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501st (Star Wars: Republic Commando, #5)
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501st (Star Wars: Republic Commando #5)

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  3,216 Ratings  ·  109 Reviews
The Clone Wars are over, but for those with reason to run from the new galactic Empire, the battle to survive has only just begun. . . .

The Jedi have been decimated in the Great Purge, and the Republic has fallen. Now the former Republic Commandos–the galaxy’s finest special forces troops, cloned from Jango Fett–find themselves on opposing sides and in very different armor
Paperback, 434 pages
Published October 27th 2009 by Del Rey (first published January 1st 2008)
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Jim C I read somewhere that there was suppose to be one more but for whatever reason it was cancelled. I believe that the author has an outline of the last…moreI read somewhere that there was suppose to be one more but for whatever reason it was cancelled. I believe that the author has an outline of the last book and how it was suppose to conclude. If you do a search you might be able to find it.(less)

Community Reviews

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Chad Bearden
Jan 31, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: star-wars-novels
Karen Traviss continues to be one of the best things about the Star Wars EU with this, the fourth volume in what is essentially the Clan Skirata series. As the beginning of what is basically a new, second, story arc, it lacks the emotional whallop of "Order 66", but in addition to laying the groundwork for the next series of conflicts and adventures, it also further defines the personalities of the various clones, begins to explore the myriad of relationships among the hodge-podge cast that inha ...more
Aug 10, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Of course I only find out after reading this that there's not going to be a conclusion to this series. That's seriously unsatisfying. This novel essentially cliff-hangs. Don't bother reading it - stop with Order 66.
Oct 27, 2009 rated it it was ok
I love Traviss's characters, but this Commando installment is probably the weakest example of her prose. Lots of repetition. Repeating things about what Clones are like. Especially if you've read other books in this series. Stuff gets repeated. Within a few paragraphs. There's often repetition.

But the characters are great. This book is also more character driven (as opposed to action driven) than her other Commando books.

I'm changing my review to 2 stars instead of 3. Because the more I think ab
Erik Hansen
Dec 08, 2009 rated it liked it
This was not as strong as the previous Commando books, and the series is starting to read like a Mandalorian ethnography. Lighter on action and intrigue, Karen Traviss has shifted the focus to personal drama and family dynamic. To be honest it's starting to feel like a soap opera, As Mandalore Turns or The Cloned and the Restless if you will.

While this book was a little slower than its bretheren, I am looking forward to the next book and seeing how Darman pulls off his daring escape. Hopefully t
Crystal Starr Light
Jul 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: star-wars
"That's how tyranny succeeds. When folks think it won't affect them. Until it eventually does."
This book was selected in my Star Wars book of the month club! Plus, a good friend of mine gave me the book, which meant I absolutely had to read it!
The Clone Wars has ended, and the Republic is now the Empire. Darman and Niner are stuck in Vader's 501st, Vader's Fist. Darman struggles with the events of the last book, and both long to be home on Kyrimorout with Kal Skirata, Atin, Fi, and the other r
Jan 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I normally hate reviewing books. I don't enjoy getting into the technical aspects of a story, because as I read it, thats not what I think about. I read to enjoy, not to critique.
On that note, I will say that the Commando series is one that completely grabbed me by the neck and didn't let go. I felt that Traviss did an exemplary job at developing her characters, and establishing a connection with the reader. I don't think that there were any parts in the Commando series, or this continuation o
Nov 17, 2010 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: fans of Karen Traviss
I didn't finish this one, and I probably never will. What I did read did not thrill me. I loved the idea of seeing what happened to the clones post-Clone Wars. It was a great concept, and in someone else's hands, it could have been a great book. But this was typical Karen Traviss- filled with unnecessary romance and dripping with melodramatic emotional goo. Clone soldiers with wives and children? Weepy Mandalorians? Puh-lease. When I pick up a Star Wars book, I expect to see epic battles, politi ...more
Mar 18, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
This is the second disappointment of the series.
In Order 66 Etain died stupidly. After proving herself intelligent and noble, she practically commits suicide. I have no problem with a character dying if it is "in character", but it was not.

In this book the main problem is Darman. One must understand he has no basis for dealing with the loss of Etain, but even so he is extremely volatile and irrational, which is not at all like Darman. He decides not to desert because he thinks he can do more g
Sep 13, 2011 rated it it was ok
Apparently I read this book instead of Order 66, thinking it was Order 66, because I'm an idiot and didn't stop to look at the cover. I guess I don't give Traviss merit as an author since I just assumed she'd just skipped over all the action that apparently occurred in the book I was supposed to read; I didn't stop to think that maybe, GASP, I was wrong. Anyway, my review of this book is likely still valid, but there is the potential that the things I nit-picked about in my original review might ...more
Jan 12, 2012 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Those who are interested in more person-oriented Star Wars stories
Before I begin my review, let me first set it in its proper context. This is the first Karen Traviss/commando book I've read. Consequently, I came to 501st not knowing any of the characters or their preceding story lines. In many ways, I think this negatively affected my views of the book, for reasons I'll discuss in more detail below. Furthermore, as has been stated elsewhere, this book necessarily doesn't get a fair shake, because its sequel(s) were cancelled, thus leaving the plot and subplot ...more
Oct 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I won’t even pretend I remember everything that happened in the last Republic Commando book. Big events (Dar has a baby, Fi was brain dead, Sev’s MIA), points of suspense (clones have accelerated aging)--those are easy to recall, but tiny details that set up larger, looming, and very far off in the future plot lines fall away pretty easily: the significance of Death Watch, Arla Fett, Gilamar, etc… The problem with these books is the amount of intricate information and the large cast crammed into ...more
Tyler Whitemarsh
Sep 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
It's part one of 2 and part 2 never got written. You will never end up knowing what happen to the characters.
Matthew Hyde
Jul 21, 2017 rated it did not like it
One of the worst books I have ever read. The author introduced way too many characters, there was no central plot, there were multiple plots that did not tie in with each other, made up words that are used that the reader is apparently supposed to know it's meaning, and too many references to are 21st century life styles. If you are a Star Wars fan and are looking for action this is NOT the book you are looking for.
Nat Nat P
Jan 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: star-wars, favorites
In a long line of stories about Kaminoan clones and Palpatine's newborn Empire, Karen Traviss' last novel in the unique Commando series sets itself apart, in the best way possible. It is truly exceptionally written and more immersive the more you read it, with a colourful cast of characters, compelling conflicts of all kinds and the right dose of emotion for this time period. 501st , the name of the best known legion among Star Wars fans, deals with the aftermath of Order 66 for grieving Mandal ...more
Mar 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Having read nearly all the Star Wars novels, I have to say that this is series is the best. First came the three books of the "Republic Commando" series ("Hard Contact," "Triple Zero," and "True Colors." They were followed by "Order 66" and now "501st." The books revolve around Kal Skirata, one of the Mandolorians hired by Jango Fett (in league at the time with Palpatine and Count Dooku) to train the clone soldiers being grown on Kamino. Skirata stepped in and saved the lives of some of the firs ...more
Jan 21, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: star-wars
Pretty fun. The series (Counting 4 Republic Commando books and this Book 1 of Imperial Commando series as one series) has weakened and this and the last book are much weaker than the first three, but I still wanted to read them and largely enjoyed them.

I really love this series of books and characters. Real world questions are addressed powerfully through fiction: What would be the moral and legal status of human clones if they were successfully created? What of their children? How would they se
Mar 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Okay, it wasn't bad, but it wasn't great ether. Or maybe I expected too many Vader scenes and am now disappointed at the lack of them...
Darryl Dobbs
Apr 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I stand corrected. I had thought that the Republic Commando series had ended after four books. But in fact, this is the fifth book – but since there is no longer a Republic, but rather an Empire, it is called “Imperial Commando”. That actually makes Book 4 a little better, because it didn’t “end” when I thought that it did.

That being said, business really didn’t pick up in this one. Although I was starting to see the overall picture that author Karen Traviss was trying to paint after six or seve
Star Wars? Yes but without the usual suspects and more like the 'Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead' version as the story of a few individuals amongst the thousands who wear the Empire's anonymous white armour unfolds between the momentous events as shown in the Star Wars movies, starting with the Battle of Geonosis. As usual Traviss gets right under the skin of the uncommon soldier. She's worked as a war correspondent, been a member of the TA, actively supports campaigns to improve the lot o ...more
Jun 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: star-wars
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michael R.
Jun 23, 2011 rated it liked it
The first thing I realized was that, there are an awful lot of Star Wars books already out there! Some starting before Episode I, and some continuing after Episode VI, and many, many more in between. This one is interesting because it takes place right after movie III, where Anakin has just assumed power as Darth Vader, and evil Palpitine has taken over leadership of the Empire.

The story has two main plots. One, some of the rebels escaping to planet Maladore (really boring). Second, the more int
Jaime Krause
Oct 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
The Imperials are keeping their eyes and ears out for deserters, ranging from Clones to Jedi to mercenaries. But Kal is on Mandalore working his shebs off in order to keep out of sight of the Imps while providing a safe haven for any said deserters. He's also focused on getting Niner and Darman back, as well as determining how to stop the Clones from rapidly aging.

Scout (from Yoda: Dark Rendezvous) and Kina Ha (a Kaminoan more than 1,000 years old) are two Jedi who find refuge with Skirata's ga
Dylan Gullberg
Nov 19, 2015 rated it it was ok
This review is aimed more so toward the series as a whole:
Karen Travis' Republic Commando series became increasingly stale as the series progressed and sank into a mess of political diatribes, too many plot threads and too many characters. She preached about how each clone was unique and special in their own right but failed to give any of them a voice with the exception of a small handful. Skirata ended up being the only memorable character by the series' sudden end, and he wasn't even a clone!
Lilith K
Jul 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the first of the Imperial Commandos and the last of the Republic Commando stories. I wasn’t sure how it was going to rap since Order 66 ended the way it did, with the Skirata Clan fragmented. It was strange to read the rest of the clan trying to carry on, prepare for more clone deserters and find a cure for their rapid aging, while Dar and Niner are left behind in the new Imperial army. The character change in both Niner and Dar was understandable and well met. After the events of Order ...more
Feb 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book can be viewed from a few different standpoints, most notably as the fifth part of an ongoing story or the first part of a new series that never went any further. Either way you look at it you can't help but come away feeling a little disappointed at all the loose ends left when you reach the final page. There is so much setup here that gets no payoff because the rest of the series was scrapped, which is a shame because a lot of effort has gone into the crafting of the books from the st ...more
It's no secret by now that Traviss was all about the Madaloeans and their culture, but by now, five books into one series with three others that are tangentially related, it's getting a little tiresome. I enjoy the worlds and characters she created, but how many kids does Skirata have now? Fifteen? Maybe more? Extending that culture among this many novels strains some of what makes the stories and characters interesting, as the novels become repetitious.

In 501st, Darman and Niner are now a part
Apr 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Karen Traviss did something amazing with her series of books on the clone commandos. They were complex; they had depth and excitement, adventure and suspense, emotion and heart. As a whole, they took the creation of a clone army - which is treated in a cold and a matter-of-fact way in the movies - and sculpted this rich idea of a group of clones who begin to want more. Who see themselves for what they are - living, breathing beings robbed of the freedom they deserved.
That's one thing I love abo
Jim C
Nov 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
A novel set in the universe that we all know and love. This book is not considered canon. It is the continuation of the Republic Commando series but it is known as the Imperial Commando novel since the galaxy is now ruled by the Empire. I strongly recommend reading the previous books before this one. In this book we learn how recent events are affecting everyone and how they are adjusting to their new lives. The old adage "out of the frying pan into the fire" describes this book.

This series is n
Jan 05, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
Well, what happens when a science fiction book gets wholly concerned about the human part and not really anything else? This book more or less answers this question. This is my first star wars book, and I really doubt whether I will pick up another star wars book by the same author.

There is no beginning, no stuff to think about the way story progresses and, certainly, there is no end - one boring journey to nowhere.

To summarise:
> Kal Skirata is filthy rich, he wants to protect clones
> Clo
Mike Smith
Jul 29, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-wars
This book is the 4th Star Wars book by Karen Traviss in the Republic/Imperial Commando series, featuring a small group of clones and their trainers. The first three books dealt with the commandos and a few Jedi officers during the Clone Wars. This book takes place shortly after the events of the Revenge of the Sith movie, when the clonetroopers have become stormtroopers and the Jedi are now the enemy. Many of the commandos we've come to know in the first three books are now deserters, more inter ...more
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#1 New York Times best-selling novelist, scriptwriter and comics author Karen Traviss has received critical acclaim for her award-nominated Wess'har series, and her work on Halo, Gears of War, Batman, G.I. Joe, and other major franchises has earned her a broad range of fans. She's best known for military science fiction, but GOING GREY and BLACK RUN, the first books in her new techno-thriller seri ...more
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Other Books in the Series

Star Wars: Republic Commando (5 books)
  • Hard Contact (Star Wars: Republic Commando, #1)
  • Triple Zero  (Star Wars: Republic Commando, #2)
  • True Colors (Star Wars: Republic Commando, #3)
  • Order 66: (Star Wars: Republic Commando, #4)

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“That's how tyranny succeeds. When folks think it won't affect them until eventually it does.” 6 likes
“Life was a trade-off between loneliness and inevitable peaks of joy or agony.” 1 likes
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