Request for New Fan Force Chapter

Discussion in 'FanForce Communications' started by John-Michael, May 26, 2013.

  1. John-Michael

    John-Michael Jedi Youngling

    Nov 17, 2010
    Hello there!

    My apologies in advance if this is not the correct forum or venue to post this request.

    I live in Riverside, California, and over the past couple of years, I managed to gather a small group of Star Wars fans from all over the western part of Southern California’s San Bernardino and Riverside counties – these two counties are collectively known as “the Inland Empire.” We currently have members who reside in the cities of Riverside, Corona, Colton, San Bernardino, Redlands, and Moreno Valley. We get together at least three times a month to share in each others Fandom about all things Star Wars – and more!

    I’m posting this here because we would like our fan group to be recognized as an official Star Wars Fan Force chapter.

    Please note that we are already an organized fan group that was founded about two years ago. We meet quite frequently (at least 3 times a month). We have our own code of conduct, set of founding policies, vision/mission statement, etc. We merely and humbly request recognition for the past couple of years’ worth of voluntarily engaging and pursuing the same mission objectives of the Star Wars Fan Force: to meet other Star Wars fans and to share our enjoyment of Star Wars.

    We also established an internet presence over the past couple of years: Our group can easily be found on YouTube and FaceBook by searching our group's name: Inland Empire Saber Team. And yes, the term “saber” in our group’s name is short for “lightsaber” – because we’re Star Wars fans, right?

    We also just recently renewed ownership over the following domain names which all represent the name of our Star Wars fan club:,, and – all of these link to our group website (currently under construction, since we hope to move our message board usage to forum).

    We are an active group that meets at least three (3) times a month (except during the winter holiday season). Some examples of our Star Wars fandom activities include:
    ~ Joining two of the three major Star Wars costuming groups (specifically, the Rebel Legion and the Mandalorian Mercs -- so far), We understand that Fan Force is NOT a costuming group, and that Fan Force members are not required to own, possess, wear or acquire Star Wars costuming to attend Fan Force events or be Fan Force members. This is only mentioned here to indicate that we are hard-core Star Wars fans, at least to the extent that we are willing to spend both time and money in order to dress up as Star Wars characters in our spare time.

    ~ Getting together to build homemade lightsabers, blasters and other Star Wars-inspired props -- and we do it for fun and the love of Star Wars (and not at all for profit).

    ~ Posting lightsaber review videos on YouTube, as well as "correspondence reports" from Star Wars Celebration 6, which are all viewable from our own YouTube channel.

    ~ Producing our own "team T-shirts" and our own community facebook page

    ~ Doing nerdy/geeky things together to help us get motivated and off the couch/computer chair in our efforts to get in better physical shape, all for the sake of "Nerd Fitness" (a concept we are promoting through our group).

    We are ALREADY a Star Wars fan group; we merely (and humbly) request that our group be allowed to officially join the Star Wars Fan Force without giving up our identity and organization. We hope to contribute to Fan Force by being an active, friendly, and diligently-welcoming group of Star Wars fans in the Inland Empire.

    Please kindly let us know what else we need to do to achieve official recognition as a Fan Force chapter.

    Thank you for your kind consideration and for all the work you do!
  2. riskvoid

    riskvoid Jedi Youngling

    May 23, 2013
    I am one of the members of Inland Empire Saber Team and since I've joined I've been in many events I would not have heard of otherwise. I feel like there might be more events that have flown under my radar and being part of the Fan Force would be another gateway to these events and would add to things to do and look forward to, in addition to having the opportunity to meeting new people who are as passionate about Star Wars as the rest of us.
  3. Spex70

    Spex70 Jedi Youngling

    May 23, 2013
    My name is Andrew, and I am a proud member of the Inland Empire Saber Team
    I eagerly second (or third) the motion to create our official chapter of the Star Wars Fan Force.
    I hope that by becoming a chapter of the Fan Force, we will appeal to other Star Wars fans in our area and plan many events for our members to participate in.
    I await your reply.
  4. RogueJedi1182

    RogueJedi1182 Jedi Youngling

    May 23, 2013
    I too am a member of inland empire saber team, I am limited in my travel ability so would love to see more fan activities in the riverside colton and Redlands areas. Thanks
  5. Miana Kenobi

    Miana Kenobi Admin Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Apr 5, 2000
    There is already a chapter set up in the Inland Empire:

    I know the IEFF has not been very active, so speak to the chapter rep (I believe it's still Mike) and integrate your ideas and enthusiasm to building a solid chapter out in the IE. The IEFF has been around for a decade and has seen many shifts and rebuilds throughout the years; I was part of the original group back in 2003, helped start a rebirth in 2005, and then watched the chapter boom for a number of years under new management. I'd love to see it resurface again bigger and better than ever.

    Additionally, while a FanForce can include saber choreo (though any and all public displays with crowd participation are strictly prohibited by FanForce and Lucasfilm), it cannot be the sole focus of a FanForce. Fanforce is an all encompassing group of fans.
  6. John-Michael

    John-Michael Jedi Youngling

    Nov 17, 2010

    Thank you so much for your reply! It's good to see you are active here as well as the 501st & Rebel Legion costuming groups!

    Just to make sure I got it right, you are saying that the objections to our formation as an Official Chapter are:

    1) The existence of the Inland Empire Fan Force covers the entire Inland Empire and thus we are under their jurisdiction and instead of forming our own chapter, we should therefore join them if we wish to join Fan Force; and

    2) No Star Wars fan group can be accepted as a Fan Force chapter if lightsaber choreography is their sole focus.

    Is that correct? And if so, what are the other objections to our formation as an official Fan Force Chapter, if any?
  7. Miana Kenobi

    Miana Kenobi Admin Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Apr 5, 2000
    That's pretty much it. The geographical location and the presence of a fan force already in the area is pretty much the main thing.
  8. John-Michael

    John-Michael Jedi Youngling

    Nov 17, 2010
    Thank you so much for clarifying this issue!

    Posted below
    are the reasons why we believe our small fellowship of Star Wars fans should still be allowed acceptance as our own separate and distinct Fan Force according to TFN/Fan Force rules (as currently posted).

    I will attempt to organize our reasons in logical order and will post them separately with formatted headings for your ease and convenience. This takes an extra amount of time and effort on my part, so I hope this will factor into the approval of our Fan Force chapter application.
  9. John-Michael

    John-Michael Jedi Youngling

    Nov 17, 2010
    A. Were It Not For The Stated Objection, Our Group Qualifies To Have Its Own Chapter Forum Created According To The Rules Set Forth On TheForce.Net As Posted Here:

    Fan Force Rule #2, Becoming an Official Chapter, states that “The first step to becoming an official FanForce Chapter is getting a chapter forum. There need to be three separate people from the same area interested in the chapter before a forum will be created.”

    As you can see above, four (4) separate people from the same area (Riverside area) posted in this thread that they are interested in forming this chapter. We actually have a few more members, but suffice to say that we meet and exceed the requirement with this number of people posting.

    Therefore, if we can sufficiently address the solitary objection (that is, that the Inland Empire Fan Force is a valid Fan Force chapter whose existence in the Inland Empire prevents our formation as a separate Fan Force), then a chapter forum should be created for us so we can continue our efforts to become a bona fide Fan Force chapter.
  10. John-Michael

    John-Michael Jedi Youngling

    Nov 17, 2010
    B. There Is No Harm In Approving Our Application To Become An Official Fan Force Chapter Because We Are Not Solely A Lightsaber Choreography Club.
    Although this is not mentioned as a main reason for denying our application for official Fan Force chapter status, I would like to address this here in the hope that it will be seen as a good-faith gesture of sincerity, transparency and our effort to proactively and preemptively abide by any and all Fan Force rules. Furthermore, I hope this will sufficiently allay any fears or suspicions regarding this matter.

    In the initial post, nowhere is it mentioned that we are SOLELY (or even predominantly) a lightsaber choreography group. Instead, I listed several activities that indicate we are – originally and in current practice – a Star Wars fan club and social group, which is in keeping with Fan Force's description.

    Furthermore, our Youtube Channel and FaceBook Community page content is PREDOMINANTLY about being a Star Wars fan club and social group, where lightsaber choreography is clearly out-mentioned to virtually de minimis levels.

    The only place where "lightsaber choreography" is mentioned is in our group description, which is easily ignored and over-looked. For example, one would have to click the "ABOUT" link on our FaceBook Community page to find it. There, we state that we "use lightsaber choreography for fun and fitness" – which is something a group of Star Wars fans would foreseeably and reasonably do anyway.

    We are a Star Wars fan group that chooses to use its love for Star Wars to help us get off the couch or computer chair, be more active and get in better physical shape. However, make no mistake that we are first and foremost a Star Wars Fan group. Just because we decided to heft lightsaber props instead of free-weights to help us get in shape doesn’t mean we are any less a Star Wars fan group than people who wear Star Wars T-shirts and spout off Star Wars quotes at random. If anything, this only proves our Star Wars fandom in that we got together with like-minded people and integrated our Star Wars fandom into our daily lives – all while socializing with fellow Star Wars fans and having fun with it. And in the end, isn't that exactly what Fan Force is all about?

    On a more serious note, please be aware that we already have our own policies that are more restrictive than most other lightsaber-wielding clubs. For example, we do not allow sparring, “dueling” or play-fighting of any kind during our official events – whether with lightsaber props or otherwise.

    Furthermore, we have NEVER used our officially-approved Star Wars costuming group (such as Rebel Legion or the 501st) costumes while performing lightsaber choreography (whether for the general public or even for private occasions) nor do we plan to do so in the future – very much unlike most lightsaber performance groups or even many Fan Force chapters.

    By voluntarily, proactively and preemptively imposing such strict rules upon ourselves, we hope that Fan Force will find it easier to accept our application for an official Fan Force chapter.
  11. John-Michael

    John-Michael Jedi Youngling

    Nov 17, 2010
    C. There Are Several Good Reasons To Approve Our Application For An Official Fan Force Chapter Because Our Group Already Exists As A Star Wars Fan Club With A Good Reputation For Almost Two Years And Merely Seeks Reasonable Official Recognition For Its Existence As A Star Wars Fan Club.

    The rules on “Becoming an Official Chapter” go on to say that, “After a forum has been created, the club members need to have three meetings (with at least three members each) within a year.”

    Although we do not yet have a Fan Force message board forum, we have consistently met as a group of Star Wars fans over the past two years approximately three (3) times a month except during the winter holidays, where we met approximately once a month. Once we are accepted as a Fan Force Chapter, we will indubitably continue to meet and exceed the required minimum number of times required by Fan Force rules.

    Despite our existence since 2011 and not being under any obligation to do so, we voluntarily avoided knowingly violating ANY Official Star Wars club rules or Disney/Lucas Films strictures, particularly with regards to lightsaber choreography. Furthermore, we continuously seek to make our policies and rules purposefully congruent with as many established Star Wars fan clubs (Fan Force, Rebel Legion, 501st, Mandalorian Mercs, etc.) as possible, with reasonable exceptions that bear little relevance to Disney/Lucas Films strictures (such as our “flat” organizational structure).

    Although it is not required, we are willing to refer you to groups and individuals who are not affiliated with us but have dealt with us in the past. We believe you will find that we consciously strive to zealously uphold our reputation as a very friendly, welcoming, kind, cooperative, cheerful, polite, considerate and generally helpful group of people.

    PLEASE NOTE: OUR GROUP DOES NOT EXPECT, DESIRE OR ASK TO REPLACE OR SUPPLANT THE INLAND EMPIRE FAN FORCE. Instead, we wish to merely request recognition for the past couple of years spent voluntarily engaging and pursuing the same mission objectives of the Star Wars Fan Force: to meet other Star Wars fans and to share our enjoyment of Star Wars.

    If we are granted our own fan force chapter, we welcome the possibility of participating in other Fan Force chapter events – not only with the IEFF, but with others as well. Our participation in the Orange County Fan Force’s recent Star Wars Day at Yorba Linda, their Fullerton Relay for Life this coming Saturday and their participation with the Inland Empire Saber Team at the Riverside Relay for Life last Saturday – while unofficial and discreet – indicates our willingness and eagerness to support other Star Wars Fan Forces and hopefully make more friends within the Star Wars fan community.

    That said, isn’t this congruent with the entire purpose to the existence of Fan Force?
  12. John-Michael

    John-Michael Jedi Youngling

    Nov 17, 2010
    D. We Tried In Good Faith To Join The Inland Empire Fan Force For At Least Several Months
    FanForce is a feature of TheForce.Net dedicated to helping Star Wars fans to meet and interact with other fans in their local community.” – from Wookipedia

    Some of our group members tried over a prolonged period of time to join the Inland Empire Fan Force. Unfortunately and with all respect due, the Inland Empire Fan Force could/did not fulfill its official purpose to “help Star Wars fans meet and interact with other fans in their local community” – at least as far as we are concerned.

    If you take a look at the Inland Empire forum on this message board, you will see my attempts to make contact or meet with other Inland Empire Fan Force members, including a proposed monthly meeting in a thread entitled “Monthly Meet-Up: Every 1st Tuesday of the Month” originally posted on October 12, 2012. Please note that – eight (8) months after the fact – there are no replies from anyone.

    You will also see a few posts on the Inland Empire Fan Force forum where other people expressed their frustration at receiving no reply to their posts or queries.

    More than one of our group’s members initially sought membership with the IEFF, but were disheartened and discouraged due to the general non-response and inactivity– which is the diametric opposite result intended by TFN and Fan Force.

    I succeeded in making contact with someone named “Mike” by sending a message on May 2nd to the Inland Empire Fan Force FACEBOOK page, and not through TFN. To his credit, he sent me his cell phone number in response (again, on FaceBook) on May 5th. I won’t go into details here, but suffice to say that our group has recently decided it would be a good idea to apply for our own Fan Force Chapter.

    To summarize this point: We tried to join the IEFF, but with all respect due, it really shouldn't be this difficult to join a fan club that is supposed to be open to all Star Wars fans. But because it proved difficult and discouraging (to say the least), we decided that we should simply apply for our own Fan Force Chapter.

    That said, we propose that the IEFF is not to blame entirely. As mentioned below and elsewhere in this post, it is extremely difficult, impractical and unreasonable to expect one sole fan organization to cover the vast area known as the Inland Empire.
  13. John-Michael

    John-Michael Jedi Youngling

    Nov 17, 2010
    E. The Existence Of The Inland Empire Fan Force Does Not Negate Our Ability To Become An Official Chapter Because The Inland Empire Is Sufficiently Large And Populated To Support The Existence Of Two Fan Forces
    The rules state under #4 Distance between Chapters, “It is generally best to have a chapter centered around a particular city.”

    Please note that the Inland Empire is NOT a city; instead, it covers two very large, well-populated southern California COUNTIES which stretch all the way to the state border. Travel from one corner of the Inland Empire to the opposite corner takes hours, given the size of the Inland Empire, the low quality of public transportation (for those who do not have their own vehicles) and the nature of Southern California highway traffic (particularly the California State 91, 60 and 15 freeways, for those who have their own vehicles).

    In keeping with Fan Force Rule #4, we seek to form a Fan Force chapter primarily around the CITY of Riverside, perhaps stretching to its immediate neighbors that share a geographic border and an increasingly shared local identity.

    In comparison, the Inland Empire Fan Force seeks to cover the entire vast area of the Inland Empire, which effectively excludes those who live far from IEFF events and particularly those with transportation issues.

    The rules continue to state (under #4 Distance between Chapters), “The rule of thumb on the minimum distance between chapters is fifty miles, give or take. This is subject to population density. Areas that are more densely populated could have chapters that are closer together, while more sparsely populated areas may have chapters farther apart.

    Riverside County covers 7,208 square miles and San Bernardino County is an area of 20,105 square miles. Both counties combined make up the Inland Empire.

    It doesn’t make sense to interpret this rule to allow for an unreasonable monopoly of any kind; such interpretation runs counter to the spirit, meaning and purpose of Fan Force. Forcing us to join the IEFF despite geographic distances, population density and logistical hardships (see below) is unreasonable and counter-productive.

    The rule concerning distance between chapters apparently allows some common-sense leeway for population density and other factors pertaining to membership. The Inland Empire covers two (2) very large southern California counties, which include growing metropolitan cities such as Ontario and Riverside. Note that both cities are so large as to possess their own airports. Riverside alone has more than a dozen freeway exits and in itself is the juncture for several large freeways (91, 60, 15, 215, etc.). According to the Census Bureau, the counties of San Bernardino and Riverside are home to over 4 million people and is the 12th-most populous metropolitan area in the United States, and the third-most populous in the state of California.

    Several Fan Forces exist in Southern California, with Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura and San Diego counties each having their own Fan Force. Why are San Bernardino and Riverside counties lumped into one Fan Force, particularly when there are two active Star Wars fan clubs available and the rules allow the formation of the second group?

    From its FaceBook postings, one can glean that the Inland Empire Fan Force has its most recent activities in Rancho Cucamonga, which is located in San Bernardino county. Why not have the IEFF cover San Bernardino as its designated Fan Force, and we become the Riverside County Fan Force? This makes a lot of sense considering the information posted above, and furthermore,

    ~ there is absolutely no harm in doing so,

    ~ approving our chapter application will allow more Star Wars fans to join Fan Force and most importantly,

    ~ the rules allow it.
  14. Miana Kenobi

    Miana Kenobi Admin Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Apr 5, 2000
    But that is still the objection as there is already a FanForce in the Inland Empire so I am not understanding what the issue is with joining up with the existing FanForce.

    The Chapter Rep and I have been in discussion about their posting on these boards and that is a separate matter, but they are still the current (and active, as they do ) FanForce in the area. Most of their event planning and conversation takes place now on their Facebook group, which can be found here:
  15. John-Michael

    John-Michael Jedi Youngling

    Nov 17, 2010
    I address this main issue with my subsequent posts (the ones that follow Section A, which you quoted above). Section A merely reaffirms the agreed-upon stipulation that the only objection preventing our group from being granted a Fan Force Chapter is the existence and proximity of the group currently known as the Inland Empire Fan Force.

    Now that we have identified the issue, I am attempting to address it with multiple logical reasons supporting my cause.

    I understand they are quite wordy and lengthy, and I apologize for that. Like I said, I am posting each reason separately and formatted the headings so they will be easier to read/comprehend, but I understand that they are still a pain.

    Please note that I took great pains and efforts in typing out these reasons, and I hope my efforts will be seen as a gesture of sincerity and respectful communication.

    Thank you for your patience and understanding. My next post will continue on to Reason F.
  16. John-Michael

    John-Michael Jedi Youngling

    Nov 17, 2010
    F. Forcing Us To Join The Inland Empire Fan Force Will Cause An Unreasonable Hardship On Our Members And Therefore Contradicts The Essence, Spirit And Purpose Of Fan Force And TheForce.Net (TFN).

    Should TheForce.Net or Fan Force allow the IEFF to establish a virtual monopoly over two (2) southern California counties with its claim of sole jurisdiction over this vast and well-populated area, and in so doing, effectively prevent the formation of a second chapter within both San Bernardino AND Riverside counties?

    As discussed above, this creates an exclusionary effect that prevents many Star Wars fans in the Inland Empire from becoming active Fan Force participants.

    First of all, transportation over such a large area effectively prevents new and prospective Star Wars fans from participating in events held all over the Inland Empire due to the geographic size encompassed by two large Southern California counties, the horrid nature of Southern California freeway traffic, and the transportation issues faced by local Star Wars fans which include personal mobility issues, lack of vehicle ownership and poor public transportation options.

    Secondly, forcing us to join the Inland Empire Fan Force effectively negates and unreasonably dismisses all of the hard work and personal investment in time, money and other resources made in our Star Wars fan club over the past two years.

    This will prove unnecessarily destructive not only to the group that we worked so diligently to build over the past two years, but also to our morale as Star Wars fans and our impression of/towards Fan Force and TheForce.Net in general.

    In forcing us to join the Inland Empire fan Force, you are asking us to essentially destroy our organization as we know it – but to what end? We have no guarantee that the IEFF will adopt or accept our established culture, organization, vision or anything else that makes our group distinct or unique in any way. Instead, judging by their non-responsiveness over the past two years and the inactivity of their TFN forum, we are justifiably concerned that they will simply absorb us and cause the demise of our organization as we know it. And considering the differences in our organizations’ structure, culture, vision, etc., we are concerned that an otherwise completely avoidable clash between both groups is likely to happen.

    Lastly, this is our HOBBY. It is reasonably foreseeable that there will be difficulties with integrating our established group into theirs – and frankly, that sounds like a load of difficult and unnecessary WORK. Why go through all that hassle when we can simply and legally get our own Chapter? Fan Force is supposed to be about sharing the fun and excitement of Star Wars; it is highly unlikely that Lucas Films intends for Fan Force participation to translate into drudgery and unpaid labor -- even before joining.
  17. John-Michael

    John-Michael Jedi Youngling

    Nov 17, 2010
    G. Special Circumstances Allow Our Group To Be Recognized As An Official Fan Force Under TFN/Fan Force Rules..

    We humbly propose that Fan Force should stay true to the spirit of its mission and find ways to allow more chapters to form, rather than reach for reasons to deny involvement and participation – and inevitably dampen our enthusiasm, destroy our morale and diminish our entire Star Wars fan group’s perception of TFN and Fan Force in general.

    To that end, we cite Rule #4 (Distance between Chapters) that concludes with, “Special circumstances can be considered.

    For all the reasons mentioned in this post, we kindly and humbly request that our application be seen as a “Special Circumstance,” in that we:
    1. Qualify to become an official chapter according to the posted rules,
    2. Reasonably, logically and adequately addressed the stipulated sole reason for possibly denying our request,
    3. Volunteered further assurances that we intend to abide by any and all Fan Force rules and Lucas Films strictures,
    4. Made it clear that we do not seek to harm, take away or replace the fan club currently known as the Inland Empire Fan Force,
    5. Pose no reasonable threat or harm to being recognized as an official Fan Force, and
    6. Gave additional reasonable reasons grounded in fact to further justify the validity of our recognition as an Official Fan Force Chapter.

    The length and detail of this reply is further evidence of our seriousness, enthusiasm, resolve and commitment to form an active Fan Force in the city and/or county of Riverside.

    Although we reserve the right to bring further reasons to support our cause if required at a later date, we believe the reasons set forth in this thread so far are sufficient for Fan Force to allow a second chapter in the Inland Empire, or perhaps as an alternate, to approve the establishment of a separate Riverside City or County chapter.

    We humbly hope that you will grant our respectful request for recognition as an Official Fan Force Chapter so that we may continue to pursue the goals as set forth by TFN and Fan Force.

    If our request is still denied despite the facts and reasoning offered to support our application’s approval, we would like to know the justifications behind the denial. To that end, we kindly request each of our contentions be addressed in full.
  18. Miana Kenobi

    Miana Kenobi Admin Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Apr 5, 2000
    I'm sorry to say, the answer will still be no. I can even get the other admins to pipe in if you would like to confirm our stance with them.

    You currently do not have any basis for the formation of a new group right now other than not wanting to try and participate with the existing group. That is not a good enough reason.

    As I grew up and lived in Riverside for close to 20 years of my life, I know exactly how large the area is. I also know how a large portion of that area is uninhabited desert and mountains, so please do not mistake my stance for ignorance of the Inland Empire.

    The "50 mile rule" means that you would have to drive more than 50 miles from your home to attend a meeting. Now as you say, a lot of you live in Riverside, and a lot of the IEFF's events have been in Rancho Cucamonga (which is in Riverside). From Riverside proper to RC is just under 20 miles. Corona to RC is 20 miles. Victorville (which is in SB county) even makes it in at 45 miles. The only largely populated areas in the IE that sadly do not land in the 50 mile rule is Temecula (56 miles), Palm Springs (70 miles), and Barstow (75 miles).

    Our existing rule is and has been that there can't be separate FanForce's in the same geographical area except in extreme cases where two established groups within FanForce can't get along together, which has only happened two or three times in over a decade. And by extreme cases, I do mean extreme. As you and your group currently have no interaction with the Inland Empire FanForce, and haven't even discussed the matter with the current group to get their thoughts and opinions about the issue, then the answer is still unfortunately no.

    Unless I am mistaken, no one is forcing the dissolvement of your club. I am simply telling you that if you as individuals would like to join a FanForce, there already is one so I will not be granting the Inland Empire Saber Guild the title of "FanForce."
  19. John-Michael

    John-Michael Jedi Youngling

    Nov 17, 2010
    I posted the information about the Inland Empire so that others who are not familiar with the area might be better informed; I thought that others might want to weigh in on the discussion, and did not know that you had the sole power to deny or approve our application.

    More importantly, I posted facts (easily verifiable on Wikipedia and other internet sources) to prove my points; that is:

    1) the Inland Empire is sufficiently large and densely-populated to support a second Fan Force group, and

    2) there are several Star Wars fans who cannot participate in IEFF events outside of our area due to geographic distance and transportation issues that effectively exclude them from joining Fan Force if the IEFF is their only option.

    Actually, “Rancho Cucamonga is a suburban city in San Bernardino County.” -- Wikipedia

    Also, you presume that all of us have their own vehicles and that all of us can drive. Please be informed that this presumption is wrong, and I am asking Fan Force to show compassion for those with mobility and transportation issues. For these people, 20 miles might as well be 1,000.

    Furthermore, the 50-mile rule as stated in the TFN/Fan Force Rules, is not written as a hard-and-fast rule. As the rules states, it is merely a “rule of thumb” and subject to population density and other “special considerations.” Here, we gave factual evidence of sufficient population density and several reasonable special considerations to waive the 50-mile rule-of-thumb, or at the very least, use some common sense to take it down a notch.

    For example, the Orange County Fan Force meets in Anaheim, CA, which is less than 40 miles away from Rancho Cucamonga and less than 30 miles away from Ontario (according to Google maps). Yes, Orange County is different from the Inland Empire. By that same logic, Riverside and San Bernardino counties are sufficiently different from each other to warrant the formation of separate Fan Forces.

    First of all, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties are NOT the same geographical areas. They are instead two separate and distinct counties. Sections E, F and G above do a lot to address this issue, so it shouldn't be necessary for me to repeat myself here.

    There is nothing in the rules that state we have to discuss our formation with another Fan Force chapter; with all respect due, that doesn’t even make sense. Why would we ask another chapter’s permission to form a neighboring chapter? And why would you state that is a prerequisite for our approval? That said, I covered this issue in section D, and regrettably, will cover it again in Section H in a separate post below.

    I am giving the Fan Force Powers-That-Be every reason and opportunity to approve our application, which should be done in the spirit of inclusion. Fan Force should be welcoming and encourage the participation of Star Wars fans everywhere, instead of clinging to harsh technicalities that end up excluding prospective Star Wars fans.
  20. John-Michael

    John-Michael Jedi Youngling

    Nov 17, 2010
    We didn’t want to mention this issue out of respect and consideration for the group currently known as the Inland Empire Fan Force. However, we are determined to be recognized as a Fan Force chapter and we are very sorry that it is coming to this. Regrettably, we feel forced to bring up the following issues, and we apologize if we offend anyone in our pursuit to further the interests of our group.

    The only issue preventing the acceptance of our application is a technical matter, where we are held to a 50-mile rule. We offered every possible reason, backed with incontrovertible facts and sound logic that would justify the formation of our chapter, only to be denied due to a weak technicality. Because a technicality was unfairly used against us, we now resort to using a technicality to further our cause. Please note that we are playing your game by your rules.

    H. Technically Speaking, The San Bernardino County-based Inland Empire Fan Force Lost Its Forum And Its Right To Be Called A Fan Force According To TFN/Fan Force Rules As Currently Posted On TheForce.Net And Therefore Should Not Prevent Our Application For Recognition As An Official Fan Force Chapter In Riverside County
    Fan Force rule #5 (Meetings) states that, “All members must be welcome at all events (unless removed from the group with GSA and RSA approval). Some meetings should be in public places to help new potential members feel more at ease. Meetings need to be announced on the chapter forum at least 1-2 weeks prior to the meeting, and should be announced on the TFN main page as well.”

    If the Inland Empire Fan Force has meetings, they are not consistently posted on their chapter forum or on the main TFN page. As mentioned above, I tried to get a regular monthly meeting going, but as you can see, there was absolutely NO REPLY – even if only to say I was out of order – after several MONTHS after its posting. I deleted the entire post recently, since it seemed that my efforts were all for naught.

    Fan Force Rule #6 (Chapter Forums) states that “Chapters need to use their TFN forum often for event postings, chapter updates, and some socialization to draw in new members. The forum is the chapter’s main connection with Fan Force. If a chapter only uses their forum to announce events, or does not use it at all, then the chapter will lose their claim on the forum, and their right to be called a FanForce. Off site forums are allowed, but they are not to replace the TFN forum. The FanForce administration cannot protect chapters as well if the bulk of what happens with the chapter is on a different forum and cannot help to settle disputes because there is no access to the forum, PMs, or the like. If four weeks pass with no posts on the chapter forum (further text is unavailable)”

    As of this writing, there have been no new Inland Empire forum posts for more than a month (last post is dated April 23, 2013), and only three (3) posts in the year 2013 (as of this writing).

    The Inland Empire Fan Force has a FaceBook page (where it is difficult to discern whether the chapter meets the minimum three times a year) and its own off-site webpage (which seems like it hasn’t been updated since 2009), but the rule specifically states that “Off site forums are allowed, but they are not to replace the TFN forum.” Thus, the IEFF’s postings or activities outside TFN are irrelevant when it comes to proving its official existence as a Fan Force Chapter.

    By TFN/Fan Force rules and the facts as they are, the Inland Empire Fan Force actually loses its “claim to their forum and their right to be called a Fan Force.”

    As such, it is illogical and unreasonable to deny our group from becoming an official Fan Force chapter based upon the presence of a chapter that no longer exists (at least in the technical sense according to Fan Force rules).

    In this case, we are then reasserting our application to become the Riverside Fan Force, in that there is no longer an Inland Empire Fan Force (technically-speaking) to prevent us from forming.

    As per Fan Force Rules, no one can protect or preserve the Inland Empire forum for the current Inland Empire Fan Force, due to its neglect and virtual abandonment of its forum.

    Because we comply with Fan Force rules, and because there is no longer ANY reason whatsoever to deny our application, we humbly request that we be given our own chapter forum.

    And for the record, we both welcome and support the formation of a separate and distinct San Bernardino, Rancho Cucamonga or Ontario Fan Force (as their members see fit and as Fan Force allows).

    Despite the regrettable harshness of this assertion, we believe this to be a win-win and “live-and-let-live” solution.

    I am personally sorry that it has come to this and apologize profusely for any offense – please rest assured that I mean no disrespect and foster no ill-will to anyone involved. That said, I will continue to reasonably and respectfully campaign on behalf of my group.
  21. Jedi_Dajuan

    Jedi_Dajuan Administrator Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Dec 30, 2002
    I completely back what Miana Kenobi has said several times. There is already a chapter in the area. It's my understanding that they meet all in a variety of locations in their region so the driving distance isn't an issue. Not everyone can make every meeting. We will not be creating a second FanForce in the area. I am familiar with the rules and their intent seeing as I helped write the current iteration. You have been asked to speak with the current FanForce and work with them. I doubt they are an unreasonable group who won't try to accommodate as many people as possible. Bring up some of your distance concerns with them and see what happens.
  22. Grimby

    Grimby Technical Consultant & Former Head Admin star 7 Staff Member Administrator

    Apr 22, 2000
    I really want to open a hamburger restaurant called "McDonalds". I really want to do this because I think it would be a success and it would help the community in a very large variety of ways. Now, the "real" McDonalds is saying I can't do that until I actually talk to them about complicated things like legality and franchising because there's already a McDonalds like 2 miles away. I haven't done that yet, but I'm begging the McDonalds corporate office to let me open my restaurant anyway because that other McDonalds is way too far away from my house, it never seems that busy, and I know if I ever actually went there I probably wouldn't like it anyway. For some reason though, the people in charge keep saying no. I just don't get it.

    Seriously though, I don't understand how your request could even be considered until you actually attend some IEFF meetings, or perhaps TALK to the CR and leadership. Listen to Dajuan and Miana.
  23. feltak

    feltak Jedi Youngling

    Dec 16, 2005
    Greetings fellow Star Wars friends,

    My name is Rocky and I have been a member of this forum since about 2005 (I believe), and have largely been sitting on the sidelines watching this, and have decided to step in. I am also a member of the Inland Empire Saber Team.

    I was in the past a member of the IEFF and had wonderful interactions with jedifan77 (Kari) and AboutaSith (Stewart)^:)^ . Both of whom were true representations of the Fan Force Ideals, always very welcoming and always helpful with questions. I did however as time went on have some difficulty finding enough events or meetings to attend that were within a close driving location and as I am sure Miana knows 20 miles in the IE can one weekend take 15 minutes another take 1 hour :eek: . This saddened me as I had a car that I could not drive long distances (time) in, and in 2011 joined the Inland Empire Saber Team in the hope of finding more socialized interaction from people who live a bit closer to me. I have found this new group of Star Wars fans to be kind, trustworthy, knowledgeable, full of humor, amazing costumers, amazing prop builders, and all around righteous Star Wars geeks like myself.

    When I was approached on my opinion on trying to join an existing chapter, I was reticent only due to the existing club in the Inland Empire. As joining we would cause a large influence of new members (about 19-22) to join, I was afraid of the appearance of overrunning or replacing them. Our sincere goal was to try to add our skills and Star Wars fandom as an equal chapter, and hope to in turn learn from a group that has been around for so long and is so well respected in the Star Wars fan community without "honking off" the existing group and all the hard work this long standing chapter has and continues to do.

    I have read the posts from Jedi_Dajuan, and Miana Kenobi and the posts are very thoughtful and its obvious they have given much thought to what might be best for the IEFF, Fan Force, and the IEST. I think after reading this thread we should discuss directly with the IEFF the possibility of joining in mass, or if they might consider the possibility of forgoing claim over there boundaries to allow us this small area (with no inference that any person living anywhere in the Inland Empire should be required to join one group over another meant), if this is permissible by the club, and with approval by the leadership.

    I look forward to representatives of our group speaking to person or persons of leadership in the IEFF, and to regardless of what happens all parties involved are better enriched, and can better work to share the love of Star Wars with the future generations.

    Thank you for reading my very long winded, and probably run on sentence ridden post.

    Formerly Feltak
    Soon to be Carnorjax
  24. Wildstar02301

    Wildstar02301 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Aug 7, 2003
    I hope I can add to the discussion even though I'm all the way across the continent. :)

    I happen to know many FanForce chapters (my own included) have established a presence on Facebook and are more active there than on these forums. The IEFF may be one of those chapters, and I'll link their Facebook page below:

    Hope this helps. :)