History of the 501st Legion

The Creation of the 501st Legion

On the 25th of May, 1977, Star Wars A New Hope blasted onto movie screens and captured the imagination of millions.

Movie goers world wide flocked to see the science fiction space opera that had very nearly not been completed or given a chance to even be considered worthy of the silver screen.

Creator and Director, George Lucas himself had many doubts along the way, and even some of the stars wondered what it was that they had landed themselves in - But Star Wars had arrived, and changed everything. A galaxy, far, far away, captured imaginations, using with new state of the art technologies and pushing the boundaries of everything that had ever been made prior. Right from the first moment when the the Tantive IV Rebel Blockade Runner rumbled onto screen closely followed by Lord Vader's Imperial Star Destroyer, Science Fiction movie making was changed forever.

Like many people who were fortunate enough to see Star Wars for the very first time in 1977, Albin Johnson had been forever changed by the truly unique experience - not just because of the wonderous effects, but by the underlying mythology and moral principles that it, and its sequels, held.

In 1996, when Albin was in recovery from a car accident suffering the loss of one leg, and looking for something to help him re-establish direction, Lucasfilm announced the re-release of the 'Special Edition' of the Trilogy movies. It was his shared love of Star Wars that inspired him and and a friend to seek out where and how to get themselves suits of Stormtrooper Armor, like what was worn by the Stormtroopers in the films.

After a lot of research Albin built his amour, and shortly afterwards he began wearing it in public on his own which attracted attention both good and bad. By the time that the Special Edition Return of the Jedi was released, Albin and his friend had both finished there own Stormtrooper suits and Albin began to realise the impact this had on people seeing multiple stormtroopers in person.

Whilst the internet was still very new at that stage, Albin took it upon himself to start a website, which he called Detention Block 2551 - two people became three, three became four and by 1998, Albin Johnson's fledgling idea had grown and developed - both in size and mythos as a Legion in its own right.

Following his own family's military background, new members to the website were given ID numbers that were woven into the storyline he created, the 501st Legion - Vader's Fist. The 501st Legion under the guidance of Albin and many Commanding Officers since has continued to grow internationally over the years. It has earned its place in the Canon storyline in books, comics and even Disney/Lucasfilm TV Shows and Movies.

It has inspired other groups like the Rebel Legion - The Pesky "Good Guys" of the Galaxy and members have invited by Lucasfilm to participate in promotional work and Filming for Projects such as the 2007 Pasadena Rose Bowl Parade, Star Wars Live in Concert, and The Mandalorian TV Show.

The Legion has over 7000 approved and active members, with many high quality costumes and all working towards the some goals that Albin Johnson developed over the years - Star Wars Bad Guys, Doing Good.

You will find 501st Legion members in every spaceport of the globe, appearing at official Lucasfilm events, Pop Culture conventions and in support of many worthy charities and causes - in the USA, Europe, Asia and Australia and many other countries as well.