Welcome to the latest instalment of my Galactic Histories series, a series of articles that looks at events and characters throughout the Star Wars canon. Generally speaking, this will often focus largely on characters or events that go beyond the movies, to help people get to know the wider canon a little better and see if there is anything that catches their interest.
Within this series, this will be latest of a miniseries subtitled Heroes of the Clone Wars. In the live action movies, we only get to see the beginning and the end of the conflict, and yet the war raged over 3 years. Now when you hear about heroes of the Clone Wars, I imagine that your mind automatically goes to the Jedi, who are the focus of the movies, but I will instead be focusing on the clones of Jango Fett, who were born to fight and die for the Republic. In this miniseries, I will be looking at many of these clones and their histories, breaking things down by looking at a specific unit per article. Of course, some clones I will be covering will have featured in more than 1 of these units, so I will be specifically focusing on their exploits in the unit I am covering at that time.
This will contain spoilers for The Clone Wars as well as Revenge of the Sith
Heroes of the Clone Wars
- Rishi Station
- Rancor Battalion
- Tango Company
- Heater’s Unit
- 327ᵗʰ Star Corps
- 41ˢᵗ Elite Corps
- Delta Squad
- Depa Billaba’s Battalions
- 104ᵗʰ Battalion
- 212ᵗʰ Attack Battalion
- 91ˢᵗ Mobile Reconnaissance Corps
- Coruscant Guard
For this article, I am looking at the 501ˢᵗ Legion. One of the most famous units of the Clone Wars, the 501ˢᵗ were led by the Jedi General Anakin Skywalker and (for much of the war) his padawan Ahsoka Tano. A highly successful unit, the 501ˢᵗ found themselves heavily involved in many of the most pivotal engagements of the Clone Wars, especially the Outer Rim Sieges. Notable campaigns featuring the 501ˢᵗ included the second Battle of Geonosis, the first Battle of Christophsis, the Defence of Kamino, the Battle of Umbara (where the unit suffered heavy losses) and the hunt for General Grievous on Saleucami, while many of the task force that infiltrated the Citadel came from the 501ˢᵗ.
Towards the end of the war, the 501ˢᵗ were intended to join their former commander Ahsoka Tano in the Siege of Mandalore, but the Separatist attack on Coruscant and capture of Chancellor Sheev Palpatine changed plans. Instead, the unit was split in 2, with Skywalker’s second-in-command, Rex, taking command of the new 332ⁿᵈ Division, which took part in the Siege of Mandalore. The remainder of the 501ˢᵗ returned to Coruscant and continued to follow Skywalker. When Palpatine sent out Order 66, the 501ˢᵗ followed Skywalker—now the Sith apprentice Darth Vader—to the Jedi Temple, where they helped to kill all Jedi present, before staying to guard the Temple and ambush any Jedi who were called back by a false recall signal. In this role, a number of the clones were killed by the Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda as they infiltrated the Temple and changed the signal to a warning to stay away. The remaining clones of the 501ˢᵗ became some of the initial stormtroopers in the Galactic Empire, with many being recruited into Vader’s elite stormtrooper legion, the 1ˢᵗ Legion.
A clone captain and ARC trooper, CC-7567, nicknamed Rex, was Anakin Skywalker’s second-in-command and the leader of the 501ˢᵗ’s Torrent Company. Initially rather by the books, his time working under Skywalker saw him adapt and utilise unconventional tactics when required. Loyal to his men, Rex considered following orders and protecting his men his was of staying honourable, though a meeting with a deserter following an injury on Saleucami affected him and helped him become more individual and consider honour differently. Rex helped lead the 501ˢᵗ with distinction throughout the Clone Wars. As a highly trusted officer, Rex was—along with Captain Cody of the 212ᵗʰ, who he often worked closely with—responsible for identifying and capturing the clone traitor Slick after he betrayed his brothers during the first Battle of Christophsis, while they also took part in the defence and destruction of Rishi Station when it as attacked by Separatists. Rex was a part of the task force that infiltrated the Citadel on Lola Sayu and attempted to rescue the Jedi Master Even Piell, and also joined the Jedi trio of Skywalker, Kenobi and Tano in their attempts to find the Togrutan prisoners on Zygerria, which saw him temporarily imprisoned on Kadavo, and was also sent to Onderon with the Jedi to teach the local Resistance how to fight against the Separatists. When Skywalker was replaced as commanding officer of the 501ˢᵗ during the Battle of Umbara, Rex was forced to be the middleman between his unit and the new general Pong Krell, who saw the clones as expendable and sent them headlong into battles that saw them suffer heavy losses. This time really tested Rex as he tried to keep his honour by following orders, while also supporting his men as some of them mutinied. After discovering that Krell was actually a traitor to the Republic, Rex led the surviving members of the 501ˢᵗ—and a unit of the 212ᵗʰ whom they had been sent to attack—to arrest Krell, which they eventually managed. Towards the end of the war, Rex was heavily impacted by the loss of his close friend Fives, and officially put on record Fives’ belief that there was something wrong with the inhibitor chips in each clone’s head, though he never had the chance to investigate for himself. When Separatists began to have increased success over the Republic forces on Anaxes, Rex recognised use of an algorithm he had devised alongside his fellow clone Echo, who was thought to be KIA. Rex led investigations which revealed Echo was alive and in Separatist custody, and led the Bad Batch in a mission to rescue him. When the 501ˢᵗ were split into 2 following the Separatist attack on Coruscant, Rex was promoted to commander and given command of the new unit, the 332ⁿᵈ Division, which went to take part in the Siege of Mandalore.
A clone in the 501ˢᵗ during the early days of the Clone Wars, Bellow was sent to Benglor with the unit, but was killed by a native creature.
Charger was a member of the 501ˢᵗ who was selected to the task force sent to infiltrate the Citadel on Lola Sayu and rescue Even Piell. Charger was the first of the task force to be killed as he fell scaling a cliff and hit an electromine, which also alerted the Separatist forces to the task group’s presence.
Crest was a clone trooper who served in the 501ˢᵗ through the Clone Wars and beyond, becoming a stormtrooper of the Galactic Empire.
CT-5385, nicknamed Tup, was a clone in the 501ˢᵗ during the latter years of the War. A rookie at the Battle of Umbara, Tup was a rookie in the unit, but quickly proved himself in combat. When Fives and Jesse were sentenced to execution, Tup was a part of the firing squad, all of whom deliberately missed their shot before refusing to execute their own brother, and he went on to play a key role in the capture of Pong Krell. During the battle of Ringo Vinda, Tup found himself suffering from headaches and began acting strange, resulting in him executing the Jedi General Tiplar in the middle of the battle. After being arrested by his brothers, he was taken to Kamino, where investigations led Fives to discover that each clone had an inhibitor chip in their head—Tup’s had malfunctioned, causing the Order 66 protocol to activate early. Tup would pass away soon after his chip was removed, but this led Fives to discover the truth about the inhibitor chips and the Chancellor’s plans to have the clones kill the Jedi.
Another clone trooper who went into the Umbara campaign as a rookie, Dogma was a stickler for following the orders of his commanding officer. As such, he remained steadfastly loyal to Pong Krell’s orders and almost divulged Fives, Hardcase and Jesse’s mutiny. Dogma was given command of the firing squad assigned for Fives and Jesse’s execution but was the only one who felt able to go ahead with their orders. Dogma was present and shaken at the friendly fire incident and the reveal that Krell had planned it, but still tried remaining loyal to the general so had to be arrested by his brothers. When Krell confirmed his intentions to join the Separatists, Dogma was crushed as he realised how his blind loyalty had been exploited and executed the fallen Jedi, before being taken into Republic custody.
A clone in the 501ˢᵗ during the early stages of the war, Denal fought in the Battle of Mimban and was one of only 2 clone survivors (along with Rex) in a mission to infiltrate and destroy a Separatist spy station in the Ruusan system. When the bounty hunter Cad Bane kidnapped the Jedi Master Bolla Ropal on Devaron, Denal was a part of the 501ˢᵗ unit who boarded Bane’s command ship. Denal and another trooper, Koho, found Bane and attempted to arrest him, however Bane killed the pair and stole Denal’s armour, disguising himself as the clone to escape the command ship on the same shuttle as the surviving clones.
A member of the 501ˢᵗ through much of the war, Hardcase stood out from his fellow clones due to his hyper-active attitude, which his commander on Kamino had told him was due to his growth acceleration chamber having a leak in it. Hardcase served in the mission to Benglor, the Siege of Hisseen, the Battle of Mimban and the hunt for Grievous on Saleucami, where he was part of Rex’s recon unit. Hardcase served with distinction in the Battle of Umbara, and when General Krell ordered the 501ˢᵗ into a frontal assault that led to many casualties, he was one of the clones Rex trusted with a secret assignment to infiltrate the nearby Umbaran airfield and commandeer an Umbaran starfighter to give them the firepower and element of surprise needed to take out the Umbaran forces blocking the unit’s advance. As Krell’s autocratic leadership continued to sow dissent among the unit, Hardcase took part in a mutinous mission alongside Jesse and Fives, flying captured Umbaran starfighters into the dogfight above them and into the supply ship, destroying it from the inside. However, though the mission was a success, the trio found themselves under attack by the droids in the hangar, with their way to the main reactor blocked by a ray shield, so Hardcase (whose fighter had been damaged) sacrificed himself to destroy the main reactor while Fives and Jesse escaped.
A clone in the 501ˢᵗ during the early stages of the war, Koho was a part of the unit to infiltrate Cad Bane’s frigate during the Battle of Devaron. After the frigate suffered heavy damage, Koho was sent with Denal to find and assist General Skywalker with the capture of Bane. Before finding Skywalker, they found Bane and attempted to arrest him, however both were killed by the bounty hunter.
A member of the 501ˢᵗ who was assigned to patrolling the hold of the Coronet during the Duchess Satine’s journey from Mandalore to Coruscant. Redeye was killed by one of the SD-K4 assassin probes that Death Watch had smuggled onto the ship.
A member of the 501ˢᵗ who was assigned to patrolling the hold of the Coronet during the Duchess Satine’s journey from Mandalore to Coruscant. Mixer was killed by one of the SD-K4 assassin probes that Death Watch had smuggled onto the ship. The discovery of Mixer’s helmet was one of the early warning signs that put the defenders on edge, which led to them not being fully caught by surprise when the assassin probes attacked.
Oz was a member of the 501ˢᵗ during the Battle of Umbara. After General Pong Krell took over command of the unit from Anakin Skywalker, the 501ˢᵗ were sent on a dangerous march down the main road, which soon resulted in Oz’s death as his platoon found themselves on a section of road that had been heavily mined.
Ringo served in the same platoon of the 501ˢᵗ during the Battle of Umbara. When the unit was sent into a frontal assault down the main road, Ringo was one of the clones killed by mines that had been hidden on the road.
A member of the 501ˢᵗ’s Torrent Company, Ridge was part of the initial assault team during the Battle of Teth, and one of the few members of Torrent Company to survive the battle. He continued to serve in the 501ˢᵗ throughout the Clone War before eventually being reassigned to the 332ⁿᵈ Division when the unit was split into 2.
Formerly a cadet in Domino Squad, CT-27-5555, later ARC-5555, was one of 2 troopers from the Rishi Station outpost to survive the Separatist incursion, and was afterwards assigned to the 501ˢᵗ alongside his fellow Domino Squad survivor, Echo. Fives served with distinction during the Battle of Kamino, which resulted in him being promoted to ARC trooper. As an ARC trooper, Fives was a part of the Republic task force that rescued Jedi Master Even Piell from his imprisonment on Lola Sayu. During the Battle of Umbara, Fives was one of the troopers most vocal in his dislike of General Krell and his orders due to the high number of casualties that his tactics led to. Fives led Hardcase on a special mission when the rest of the unit’s forward assault was halted by Umbaran heavy weaponry, infiltrating the airfield they were making for and commandeering Umbaran starfighters to take out the heavy weapons. Once the airfield was under Republic control, Fives developed a plan to destroy the Umbaran supply ship that was keeping nearby forces restocked by flying commandeered Umbaran starfighters into the hangar and destroying the main reactor. General Krell refused to authorise the plan and ordered the starfighters be locked down, but Fives went ahead with the plan anyway, joined by Hardcase and Jesse. The mission was a success, but it cost the life of Hardcase, while Fives and Jesse were taken into custody upon their return. General Krell chose to skip a court-martial and ordered the pair’s execution by firing squad, though they were returned to custody after none of the clones could bring themselves to kill their brothers. The pair were released by Rex after he discovered Krell was working against the Republic, and they assisted in the eventual capture of Krell, with Dogma eventually stealing Fives’ blaster pistol and using it to execute Krell. When Fives’ friend Tup executed the Jedi general Tiplar during the Battle of Ringo Vinda, FIves helped to detain him, rescue him after Separatists captured him and escorted him to Kamino for tests, where it was requested that Fives remain as well in case Tup’s actions had been caused by a virus. Fives was not satisfied with the work done by Kaminoan medical leader Nala Se so ledhis own investigations, discovering that all clones were fitted with an inhibitor biochip during early stages of embryonic development,and that Tups had malfunctioned. Going to Coruscant to inform the Chancellor and request all clones have this chip removed, he was secretly drugged by Nala Se with a mind clouding drug. While in a 1-to-1 meeting with Chancellor Palpatine, Palpatine revealed the full truth of the biochip conspiracy that would allow Palpatine to use the clones to kill the Jedi, and then framed Fives by attacking him, making his self-defence look like an assassination attempt. Forced to flee and look like a fugitive, Fives managed to make contact with Kix and give hima location for Rex to meet him, saying that he had knowledge of a conspiracy. Rex came to Fives’ meeting as requested, with Anakin Skywalker coming with him, and Fives tried to warn the pair about the biochip conspiracy, though Skywalker especially did not seem convinced due to the effects of the drugs on Fives. When Commander Fox and a squad of Coruscant guards arrived to arrest him, Fives pulled a blaster on them but was shot through the heart by Fox and died in Rex’s arms.
Formerly a cadet in Domino Squad, CT-1409, nicknamed “Echo” during his cadet days due to his propensity to repeat orders the team had been given, was one of 2 troopers from the Rishi Station outpost to survive the Separatist incursion, and was afterwards assigned to the 501ˢᵗ alongside his fellow Domino Squad survivor, Fives. Echo served with distinction during the Battle of Kamino, which resulted in him being promoted to ARC trooper. As an ARC trooper, Fives was a part of the Republic task force that rescued Jedi Master Even Piell from his imprisonment on Lola Sayu, however he was critically injured and presumed dead during the task force’s initial escape attempt as the shuttle he was trying to hold was destroyed. Captured by the Separatists, his lower torso was replaced by cybernetics and his right arm by a SCOMP link, and he was sold to the Techno Union for further experimentation. Held on Skako Minor, Echo’s knowledge of Republic tactics and algorithms were used as Separatist counterintelligence. Echo’s survival and role for the Separatists was discovered by Rex during the Battle of Anaxes, and a task force made up of Rex, General Anakin Skywalker and Clone Force 99 successfully extracted Echo from the Separatists. When Separatists chased the task force back to the Poletec village, Echo helped in the defence. Returned to Republic forces, Echo had many of his Separatist cybernetics replaced with new Republic ones. Echo proposed a plan to utilise his ability to access Separatist systems to gather all the Separatist forces together on Anaxes and disable them, a plan which succeeded with the help of Clone Force 99. Following the successful conclusion of the Anaxes campaign, Echo chose to join Clone Force 99, deciding that the unit of defective clones was a more fitting place for him following his injuries.
Easily recognisable by his tatoo of the Republic cog on his head and the similar marking on his helmet, CT-5597 was one of the earlier batch of clones in the Grand Army of the Republic. As a member of the 501ˢᵗ, Jesse served during many of the 501ˢᵗ’s campaigns throughout the Clone Wars, including the Battle of Mimban, Battle of Ringo Vinda, Battle of Yerbana and the Hunt for Grievous during the Battle of Saleucami, where he took temporary command of Rex’s recon team when Rex was wounded and had to be left with the Lawquanes to recover. During the Battle of Umbara, Jesse was vocal in his dislike of General Krell and his tactics due to the high number of casualties, and eventually took part in Fives’ mutinous mission to destroy the supply ship overhead. The mission was a success, but it cost the life of Hardcase, while Fives and Jesse were taken into custody upon their return. General Krell chose to skip a court-martial and ordered the pair’s execution by firing squad, though they were returned to custody after none of the clones could bring themselves to kill their brothers. The pair were released by Rex after he discovered Krell was working against the Republic, and they assisted in the eventual capture of Krell. By the time of his service at the Battle of Anaxes, Jesse had been promoted to ARC trooper. Jesse was part of the unit Cody and Rex put together to join the Bad Batch and go behind enemy lines and assault the Separatist cyber center, which led to the discovery that Echo was still alive. Jesse was a part of the attack on the Separatists’ assembly complex that helped bring an end to the Battle of Anaxes. When the 501ˢᵗ was split into 2, Jesse was reassigned to the 332ⁿᵈ Division.
CT-6116, also known as “Kix,” was the medic of the 501ˢᵗ. Kix served with distinction throughout the Clone Wars. On Saleucami during the hunt for Grievous, Kix provided battlefield treatment to Rex after he was shot by a sniper and assessed that he was in no state to continue the hunt, pulling rank and ordering him to spend the night recovering at the Lawquanes’ farm. During the Battle of Umbara, Kix was kept busy following General Krell’s orders for a full frontal assault, and was vocal about the deteriorating state of the unit and was clearly affected by being unable to help all of his fallen brothers when they were under attack from the Umbaran heavy cannons. Kix supported Fives’ plan to attack the Umbaran supply ship despite Krell’s refusal to accept the plan, and though he did not take part in the assault, he helped prepare the starfighters that his brothers used. Kix was among the clones assigned to the firing squad ordered to execute Fives and Jesse following their successful mission, but deliberately missed with his shot and threw down his weapon. Kix was present at the friendly fire incident between their unit and Waxer’s platoon, and was shocked at the discovery that they had been sent to attack another clone unit. Kix located the mortally wounded Waxer and kept him alive long enough for Waxer to reveal to Rex that they had received the same orders as Rex from Krell, making clear that Krell had deliberately set the units up to take themselves out. Kix was a part of the clone force who mutineed on Krell and eventually captured him. After serving in the Battle of Kiros, Kix was also present at the Battle of Ringo Vinda when Tup executed General Tiplar. Kix could find nothing wrong with him so recommended he be sent to Kamino for a full investigation, which led to Fives discovering the biochip conspiracy. With the unit returned to Coruscant following the events of Ringo Vinda, Kix was approached by the now-fugitive Fives to arrange a meeting between him and Rex, during which Fives warned him that there was a plot which left the clones and Jedi all in danger. Kix arranged the meeting as planned. During the Battle of Anaxes, Kix was a part of the task force put together by Rex to infiltrate the Separatist Cyber Center, though he was forced to pull out of the mission to treat Cody, who had been injured and was awaiting an extraction team. Though Fives was killed without the details of the biochip conspiracy being revealed, Kix started his own investigations as a result of Fives’ warning. He eventually discovered the truth, but was quickly captured by the Separatists, who planned to send him to the Sith for interrogation to see if anyone else was aware. He was frozen in cryo-stasis and placed on a shuttle to Serenno, however when the shuttle came under Republic attack,one of the droids made an unplanned hyperspace jump and the shuttle was lost. The shuttle was discovered on the planet Ponemah Terminal 50 years later by the pirate Sidon Ithano and his crew, who awakened Kix. Realising that he was too late to save the Jedi and the Republic, he joined Ithano’s crew.
A pilot in the Republic Starfighter Corps, Hawk was often attached to 501ˢᵗ as a gunship pilot for escort, drop-off, or extraction duties. During the Battle of Christophsis, he provided an emergency extraction for Generals Kenobi and Skywalker and the surviving clones after the group’s attempted ambush turned into them being caught in a Separatist trap. Hawk would later serve alongside the unit on Umbara, as well as covertly dropping Kenobi, Skywalker, Commander Ahsoka Tano and Captain Rex on Onderon to help train the local rebels. Hawk was also involved in the breaking of the Separatist blockade on Scipio in the later days of the war, this time flying in a Z-95 Headhunter.
A sergeant in the 501ˢᵗ, CC-1119 commanded the main platoons of the unit during the Battle of Umbara while Rex led the vanguard. Appo followed General Krell’s orders without question despite the high casualty rate, but joined Rex’s mutiny against him when his treason was revealed. Following the campaign, Appo was promoted to commander, and when the 501ˢᵗ was split into 2, Appo became the unit’s commanding officer as Rex took control of the 332ⁿᵈ. As such, Appo led the 501ˢᵗ in the attack on the Jedi Temple at the outset of Order 66. He survived the initial fight, but while refusing Senator Bail Organa entry to the temple, he was caught out by the attack of the Jedi padawan Zett Jukassa and injured.
CT-0000/1010, nicknamed “Fox”, was a sergeant in the 501ˢᵗ during the latter days of the Clone Wars, having spent most of the conflict stationed on Coruscant. At the outset of Order 66, Fox marched on the Jedi Temple alongside the 501ˢᵗ and General Skywalker, now known as Darth Vader. Fox was with Appo when he refused Senator Organa entry to the temple, and when Jukassa attacked, Fox shot the padawan.
CT-0292, who went by the nickname “Vaughn” was a clone in the 501ˢᵗ. Though birthed later than many of those who reached high ranks, Vaughn progressed sufficiently to be assigned to the 332ⁿᵈ Division as a captain when the 501ˢᵗ was split in two.
A former deserter who was welcomed back to the Grand Army of the Republic and assigned to the 501ˢᵗ. Heater served in the Siege of Hisseen early in the war as one of the unit’s more experienced troopers and—when the unit looked in dire straits—helped to rally the less experienced troops before himself being wounded.
One of the younger clones in the unit in the early days of the war, Twitch was present at the Siege of Hisseen. Coming under attack from a strong Separatist force, Twitch felt that the unit should retreat. He was one of the troops who heard Heater’s stories, and tried to help him when he was wounded.
Thanks for reading. Good soldiers follow orders….