History of the 501st Legion: 2004

Empire Fan Fest
The newly-created Northeast Remnant hosted a small con in Nyack, NY and scored a surprising guest: Mark Hamill himself! It was there that the 501st inducted Luke Skywalker as an Honorary Member of the Legion. Mark was a very gracious celebrity, remarking how much he loved our armor and commenting that it looked so much better than the armor he and "Harry" had to wear. He amused the audience by imitating the awkward squatting position they had to take when sitting in their armor on A New Hope and said they had to have saw-horses brought in to sit down on. We were very proud to have Mr. Hamill accept our award. It was a big day for the Legion.

On February 3, 2004 popular Star Wars author Timothy Zahn published Survivor's Quest, which featured none other than stormtroopers from the 501st Legion, "Vader's Fist!". For the first time, the unit was mentioned in a recognized Star Wars literary work, establishing it forever in the expanded universe. Mr. Zahn credited the reference to the impressive work the club has done in charities and in representing the Star Wars universe. Zahn followed up with more 501st references in the eBook novella "Fool's Bargain" released online on the same day. At Stellarcon in High Point, NC the Carolina Garrison honored Zahn with a selection of Legion patches. Pictured (left to right) Jim Ralston, Johnny Ikner, Albin Johnson and his daughters Allie and Katie, Todd Lacey, Justin Byrd, Chuck Rizzo, Timothy Zahn, Chris Burnside, and Russell Henderson. Good times, indeed.

Legion Launches Droid Hunt at Dragon*Con
On the weekend of September 3 2004 the 501st hosted the first annual Droid Hunt game at Dragon*Con in Atlanta, Georgia. The popular game put convention attendees in the role of Rebel sympathizers on the run from Imperial troops for fun and prizes. Droid Hunts are now held on a regular basis at cons around the world and the game badges quite collectible.

September 26, 2004: The 501st's Golden Gate Garrison and Southern California Garrison descend upon Network Associates Coliseum as the Oakland Raiders face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The game was broadcast live on ESPN.