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Super Bowl Commercials 2012: Volkswagen Returns With Dogs, Darth Vader

The Super Bowl is an American institution that has gone beyond just the game itself. Super Bowl commercials have become almost as popular as the game itself, with companies doing whatever they can to outdo their previous spots. Given that companies are spending more than $3 million for these spots, they bring out the creative big guns to get their money's worth, at least as much as possible.

The folks at Volkswagen had one of the more memorable commercials during last year's Super Bowl when they used a kid dressed up as Darth Vader trying to use the force. VW returns this year with an assortment of Star Wars entertainment, both pre-Super Bowl and during the Super Bowl.

VW released an ad that will not air for the Super Bowl but is pretty sweet nonetheless. It features dogs barking out the Imperial March.

The above commercial was a teaser for their actual Super Bowl commercial. This one starts out with always popular cute dog stuff. The dog sees a VW and wants to go through the doggy door to run after it. Unfortunately the dog is a little too chubby to get through it. Naturally, that leads to the dog putting in an intense series of workouts featuring swimming, running, weights and avoiding unnecessary snacks on the ground. The ad appears to cap with the dog seeing the car again, getting through the doggy door this time and running alongside the car.

The commercial does not end there, however. At the 43-second mark, the screen pulls back from the ad and we're in the cantina famously featured in Star Wars. The real punch line follows...