The Force is Strong in this One

Your assignment is to analyze the action and story of a commercial in 5 second increments

I was glad to see a Sci-Fi related commercial since that is one of my all-time favorite movie genres. I found this story shape to be one of disappointment to start with since this kid was so wanting to have the power of the Force (like in Star Wars) but not getting it. Then you can see his happiness and surprise when it looks as if he does have the power of the force. So the story shape would be one of low starting point to a high happy point.
Describe the action, the setting, the visuals, the changes in camera angles.

0:00 – 0:05 – The commercial opens up with a familiar scene to all Star Wars fans. Darth Vader walking down a hallway with his cap flapping behind him but you notice we are in a home and this is a kid dressed up.
0:06 – 0:10 – The camera shifts to being behind the kid as he enters into another room and we see an exercise bike in front of him. He puts his hands up as if he is calling the Force to move the bike but it doesn’t budge.
0:11 – 0:15 – Next we see the kid in the living room trying to use the power of the Force again but this time on his dog. The camera shifts from wide angle to a close up the dogs face and him not moving one inch. Camera prospective changes one last time to see the kid sad once again it didn’t work.
0:16 – 0:20 – Now we find kid has moved onto the laundry room and is now trying to use the Force on the washing machine. Again nothing happens and he is sad! We have a quick location change to what we can guess is his sisters room and a baby doll on a bed as his next target. Again it is a wide angle shot so you see the kid and object in the same screen. The theme of zooming in on the face happens but with the doll and you see no change. The kid is again sad that it isn’t working.
0:21 – 0:25 – Now we have the camera viewing down a slight hallway to the door passing in front and the kid behind him still trying desperately to use the Force on him.
0:26 – 0:30 Next we find the kid in the kitchen with him trying to use the force on something we can not see at first. The camera angle changes to show us the full kitchen and his mother beside him slipping him the sandwich he is trying to will by Force to him. But this is not seen as a good thing and the kid is sad again it did not really work and his mom helped.
0:31 – 0:35 The scene changes to a VW car pulling into the drive way. It is a wide angle to show the car and houses. The whole time in this commercial the Star Wars Darth Vader song is playing in background. We switch back to the kid in the house sad that that his powers are not working. He hears the dog barking and we see him turn as if to see what is happening. The camera cuts to his Dad getting out of the car.
0:36 – 0:40 The Dad sees the little kid running out and motions as if he is getting a hug but the kid waves him off and puts his full attention (and hands up) as if to start using the Force one last time on the car!
0:41 – 0:45 The kid is really focusing hard now and is trying to get something to happen.
0:46 – 0:50 This time the car engine revs alive and the lights blink. The kid is startled and moves back. The camera cuts to the kitchen to see a keyless remote and a finger moving away from the remote starter button.
0:51 – 0:55 We see the Dad and Mom now in a wider camera shot and the Dad raises his eyebrows at his wife. You get that sense of “I know. But he so wanted to do something to make him believe.” The kid is now back in view and he can’t believe it. He is shifting his stance back and forth between the car and the house hoping someone saw and not believing it worked!
0:56 – 0:60 The ad ends with the title of the new car coming and one last Star Wars sound as the light saber sound is made as the logo appears.
Overall, I loved how the story of this commercial plays on our childhood memories of a beloved movie and how we know more than a few of us tried the same Force powers ourselves. We can relate to the love of a child trying to be like their movie favorite characters. So the hook is our sense of childhood memories, the adorable kid trying so hard, and then his parents giving him that one little bit of hope. The car plays into that ‘hope’ and at the same time the new features are showed off. Not only the car but the remote control parts.

Now is your time to take a look.

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4 responses to “The Force is Strong in this One”

  1. CogDog says :

    Oh what a fun commercial and excellent analysis. I really like how you picked up on the camera angles that do so much to shape the story.

    There is something about the whole mis matched scale of the kid- his outfit is perfect, but a short Darth Vader just ends up comical rather then threatening.

    This with the soundtrack from Star Wars creates a playful juxtaposition.

    And again, note how much is communicated visually, there is zero dialogue (car commercials seem adept at this– see the Audi commercial another GMU student reviewed http://cew5x.wordpress.com/2014/03/31/nice-guys-finish-first-when-they-have-dads-car/)

    Nary a powerpoint bullet slide!

    So many points in this story shape of hope, hope dashed, hope hope dashed, does it say something about the kid not giving up?

    So much to love in this short film, I am really pleased with your work here. You have the Blog Force!

    • ctwilker says :

      Yes I should have noted all over my review that there was really no dialogue and the sounds, images/situations, and story really carried you through. And yes the kid not giving up is huge and it is almost like good things happen to those that keep trying. I am a big fan of this commerical too, thanks for the kind words. It was fun to write up and figure out all the items.

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