Article I: Membership requiremements
Article II: TDE Costuming: Approval Process / Judging Protocol
Article III: Code of Conduct
Article IV: STAR WARS Canon and Non-canon Costuming
Article V: Club Organization
Article VI: Honorary Members and Friends of The Dark Empire
The purpose of The Dark Empire is to promote multi-generational fandom and appreciation of STAR WARS through acts of charity, and to encourage creative costuming as custom characters and canon characters representing the “dark side” of the Star Wars universe.
Creative writing is also encouraged, in the form of short fanfiction which can be shared on our forums and submitted for narration consideration on our podcast. The Dark Empire is, however, primarily a costuming organization devoted to celebrating the Star Wars saga. We are not a role-playing site.
Article I: Membership Requirements
A) Membership Details
The Dark Empire is an equal opportunity organization and will not discriminate against existing or prospective members on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, physical disability, religion or philosophy. In order to gain full membership one must be a minimum of eighteen (18) years of age and own an approved “dark side” or “dark side-affiliated” costume from within the Star Wars canon or non-canon genre. See the costume standards, or Costume Reference Library, linked on our website, here:
TDE is a costuming home for fans of the dark side of the force. We welcome custom and canon Sith, Dark Jedi, and Grey Jedi. Other dark side-affiliated custom and canon costumes accepted include force users and non-force users such as Sith Troopers, Sith Inquisitors, Imperial Agents, and Non-Mandalorian Bounty Hunters and Pirates / Smugglers. These costumes must represent Sith-affiliated characters from any of the STAR WARS movies, or from any era within the Expanded Universe including books, games, comics, and animated series.
The Dark Empire costume club, in addition to accepting custom and canon Sith, Dark Jedi, and Grey Jedi costumes for full membership, also accepts within its ranks custom and canon Sith-affiliated costumes of the following types, from the Old Republic Era, Movie Era, and post-Movie eras:
1. Non-Mandalorian Bounty Hunters
3. Sith Assassins
4. Old Republic Sith Troopers (Clone Troopers and Movie Era Troopers are not accepted costumes within TDE)
5. Other costumes associated with the Sith Empire, both canon and custom versions of the following classes / sub-classes of the SWTOR and related eras including the following:
Sith Warrior: Sith Juggernaut and Sith Marauder, Sith Inquisitor: Sith Sorcerer and Sith Assassin, Bounty Hunter: Powertech and Mercenary (non Mandalorian only), and Imperial Agent: Operative and Sniper.
6. Movie-era and Expanded Universe-era smugglers that operated for the Imperials or Sith factions are also accepted costumes within TDE. However, costumes representing a canon or customization of a canon "Rebel" affiliated smuggler costume are not authorized for membership in TDE.
All costumes of these types, canon or similarly-constructed custom versions thereof, must be shown to be affiliated with the Sith or Sith Empire.
FOR EXAMPLE: In the Clone Wars animated series, Cad Bane was hired by Darth Sidious. Therefore, Cad Bane (or a custom version thereof) is an acceptable costume within The Dark Empire.
When depicting A custom Character for The Dark Empire, the character must reflect Star Wars universe costuming and will be expected to represent integrity in its construction that George Lucas himself would expect.
All newly-approved costumers of these types of characters will not receive an alternate designation number when approved, however, will receive the standard TDE designation.
For example: TDE-113 (multiple approved costumes on file)
1. Official Membership requires a minimum age of 18.
a. Applicants must be legal adults. Official Membership, also referred to as Full
Membership, is defined as a costumer with a TDE number with an approved costume. Forum Members, persons who have joined TDE on the forums only, must be at least 13 years of age. Persons under the age of 18 attending events are required to have a parent or guardian present.
b. Forum Members are not Official Members, and therefore cannot represent TDE (by wearing a costume) at any approved TDE event (charitable events, events supporting and promoting Star Wars, conventions, etc.) However, those who are forum members only may assist TDE at such events by working as handlers or in other support capacities. TDE t-shirts (that do not indicate the words “Official Member”) and/or other items bearing the TDE logo or Dark Empire Radio logo are strongly encouraged for wear by Forum Members at events, however, are not required.
c. All persons utilizing the TDE forums are required to have, as a minimum on their forum profiles, their age and Temple region (or general location). This information shall serve to assist forum administrators in identifying users within the TDE forums.
2. Forum Membership status may be granted to those who do not possess a costume yet wish to participate in an event or on any existing web forums if the following criteria are met:
a. Prospective member meets the minimum age requirements.
b. Adheres strictly to all codes of conduct set forth within this charter.
3. Membership Approval
a. Forum members are approved by the TDE Council.
b. Official members of the TDE are recommended for approval by the TDE Costume Judges. Final approval of membership is at the discretion of the Sith’ari. (See Article II, section B, The Costume Judging Process).
4. Official Member privileges
Official Members, in addition to being considered full members of TDE, are also eligible to troop as full members, vote within TDE elections, and purchase TDE Official Member merchandise (See Article IX).
a. Forum members, while they cannot purchase Official Member merchandise, can still purchase other merchandise offered, such as podcast (Dark Empire Radio) merchandise that also promotes The Dark Empire. Forum Members may also participate in trooping events as handlers, photographers, and table staffers, however Forum Members may not troop in costume while representing TDE. Forum members cannot participate in TDE elections.
b. Official Members may not troop in an unapproved costume while representing TDE. A request may be asked to the TDE Council to be able to troop in an unapproved costume while representing The Dark Empire on a case by case basis, with the understanding that the member requesting this action enter with the unapproved costume into the Dark Trials.
c. Official Members agree, as part of their full membership status within the club, that their likeness in approved costume may be used for club promotional purposes, including but not limited to posts on social media and club literature. This rule also applies to persons no longer active within the club; images of former members in approved costume during their active membership may also be used for the purposes of promoting The Dark Empire.
5. TDE Apprentices
Full members of TDE with children that wish to troop along with their parents at events may do so; Minors under the age of 18 may be considered Apprentices of TDE; apprentices are not full members, but may costume at conventions or events along with a parent/guardian who must be an Official Member of The Dark Empire.
a. The Empire accepts no responsibility for the well being of any apprentices at events where the Empire is represented.
b. The Official Member of TDE that is the parent or Guardian of the minor in costume representing TDE must be present at all times, and is responsible for the conduct of their TDE Apprentice.
c. Costumes of TDE Apprentices are not judged, however, builders of such costumes are encouraged to follow the same standards as would be adhered to when constructing a costume for Official Membership within The Dark Empire.
B) Meetings and Event Planning
There are no regularly required meetings and no membership dues collected by The Dark Empire. TDE is strictly a non-profit organization devoted to charitable causes and assisting similar organizations at events upon request.
Event planning is coordinated within our website forums. However, TDE members residing in a local area may wish to organize a special meeting prior to an event for planning purposes.
TABLE DUTY AT CONVENTIONS AND SIMILAR EVENTS
As outlined in Article III, subsection 3, part A of this Charter, an event such as a convention, in which TDE has a table or other similar display, cannot be left unmanned during the operational hours of the event. As such, Temples, Temple Spires, or other persons planning a convention or other event in which TDE shall have a table, shall create a table duty roster in the forums where the event planning is being conducted.
1. Table duty roster shall be in two-hour increments, and shall cover the entirety of the operational hours of the event.
2. Members committing to table duty must arrive on time to represent The Dark Empire for their scheduled two-hour shift. Proper notification and communication with a Jen'ari or other leader or Official Member attending the event is required if a member cannot attend a scheduled table-duty shift, as planned on the TDE forums, due to an unforeseen circumstance.
3. Table duty shifts, just like all memberships within The Dark Empire, are on a voluntary basis. Representation of TDE at a table during a convention by a member is indicative of a person's desire to serve TDE as a club.
Article II: TDE Costuming - Approval Process / Judging Protocol
TDE Costume Reference Library (Costuming Standards):
A) APPLICATION PROCESS – Dark Trials
(How to apply to The Dark Empire for Full Membership.)
1. Potential Applicants are encouraged to post a Work in Progress (WIP) thread on the TDE forums. Here, the general membership of TDE can share their experiences and offer suggestions for costume development. Recruits can ask and get answers to their costuming questions.
a. While encouraged, posting a WIP thread is not required. However, be aware that the costume judges will be evaluating costumes based on written and posted costume standards (Library of Sith and Dark Side Costuming on the TDE forums). Recruits whose costumes do not meet the TDE costume standards may be asked to upgrade or modify their costume before having their costume approved for TDE membership. Posting a WIP thread is meant to help avoid costuming issues.
2. Once a potential applicant is ready to submit their costume for judging, thus becoming a TDE recruit, they should upload pictures of their costume to an offsite photosharing site (such as PhotoBucket, Flickr, etc.). They will then send their costume photos to the Membership Officer either via PM on the TDE forums, or by email (see Council Members section of the TDE website to contact Council Members via email). Potential Applicants may also contact TDE via the “Contact Us” bar on the TDE website (Dark Trial submission photos / applications for full membership emailed to TDE in this manner will be forwarded to the Membership Officer).
a. Photos sent for judging should be of sufficient quality and resolution to allow the TDE costume judges to clearly and easily evaluate the costume. Photos should be unaltered (no photoshopping of any kind, including rotoscoping of lightsabers). Finally, recruits are encouraged to take their photos against a plain and contrasting background (a single color wall, siding, brick wall, green screen, etc.)
b. Required photos for the costume application:
(the following full body poses should be without a robe)
iii. right side
iv. left side
-For Right and Left side poses, the arms should be raised if there are any costume components of note that would otherwise be covered if the arms were at the side and at rest.
-Additional photos for costume application:
v. a pose with a robe (if applicable)
vi. a post WITHOUT a mask/helmet (or other costume component that would cover the face) (if applicable)
vii. any close up of a costume component where there is insufficient contrast to easily evaluate the costume component in question (examples would be: gloves, boots, lightsaber, etc.)
viii. an action post that would be preferred for the official membership picture
c. The costume application should also include information about the costume. Such information may include, but is not limited to:
i. materials used in construction (for soft (leather, pleather, fabrics, etc.) and hard parts (fiberglass, ABS/HiPS plastic, etc.))
ii. colors of various components
iii. commentary on any costume components that were hand crafted versus purchased in a store
iv. any modifications that were made to, otherwise, Earthly components (examples may include: motor cycle boots, toy weapons that were modified to appear real, masks and or other wear purchased from commercial sources, etc.)
3. The recruit will then wait to hear from one of the judges (with correspondence that may require clarification of components, additional pictures or upgrades/modifications to the costume) or from the Sith'ari granting full membership to TDE.
B) COSTUME JUDGING PROTOCOL
The costume judging protocol for TDE is a private affair. While members of the TDE Council, including the Sith'ari, have access to the Costume Deliberation forums, only the opinions of the TDE Costume Judges will be considered for membership approval (or denial). There are a total of ten (10) Costume Judges within The Dark Empire, including the Nes'ari Apprentice (if applicable), but not including the Nes'ari, Anik'ari, or Sith'ari. Costume Judges within TDE are also referred to as "Costume Inquisitors", and are selected and overseen by the Nes'ari.
1. Once an application is received, the Membership Officer (Nes'ari), or an inquisitor that the Nes'ari has designated, will create a new thread in the private Costume Deliberation forums, at which time the judging will begin. The Membership Officer, may at their discretion, assign a given application to a particular TDE costuming judge. That judge will become the sole person through which any communication with the applicant will take place. Otherwise, judging of costumes for TDE largely takes place by committee (rather than being the responsibility of a single person).
2. The Recruit’s costume will be judged. The recruit will be contacted by the chief judge if there are any issues to be clarified, additional pictures are requested or if there are any components that need upgrading or modified.
a. It is the responsibility of the TDE Costume Judges to help recruits get approved.
b. All costumes will be judged against the posted Costume Reference Library. The judges will take into consideration individual costume components as well as how the costume appears as a completed work.
3. Membership Approval/Denial
Once the judging is complete, the TDE Costume Judges will make a recommendation for either membership approval or denial.
a. Any costume applications that are denied will be handled discretely by the chief costuming judge who is overseeing the given application in question.
b. Applications of recruit’s costumes who are recommended for membership approval with the TDE will be sent to the Sith'ari.
c. The Sith'ari has the final opinion regarding approval or denial of membership to TDE.
d. The new Official Member must select a photo of theirs from their Dark Trials submissions, or other similar photo, that features the approved costume for membership to be placed on the Official Member page to be created on the website. All full members within TDE shall have a member page on the club website that features photos of their approved costumes for membership within the club.
e. Forum members that purchase a TDE approved costume from an existing Official Member must still submit said costume into the Dark Trials as a prospective costume for full membership. All new costumes to be considered for TDE approval, even for existing members, including major upgrades to approved existing costumes, must be entered into the Dark Trials.
f. No prospective member shall borrow a costume from an existing Official Member within the club for expected admittance as a full member. Costumes worn by applicants in the Dark Trials must belong to the applicant undergoing the process for full membership.
Article III: Code of Conduct
Our members are expected to maintain professionalism and respect toward others, in and out of costume, while representing TDE.
There is a zero-tolerance policy in The Dark Empire when reports of illegal activity or complaints of inappropriate activity by any of our members, in or out of costume, is received by the Council.
Any complaints of criminal activity or inappropriate behavior received by the TDE Council about any member of The Dark Empire will be reviewed by the Council and dealt with as per Article VII of this Charter.
2. Official Members in costume, and any member of TDE wearing TDE merchandise (refer to Article IX), and persons posting on the TDE forums are representing The Dark Empire as an organization. It is therefore the responsibility of the Member representing TDE to remain respectful, courteous, and professional toward other people at all times.
Any slandering or negative statements about other members of TDE, Lucasfilm (including celebrities, Lucasfilm staff, etc) are strictly prohibited. Professional criticism with regards to costuming is permitted, provided no personal attacks are made.
It is understood that all costumers within this organization represent the “dark side,” and therefore a “bad guy” image. However, this image is strictly limited to costuming and photograph purposes only. All outward gestures, conversation, and mannerisms toward other people, be they other costumers or the public at large, shall be professional and courteous while representing The Dark Empire. There can be no exceptions to this rule.
3. The Dark Empire expressly forbids lightsaber choreography demonstrations of any kind while at conventions or any costumed event. Persons representing TDE are not permitted to swing or handle any blade or elongated object in a manner depicting lightsaber combat while in a crowded or confined area. Members are allowed to show a hilt, without a blade attached, to young people, in a manner as to demonstrate how a lightsaber operates. However, at no time is any member permitted to allow any person outside of TDE to handle any lightsaber in a manner depicting combat. The reason for this rule is to avoid any litigation that could occur as a result of any injury incurred by a child or any non-TDE member, and to protect Lucasfilm property / assets. Members of TDE that are also members of other groups that specialize or routinely have lightsaber shows may participate in lightsaber shows or demonstrations with the other groups they are affiliated with, provided that they are not representing The Dark Empire while conducting said activity.
a. At events or conventions in which The Dark Empire has a table, booth, or other similar display representing the group requiring the presence of an approved costumed member, at no time shall the table, booth, or similar display requiring the presence of an approved costumed member be left unattended during the operational hours of the event in which the display is involved.
Although it is understood that there are some conventions and events in which a table or other attended display can be left unmanned, it is also understood that to do so can compromise the professional image of The Dark Empire. Any violation of this section, therefore, shall be considered to directly impact the group as a whole.
4. Member Hygiene
All costumed and non-costumed members of TDE representing the organization, inside and outside of any event, are required to maintain a socially acceptable standard of personal hygiene. This is considered an essential part of professional appearance and composure that cannot be neglected.
5. Member Representation
It shall be understood by all Official and Forum members within the organization that activity
representing The Dark Empire, either in costume, or even when posting on the forums, is
activity that also represents Lucasfilm, the owner of all things in the Star Wars universe,
including The Dark Empire. Professionalism shall be maintained by all members at all times on the forums and at events while representing TDE.
a. Any misconduct toward Lucasfilm employees or employees of The Disney Corporation by members of The Dark Empire (Forum or Official), while representing the club in any capacity, either on the internet or physically at an event, shall be grounds for disciplinary action as outlined in Article VII of this Charter.
6. Forum Etiquette
It is proper etiquette within the TDE forums to keep the topic of discussion related to the title of the thread in which posts are being made. It is permitted for members to post small responses to thread discussions, such as “I like it,” or “Nice job,” etc. However, multiple posts of said type, done simply for the accomplishment of posting in the forums, cannot be kept at a constant.
7. Monetary Donations to Charity
The Dark Empire was purposefully created to support charitable organizations, and encourages donations to charities it works with and supports. TDE does not accept any payments or funds for its services, other than to bring direct donations to a specified charity organization.
a. Violations of this section are to be considered "malfeasance" violations, as described within Article V of this Charter, and will be dealt with accordingly by the TDE Council.
8. TDE POLICY OF MUTUAL FAN GROUP SUPPORT
It is the policy of The Dark Empire to maintain an open gesture of goodwill and cooperation with the other costuming fan groups, in terms of charitable work. TDE recognizes that, as other groups like it were formed prior to its existence, other groups may be invited to events where The Dark Empire might not be. Nevertheless, The Dark Empire shall make a practice of fairness and openness to working with other groups, especially at events coordinated by Temples within TDE. The Dark Empire supports all other fan groups like it.
a. At no time whatsoever shall costumed members of TDE arrive at an event sponsored by another group uninvited. Such an act is not representative of this policy, and is considered detrimental to the image and integrity of The Dark Empire. Members of TDE committing such an act shall be subject to actions as outlined in Article VII of this Charter.
b. Members of TDE are forbidden to request permission or seek invitations to appear at any event or venue in costume, with the prior knowledge that the event is hosted by another Star Wars fan group. TDE respects other groups of its kind, and will never seek to include themselves in an event hosted by another group without an invitation. Persons planning events may consult with other groups or staff members of prospective event locations, should it be deemed necessary, in order to avoid any conflict of interest. The TDE policies prohibiting appearances of members in TDE-approved costumes at non-TDE events without an invitation, and prohibiting the seeking of invitations, shall be strictly enforced.
c. Although The Dark Empire maintains a policy of open invitation to other STAR WARS clubs like it that may wish to participate at charitable events created by The Dark Empire, TDE nevertheless reserves the right to rescind that invitation to other clubs or individuals that may be unsuitable or may possibly cause a conflict of interest at a TDE event, as so deemed by the event organizer, Jen'ari, Sedriss, or other TDE leader responsible for the operation of the particular event.
For example, if TDE has a "face character," such as Darth Sidious, scheduled to be at a TDE event, then a Darth Sidious costumer from another organization might cause a possible conflict of interest.
d. If a member of TDE or another group has caused prior antagonism or negativity against The Dark Empire or any other costuming group, then The Dark Empire reserves the right to deny an invitation to troop to the TDE member, other group member, or other group entirely.
9. TROOPING POLICY FOR POLITICAL / RELIGIOUS VENUES
At no time shall conduct by any member of The Dark Empire, be they Full / Official or Forum Members, either on the forums, or in public, in or out of costume while representing TDE, be undertaken in any political or religious gathering. Members of The Dark Empire shall not use their TDE-approved costumes or any other item associated with The Dark Empire in a manner with the intent to represent the organization at any such event.
a. The policy of The Dark Empire to not involve any religion or politics within its forums or at any event shall be enforced.
b. A violation of this policy, in which a member causes The Dark Empire to be represented in any way at such an event, shall be considered a "malfeasance" violation, as outlined in Article VII of this Charter, and enforced as such.
c. TDE may conduct charity work at a church or other political institution for charitable purposes, however, may not conduct itself in anyway that shows support or non-support for any specific religion or political organization or agenda.
10. MEMBERS FORBIDDEN TO REQUEST SPECIAL FAVORS OR TREATMENT
The Dark Empire does not ask for gratuities or gifts for appearances or events; it is the policy of TDE to never ask for any item or other service in return for appearances by our members at a charitable event, or other similar function. If they are offered, then we may accept them.
a) If TDE members are offered cash, the protocol is to direct the person(s) offering to our website, and to then choose one of our sponsored charities.
b) Members of TDE are expressly forbidden to request anything in return for any services rendered by its members, such as trooping in costume, under any circumstances.
c) Violations of this section are to be considered Malfeasance violations of the TDE Charter, and will be handled by TDE leadership in accordance with Article VII of the TDE Charter.
11. SOLITARY TROOPING AT EVENTS PROHIBITED
Members of The Dark Empire are forbidden to troop an event while in costume alone, unless another adult serving as a handler, photographer, or other assistant is also present. At no time shall TDE be represented at an event by a lone individual. An Official Member may troop an event alone in costume only if another adult is present on behalf of TDE, or present to assist the Official Member within the capacity of the trooping event being attended.
12. COUNCIL MEMBER ACCOUNTABILITY
This policy is set in place in order to maintain a safe and satisfactory leadership environment, while keeping at the same time a system of accountability for each member of the TDE Council.
a) Should a member of the TDE Council suspect, or have cause to suspect, that another member of the TDE Council is negligent in the performance of their duty, or is in any way conducting business or other wrongdoing that could be detrimental to the operation of the club, the Council Member must directly contact the other member of the Council they suspect (or have cause to suspect) of the negligence or other activity in question that could affect The Dark Empire.
b) Both Council Members shall attempt to rectify the situation between themselves, so that both are in understanding with each other and an agreeable solution for both parties is reached.
c) If the issue cannot be resolved directly between both Council Members, then both Council Members shall contact the Sith'ari, and have a conference arranged and discussed, either by telephone, in person, internet voice conference, or other similar medium, so that the situation can be permanently resolved in a final ruling by the Sith'ari.
d) With issues that involve the Sith'ari, or when the Sith'ari is not available to handle a meeting of above type, then the Anik'ari shall be contacted, and a conference shall then be convened in like fashion.
e) A meeting with the Sith'ari (or Anik'ari if above conditions are in place) shall not be necessary if the issue can first be resolved in discussion via the private Council Room area of the main TDE forums.
13. TDE LEADERSHIP FORUM PRESENCE
All TDE Council Members, Council Member Apprentices, Temple Jen'ari, and all club officers shall log-in to the main TDE forums at least once every 72 hours (three days), in order to ensure adequate communications between leaders and members, and so that club operations are not compromised. Should a leader not be available for more than a 72 hour period, they must declare as such on the forums, so that other leaders are properly informed. Emergency situations are excluded from this requirement.
14. DELEGATION OF RESPONSIBILITY FOR VAROUS ACTIVITIES AT TDE EVENTS
All TDE event activities shall be delegated to a full member responsible for the operation of said activity. A Temple Jen'ari or an Event Organizer (always a full member within the club) may elect another Official Member to conduct a TDE activity at a charitable event, such as the Sith Inquisition, to ensure its smooth operation.
15. DISCLOSURE OF FUNDS RECEIVED FOR CHARITY AT EVENTS
All Temple Jen'ari and/or event organizers shall report the amounts of all funds generated at club events for charity to the Anik'ari, for record keeping purposes. This report must include the ending grand totals of the venue/charity organization's efforts as a whole, in which TDE contributed efforts in the raising of funds for charity. Reports shall be made to the Anik'ari directly via PM or email (email can be done via the Council Members section of the TDE main website). This policy shall be enforced by the Imperial Hand.
16. EVENT INVITATIONS FROM OTHER CLUBS TO TDE & TDE TO OTHER CLUBS
There shall be no posting of event invitations on the TDE forums from other fan group message boards without a direct invitation from an officer or event organizer from the other group, and/or viceversa. Invitations to club events must be sent or received by a club officer or event organizer of TDE and the other pertaining fan group(s).
a. When TDE receives an event invitation from another club or fan group, The Dark Empire shall recognize that the inviting group will have priority if any canon characters are requested for the event. For example: If the inviting club is providing their own Darth Vader (or other canon or "face" character), TDE shall NOT provide a duplicate of the same character. Event planning and coordinating with the inviting organization shall keep such a scenario from occurring. TDE custom characters are, of course, exempt from this policy.
b. The same policy shall apply in reverse when The Dark Empire extends invitations to other clubs at TDE-sponsored / TDE-coordinated events. Should The Dark Empire provide any canon / "face" characters at a TDE-created event, then TDE members shall have priority should they wish to costume as such a character. As a courtesy, The Dark Empire may inform invited clubs about STAR WARS canon characters it intends to provide at the event in question ahead of time, in order to avoid two of the same canon character appearing simultaneously.
17. CAMPAIGNING FORBIDDEN IN T.D.E.
Campaigning of any type is not permitted in TDE. Before, during, or after an election, there shall be no attempt by a candidate for any position of office within the club, or attempt by anyone on their behalf, to win votes from other members in the club. This policy is extended both on and off of the TDE forums.
a. The TDE Council, specifically the Imperial Hand, shall be notified if such activity is encountered.
b. Members found in violation of this rule shall be removed from any ballot for office, and be subject to Article VII procedures.
18. SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS AND STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS (FORUM AND OFFICIAL)
Social media statements made by members on their own social media pages shall remain the personal statements of the members making such posts on their pages. However, if the statements being made on social media are made in such a way that The Dark Empire is specifically represented or implied, or posts are made on behalf of the club, then those posts may become a club concern. Social media posts by full members or forum members made to directly cause harm to the image of The Dark Empire are prohibited.
Article IV: Star Wars Canon and Non-Canon Costuming
The Dark Empire encourages costuming creativity by allowing membership of custom Sith characters, in addition to characters from the Star Wars movies and expanded universe (books, comics, etc). TDE therefore includes characters of Star Wars canon and non-canon within its Official Membership base. All Official Members pursuant to Article II of this Charter, however, must represent the Star Wars universe with as much attention to detail as possible to their costumes.
Article V: Club Organization
The leadership of The Dark Empire is composed of a hierarchical command structure, with a Council of five (5) positions overseeing Temples and Temple Spires (regional chapters) within the club that contain command structures of their own. All positions of office within TDE may be occupied only by Official Members in good standing within the club.
A "member in good standing" is defined as a member that has not undergone any recent disciplinary action within TDE, as defined in Article VII of this Charter, resulting in a current suspension, probationary period, or membership revocation.
LIMIT OF TWO POSITIONS OF OFFICE FOR MEMBERS
Official Members may not occupy any more than two (2) positions of office within the club, official (Jen'ari, Sedriss, Council, Costume Inquisitor, etc) or unofficial (Spire cabinet serving a Sedriss, Temple cabinet serving a Jen'ari) at any given time.
CLUB CORRESPONDENCE WITH LUCASFILM
Only the Sith'ari (or the Anik'ari acting on behalf of the Sith'ari), and the Tyran'ari may contact LFL (Lucasfilm Ltd.) on behalf of The Dark Empire concerning club matters. However, if a local leader, specifically a Jen'ari or Sedriss only, is contacted directly by LFL concerning event planning in their local area of responsibility in TDE, then communications with LFL on those matters are permitted. It shall be the responsibility of the Tyran'ari or higher up position on the Council to keep LFL apprised with an accurate list of all TDE local leader email addreses.
A) The TDE Council
The TDE Council consists of five (5) positions, so that there is a majority vote at all times during matters of decision making. In the event that one person occupies two positions on the Council (i.e., XO and PR Officer are same person), resulting in a split vote, the vote of the Sith'ari (CO) will be the deciding vote. A minimum of three people are required to maintain a functional TDE Council. The TDE Council reserves the right to make any decision that it deems would overall benefit the club as a whole.
Sith'ari (CO) – Commanding Officer. In charge of overall operations of The Dark Empire, Leading member of the Council, can grant Official Membership to persons submitting costume photos. Has veto power over all costume approvals conducted within the Dark Trials.
Anik'ari (XO) – Executive Officer. Immediately responsible to the Sith'ari for assisting with the overall operation of the group. Can grant Official Membership approval. The Anik'ari shall serve as the treasurer, or person responsible for all club financial records and disclosures regarding funds raised for charity.
Council relations with local leaders (Jen'ari and Sedrisses) are to remain the responsibility of the Anik'ari. The Anik'ari represents the Council to regional leaders within the club, and coordinates meetings, if needed, with regional club leadership for the purposes of maintaining communications and overall stability within the club. The Sith'ari or Tyran'ari may assist the Anik'ari with these duties, if request to do so.
Tyran'ari – Public Relations Officer. Club liaison to media and other organizations, tasked with representing TDE to Lucasfilm and other entities as its official ambassador.
Nes'ari - Membership Officer. Oversees recruiting, applications and special inductions. Example: Honorary members. Can grant Official Membership approval.
Imperial Hand – Serves as a mediator and impartial judge in matters of dispute. The Imperial Hand also serves as the enforcer of the rules both on and off the forums. The Imperial Hand leads any and all investigations of complaints. In any disciplinary action (see Article VII) the Imperial Hand leads the investigation and also moderates the tribunal. Club elections at all levels are overseen and validated by the Imperial Hand as well.
NEWLY ELECTED COUNCIL MEMBERS
New persons elected to the TDE Council are to be trained by the outgoing Council seat occupant, or another selected member of the Council, over a period of one week, or longer if needed. New Council members shall not have voting capabilities during their first week in office, for the purposes of training.
Non TDE Council officer positions:
Webmaster – Oversees the maintenance of the main web site. This is not an official Council position. The webmaster has no voting power, however, he/she is a TDE Officer charged with the maintenance of the TDE website and therefore has administrative authority, under the direction of the five existing Council members.
Merchandise Officer – Organizes all business relationships between TDE and Council-approved Vendors. The MO will ensure that all vendors used for Official Member merchandise are first approved by the Council, and will then place orders on behalf of TDE Official Members with the approved vendor for said merchandise. Official Member merchandise cannot be for resale outside of TDE (general public); refer to the Merchandise section of this Charter. The Merchandise Officer is not a TDE Council postion and bears no voting power in Council decision making. However, the MO serves as an assistant to the Public Relations Officer and has the authority to speak for The Dark Empire as his/her position warrants.
Library Overseer - This TDE Officer is responsible for doing the proper research pertaining to the Costuming Library within the TDE forums. The Overseer will research and post, upon Nes'ari approval, items associated with canon costume details that prospective full members of TDE can use as a guide for the completion of their canon costumes. The Library Overseer is not a TDE Council position, and is immediately responsible to the Nes'ari.
Jen'ari (Temple Master) - A Jen'ari, or Temple Master, is an elected leader of a Temple within TDE. The Jen'ari is not a TDE Council position, but a position of leadership over a Temple region of The Dark Empire. The Jen'ari reports on all Temple activity and represents his/her corresponding Temple directly to the TDE Council. In Temples with a large amount members, a Jen'ari may appoint or have elected (at his or her discretion) no more than two additional positions of office within the Temple for the purposes of assisting in the following duties:
a) Maintain an accurate list of Official Members within your Temple.
b) Keep yourself appraised of forum members within your Temple who make Official status, and update the Temple Roster accordingly. Monitor the Dark Trials forum for any new Official Members announced within The Dark Empire. KEEP YOUR ROSTER UPDATED.
c) Post campaign reports, or request campaign reports of any Temple member who attended a campaign (trooping event).
d) Keep your Temple informed about any upcoming events within your Temple area. A good idea is to have an "Upcoming Events and Campaigns" thread within your Temples forum. Regularly refer to your Events and Campaigns thread, so that a separate thread can be posted about each upcoming event. KEEP YOUR TEMPLE INFORMED.
e) If a Temple member is "MIA" for over six months, try contacting them via an e-mail to see if all is well.
f) Keep abreast of old threads within your Temple's forum, and advise a Council Member regarding threads which are dead and outdated, so that they may be moved to the Holocron Archives.
g) It is the responsibility of the Jen'ari [Temple Master] for your Temple (or representative designated by your Jen'ari) to organize trooping events for your Temple to participate in. There is, of course, no minimum trooping requirement within The Dark Empire. For advice on coordinating events within a Temple region, see the “Events” section of the TDE forums, or consult with a TDE Council Member.
Only Official Members of The Dark Empire are eligible to hold positions of office on the TDE Council or in regional Temples or Temple Spires.
TDE Council Member Apprentices
Members of the TDE Council may appoint an Official Member within the organization as an “apprentice” - someone who may serve as a helper to that particular Council member. An Apprentice does not hold any decision-making abilities or voting abilities regarding TDE policy, but is considered an Officer within TDE. For example, the Nes'ari Apprentice serves as an advisor to the Membership Officer, and assists the Nes'ari as needed with Membership Officer duties. Council Member Apprentices are considered of equal rank to a Jen'ari (Temple Master).
1. Council Member Apprentices shall have access to the Council room, in order to facilitate communications with the TDE Council. The Merchandise Officer also have Council room access. There are therefore ten (10) TDE Officers with Council room access, five (5) of whom comprise the actual TDE Council.
2. Council Member Apprentices are either appointed by the Council as needed, or elected in an annual TDE election. Unlike the body of the TDE Council, the Council Apprentice posts are not required to be filled, however, they exist for two reasons; to train Official Members that may be interested in leadership within the group, and to help maintain the overall operations of The Dark Empire.
3. There are only three (3) Council Member Apprentices. As indicated within this section, These positions are not required to be filled, unlike the TDE Council itself. If a TDE Council Member does not desire an Apprentice, then that position may remain open (for example, if the Tyran'ari does not desire an apprentice, then the Tyran'ari Apprentice position may remain open). The three Council Member Apprentice positions are:
- Tyran'ari Apprentice
- Nes'ari Apprentice
- Imperial Hand Apprentice
The Sith'ari and Anik'ari do not have apprentices. The Anik'ari, being the Executive Officer to the Commanding Officer of TDE, is therefore already apprenticed to the Sith'ari.
B) TDE Temples
As The Dark Empire is a growing international organization, different areas throughout the world are grouped into sections called “Temples.”
A similar command structure to the TDE Council shall exist within each Temple, but only when enough members exist within a Temple area to for such a necessity to exist. In Temples that have a small number of members, overall governance is allocated to the TDE Council.
When the amount of Official Members within a TDE Temple reaches a minimum of five (5), Official Members within that Temple shall elect a Jen'ari, or Temple Master, who will serve as the CO of that Temple and report to the TDE Council. All matters of governance within a Temple shall be overseen by the Temple Master and his/her Temple Officers (if applicable), unless the Temple membership is not large enough to govern itself accordingly. In any such case, Temple governance is undertaken by the TDE Council. A Temple Jen'ari may also be appointed by the TDE Council in lieu of a Temple election, if necessary. Initial Jen'ari selection (by either vote or appointment by TDE Council) may be conducted at any time. Otherwise, Temple Jen'ari and Temple Officer elections are held during regular annual TDE elections (usually in April, coinciding with the anniversary of the founding of TDE).
The TDE Council is the overall governing body of The Dark Empire, and administrates all Temples, including Temples that are self-governed.
When Temples within The Dark Empire achieve a membership of twenty (20) or more, additional elections within that Temple may occur, with coordination between the individual Temple Masters and the TDE Council. TDE Temples may elect a total of three (3) Temple Officers, including the Temple Master. The two additional officers shall be the Assistant Temple Master and the Temple Membership Officer.
All TDE Temples shall have no more than three Temple Officers each.
C) Temple Spires
A Temple Spire is a local area within The Dark Empire where a significant number of TDE Official Members are concentrated and trooping events are organized and conducted. A Spire may lie within a Temple region, or even intersect Temple borders. Temple Spires within The Dark Empire, their nomenclature, logos, and area locations are recognized and approved by the TDE Council prior to their formation.
1. All Temple Spires shall elect or have appointed by the TDE Council one (1) “Sedriss,” or Spire leader. The Sedriss will be responsible for planning and conducting trooping events within the Spire area. However, overall governance of the Spire shall be allocated to the Jen'ari of the Temple that the Temple Spire resides in. The Spire Sedriss shall be subordinate to the governing Temple Jen'ari. The Temple Jen'ari, in turn, is subordinate to the TDE Council.
If a Temple Spire lies completely within a Temple region of TDE, all members of the Temple Spire shall be under the overall leadership of the Jen'ari for that Temple
If a Temple Spire lies within more than one Temple region of TDE, all members of that Spire shall be under the overall leadership of the Jen'ari for the Temples the Spire lies within.
For example: A Temple Spire occupies an area within the Korriban and Iridonia Temples; the Jen'ari of the Korriban Temple and the Jen'ari of the Iridonia Temple therefore have equal governing authority over the Temple Spire.
“Sedriss” as a STAR WARS canon term: In STAR WARS: Dark Empire (storyline from which TDE derives its name), Qaga Lok, upon becoming the “Executor” of the cloned Emperor, took the title of “Sedriss QL” to honor his new master. He therefore was referred to as “Executor Sedriss” in the story. The storyline also describes the term “Sedriss” as a word from the ancient Sith language that Qaga Lok, endowed with Dark Jedi powers by his new master, chose to honor Palpatine with.
2. Whereas Temples are named after worlds within the Star Wars universe, Temple Spires may have any name of their choosing, other than a planet name. All Spire nomenclature must be approved by the TDE Council.
3. Temple Spires within TDE may create their own website outside of the main TDE forums, but are not required to do so. Should a Temple Spire have their own website or forums, criteria outlined below must be adhered to.
All Temple Spire forum traffic pertaining to The Dark Empire, including (but not limited to) event planning, elections, announcements, and general discussion, shall take place within the main TDE forums.
All TDE Temple and Temple Spire websites or forums shall be linked and therefore accessible from the TDE website. Spires must also have a link to the main TDE website and main TDE forums from their own website.
The TDE logo and Lucasfilm disclaimer, annually updated to reflect the current year, shall be affixed to all Temple Spire forums, including the main TDE forums.
Temple Spires may create a website banner for their forums similar to that used
on the TDE website and TDE forums. In addition, Temple Spires may also create
a physical banner to represent their Spire at events. All banners must indicate the
words "The Dark Empire" and the name of the Temple Spire. Any graphics
depicted within the banner must be associated in nomenclature with the name of
the Temple Spire. All Temple Spire banners, as with Temple banners, must be
approved first by the TDE Council prior their creation and usage.
The TDE Charter shall be the overall governing document from which all
activities in the main TDE forums, Temple forums, and Temple Spire forums are
4. A minimum of five (5) Official Members are required within a localized area to form a Temple Spire.
All Temple Spires shall maintain a complete and up-to-date list of all Official Members (full members with a TDE number and at least one approved costume) within their forums.
Prior to the formation of a new Temple Spire, the prospective Sedriss and his/her members must complete a list of three (3) separate possible names for their new Temple Spire, in order of preference, and must also create three (3) different possible logos that the Spire will use, in order of preference.
The prospective Sedriss for the new Temple Spire will then submit
both the three Spire names and the three logos to the TDE Council; the list of three possible names for the prospective Spire will be with the most preferred name at the top of the list, and the most preferred logo will be at the top of the list submitted. The names and the logos can be similar in nature, or completely different. The graphics on the logo being submitted, however, should represent the desired name of the Temple Spire in some capacity.
The Council will then either approve or deny the name and logo of the prospective Spire, in order of preference (if the preferred name is not approved by the Council, then the second or third preferred name will be either approved or not approved; the same goes for the prospective Spire logo design). The resulting Spire name and Spire logo chosen by the TDE Council will then be the approved name and logo for usage by the new Temple Spire and
At the time of submission to the TDE Council, the new prospective Spire must include the above, plus include a list of all Official Members in the Spire, indicate who has been elected the first Sedriss, and indicate the exact regional area the new Temple Spire will be serving.
Once approved, the above information will be included on the "Temples Spires" page on the TDE website.
5. The aim of the Temple Spire concept is to zero in on areas that are more active within The Dark Empire. As TDE membership grows within Temple regions, more Spires will be added on an as-needed basis, should a large concentration of Official Members exist within a single metropolitan or localized area. Official Members of TDE wishing to form a Spire must submit a written request to the TDE Council to petition for the formation of a Temple Spire.
D) Additional branches of TDE club structure
The Dark Empire maintains other avenues of interest within its organizational structure that constructively celebrate the STAR WARS universe. In addition to being a costuming organization, TDE highly encourages and promotes literacy in the form of fanfiction, which can be posted and shared in the appropriate location on our forums.
1. Sith Lore Keepers
Sith Lore Keepers are a team within TDE, comprised of both Official and Forum members, that are fanfiction writers. Sith Lore Keepers regularly contribute written fanfiction on the TDE forums, and are dedicated to using their talent for the promotion of literacy, the enjoyment of STAR WARS, and the application of those characteristics to further the causes of club recruitment and promotion. Sith Lore Keepers are overseen by the PR Department (Tyran'ari / Tyran'ari Apprentice) of TDE, and do not have a numbering system. Any member of TDE, forum or official, can be a Sith Lore Keeper.
Article VI: Honorary Members and Friends of The Dark Empire
As defined and outlined below, The Dark Empire bestows two different types of recognition to Star Wars alumni, and those that have been of invaluable assistance to TDE:
Friends of The Dark Empire
Below is the induction process for Honorary Members, and Friends of TDE, as well as how each category is defined:
The process will take about eight weeks of preparation. If you know of a convention or appearance near you (at least two months ahead of the current date) of a Star Wars celebrity, Lucasfilm personality, Star Wars author, or any alum of the Star Wars saga, you may have the privilege of inducting them as an Honorary Member into The Dark Empire.
A "Friend of The Dark Empire" can be anyone that has directly impacted the promotion of Star Wars and/or The Dark Empire in a positive way. Friends of TDE can also be children that TDE has also had an impact upon, such as children of the Make-A-Wish foundation, children that are hospitalized and /or that have special needs, etc. Parental approval is required before a minor can be approved for such appointment.
If you wish to nominate someone, you must be a full costumed member of TDE, which means you are an adult and you have a costume that has been approved for full membership. Again, this process will take eight weeks; you must notify a member of the Council, preferably the CO or the XO, of your intent to induct the person of your choice. The council will then decide whether or not to approve or deny the person for Honorary Membership or Friend of TDE status.
Once the council approves the person selected for such status, you are basically the "sponsor" or "presenter" to the person you have selected. You will then need to be in contact with either the Merchandise Officer or Public Relations Officer (or other Council Member, if necessary), and arrange for a customized plaque to be manufactured . You will be responsible for purchasing a plaque from our vendor suitable for presentation.
Your next responsibility, of course, is to attend the convention, arranged meeting, or other event that your selected recipient will be attending. You will need one extra person to photograph you presenting the plaque to the recipient. It is not required, but highly recommended that you perform this action while in costume, and that at least one other member be with you, also preferably in costume. This will present a much more photogenic and official atmosphere to the person being honored. One photograph of the person(s) being honored receiving the certificate from the presenter is required. Email the photograph to the council. Currently, you can email the photo to TDEcostumeclub@aol.com and it will be posted on the TDE website and social media.
When you present the plaque to the intended recipient, you (the presenter) are required to give a very short, specific statement detailing why the honor is being bestowed. More than likely (almost always, and preferably), the person being honored will be surprised, as these presentations are most often done without the recipient’s knowledge of your intent to induct them. Your statement to them at the time of presentation can be anything you want to say, however, should be modeled along these lines:
"We, the members of The Dark Empire, a Star Wars dark side costuming organization, in gratitude for your contribution to the Star Wars movies (and/or our club, if applicable), would like to honor you with an honorary membership in our group. Please accept this as a token of our appreciation for your work."
By purchasing a plaque for a prospective Honorary Member or prospective Friend of The Dark Empire, you as an Official Member of TDE must understand that not all celebrities or prospective recipients may be willing to accept such recognition, and that you therefore are making this purchase at such a risk. In a case where a celebrity or other intended recipient cancels a scheduled appearance, the plaque may be kept and / or sent to another Official Member where and when an opportunity to present the plaque again to the intended recipient presents itself. Overall costs for shipping and care for the plaque are the responsibility of the Official Member requesting to sponsor the intended inductee.
All Honorary Member plaques and Friend of TDE plaques shall be presented to the intended recipient by the sponsoring TDE Official Member. Plaques cannot be given to a third party for intended recipient induction.
TDE Temples and Temple Spires are prohibited from inducting their own honorary members. All Honorary Members and Friends of TDE are inducted into the club as a whole.