Volkswagen hit a home run with “Lil” Darth Vader in last year’s Super Bowl ad. So with a 3D revision of Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace heading to theaters on Feb. 10, you can imagine why both they and Lucasfilm want to try and follow up on the clever spot during this Sunday’s big game. And they have. With two new spots. And lots of adorable dogs. See for yourself:

That first one, with the dogs barking out the Imperial March, has passed 10 million views, and the damn Super Bowl commercial hasn’t even officially run yet. Safe to say, that’s a marketing slam dunk.

The second spot, which is much newer, doesn’t appear to have much to do with George Lucas’ universe at all … until you get to the end, so stick around. It’s funny, but nowhere near as clever as the barking dogs. And truthfully, both pale in comparison to the mini-Vader, but I’m a father of two boys, so I’m disgustingly biased.

Do these spots help sell Volkswagens? Who knows? Will they peddle more tickets to the 3D Phantom Menace? Probably not. They do keep the Star Wars brand on the pop culture radar, though, as if they’ve ever really left since the first film debut in 1977. And they show that someone at Lucasfilm has a sense of humor. So, of the three Star Wars VM clips you’ve now seen, which one is your favorite?

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