Badlands Garrison began as dream of a small group of 501st Legion members based in Alberta. Starting in the fall of 2003 (in the days before social media and smart phones, without even having online forums), this group of Legion members found each other first and then reached out to as many Star Wars costuming fans as they could find to increase Legion membership here and create a community of 501st members within the province.
Membership grew until, on May 6, 2004, Badlands Squad was created within the Canadian Garrison to cover the province of Alberta. This was the first official squad ever created in Canada. The Squad continued to grow until we were approved as our own Garrison on September 21, 2005.
On March 15, 2007, the Garrison territory expanded. The Outer Rim Squad, covering BC, was transferred from the Canadian Garrison to Badlands, as was the province of Saskatchewan. The Outer Rim Squad continued to grow to the point where it became it’s own Garrison on September 18, 2014.
The province of Manitoba was transferred from the Canadian Garrison to Badlands on December 27, 2016. Manitoba formed the Renegade Squad on June 26, 2017.
On March 31, 2019, Garrison members in the Alberta Peace Country formed the Crimson Aurora Squad. Later that same year, on September 24, the Canadian Garrison transferred the Northwest Territories and the Yukon Territory to Badlands, making the Garrison the third largest in the Legion by territory size.
From Article I of our Legion Charter:
“…The Legion is an all-volunteer organization formed for the express purpose of bringing together costume enthusiasts under a collective identity within which to operate. The Legion seeks to promote interest in Star Wars through the building and wearing of quality costumes, and to facilitate the use of these costumes for Star Wars™ -related events as well as contributions to the local community through costumed charity and volunteer work…”
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Frequently Asked Questions.
We are the local chapter (garrison) of the 501st Legion.
Since 1997, the costuming organization known as the 501st Legion has spread the magic of the STAR WARS™ genre worldwide through its authentic-looking costumes, and has become the leading force in fan-based charity events. The 501st, also known as “Vader’s Fist,” is truly dedicated to brightening the lives of those less-fortunate.
For more information about the 501st, please visit 501st.com.
Thanks to a handful of dedicated & hardcore STAR WARS™ fans in Alberta, Badlands was founded in 2004, as a squad under the Canadian Garrison. Badlands achieved official garrison status within the 501st Legion in 2005, originally covering the province of Alberta.
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. Most recently, J. J. Abrams, Lucasfilm and Disney honoured the 501st Legion in The Force Awakens, by including a variation of the Legion logo hanging proudly from a flag on the exterior of Maz Kanata’s castle on the planet Takodana. Read more about the origin of the 501st name here.
One of the founding members of our Garrison drew inspiration from the world famous Alberta Badlands for the name. The Hoodoos provide the background for our logo.
Badlands Garrison makes numerous appearances at local events, ranging from media conventions, concerts, charity walks, to performing service in our local communities. Our group has played a contributing role in such events as the Calgary & Edmonton Entertainment & Comic Expos. Aside from entertainment, our group has participated in service work for organizations such as Make A Wish and Kids with Cancer, and makes visits to children’s hospitals throughout the year.
Our group exists as a not-for-profit organization so we do not accept nor would we ever ask for monetary compensation for our charity appearances. We simply ask for access to an event and a place to change and store our costumes and perhaps light refreshments, if it were an extended event. In some rare cases, a donation to a specified children’s charity might be negotiated in advance for non-charity related appearances.
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 over two decades, the 501st name alone has been known to boost attendance and media attention. Read some endorsements from our partners here.
Please use the Legion’s Event Request form to request an appearance at your event.
Unfortunately no. We require that all members be at least 18 years of age.However there is a group created by our founder for costumers under 18: Galactic Academy
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 to the general public.
The 501st cannot provide recommendations for or against any costume makers or products. Generally speaking, our members make their own costumes. To make it easier to get help with your desired project, the 501st has formed detachments focused on particular costumes. Joining a Detachment forum is strongly recommended as a part of the costume building process. Our Detachments focus on individual costume categories and offer the best information available for constructing your own detailed costume. Visit our Detachments page to find the right group for you!
That depends on which costume you choose and what skills you bring to the project. For example, if you can sew, there are several relatively easy costumes that can be constructed for a fraction of the price of what a tailor would charge. However, in general, our costumes range from a couple of hundred dollars to several thousand, depending on which character you choose.
Membership requires an appropriate themed costume and is based on the following two criteria:
1. AUTHENTICITY: It is essential that your costume represent canon in regards to the films & other media. In essence, the costume you wear must be screen accurate and readily recognizable in regards to the STAR WARS™ films. Although such off screen concepts as a “Sith Witch” or a “Mandalorian Commando” are visually appealing and provide some wonderful costume opportunities, they are usually unrecognizable to the average fan during 501st events. Similar modifications to canon based costumes, such as adding decals, stickers or a modified paint scheme also poses a similar problem. It is imperative that the costume used for public appearances can be easily identified with the films. Staying true to film canon facilitates that process.
2. QUALITY: Although the 501st is a fan-based organization, we pride ourselves in our professionalism regarding the quality and authenticity of our costumes. In an effort to stay true to film canon, all efforts must be made regarding the materials, construction and presentation of one’s costume. Although there are no concrete guidelines regarding what constitutes a quality costume, a potential member must make a solid effort in providing a superior costume for public appearances and events. It’s the quality of our costumes that delineate the 501st from other fan-based organizations. On another note, the pursuit of the “perfect” costume lends itself towards learning various costume fabrication techniques.
Costumes must be authentic, canon costumes from the movies or licensed media (games, books, etc.). Costumes must be devoid of stickers, ornamentation, or any other decoration not found on the original costumes. Costumes must be complete, containing all the parts in good working order and appearance.
Badlands Garrison has 4 requirements to maintain active service in the Legion.
- Maintain your member profile.
- Participate in the yearly Census.
- Troop at least once a year, in your 501st approved costume.
- Have fun!
The email contacts for our current Garrison Membership Liaison(s) can be found here.
If you live in another area and wish to locate your local garrison, please visit www.501st.com to find your local Garrison contacts.
Please visit our How To Join section of our website.
While we are not sponsored by Lucasfilm Ltd., the 501st legion does follow generally accepted ground rules for Star Wars™ fan groups. Star Wars™, its characters, costumes, and all associated items are the intellectual property of Lucasfilm. © & ™ Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved. Used under authorization.
Like the planet Jakku in summertime.