INTERVIEW WITH DEPUTY GRAND MASTER PAAN
Posted by VE Reporter
It has been over two months since the last interview was conducted by the Vast Empire News Service and the post-Thanksgiving era seemed the most opportune time, if any, to continue our interesting, fire-side chats. Yes, Christmas would have been more inspirational, but Grand Moff Kadann would have demoted us for inactivity by then and strung us from the nearest tree by our thumbs.
Today, we have with us Lord Darth Gui Sun "Sandrock" Paan de Vortigern, the revered Deputy Grand Master of the venerable Vast Empire Dark Jedi Order and one of our most cherished members.
Interviewer: For those of us who do not know you, what is your name, age, and location?
Paan: My real name is Matthew Lipton, and no, I'm not related to the tea people. I'm currently 23 living in the screwed up town of South Orange, NJ. I don't have a profession at the moment, because I'm a student of computer science at Essex County College.
Interviewer: What is your favorite Star Wars movie, actor, actress, character, novel, comic book and computer game?
Paan: Hmm. My favorite Star Wars actor is Harrison Ford. Actress, Natalie Portman (Ain't she a fox?!). I don't read much of the novels, nor the comic books, but I guess Shadows of the Empire was pretty good. My favorite character is a tie between Darth Vader, and Qui Gon Jinn, that's probably why my character is an evil clone of Qui Gon. :P My favorite Star Wars movie (pending Episode II's release) is the Empire Strikes Back. I think that movie really kind of filled in some important things about the main characters, and you really came to understand the truth about Luke and Vader. I guess I like Star Wars because it is a sort of mockery of the constant petty political struggles all over the world. Empire (Aggressors) vs.Rebels (Defenders of Freedom).
Interviewer: What is the name of your character in the Vast Empire?
Paan: My character's full name is Gui Sun "Sandrock" Paan de Vortigern. Currently, he is the Deputy Grand Master of the Dark Jedi Order.
Interviewer: How and when did you become a member of the Vast Empire?
Paan: Well, I was a member of the Emperor's Hammer when Majere was the Prefect of the Hammer's Fist. I had known about it while I was there, and joined when I became disillusioned with the Emperor's Hammer. I decided to come here as well as the Society of Shadows.
Interviewer: What is your overall impression of the club?
Paan: It's a great club, I've had very few bad times here. Most of the people are my friends, with a few rare exceptions. I have come to feel that I am respected and well liked all the time that I have had the pleasure to be here.
Interviewer: What prior positions did you hold in the Vast Empire?
Paan: I was Tactical Officer (TO) for awhile in the Navy, but I had to go to the reserves because of school, I was also the Headmaster and Deputy Grand Master previously under the late Atrus' command, but again, school prevented me from holding them too long. It's great to be back as Deputy Grand Master though.
Interviewer: Okay. What are the duties of your current position?
Paan: Well, as you might imagine, the Deputy Grand Master is the second in command of the Dark Jedi Order, and therefore I must answer questions, appoint new council members, send people on journeys, etc. I don't really find any of my duties boring, although sometimes I feel as though it can get to be a bit cumbersome. Otherwise, every duty I perform is pretty cool.
Interviewer: If you were given the option to occupy any position in the Vast Empire, other than the one you hold currently, which one would it be?
Paan: Grand Master. Simply because I'm DGM now and it's the next logical step. ;)
Interviewer: How many various individuals have you served under during your service in the Vast Empire?
Paan: Only three: Atrus, Kadann, and Majere. Atrus was the coolest, and I wish he were still here, but I like to think he's guiding all of us from heaven. Kadann is a fabulous leader (and I'm not just saying that). I think he's well deserving of HHC, and I know he'll do a good job. Majere is … well... Majere. I think that man needs to take a chill pill sometimes (and for those who know me, and you know who you are, I'll admit I do as well. ;)
Interviewer: What are your fondest club memories during your time in the Vast Empire?
Paan: The fondest memories I have are of Atrus. As I said, we all miss him. As for humorous events, I remember when Atrus and Say [Ed- Vice Admiral Sayrah 'Schnapps' Mikfarlant] would get all pissed off and start singing 311 songs or cussing in the channel. Even though it was wrong, it was very humorous.
Interviewer: What talent do you believe assisted you the most in rising upwards through the club ranks?
Paan: Well, I'm a dynamic leader, and I think I've been able to parley that talent into revitalizing the Dark Jedi Order (DJO), and making it a desirable division to be in. I suppose the man most directly responsible is... yup, you guessed it, Atrus.
Interviewer: Is there any moral or lesson you have learned during your tenure in the Vast Empire?
Paan: Yes, I've come to understand (and this is a work in progress) more easily when people are laughing with me, and laughing at me.
Interviewer: In terms of club size and activity --- on what path do you see the Vast Empire taking?
Paan: I think we'll do well. The Emperor's Hammer (EH) seems to be getting a bit too political. Lots of promotions via backroom deals, and I think also that they're a bit too ... serious about punishment.
Interviewer: What improvements do you hope to see in the Vast Empire?
Paan: I hope to keep improving upon the Dark Jedi Order (DJO). I'd like to see all of you folks out there in Dark Jedi robes soon. ;) That is pretty much it. I think everything else is pretty cool the way it stands.
Interviewer: When the inevitable time comes when you must leave the Vast Empire, how do you hope to be remembered by the members of the club?
Paan: I hope that they would remember me as a bit touchy, but overall a good leader, and a good friend to all.
Interviewer: Is there any particular author whom you feel has had a profound influence upon you?
Paan: No, because as I said, I don't read the books. However, a friend of mine from the Society of Shadows/New Imperium has had a great influence on my use of NPC's, and of
how my character acts.
Interviewer: What do you think of the role "intelligence" plays in the online gaming community?
Paan: I think intelligence is pretty silly. I mean, the Emperor's Hammer has their INTEL organization and I think they get a little too overprotective. I mean, come on, this is a free world when it comes to the internet, and every club has the right to exist.
Interviewer: Looking forward to any upcoming Star Wars PC titles?
Paan: Well... I'm getting an Xbox (MUAHAHAHAHAHA!) so I will be able to play Obiwan. Otherwise, I am excited about Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast. The graphics in that look wonderful.
Interviewer: What do you think of the title of Episode II, "The Attack of the Clones"?
Paan: Actually, I want to shoot Lucas for that. He should have simply used "The Clone Wars" as the title.
Interviewer: Do you believe Episode II will surpass any previous film installments in the Star Wars universe?
Paan: Yes. I think it will be rather the Empire Stikes Back for the prequels, and kind of fill in what was lacking in Episode I. I think Hayden Christensen will do fine. As for what I'd like to see, well, I would love to see how Owen and Beru Lars fit into the Star Wars saga other than that they are Luke's Uncle and Aunt. ;)
Interviewer: What do you think of the Episode II trailers that have been released thus far?
Paan: Very cool, although I have only seen the first. I'm going to download the second when I am done with this.
Interviewer: How do you believe the remaining two Star Wars prequels will affect the Vast Empire?
Paan: I think we'll get a lot of new member who are new and younger fans of Star Wars. Some of us are from the older SW generatoin(IE Episodes IV-VI)
Interviewer: What is your frank opinion on the controversial development of close amities in our club?
Paan: I think it's ok. It can sometimes result in favoritism yes, but on the whole it's a good thing. As for romance, by all means. I think it's wonderful that two people could meet like that and find love. God bless them. :)
Interviewer: Are you in love with anyone in the club?
Interviewer: Are you sure?
Paan: No one's joined that's struck my heartstrings as of yet. Besides, plenty of women at school to work with ;)
Interviewer: Do you believe the Vast Empire High Council has a tendency to act niggardly when bestowing promotions and may sometimes be curmudgeons?
Paan: On occasion, yes.
Interviewer: Do you have any special advice for the new members of the Vast Empire?
Paan: Well, be a leader, not a follower. Come up with your own ideas and submit them to superiors, because you never know. You may well be rewarded even if that reward is only that your commander takes your idea and implements it. Also, always be honest. If you have problems with superiors then talk to someone about it rather than just sitting on your bottom and doing nothing. That is what makes the club better.
Interviewer: What has a bed, but does not sleep; a head, but does not eat; and runs, but has no legs?
Paan: Nawt A. Klew? I dunno. I'm not very good with riddles. :)
Interviewer: A river bed. :P
Interviewer: What type of music do you like?
Paan: All kinds. I'm a big Phish fan, but now that they've broken up, I'll say Pink Floyd is my fave. And no, I don't watch MTV enough. I'd say Thriller is my favorite though.
Interviewer: Which do you prefer: Pepsi or Coke?
Paan: Either is fine. I don't see any difference at all.
Interviewer: Thank you for taking the time to answer the questions of this interview.
Paan: It was a pleasure answering all of these questions. Oh, and by the way, I had a bagel with cream cheese and a cup of coffee for breakfast!
- C R E D I T S -
Interview hosted by: Klev Tarkin.
Interview posted by: VE Reporter.
Episode guest star: Gui Sun Paan.
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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