The Adventures of the 501st | Why you need to check out this Clone-Wars Inspired Epic

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With Bad Batch on its way to Disney+, fans have unified once again to rewatch the critically acclaimed series: The Clone Wars, while others have decided to continue the franchise’s legacy on new grounds.  The Adventures of the 501st is a fan-made series that will delve deep into the true nature of the 501st squadron — led by Anakin Skywalker in the Clone Wars — and their final mission to preserve peace in the Galactic Republic.

The show will adopt the famous art style first used in the Clone Wars television series back in 2008 and in The Bad Batch later this year.  It’s always been a joy seeing content creators construct such projects, and The Adventures of the 501st is no different.  The series will be produced, written, and animated by only a dozen individuals. Their entire purpose in making it is to shed more light on the 501st and its troubling conclusion.  

In a full detailed synopsis, the team of the project derived a summary of the narrative: “During the Siege of Mandalore and the final days of the Republic, you will follow the 501st in their last Battle against the CIS on Coruscant with new and old characters, an exciting story, and quality animation.”

The series will introduce new characters to the Clone Army while also bringing back fan-favorites of the original show, like Appo and Thire.  In a recent QnA with Mike Chan, the Modeler, and Animator of the series, he had this to say about the inclusion of characters old and new:  “The differences in the clones are very similar to how the clones are portrayed in TCW (The Clone Wars)”. Later saying, “The main characters have their distinct personality and quirks. However, we are also taking some creative liberties with characters who exist in the canon already so that they can fit in with our story”.

Who are the recurring characters?

Appo and Thire both played vital roles in seasons 1 and 4 of The Clone Wars (2008). 

 Appo is the leading commander of the 501st squadron below former Captain Rex, who left the legion after the events of Season 7.  He first appeared in the episode “General” as one of the troopers who fought valiantly against the insolence of the Jedi Council in the Battle of Umbara. Then later appeared in the Revenge of the Sith as a commander during the Battle of Coruscant, when Order 66 occurred.

Thire, on the other hand, is a clone lieutenant of the Coruscant Guard.  He first appeared in the episode “Ambush,” which was, surprisingly enough, the first episode of the Clone Wars anthology.  Now the leading lieutenant of the Coruscant Guard, Thire will most likely play a role in the series’ progression.

Topper and Tray are the newest characters and most likely the protagonists of the narrative.  Even though there is little information about the two troopers, we do know that their personalities will vary from one another.  Topper is the brute who eats clankers for breakfast with a blaster at his disposal — the stereotypical action guy.  On the other side of the spectrum, Tray is the tinkerer and overall more intelligent than his counterpart, but his wit can sometimes be his downfall.  They both will play into the story’s plot and hopefully come out as fan favorites in the upcoming future of Star Wars mythology, but until then, we have a long way to go till we see the two in action. 

“Our love and passion for Star Wars are what keep us going. All of us want to create something remarkable for you guys!” Mike Chan continued, representing each crew member’s feelings about the production. “But this takes a lot longer than the stuff some of the other content creators put out since we’re hand-crafting almost everything”.

For an 8-part animation with only 12 people working on it, completing the series can prove to be quite a difficult task; and by that, I mean it is near impossible.  The team will be using Autodesk Maya and Blender for modeling, while 3DCoat and Substance Painter will be used for texturing.  On top of this, the animation will consist of all unique character models.  They will not use any pre-made models in the making of the series. The crew hopes to make the best possible story for the fan base, and it’s incredible, but the workload may become their biggest conflict in delivering such a motion picture.

Mike ended the discussion with one final statement, declaring, “It’s been a great learning experience for everybody since we’re learning all facets of production, and we’re learning how to work with people of all ages!”

Although the show does not have an announced release date, many sources estimate that the series will launch sometime in early 2021 on the video platform: Youtube.

Works Cited

These images were used from the Adventures of the 501st (2021)

“@Ao501st.” Linktree, 2021, linktr.ee/Ao501st. Accessed 9 Apr. 2021.

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