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How Big Was a Legion in Star Wars?

How Big Was a Legion in Star Wars?

All battles need warriors, and the eponymous clashes in Star Wars are no different. Legions were configurations of soldiers that first saw use in the Galactic Republic and, later, the Empire.

But a collection of soldiers is only as strong as its numbers.

So, how big were the legions used by the Republic and Empire?

What Is a Legion in Star Wars?

Despite their differences, the Republic’s and Empire’s legions had much in common. The biggest one of note was their choice of soldiers: clones.

Legions on both sides were made up of thousands of clones. For the Republic, they were Clone Troopers; for the Empire, Stormtroopers.

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Star Wars Attack of the Clones - Obi-Wan Meet The Clone Army for the Republic.

Likewise, each legion was led by one or more high-ranking officials.

The Republic’s legions were commanded by one Jedi General and a clone commander. This clone was given the rank “Senior” and would stay with the appointed Jedi, leading alongside them.

In the Empire, there were no specific ranks which led legions. It’s thought, however, that they would’ve been led by high-ranking individuals of the Imperial Army.

How Big Were the Republic/Empire’s Legions?

Although legions of the Republic and Empire were similar in many ways, they differed greatly in size. These numbers vary even more when you look between Star Wars Canon and Legends!

This discrepancy makes sense, considering the difference in resources and power available to each side at the time.

Republic Legions

Legions in Star Wars Canon

In Star Wars canon, legions saw much more use in the Empire than in the Republic. Still, Republic legions were invaluable to the many successes against the Empire.

Size of the Republic’s Legions

The most famous Republic legion was called the “501st Legion.” This legion would later be used under the rule of the Empire, with vastly different numbers.

Every Battle the 501st Legion Fought in the Clone Wars

Under the Republic’s rule, a legion was more of a composition than anything. They consisted of multiple subdivisions, and no less than three brigades.

Although the exact numbers of a subdivision are unknown, a single brigade consisted of 576 Clone Troopers. From this, we can assume that a Republic legion consisted of at least 1,728 soldiers!

This is just an estimation, however, and it’s likely that the actual number was much greater.

Size of the Empire’s Legions


Imperial legions in canon had a well-defined number of soldiers: 12,800 Stormtroopers. This number can be gathered by looking at the Empire’s definition of a legion.

An Imperial legion consisted of four “regiments,” where a single regiment held 3,200 Stormtroopers. This gives us our total of 12,800!

Legions of the First Order and Sith Eternal

Legions don’t stop at just the Republic and the Empire, though. The First Order and the Sith Eternal had their own definitions of a legion as well!

Both of these factions had a much cleaner definition of what a legion was. This is likely due to their modern conception in Star Wars lore, where information is easily tracked.

The First Order defined a legion as having 8,000 Stormtroopers.

Sith Eternal legions used their own Sith troopers rather than Stormtroopers. These legions consisted of 5,000 troopers.

The Secret Truth Behind The Sith Troopers & Sith Eternal Fleet

Legions in Star Wars Legends

Unlike in Star Wars Canon, legions in Legends had a wider range of numbers. This is especially so when looking at the Empire’s definition of a legion.

Size of the Republic’s Legions

Republic legions were strictly comprised of the near-endlessly available Clone Troopers. Specifically, a “legion” was defined as having 9,216 clone soldiers.

As an added measure, these legions would often be backed up by thousands of supporting soldiers and/or a number of Jedi.

Having a battling force of these numbers was quintessential to many of the Republic’s victories against the Empire.

Size of the Empire’s Legions

A commonly cited number for an Imperial legion is 8,192 Stormtroopers. However, this is only an estimate.

The exact configuration and numbers of an Imperial legion is unknown. Alternatively, it’s possible that having an unfixed number was intentional.

More insight can be found in the 2015 book, Star Wars: Imperial Handbook: A Commander's Guide .

Star Wars - The Imperial Handbook - A Commander's Guide

According to A Commander’s Guide, an Imperial legion could contain anywhere from 8,192 Stormtroopers to upwards of 12,800! Battalions of this size were the largest of any kind within the Imperial Army.

However, limitations were not a common trait of the Empire. So, it was very common for multiple legions to combine forces against a given enemy.


All Clone Corps, Legions & Battalions - Star Wars Explained

Whether they belonged to the Republic or the Empire, legions were fearsome collections of clone soldiers! They consisted of Clone Troopers and Stormtroopers for the Republic and Empire, respectively.

In Canon, a Republic legion had at least 1,728 soldiers. It’s likely that the real number was much larger, though, especially considering the size of legions in Legends.

Legions in Legends held a much larger number of 9,216 Clone Troopers! Each of these legions were led by a Jedi General and a high-ranking clone commander.

The definition of Imperial legions in Canon and Legends are inverted. Canon legions held an exact number of 12,800 Stormtroopers.

Conversely, legions in Legends didn’t have a fixed number, instead ranging from 8,192 to 12,800 Stormtroopers. It’s easy to imagine, however, that most Imperial legions erred on the larger side.

Legions persisted long after both the Republic and the Empire, too!

The First Order and the Sith Eternal had legions of 8,000 Stormtroopers and 5,000 Sith Troopers, respectively.

Either way, it’s clear to see that these massive forces would’ve been the turning point of any battle they faced.

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