In order to join the 501st Legion and the Imperial Fortress, you must:
- Be 18 years old
- Own an approvable "bad guy" costume from the Star Wars universe
There are no fees to become a member of the Legion, the only requirements are a minimum age and a quality costume.
Please note that the Imperial Fortress covers the territory of the Province of Quebec. If you do not live in Quebec, you can consult the list of other garrisons, squads, and outposts of the 501st Legion.
To assist you in choosing your costume, have a look at the Costume Reference Library (CRL) on the 501st Legion web site. All the approved costumes are there, with their respective requirements.
Here are a few things to consider when doing your research and choosing your future costume:
- Financial investment: A quality costume always means an investment. A Darth Vader costume, for example, costs a few thousand dollars. It is important to choose a costume that fits your budget.
- Your building skills: Some costumes require specialized skills; sowing, painting, and other manual work.
- Physical considerations: If you have back problems, you should consider a "soft" costume over an armoured one (which prevents bending and sitting).
- Public knowledge: A costume from the extended universe will probably be unknown to most people, unlike costumes from the main movies.
Where can I get a costume?
As a general rule, our members make their own costume. Depending on the type, you could find "kits" ready to build (like most armoured costumes).
But before you buy anything, you should do a lot of research.
Ask around before buying something on eBay or a store. And be careful about whether or not it mentions that it is 501st approvable. NO costume or piece of equipment is automatically "501st approved". Many sellers will mention this as a means to sell you poor quality outfits. If you have any doubt, do not hesitate to ask our GML (the Garrison Membership Liaison officer in charge of member approval) before you buy.
Also, be careful before buying a costume from another member.
A costume that was approved for a member will not automatically be approved for you. The reason is that each costume is made to fit the builder. It might fit someone who is heavier than you, but will look odd if you wear it. A costume that is already made will usually require adjustments so that it fits you properly. Furthermore, approval criteria evolve and are subject to change. A costume that was approved 2 years ago might not be today.
Once you have decided on a costume, it is time to start looking for what you need. Start by examining the Costume Reference Library (CRL) for your specific costume. The approval process will be based on the information you will find there.
Half the work is to look for the necessary components for your costume. The 501st Legion created Detachments that encompass the various costume groups. They can be your best sources of information for building your costume. By registering with their forums, you will have access to resources that will help you during your build process. You can ask questions and view what other members are doing.
If many costume components can be found through contacts from the Legion, it is often fun, cheaper, or sometimes mandatory to make them yourself. On the detachment web sites, you can sometimes find videos from other members that explain how to do various parts. But, as a general rule, the more unusual the costume, the less chance you’ll have to find information on it. Being resourceful can go a long way.
You have built your costume! It is now time to take pictures and submit your application for the 501st Legion. Your approval picture must:
- Show you alone, on a plain background. Do not use convention pictures. Try having a background that contrasts with your costume. A stormtrooper in front of a white wall is not ideal.
- Show a full-body picture, from head to toe, including shots from the front, back, and sides. If the costume has many details, close-ups on these details may be required.
- Have sufficient lighting and a high definition. We need to be able to clearly see the details of your costume.
- Do not wear accessories that are not appropriate to the Star Wars universe (like glasses, jewelry, earrings, personalized weapons, unit markings, etc.).
- If you wear a mask or a helmet, you should also include a picture without it so we can see your face.
- Be as careful with your approval pictures as you were in building your costume.
Once your pictures are ready, you must fill-up the admission form online here. Once it is submitted, our GML will contact you in order to send your pictures. He will examine them and make sure that your costume meets the requirements and will guide you in order to make your approval a success. It is possible that the GML will recommend changes or adjustments to make it better. You can then work on them and resubmit new pictures to prove the issues have been fixed.
Congratulations! You have received your Legion ID and are now a proud citizen of the Empire. Now, start trooping!
Do not forget to join the forums, where you’ll find all the information you need on our events, other members, etc.
Do you have questions? Do you need help for your research? Would you like additional information and find resources? Are you looking for help in your area? Just register on our forum or contact our GML at GML@501stqc.ca. It will be a pleasure to guide you and help you join the Empire!