George Lucas, owner of Lucasfilm Limited that produces the Star War Films has previously promised to give half of his considerable fortune to charity. Strange therefore that when one of them, Greenpeace, uses some of his characters in an advert http://www.vwdarkside.com highlighting Volkswagen’s inconsistent record on reducing CO2 emissions he feels he must spring to the defence of the German manufacturing giant that last year posted €7 billion profit on a turnover of €127 billion.
VWdarkside is a spoof of Volkswagen’s own Darth Vader advert and had only been on YouTube for days when it was replaced by the following short message: This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim from LucasFilm.
And whilst some cynics were suggesting that Lucasfilm might have come under pressure from VW to act - especially when PR Week reported that 2 million had watched VWdarkside before it was hastily removed - it’s not what the auto giant is claiming with a VW spokesperson telling Marketing Weekly that the action taken by Lucasfilm had nothing to do with them.
If however either Lucasfilm or VW were hoping that might prove the end of the matter they have been proven mistaken. Greenpeace members have posted it all over the web and of July 7th over 192,000 people have taken the trouble to sign up to the Jedi Rebel Manifesto.
Heart-warming stuff therefore for the youngsters who helped make the advert. Nine year-old Daniel Walsh was one of them and he’s proud of his role in playing a Jedi Knight as he’s “fully behind anything that is eco-friendly.”
Although he likes acting a day’s rehearsal beforehand and the two days filming that followed was “hard work” and so “it’s disappointing that people aren’t being given the chance to see the advert which shows that Volkswagen’s eco-friendliness claims aren’t as strong as they suggest.”