Frequently Asked Questions

What is Star Wars?

Star Wars (“Hvězdné války” in Czech) is a series of iconic sci-fi movies. The first (fourth in the storyline order) episode titled A New Hope was shot in 1977. Unexpected success of the film made almost unknown director George Lucas famous, as well as some actors, such as Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill. Almost fairy tale story combined with groundbreaking special effects caused huge interest in everything that was in any way connected to Star Wars, particularly among younger viewers. Especially great revenues from the sale of toys and other merchandise allowed Lucas to make the other two parts in which the story concluded. It was The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983), which celebrated the same success as the first film. The visual effects in these three films were taken care of by the famous company Industrial Light & Magic, founded by George Lucas. The viewers had to wait for the other movies for more than 20 years. Lucas had been reportedly waiting until the film technology will be on such level so he could transfer his ideas to the screen. Therefore in 1999 the first film of a new trilogy, The Phantom Menace was made. The prequel was placed before all three previously made films. The film again became a blockbuster, although supporters of the previous films came with rather contradictory reactions. Soon another two films, Attack of the Clones (2002) and Revenge of the Sith (2005) followed. Star Wars since its beginning remains not only on the big screen, but people continue with expanding the world of Star Wars also in books, comic books, videogames and TV shows.

What is the 501st Legion?

The 501st Legion is a volunteer organization, founded in 1997, that brings together fans of Star Wars. Legion members are trying to spread interest in Star Wars by wearing authentic-looking costumes and attending charitable and philanthropic activities. The 501st, also known as “Vader’s Fist,” is truly dedicated to brightening the lives of those less-fortunate.

What can the 501st Legion do for me?

There is nothing quite like a group of Stormtroopers 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 two decades, the 501st name alone has been known to boost attendance and media attention.

Is the 501st Legion part of Lucasfilm?

While recognized 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. The 501st Legion is a volunteer fan organization.

What is the origin of the name 501st Legion?

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.

What is the Czech Garrison?

Activities of the Czech Garrison are based on the orientation of the parent organization – the 501st Legion. We are therefore purely volunteer organization with costumes of "bad guys" from the world of Star Wars. We focus on the costume work at a professional level and try to get Star Wars a wider recognition. Under the slogan "even the bad guys can be heroes ", we devote to charitable activities at local and national level. With our costumes, we try to bring joy and help those who have not had much luck in life.

Why are you doing this?

Simply: it's fun. We love costumes from Star Wars and everything associated with them. We also have a functioning community of interesting people and we’re happy to help where it is needed. There is nothing nicer than a child's smile. Someone might be surprised by the primary goal of the 501st Legion and the Czech Garrison, which is charity, but our members are often people who are in their private life helping others by their job description, or they have gone through a difficult time and would like to help someone who has similar experience.

What happens to the donations which you get for your activities?

Any funds that we get for our activities or receive as a charitable donation for our performances are recorded and passed on to our charitable partner. More information about our charitable activities can be found at this link.

Where did you get your costumes?

Our costumes are the result of careful research, fabrication and a lot of hard work. The majority of our costume components are hand built and assembled in our spare time. Given that the likenesses portrayed by these costumes are the intellectual property of Lucasfilm, it must be stressed that the 501st Legion does not provide or manufacture costumes for purchase. There are also official costumes and costume components manufactured by third parties under LFL license. Such costumes may not necessarily meet the strict rules for the approval of the Legion costume. It is therefore always a good idea to first contact the personnel officer (GML ), who assesses whether the costume fulfills all that is required for admission to the 501st Legion.

Are you willing to rent your costumes?

Unfortunately, no. Considering the cost of the costume and the outlay of time and effort put in its production, it is not possible to rent these costumes. Most of the costumes are adjusted to its owner and therefore it may not fit you. Also, we want to avoid the situation in which the costume that a member needs for another event might be lost or damaged.

Are your costumes comfortable to wear?

The costumes are supposed to look as accurate as those used in films, so most of them are not designed for long time wearing. But it differs from costume to costume. Imperial Crew costume is bit more comfortable than full stormtrooper armor on a sunny summer day. In such conditions it is necessary to solve the ventilation system of the helmet, so that it’s tolerable to wear.

Do you participate in birthday parties and other private events?

Yes and no. It mainly depends on the agreement between you and the main coordinator of events (GEC), who prepares and is responsible for the events of the Czech Garrison. If the event is consistent with the focus of the Czech Garrison, there is a good chance that we will agree to participate. Contact us and we will discuss the matter with you further.

How can I join the 501st Legion?

All applicants for full membership must be 18 years or older and must have their own authentic-looking costume of a "bad guy" from Star Wars universe. The next step is to contact the personnel officer (GML ), who will take you through the admission procedure.

For more information, see How can I become a member of the Czech Garrison?

How can I become a member of the Czech Garrison?

Basic requirements for entering the Czech Garrison are as follows:

  1. Being older than 18 years.
  2. Being a citizen of the Czech Republic.
  3. Having an authentic-looking costume of a "bad guy" from the Star Wars universe.
  4. Accepting the internal rules of the Czech Garrison.

For a detailed description about how to join us, see Join us.

Being a full member of the Czech Garrison means to be a member of the 501st Legion. If you do not meet any of the conditions (age 18 years, acceptable "bad guy" costume... ) , but you are interested in a membership, you can still ask the personnel officer (GML ) for an application to the Czech Garrison. If you are over 16 years old, you’ll become a "cadet" and you'll have access to internal sections of the Czech Garrison. You hereby will agree to start work on and also to complete a costume for full membership in the 501st Legion – Czech Garrison. The time limit for completion of the costume is two years. Even if you do not have an approved costume, participation on events is recommended, simply because of getting to know the other members of the Garrison.

If you are interested in our activities, membership or you are already working on a costume, you can register on our forum. There you can read public information and communicate with others. Members of the Czech Garrison will be happy to assist you.

Is there any fee for admission to the 501st Legion or Czech Garrison?

No, there are no admission fees.

Which costumes are approved for membership?

Costumes of Imperial forces and their sympathizers, simply all the "bad guys" costumes. It includes all the imperial crew, bounty hunters, Sith lords, stormtroopers, clonetroopers and denizens of the Empire. For the list of categories, see Costume Reference Library (CRL).

How to buy or make a costume?

If you are serious, please register on our forum. Then join the discussion on the subject, depending on the costume or costumes you are interested in. Members of the CzG are ready to answer your questions and point out the difficulties of specific costumes. Quality costume is not cheap and it is usually time-consuming project that requires certain knowledge and skills. Some parts of the costumes can be bought, but many components it is necessary to make by yourself or have them made.

What does "film accurate costume" mean and how do I know if my costume meets the requirements for admission to the Legion?

Costumes must correspond in the smallest details to the film or licensed design (games, books, comics). Costumes must be free of stickers or any other decoration that is not on the original costume. Costumes must be complete and must include all the parts in proper state and in adequate appearance. If you want to know whether your costume meets the requirements, please contact our personnel officer (GML).

What if I want to have a costume of a good guy?

Then there is our sister organization called the Rebel Legion. That includes all the “good guys” characters. In the Czech Republic this organization is represented by the Lion Base.

Haven’t you found the answer to your question?

Please contact our commanding officers who will be happy to help you with your questions.