People often ask us if a character is eligible for 501st membership. We've put together this page to help explain the criteria we use to make those decisions. As always, whenever you begin work on a new costume, it's always best to connect with your local GML early on to avoid potential issues as you go.
Canon Characters, Expanded Universe and Alternate Realities
As a starting point, we establish whether or not the character is based on an official Star Wars canon source.
The first tool we used to help make this decision is the Lucasfilm Holocron.
Lucasfilm maintains a database called the Holocron. This system tracks everything that is Star Wars, and is the perfect starting point for our assessment of a character.
There are 5 levels of canon currently defined in their system:
Assuming the quality of the build is in keeping with the level expected of the 501st, and that the character is affiliated with the darker side of the stories, anything from the G, T or C level is eligible by default.
S and N canon costumes will be judged on a case-by-case basis by the Legion Membership Officer(s).
A note from Leland Chee, current maintainer of the Holocron, regarding information moving from one level to another:
There is a secondary "S" continuity classification used for older published materials created when there was less attention to making everything in the EU fit with everything else in the EU. But, if it is referenced in something else it becomes "C". Similarly, any "C" canon entry that makes it into the films can become "G" canon.
Beyond the Holocron database, there are a few other important notes on what makes a 501st costume:
- The costume must work within the constraints of human anatomy. Costumes that can only be accurately rendered as puppets (IG-88, General Grievous) are considered props and as such not allowed.
- Video game characters must be part of the official storyline of the game, and cannot be player customized. For example, Starkiller's Sith Stalker costume is acceptable, but a player character from Star Wars Galaxies would not be.
- The character must be represented visually by an officially authorized Star Wars publication. Full body front/back/side reference must be available. Costumes based only on text descriptions cannot be approved.
- An action figure may be used as supplemental reference, but cannot not be the only reference for the character.
- Some costumes, while approved for Legion membership, may be deemed inappropriate for certain events. The local command staff / event coordinator reserves the right to make this judgement as needed.
- Effective June 1 2012: characters appearing in the Clone Wars 3D animated series must use armor sculpts accurate to the character and animation. We do not permit the use of Attack of the Clones armor sculpts for the creation of Clone Wars characters. Note that the armor changes significantly between season 3 and season 4.
- Effective July 19 2012: McQuarrie concept characters are open for legion consideration... on a case by case basis.
Eligibility will be determined on the extent, or lack thereof, of available (official) reference materials. Full body (front, back and side) references are primarily encouraged. If back and side references are not available, the missing areas must be obviously inferred (for instance the character has a cape that would clearly cover the entire back side, or is wearing simple trousers). Characters that would likely have extensive details that are not documented by official reference sources, and thus left to open interpretation, will not be accepted.
First in the Legion
Thinking of doing a character that's never been done before? No problem! As long as it meets the criteria above you should be OK. We recommend that you connect with your local GML before starting the project, so that he/she can help you to develop it in such a way that it will be 501st compatible right from the start!
Please be aware that new to the Legion costumes will get additional scrutiny, and you will be asked to provide reference images for your character and explain why you made the choices you made. As the first in the club you will set the standard for others, so be prepared!