The 501st Legion, also known as the 501st or 501st Battalion during the Clone Wars and later known as “Vader’s Fist” and the Five Hundred and First, was a brigade-sized Legion of elite clone troopers that was secretly commissioned by Supreme Chancellor Palpatine during the Clone Wars that later became a unit of the Stormtrooper Corps. Since the First Battle of Geonosis, the 501st had gained a reputation for being an effective fighting force, often being victorious in battle even against overwhelming odds. While the Legion fought for the preservation of the Republic, they would secretly undertake covert operations that would boost the agenda of Chancellor Palpatine.
During the Clone Wars, the Legion initially wore the standard white Phase I clone trooper armor, but had transitioned to wearing Phase II armor with navy blue markings during the final years of the war. Made up of units like Torrent Company, the 501st fought in many battles throughout the war, such as the Battle of Teth and the Battle of Coruscant, becoming one of the most well-known clone trooper Legions. In 19 BBY, Palpatine issued Order 66 and the 501st became Darth Vader’s personal unit as he led them during Operation: Knightfall, in which the clones helped take down the Jedi, whom they believed to be traitors to the Republic.
Following the rise of the Galactic Empire, the 501st transitioned into a stormtrooper unit, like other clone units. Given new armor and weapons, the 501st faithfully served the Empire, operating under the direct command of the Sith Lord Darth Vader. After the Kamino uprising, the 501st became the last remnant of the Grand Army of the Republic fully composed of Jango Fett clones, as opposed to the ever-growing and more diverse Stormtrooper Corps, where the Fett clones became a minority, with the inclusion of a pool of clones from different templates and birth-born recruits, while others were not clones, but humans from an Imperial academy; by 0 BBY though Vader was known to comb through the ranks of all stormtrooper units and transferring the very best to the 501st, a fact that angered other Imperial agents - like Mara Jade - who had to work with lesser qualified units.
The legion fought in a number of battles during the Galactic Civil War in an effort to defeat the Rebel Alliance and bring peace to the galaxy, although the Alliance ultimately triumphed. Though the 501st was disbanded after the Battle of Endor, the Chiss Grand Admiral Thrawn resurrected the designation by forming a new 501st Legion. He also added more diverse recruits to the 501st, including non-Humans. The reconstituted 501st was stationed in the Unknown Regions, where they protected Thrawn’s Empire of the Hand. Over a century later, the legion was in the service of a new Empire, by then under the rule of Emperor Roan Fel.
When Fel was deposed by Darth Krayt shortly after the conclusion of the Sith–Imperial War, the 501st Legion fell under the control of the Dark Lord of the Sith in the year 130 ABY. Seven years later, however, Fel returned from exile and joined in the war against Krayt in order to reclaim his throne. Under the leadership of General Oron Jaeger, the 501st deserted the Dark Lord’s Galactic Empire in order to join the Fel faction.
Why can’t stormtroopers shoot? There’s a bad answer and there’s a good answer.
Question: How come the good guys in Star Wars seem to hit stormtroopers without even aiming, while the stormtroopers themselves can light up an entire room without hitting anything? In the prequels, we saw that clone troopers could nail battle droids one-per-shot like they were Lee Van Cleef. What gives?
Bad Answer: It’s because stormtroopers really did suck! In fact, the heroes of the original trilogy were never in any real danger! The reason Ben Kenobi says “only Imperial stormtroopers are so precise” is because he’s a dumb old man who is confusing them with clones! After the prequel era, the Empire got cheap for some reason, hired regular schmoes to replace the clones, and skimped on their training! Sure, the Empire would pay to arm hundreds of millions of soldiers, feeding each of them three meals a day and handling all their medical care. And the Empire would pay to outfit each of them with head-to-toe body armor, including specialized armor for cold and tropical climates. But marksmanship training? That would just be silly!
Hardly ever swears: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Qui-Gon Jinn, Yoda, Luke Skywalker, Padme Amidala, Mace Windu (most of the Jedi as a matter of fact), Count Dooku, Shmi Skywalker, Aunt Beru, Bail Organa, C-3PO, Battle droids, Jar Jar Binks, Matt the Radar Technician
Moderate swearer: Leia Organa Skywalker Solo, Han Solo, Finn, Poe Dameron, General Grievous, Darth Maul, Savage Opress, Ahsoka Tano, Jango Fett, Boba Fett, Cade Bane, Kanan Jarrus, Sabine Wren, Zeb, Chewbacca, the Inquisitors, BB-8, Quinlan Vos, Uncle Owen, (most of the Sith now that I think about it, as well as most others who are on the Dark Side)