having participated at events throughout the world for nearly a decade, the 501st name alone has been known to boost attendance and media attention.
Does the 501st charge for appearances?
While we do not charge a fee for appearances (public or private), we enthusiastically welcome donations made to your favourite charity in the name of the 501st Legion. If you do not have a charity of choice, we would happily provide you with a list of some of our favourite causes such as Make-a-Wish and the Leaukemia Foundation.
Is the 501st a part of Lucasfilm?
While recognised by the inclusion of the 501st name in official Star Wars material such as books and video games, the 501st is not affiliated with Lucasfilm nor do we rely on the company for bookings, event coordination, compensation, or costuming materials. The 501st Legion is a volunteer fan organization.
If I would like the 501st to participate in an event, whom do I contact?
If you would like our group to participate at an event, please visit the “Request an Appearance”.
Where do I get a costume from? Does it come pre-assembled? I know nothing about building a costume…
There are a wide variety of companies all over the world that can provide pre-built or kit-form screen accurate costumes that can be used to join the 501st. Our recommendation is that before buying anything to join the 501st visit our How Do I Join page and get connected with members of the Knightfall Garrison. We are always welcoming new members and love to help people on their journey to joining the 501st. Our Garrison also has a mentor team that will connect with you and support you through your building and purchasing process. We also run regular “Armour Parties” where many members are there to help with issues from your build, get you started or give you a general “pep” talk.
Does it cost anything to join the 501st or are there any Annual Fees?
The 501st is a volunteer and not-for-profit organisation and as such there no joining nor Annual Fees. The only cost involved is your time to volunteer for any events, fundraising or appearances that we are invited to make.
Do I need a Working With Children’s Check or Police Check?
You do not need a Working With Children’s Check to join the 501st nor do you require a Police Check. However please note that to attend some events each individual trooper may be required to have a valid Working With Children’s Check. It is recommended that our volunteers obtain a WWCC and can be done so free of charge.
Is it legal to have a Star Wars related weapon as part of the 501st?
Victoria and Australia have very strict gun laws and as such the 501st and Knightfall Garrison always adhere to those laws. The “weapons” that are used with our costumed volunteers are purely replicas of props used in the movies and other Star Wars related media. If your costume includes one of these props then there may be times where these props need to be submitted for approval or not used at an event to ensure no confusion or concern from the public.