Dear Internet,

This weekend, during the Super Bowl, Volkswagon ran an advertisement featuring a small child dressed as Darth Vader trying to use “the force” around the house, and then tried to use it on a car, and his dad used his remote control to trick the child, hahaha, and the child thought the force was real, and everyone immediately called their bank to ensure a line of credit in order to buy this car because 100 years ago they saw a movie about space. Fair enough. Personally, that advertisement seemed neither clever nor particularly interesting, and I’m not in the market for a car, so its use of iconic pop cultural imagery couldn’t sway me away from another brand by touching off deep-rooted emotional relationships between my childhood and my adult purchasing power, because there was no other brand.

But the only thing less interesting to me than the commercial itself is following up with the kid who was in the commercial. Really, Internet? This seems lazy, even for you. I mean, I know that you’re basically built on a foundation of kittens wearing casts and lazy Star Wars references, but sheesh. A corporation spent an incredible amount of money to buy the licensing rights to dress a child* who definitely doesn’t care about Star Wars because it’s not 1982 anymore as a character from Star Wars in order to sell cars (built by a company that helped outfit the Nazi war machine in World War II incidentally, not that it matters but maybe it kind of matters) and you are so incapable of standing up to nerd-pandering, even when that pandering is so lazy and obviously calculated, that you will follow the comings and goings of a child whose face you had never seen before just because that face was hidden by a Darth Vader mask? Relax!

Get a grip, boys. This isn’t a thing. Don’t make it one. Have some self-respect. This is only going to get you shoved into more lockers.

Princess Vespa

*Note: This is not about the kid. Good for the kid. I hope his parents invest all the money he got wisely and one day all his dreams come true and he’s the President of Disneyland. Everyone else, though, you are adults. Act like it.
Comments (102)
  1. Why must you ruin everything I love?

    • “I hate everything.” -Gabe

    • Srrsly! Reset button? Can an adult get that, please?

      Incidentally, my nephews, ages 6 and 4, LOVE Star Wars. And Super Mario. And interestingly, also love their dad’s car, which is a Volkwagen Passat. They have named it “Heidi” (German).

      YouTube and DVD re-releases and 25th anniversary editions of everything on the planet have ensured that nothing will ever be forgotten, until the blessed events of 2012.

      Nothing is old, Gabe. Excepting, obviously, yourself.

  2. …but is the kid REALLY from Tatooine? Where is the birth certificate?

  3. This goes beyong pandering; the whole thing is just to set the kid up for his inevitable turn in the ring on Celebrity Wrestling. Executives at Fox anticipate very high ratings on “Darth Vader Volkswagen Kid vs. David After Dentist.”

  4. The Internet’s Rebuttal:

  5. Are they real Star Wars?

  6. Funny, he doesn’t look Druish.

  7. Was anyone else surprised to learn that the actor wasn’t Warwick Davis?

  8. Sorry…This commercial remains popular in my heart!*


  9. What I find weird is that the kid was on the Today Show the morning after the Superbowl. I mean, how did that get arranged? Even assuming he lives in NYC, did the booking person watch the ad and get in touch with him immediately to set up an interview at 7 the next morning? How could they have known that the ad would be such a “phenomenon” (eye roll) that it would require follow up interviews? I am assuming that Volkswagon pre-arranged the whole thing to garner more publicity for their commercial (ugh) and the Today Show, which I think still sometimes pretends to be a news show, went along with it (double ugh).

    • That said, I thought the commercial was cute.

    • i loved the commercial, but was also confused when i heard the kid was about to be interviewed by the today show.

      ugh, and meredith was relaying a conversation with him where she told him ‘he did great’ or something and he replied ‘i know.’ yuck, go to your room, kid.

    • The Today Show actually showed the two Volkswagon ads on the Friday before the Superbowl. So I guess they had the whole weekend to talk to his manager.

      • yeah plus its like maybe the people who work for the company who made the commercial have jobs that involve actually talking to the media or something – Professor of Media Studies and Science

    • The entire one minute commercial was on youtube like a week before the Super Bowl and had racked up something like 12 million views by then. It’s been #1 in autos for more than a week now.

      • Yeah, I saw the one-minute version like last Wednesday. It had already had A LOT of views when I saw it and it was also on a lot of pretty popular blogs leading up to the Super Bowl.

  10. I felt the same way. Everyone was talking about how it was one of the best commercials of the night, and I thought I must have been really drunk, because I didn’t remember it being that great. Turns out, I was sober after all. Wait until I tell my parole officer. Thanks, Gabe!

  11. It’s going to suck for this little guy when he’s the last kid on the school bus who believes in the force.

    One day in class everyone is going to tell him that the force isn’t real and then he will be hurt because his parents lied to him and the movies will it’ll ruin the meaning of Star Wars.

  12. I didn’t have the heart to tell my daughter she didn’t get the part. She still doesn’t know.

  13. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  14. I thought it was a girl

  15. These comments are reactions to a reaction to a reaction to a car commercial.

  16. My daughter auditioned for this and didn’t get it. I didn’t tell her because I couldn’t break her heart. She still doesn’t know:

    Daddy loves you, princess. Daddy loves you.

  17. sounds like someone dared give Gabe the raspberry.

  18. If you think kids today don’t like the original Star Wars (movie and trilogy), then you must not know many kids today.

    I also really don’t think it was a form of nerd pandering. More like ‘people who like adorable kids’ pandering. I dislike Star Wars, do not consider myself anywhere near being a nerd (username and being a member of this site not-withstanding), and I thought this was a great commercial.

    But congratulations on not being tricked into buying a Volkswagen, you must be very proud.

  19. Actually, there are a sizable number of kids these days who are into Star Wars both because of their parents and the recent trilogy. So I think it makes sense, since there are likely quite a few households out there where both the parents and their kids are fans.

    Also, a little kid trying to use the force is about the most adorable thing I can imagine.

  20. I’m on Team “I thought the commercial was cute, but I never needed to know anything about the little kid.”
    Also, Team Jacob. I’m on Team Jacob.

  21. My generation has definitely outdone Baby Boomers with the nostalgia overload. Dear subsequent generations: WE ARE NEVER GOING TO LET YOU FORGET ABOUT STAR WARS UNTIL EVERY LAST ONE OF US IS DEAD.

    • A frequent conversation my roommate has with me centers around how he will show his future kids the old movies and TV shows first before the newer stuff. I can’t help but agree, but then I think that perhaps it’s nostalgia that’s really laying the foundation for his love of these things, rather than any true quality of writing.

      Sure, he should show his kids good old movies like Star Wars, but making them relive all facets of his childhood would be more like making carbon-copy kids than well-versed ones because “the shows these days just aren’t as good.” I’m talking more cartoons than Star Wars here.

      If nothing else, though, he’ll avoid accidently showing them porn.

    • At least Star Wars warrants it. They’ve been patting themselves on the back for Woodstock since 1843 (or whenever).

  22. We Should All Be So Lucky As To Find Something In This World That Makes Us Happy: Hating On Everything, featuring Gabe Delahaye

  23. Oh, shit. I thought this commercial was about a couple engaged in some very intensive Star Wars-themed swinging with a midget. But that’s just supposed to be their son? Lame. I’m DEFINITELY not buying that car now.

  24. When I was a kid my Dad used to do that thing where he would pretend to knock on the open sunroof…when really he was using his other hand to knock on the side window! So clever Dads! Always teasing kids in the car!

    Also…he would lock and unlock the doors fast so you had to be quick with a door handle. True story.

  25. All this commercial reminded me of was back when I was in college (which was five years ago) we would play dodgeball every Thursday. One of the guys who played used to use the Force, YES, USE THE FORCE, to pull dodgeballs towards him, in that when a ball was rolling towards him he would stick his hand out and concentrate all his efforts on pulling a ball that is already coming directly at him, to him. No joke. I am not joking. He always did it. He really thought he was using the Force or something. He was in college, just like me. We were already playing dodgeball, which is ridiculous enough, and now he’s using the FORCE. UUUNNHHHHH.

    The worst was when he would get me out. It’s dodgeball, so getting hit is part of the game, and many other people would get me out and I would get Force Boy out on occasion, but it just always sucked when he would get me out. Or anyone really. Whenever he got anyone out I was like, “That’s just rewarding his behavior. He thinks he got us out with the goddamn Force. THE FORCE.”

    I was also this guy’s RA the year before and halfway through the school year I had to move him to a different room because his roommate, who had a computer, found pictures Force Boy had uploaded and forgot about, and they were pictures of his dick.

    So yeah. Fuck this commercial.

    • upvote for dodgeball because: Hooray college dodgeball teams!

    • For the record, the commercial was fine, as far as a kid dressed as Darth Vader running around and being more entertaining than not. I really couldn’t care either way. But it did remind me of that guy, and that’s my personal shit.

  26. I’m on Team The Olds. We remember when Darth Vader was a bad guy and not a car salesman.

  27. This commercial was selling cars? I thought it was selling “Awwwwwwwwww”s.

  28. I liked the commercial okay.

    I liked the commercial with the car getting snagged by various forces of increasing superiority, aliens, a water god with a trident, some mayan temple type people, etc. that was a good over the top commercial that is what you are looking for when you watch superbowl ads

  29. Would have been a fun interview only if the kid was horribly disfigured and evil.

  30. I’m just glad that Gabe brought up the Nazis, because I’d hate for a discussion about child in a cute car commercial to lack historical perspective. Just in case no one else is going to do it, I’d like to call out Sean Combs for his retroactive participation in the Holocaust. “Has anyone seen my silver Nazi War Crime?!?”

  31. What sold the commercial was the kid’s reaction to the car starting- the way his head hitches up, so startled, excited, full of innocence and possibility. And that was ALL this kid. He nailed it in that little moment. Whether people realize that this is what they’re drawn to when they celebrate this CAR COMMERCIAL (-Gabe), it’s worth celebrating. Good job, Kid.

  32. But … but … but … he looks just like Mark Hamill!!!

  33. I immediately became suspicious of this commercial yesterday when my mom called to tell me about it. “I put it up on my facebook, you can just watch it there.”
    The world is a weird place.

  34. it’s less about the commercial and more about remembering, for 30 seconds, what it’s like to be a kid again: completely naive and really believing that the Force is real. Those were awesome times.

    Next year, VW will have an ad where a kid gets a letter from an owl and gets to become a wizard.

  35. “Sometimes I think you overestimate me, Gabe”

    - internet

  36. This commercial did for non-michiganders what the chrysler commercial did for michiganders.

  37. If it was a fucking dog dressed like Darth, he’d be all over it, amirite? Darth Birdie lololol [gunshot].

  38. Get over it, Gabe.

  39. If you watch the Super Bowl for the commercials, you probably have a comedy deficiency in your media diet.

  40. Am I the only one who feels like this ad was based on the adorable Robocop kid, as featured in Videogum and originally found here: ???

  41. i feel like kids are into star wars right now because of that animated show clone wars on cartoon network which seems to be pretty popular.

  42. Sweet friggin’ Christ, don’t act like you even kinda care about the Nazi war machine in WWII or that you kinda still think it matters. Let’s be honest, it doesn’t really matter to you (not even kinda), so just stop it. Jesus, who are you? Glenn Beck? You’re better than that, Gabe.

    • I’d also like to point out that in most things the Nazi war machine doesn’t matter to any of us if we’re being honest, because it was almost 100 years ago (take a minute to realize how little I’m exaggerating that).

  43. Why is it inconceivable that this kid could like Star Wars? I’d get the “it’s not 1982″ argument if we were talking about something really dated or obscure, but kids still like Star Wars — if only because their parents are often eager to expose them to it. But, yeah. Nazis. OK, Gabe, you win. How could I have been so silly?

  44. Isn’t the point of the internet to be so full of stuff you can not look at certain stuff and pretend it doesn’t exist? Like how we can ignore the people who are, sure, TOO excited about this very cute car commercial and instead we can look at this slideshow of penguins taking showers?

  45. hey, give gabe a break. he’s probably really tired from being so angry and wound up about everything. “Look at this picture of a kid holding a flower. So stupid. Flowers are so unoriginal. They’re not particularly funny, or cute, and they die in like two days. And i mean, really? A kid holding a flower? The cliche train is in town, hop on folks. You might as well have the kid holding a teddy bear. NAZIS liked flowers, you know. Nazis also had kids.”

  46. A reporter should ask that kid, “What was it like pretending to be a magic space Nazi?”

  47. “(built by a company that helped outfit the Nazi war machine in World War II incidentally, not that it matters but maybe it kind of matters)”

    Hello Glenn Beck!

  48. Endor Holocaust Deniers are the worst. A Death Star fell on the planet, people… is your precious Rebelion worth 10 billion dead teddybears? Not say nothing of the ecological damage

  49. Thank you, Gabe! I couldn’t even begin to understand the overwhelmingly positive reaction this ad seemed to get. I like Star Wars just fine, but I watched the ad for 5 seconds and completely lost interest. I didn’t find it cute, funny, or interesting.

    So hearing about all the people who LOVED this ad was bad enough, but then we have post-segments like “Darth Vader Kid: Behind the Mask”, and I’m out. Done.

  50. Wait, is the point that kids today don’t like Star Wars? If so, that is complete rubish. I have twin 5 year old nephews who would give their right arms for Star Wars toys. They love Star Wars more than any of their new movies (and they LOVE new movies)…..and I’m not talking about the prequel garbage – these kids are proof that the original movies are the real thing – they stomp around the house singing the imperial march. It’s hillarious.

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