On Volkswagen’s Star Wars Commercial and the Girl Vader

I drive a Volkswagen Beetle. It makes me very happy, though I’d be happier if the CD player didn’t skip.

Volkswagen has always made fabulous commercials. I remember vividly the Cabrio commercial that introduced millions to “Pink Moon” and the work of Nick Drake. And, of course, there’s this one.

Many people have seen this by now — for the Super Bowl, Volkswagen has created a new commercial, “The Force,” to promote their new Passat. I honestly wasn’t going to post this commercial on my blog; it doesn’t need me to go any more viral than it already has, and I didn’t have anything to say about it until now. The commercial involves… Oh, never mind. Roll tape. 🙂

I’ve watched this commercial a dozen times since it went online on Thursday. Easily. It’s not just the Imperial March that appeals. Who hasn’t held out their hands and tried to move an object with the power of their own mind? I do this quite often, actually. It never works, but I also never stop trying. So I applaud the young Darth Vader’s tenacity. One must believe in the Force, after all, to really feel its power. And listening to the Imperial March (or this seriously bad-ass version) certainly helps to channel the power of the Dark Side.

When my friend Julio Angel Ortiz posted the video on his blog this morning, I really focused on a detail I’d noticed but never really considered.

Our young Darth Vader is a girl.

Consider the scene with the baby doll. Why is our young Vader trying to use his Force powers on the doll? Why is Vader in a young girl’s bedroom? Whose doll is it? Is he just using his Force powers on anything at hand, like the washing machine or the treadmill? Why does the camera zoom in on the impassive face of the doll, indicating that the doll is important? Vader is clearly trying to use his powers on things that do things — as the washing machine would — or on things he he wants to handle — like his lunch.

So, why the doll? Logically, based on Vader’s behavior, the doll must belong to Vader, too.

Thus, I am convinced that the Darth Vader of “The Force” is a young girl who loves Star Wars, who dresses the part, and hopes one day to master the power of the Force.

Then I wondered if the young Vader of “The Force” is inspired by — or perhaps even meant to beKatie, the young Illinois girl who was bullied in school by boys because she loved Star Wars and who inspired tens of thousands of Star Wars fans to rally to her cause.

Okay, okay, I admit that’s a leap. An intuitive leap, but a leap nonetheless.

Still, it’s an interesting read on a cute commercial — that Darth Vader is a girl, because girls love Star Wars, too. 🙂

May the Force be with you.

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