- "Within months, the 501st gained a well deserved reputation as 'Vader's Fist.'"
- —Retired clone trooper[src]
The 501st Legion, also known as Vader's Fist, was a legion of clone and stormtroopers. The legion was stationed on many planets throughout the Clone Wars, and even continued late into the Galactic Civil War. They were created as an specialized legion "hand picked" by Emperor Palpatine to fight the Confederacy of Independent Systems and remained the only full clone legion after the Galactic Civil War.
Members of the 501st constructed a journal of their thoughts during some of the most infamous battles they fought in.
Battle of GeonosisEdit
The 501st's first mission was the famed Battle of Geonosis, the start of the Clone Wars. This battle was fought prior to the official formation of the unit, and was the first actual battle testing of the clone soldiers. The troopers performed well, capturing multiple command posts and successfully capturing an essential holocron for the battle. This mission was often considered the final training mission of the 501st.
Battle of MygeetoEdit
The Battle of Mygeeto was the second mission of the 501st. The industrial planet was home to a special type of reactor core that both factions desperately wanted, as it was proven to be better than the cores used by the militaries up until that point. The 501st's main objective was to retrieve the power core and return it safely to the LAAT/i transport waiting at the command post. The 501st completed their mission, even tricking the Jedi Ki-Adi-Mundi into thinking that their primary goal was to free the planet, not collect the power source.
Second Battle of CoruscantEdit
The Second Battle of Coruscant was the next mission of the 501st. The Republic homeworld of Coruscant was attacked, and the 501st was called into space combat. In the ensuing battle, the legion managed to disable one of the Separatist capital ships and destroy an InterGalactic Banking Clan cruiser acting as a frigate. The legion was commended for this victory.
Battle of FeluciaEdit
After the Second Battle of Coruscant, the 501st Legion was called to Felucia to assist another legion with regaining control of the planet. The Battle of Felucia began shortly after their arrival. Before finding any droids, the 501st advance guard ran into a group of Acklay that needed to be destroyed and discovered a damaged AT-TE. After defending and reactivating the tank, the 501st made quick work of several defensive particle cannons held by the CIS and overran the beleaguered droid army.
Battle of KashyyykEdit
The Battle of Kashyyyk was one of the 501st's most difficult assignments thus far. The Wookiees of Kashyyyk had already been holding the CIS forces off for months, and were nearing the end of their fight. The 501st reinforced the Wookiees and were able to defend a critical refinery for long enough for the Jedi Master Yoda to arrive. After the short Jedi's arrival, the 501st was able to push the Separatists back and off Kashyyyk for good.
Battle of UtapauEdit
The Battle of Utapau was the defining battle in the Clone Wars, signifying the beginning of the end. The 501st was called to strike the secret Separatist base there, where the cyborg General Grievous was known to be present. The legion attacked the unsuspecting CIS forces and managed to push them back to the hangar, where Grievous was killed by General Obi-Wan Kenobi. The 501st destroyed the anti-air turrets and a power generator, and the CIS forces were shattered across the galaxy.
Operation: Knightfall was the final battle of the Clone Wars that the 501st participated in. Under the command of the newly anointed Lord Vader, the 501st entered the Jedi Temple and slaughtered the Jedi there, defending the Jedi Archives for long enough to download all the information in them. The legion also managed to steal two holocrons containing the sum of Jedi and Sith knowledge for study, returning them to LAAT/i transports. The final act of the battle was the killing of three Jedi Masters, who had been poisoning the minds of their students against the rising Empire.
Battle of NabooEdit
The Battle of Naboo was the 501st's first forced change of government, although it was not their last. The Queen of Naboo was found to be harboring Jedi fugitives, and the Emperor decided to make an example of the Naboo. The 501st entered the capital city of Theed and assassinated the Queen, as well as most of her personal vanguard of fleeing Jedi. A new legislation was instated after the completion of the mission.
Battle of MustafarEdit
The Battle of Mustafar was fought against none other than a droid army. One of the Separatist leaders, a Geonosian named Gizor Delso, had escaped the devastation of the CIS and secretly reactivated a droid factory, producing mass quantities of battle droids and designing a new type of battle droid. The 501st destroyed the fleet in orbit and attacked the factory, killing Delso and destroying the plans for the new battle droid.
Battle of KaminoEdit
The second Battle of Kamino was fought clone versus clone. Some of the clonemasters of Kamino had taken an objection to the way the Empire was running the galaxy, and created a clone army to fight the rising Empire. The 501st was tasked with eliminating the rogue clones, which involved stealing the genetic data and destroying the life support systems for the clones in production, and ultimately destroying the LAAT/i transports that the cloners were using to escape. The bounty hunter Boba Fett aided in this battle, providing his unique knowledge of the interior of the cloning facility for a price the Empire was more than willing to pay.
Death Star UpsrisingEdit
The Death Star Uprising was one of the 501st Legion's most embarrassing moments. The legion was rewarded for their hard work for the Empire by being the legion stationed on the first Death Star. Many of the soldiers described it as their most boring job, although it proved interesting enough when a group of Rebel prisoners escaped and managed to get their hands on their weapons. The ensuing rebellion was quickly quelled, but the 501st was reprimanded for letting the prisoners escape in the first place. A short time later, the Death Star was destroyed.
Battle of Polis MassaEdit
After being relieved of their post on the Death Star, the 501st was sent to Polis Massa, where a group of Rebels were said to be located. The legion was sent in to infiltrate the comm center and retrieve a Rebel communiqué. After successfully relaying the information to the Star Destroyer in orbit, the legion was sent to destroy a pod located in caves in the back of the base.
While the legion was thus distracted, the Rebel troops took back the hangar, forcing the 501st to fight their way back out. They did so successfully, resulting in another complete mission.
First Battle of TatooineEdit
Information discovered on Polis Massa indicated that the stolen Death Star plans had been sent to Princess Leia Organa on board her ship, the Tantive IV. Darth Vader and the 501st Legion immediately went in pursuit, and managed to catch up and disable the Tantive IV over the planet Tatooine. Vader and the 501st boarded the ship, but met resistance from Rebel Troopers on board. The 501st managed to break through and seize the barracks, clearing the way for Darth Vader to come onboard. Vader made his way to the bridge, destroying all the security terminals there, and disabled a turbine console in the engine room to seize control of the escape pods. During the battle, Leia Organa was captured and taken into Imperial custody. However, the Death Star plans were not found on the ship.
Battle of YavinEdit
After the capture of Leia Organa, the 501st Legion returned to the Death Star. They would later participate in the Battle of Yavin. This would be the biggest loss for the 501st, as half of their men were still in the hangar getting to their ships when the Death Star was destroyed, and another third were caught in the explosion.
Fourth Battle of Yavin IVEdit
Fifth Battle of Yavin IVEdit
Battle of HothEdit
The battle of Hoth was the last battle in BFII proving at the end the 501st gathered around the burning rebel transport at the end of the mission.
Battle of EndorEdit
- Star Wars: Battlefront
- Star Wars: Battlefront II
- Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds
- Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron
- LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game (Non-canonical appearance)
- LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy (Non-canonical appearance)
- LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga (Non-canonical appearance)