January 12: Garrison Titan featured in a comic strip on Penny Arcade - check HERE to see it in its native habitat.
March 17, 2005: Star Wars creator George Lucas is made an Honorary Member of the 501st backstage at ShoWest in Las Vegas, Nevada. "The Maker" is presented with a unique laser-etched plaque.
April 9, 2005: 3,000 Members Strong! This date marked the approval of the 3,000th member into the Legion.
June 9, 2005: George Lucas is presented with the AFI Lifetime Achievement Award. To help set the stage for the gala event, members of the 501st are recruited for an opening skit featuring William Shatner (Star Trek's Captain Kirk).
April, 2005: Reference in EpIII Visual Dictionary
The Star Wars Episode III Visual Dictionary officially listed the 501st Legion as the unit of clone troopers that marched into the Jedi Temple to carry out Vader's will and wipe out the Jedi Order. A small passage on page 39 of the Episode III Visual Dictionary mentions that the troops accompanying Anakin Skywalker during the Jedi Temple raid are none other than the 501st Legion. From this point forward, the blue Clones are officially recognized as 501st.
Celebration III The third ever Star Wars Celebration was held again in Indianapolis, Indiana. The 501st formed up for two group shots: one on the steps of the city's state house (an event which called for only twenty troopers but we ended up with ten times as many, snaking through downtown and stopping traffic along the way!) and the official group photo in the convention center. Jay Lagaia, the actor who played Captain Typho, showed up as a surprise in his original costume from Episode II! After talking up the 501st all week he was thrilled to be in the group photo. Of course we put him at the front!
To the Indiana State House!
Official 501st Legion Group Photo
November 1, 2005: LucasArts acquires permission to use the 501st name as central characters in the video game Star Wars Battlefront II. The popularity of the game spreads awareness of the 501st, but also causes confusion as to which came first. Mark Chu-Lin, Scott Will, and I pose with Eric Gewirtz, director of the Battlefront 2 game from Pandemic Studios. The game ended up being the biggest selling Star Wars game of all time and put the 501st on the map for many gamers. Woo hoo!
In 2005 Star Wars the official website featured an article on the 501st Legion, citing them as the blue-striped clone troopers in Episode III who accompany Anakin/Vader into the Jedi Temple to wipe out the entire Jedi Order. It was a proud moment to know we were a part of the Star Wars universe, but seeing it on the official website was pretty special.
October 28, 2005: In preparation for the soon-to-be released Battlefront II game, the official Star Wars website featured a sneak preview of missions players could expect to run as members of the 501st Legion.
Star Wars the website featured the 501st as one of the Best things to happen to Star Wars in 2005. Aw shucks!