INTERVIEW WITH COLONEL ANAKIN
Posted by VE Reporter
Our tri-monthly interview for the first part of July will be with the notable Colonel Anakin, the current Executive Officer (second-in-command) of the Vast Empire Army and an easily recognizable figure in the most active division in our club filled with up-and-coming Imperial officers with bright futures ahead of them.
Interviewer: What is your name and age?
Colonel Anakin: My name is Chris Barber and I am 18.
Interviewer: Uh-huh . . . and where do you live in the vast world outside of the internet?
Colonel Anakin: I live in Centerville, Utah.
Interviewer: Do you have a profession?
Colonel Anakin: Right now, I'm currently unemployed. I have started a small business selling medieval clothing, but I'm currently looking for a good summer job before college starts back up again.
Interviewer: What is your favorite Star Wars motion picture, actor, actress, character, novel, and computer game?
Colonel Anakin: My Favorite Star Wars movie is "The Phantom Menace", considering I was unaware of the movie up until about five years ago so seeing TPM really caught my attention. My favorite actor would have to be Harrison Ford. Favorite actress would be, of course, the lovely Natalie Portman. As you can tell my favorite Star Wars character is Anakin Skywalker, mostly because he resembles myself in real life. Considering I don't read much, I really don't have a good choice of books, but so far my favorite was the new book that came out entitled "Rogue Planet". And, of course, my favorite Star Wars computer game is Jedi Knight.
Interviewer: Is there any reason in particular that you like Star Wars?
Colonel Anakin: I like Star Wars because it gets me out of "modern life." I absolutely worship the Star Wars ways and wish our world went by them :)
Interviewer: What is the name of your character in the Vast Empire? What is his/her rank and position?
Colonel Anakin: My character in the Vast Empire Army is "Anakin" - he is a Colonel at the moment and is the Executive Officer of the Army. My Dark Jedi and Navy character is "Tylen Jaap" - he is an apprentice to Atrus and is Warrant Officer 1st Class and is the Adjutant to the Naval Commander in Chief.
Interviewer: How and when did you become a member of the Vast Empire?
Colonel Anakin: I joined the Vast Empire on July 12, 2000, but I may have joined earlier. I located the Vast Empire on a search engine while looking for a "light side" club. But the Dark Side is where I have turned and the Dark Side is where I stay :)
Interviewer: What prior positions did you hold in the Vast Empire?
Colonel Anakin: My positions that I have acquired since I joined the Vast Empire have quite a funny story to them. I was placed in Iron Horse squad; I helped make it elite and was given the title of executive officer of the squad, this took about four to five months. Then I was placed as commander of Storm Platoon and then passed it over to be the commander of Wildcard Platoon. At about this time, High General Sesswanna had selected me as his "official Sidekick." We all got quite a kick out of that. Soon after I was placed as the Commander of Personnel in the army, this took roughly around ten months to acquire. Now I am the Executive Officer :)
Interviewer: What are the duties of your current position?
Colonel Anakin: Well, I have many "duties" in my position. Most of this will come directly from the manual --- I contribute new ideas and work to improve existing structures of the Vast Empire Army. I must also carry the responsibility of assuming command of the Vast Empire Army in the absence of the Prefect. I am sent the requests for Army awards, medals, and commendations, and give them accordingly. The biggest thing is that I maintain the Army Roster. After new recruits have finished their Army Academy training, I assign them a position on the roster. I also keep track and add mostly all of the meeting logs to the main page as well as all bank accounts in the Vast Empire Army. There are also a lot of "odd" jobs that I can do like making competitions and web pages that will help members get things done more efficiently.
Interviewer: Do you find certain duties more likeable than others?
Colonel Anakin: I'm pretty content with my duties. Maintaining the roster is probably the most enjoyable. My least enjoyable was the meeting logs, but we have a new system now that almost does it automatically so it is very nice.
Interviewer: If you were given the chance to occupy any other position in the Vast Empire which would it be?
Colonel Anakin: Hmm. If I were to occupy any position in the Vast Empire, I would have to say I would love to go back and be a Squad Leader or Platoon Commander. I have always loved being able to get to know my own troops at a more personal level, but with my current job, other tasks force me to occupy my time otherwise. But being on the front lines and having direct command of troops is truly the best position.
Interviewer: How many various individuals have you served under during your service in the Vast Empire?
Colonel Anakin: I have been here for almost a year and it seems that the commanders are changing almost constantly. All of them seem like really great guys. But most of the time I was lead by High General Crysus - he was very easy to get along with, but hard to talk to at time because of his absences. General Athran commands us now in the Army. He is really great to get along with. He is always supportive and most of the time agrees with the choices that I make. Right from the very start I became good friends with Threeof4 and Sesswanna. Threeof4 because he seemed just like me in a way in real life so we had things to relate to. Sesswanna because of his involvement in troops activities. Both these two men were very easy to get along with and very enjoyable to be around.
Interviewer: Are there any memories in the Vast Empire that you look back on fondly?
Colonel Anakin: Oh god, here we go . . . My fondest club memories would have to be the little inside jokes that have developed over time ;) but as far as humorous events there are so many I can't even count them all. But my most memorable experience would have to be the Imperial Omega Competition. All of us really poured out hearts out into that competition. I remember rushing home from school just to post on the story board. That is something I will never forget. That and the old days of getting Threeof4's coffee in the morning while doing homework . . . Ahh. [sigh] The old days. :)
Interviewer: What do you believe contributed the most to the steady ascent of your career in the Vast Empire?
Colonel Anakin: As many know, most of my troops that I command have been here longer than myself. The BIGGEST key to succeeding in this kind of club is to just stay active. In my squad placement e-mail from High General Sesswanna, one of the last things he said was "Stay active and you'll go far". This is so much the truth. Being friendly and trying not to get on anyone's nerves is big too. Being very helpful to anyone and always asking for something new to do helped a lot. Also knowing a bit about web sites and programming helped me out a bit also. I believe High General Sesswanna really helped me out when it came to advancement in the club and, of course, from recommendations from my squad leader, TJ.
Interviewer: On what path do you see the club taking regarding activity and size?
Colonel Anakin: On the size and activity of the club, I have seen better times. It has really taken a turn for the worse in the last couple of months. That being with the domain down and other things that didn't help out much, but I have faith in my troops. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel. With a little bit for recruitment and activity, we can get it turned around very quickly :)
Interviewer: Are there any improvements whatsoever that you believe would benefit the club?
Colonel Anakin: I can foresee great improvements in the Vast Empire. The main page is changing constantly with new and exciting features to get people interested. I think with a steady stream of activity and a bit more competitions we can really hit things off. Me personally, I would like to see the amount of "high commanders" decreased. Most of our best talents are almost being wasted in higher positions that don't really do anything and we need more "lower" positions filled to really boost activity. I think our goal in becoming a good RPG club has really fallen for the worst. I really hope we can get back up because that can really be a lot of fun to get that going again.
Interviewer: When the time comes for you to retire, how do you wish to be remembered by the club populace?
Colonel Anakin: When the time does come for me to retire (hopefully not for quite a while) I would, as would almost every commander, want to be remembered as a very highly liked person and a respected commander. Someone that really changed the way things are done and made a difference.
Interviewer: Are there any upcoming Star Wars games displayed at E3 2001 that you look forward to playing?
Colonel Anakin: I'm a great Jedi Knight fan so the release of Jedi Outcast: Jedi Knight II. I want to be the Supreme God at that game! I think the release of this game will really boost activity for the army. Competitions will be a lot easier to create as well.
Interviewer: What is your candid opinion of the film "The Phantom Menace"?
Colonel Anakin: When I saw "The Phantom Menace" I was still fairly new to the Star Wars universe, but I truly love the film. The actors to me seemed to do a great job at playing their part, granted some of their lines should have been changed. But I think everyone did an excellent part. Most were concerned about Jake Lloyd's acting, but having seen him in previous films and seen how he does, I think Lucas wanted him to be the way he was, I don't think that was actors fault on that.
Interviewer: Do you believe Episode II will surpass any previous film installments in the Star Wars universe?
Colonel Anakin: It is really hard to tell if EPII will surpass any previous film. I really hope it does though. It really depends on the storyline. Everyone has a different opinion on how they think the movie should go.
Interviewer: What is your opinion on Hayden Christensen being cast as a young Darth Vader?
Colonel Anakin: Hmm. Hayden Christensen. I think he will do a good job. I haven't seen any of his previous shows/TV series, but I think from his attitude he'll do okay. Personally, I would have preferred to see Jake Lloyd play the part. Too bad he is not older.
Interviewer: Do you believe that the club may experience a recruitment boost upon the release of Episode II?
Colonel Anakin: Yes. The next movies will definitely bring in new members. Since the time frame of the club is set after all the movies, I don't think it would change the storyline.
Interviewer: What is your opinion to the persistent rumors that stormtroopers are actually clones?
Colonel Anakin: I personally think they are clones, but it will be interesting to see how everyone reacts to it.
Interviewer: What is your perspective on close social friendships between members of the Vast Empire?
Colonel Anakin: Hmm. When it comes to relationships in the Vast Empire, I do not think they should be allowed unless their characters are in love, but to have real life relationships in the Vast Empire is kind of dumb because then it defeats the purpose of "role playing" because you are really not. Relationships can and obviously have caused problems in the Vast Empire.
Interviewer: Regarding the bestowing of ranks/positions, do you feel various promoters have behaved niggardly?
Colonel Anakin: As far as I'm aware there are only a few "incidents" that have come to my attention regarding promotions to non-commissioned soldiers. I personally should have given more promotions then what I did [in the past], but considering the mess and confusion we were all in, it was hard to get things straighten out. I know from experience that it is a BIG accomplishment to become a commissioned officer (2nd Lieutenant). It takes a lot of hard work to do so, but it went both ways. Some individuals were given promotions when maybe they shouldn't have received any while others, who had worked, did not receive any. Hopefully, with everything back to "normal", we can start to focus more on the needs of the troops. I feel there are big changes that will take place, and if anyone has any problems with the way things are, they are always free to talk to the members of High Command, and they will listen cause hey! We've been there to ;)
Interviewer: Do you have any special advice for the new members of the Vast Empire?
Colonel Anakin: By far "staying active" is the best advice for new troops, but other then that try to come around as a very nice and friendly person, ask to help out as much as you can it leaves a good impression. Try to go over and beyond your expectations in what you do as your job as either a trooper or any other position you hold. And have fun. After all that is the key to this club, by having fun and getting into things it really makes it enjoyable to both you and your commanders.
Interviewer: What is your favorite toothpaste?
Colonel Anakin: I have never really thought about my favorite toothpaste, but umm . . . I'm probably a Colgate kid.
Interviewer: Before we close this interview, is there anything you wish to add?
Colonel Anakin: I would just like to say that I really enjoy this club, without it I seriously don't know what I'd do. I have a good feeling that it will stay this way for a very long time. We have an excellent club here with a lot of good and enjoyable people in it! Long live the Vast Empire!
Interviewer: Thank you, Colonel Anakin, for this interview.
- C R E D I T S -
Interview hosted by: Klev Tarkin.
Interview posted by: VE Reporter.
Episode guest star: Colonel Anakin.
Complaints, comments or suggestions should be sent to Grand Moff Kadann.
The opinions expressed by the episode guest star during an interview are not the official viewpoint of the Vast Empire News service.
The ranks, positions, personnel and opinions mentioned by the guest star at the time the interview was taken may differ from the ranks, positions, personnel and opinions at the time the interview is posted.
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