Remember the Star Wars/Volkswagen Super Bowl commercial? The one with the cute kid dressed as Darth Vader trying to Force-start the Passat? Sure you do, but if not, check out the lead video. The commercial was quite popular, so much so, it won a few "best commercial of the Super Bowl" designations. With that in mind, if you're a environmentally-conscious group looking to ridicule and call out a company for what's perceived to be practices that endanger the environment, comparing them to an evil empire, the Darth Vader commercial is a good place to start.
That's just what Greenpeace did with a pair of videos, painting Volkswagen as the Empire for their failure to improve its poor environmental record. Over at the GreenpeaceUK site, they have a page devoted to the movement, asking users to "Join the Rebellion" against the Empire that is Volkswagen.
From the site's description:
Our home—Earth—is in trouble. VW opposes key environmental laws we need if we’re going to stop our planet going the way of Alderaan (bye bye). But all is not lost. We feel the good in Volkswagen.
All of us in the Rebellion are calling on Volkswagen to turn away from the Dark Side and give our planet a chance.
The page even has a link to Greenpeace's full report on Volkswagen's track record with the environment. A snippet of the introduction text gives readers an idea of where Greenpeace is going with their protestations:
The Volkswagen Group is the largest car maker in Europe. It has repeatedly claimed that it wants to be a‘green’ company, but has so far failed to live up to its green ambitions. It has been slow to make its fleet more efficient, despite having developed the technology to do so, and has actively worked to impede strong European climate policies. The company must change.
The highlight of Greenpeace's Volkswagen protest comes from the videos they made to get their point across. To do so, Greenpeace mocked the incredibly-popular Darth Vader kid commercial (over 40 million views on YouTube) with not one, but two satirical videos:
The United Kingdom arm of the Greenpeace movement also changed their Twitter page to match this new promotion, which they've also been tweeting about:
Currently, the number of people who've joined Greenpeace's anti-Volkswagen movement is up to 89,112 people.
The most surprising aspect of Greenpeace's movement is the liberal use of Star Wars material. The protest page is littered with things like "Your Jedi training page," and "FAQ / FQA with Yoda;" leading this particular writer to believe George Lucas is on board with the protest. Considering just how protective he is over the "Star Wars" brand, and anything related to it, if Greenpeace doesn't have Lucas' permission, these pages won't last very long at all.
Furthermore, the fact that Lucas allowed Volkswagen to use likenesses from the Star Wars universe casts doubt on the idea he'd let Greenpeace use the same kind of look and feel to protest Volkswagen. At some point, we'll get to find out just how strong the Force in Greenpeace really is.