During the release of the Special Edition of Return of the Jedi on March 14, 1997, Albin Johnson and Tom Crews donned Stormtrooper (TK) armor to celebrate this exciting event. The reaction of the fans in the theater was so thrilling, that it gave Albin & Tom an idea. The website “Detention Block 2551” was created, telling the stories of TK-210 & TK-512 and the Imperial Unit named “Vader’s Fist.” Within months, Star Wars fans from all over the world began joining what was called the “Imperial Squad” which later became the “501st Legion”.

In 1999, during the release of The Phantom Menace, members of the Imperial Squad that lived in Illinois began making appearances in theaters across the state. But it wasn’t until the summer of 1999 during Wizard World ComicCON, that Arturo Delgado (TK-412), Michael Washko (TK-895), Luis Bolieve (TK-604), Javier Esqueda (TK-265) decided to form the Midwest Garrison which grew quickly covering the states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, & Wisconsin…and the rest is history.

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