Volkswagon’s Pint-Sized Darth Vader to Undergo Open-Heart Surgery
Max Page, the boy who played Darth Vader in 2011’s memorable Volkswagon commercial, is set to undergo open-heart surgery today in Los Angeles.
You all remember that hilarious Volkswagon commercial from 2011’s Super Bowl, right? You know, the one with the tiny little Darth Vader attempting to use the Force on everything from his lunch to his dog to the tune of Star Wars’ “Imperial March?” In case you need a refresher, here:
Yeah. That one. That adorable pint-sized Sith Lord was played by Max Page. Max is now seven years old—and we’re really hoping the Force is with him, because he’s undergoing open-heart surgery today.
You see, Max was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect when he was just three months old; this will be the eighth operation he’s had to have. His parents talked with the Today Show on Wednesday about their son’s ordeal. “He’s scared and nervous,” his father, Buck Page, said on the show. Naturally he’s also disappointed about summer plans he had to cancel to allow for his recovery.
But Max is staying positive about the whole thing. He’s created a “Can Do!” list of things he’ll be able to do once he gets out of surgery—things like watching movies and playing Wii. According to mom Jennifer, he had another request, as well: “He said, ‘Well, this house is awfully boring to recover in, so we need to fun it up.’” Subsequently, Max and his brother turned the family’s house into a “fun house,” with each room getting its own theme. The garage, for instance, is the “explode zone” and is full of science projects and paint, and every stuffed animal he owns is waiting for him in the living room.
Max, by the way, is also an ambassador for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, working to raise money for other children with heart defects. Good for him!
According to Dr. Vaughn Starnes, the cardiothoracic surgeon who is performing the operation at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Max’s pulmonary valve hasn’t grown well over time, making problems for his heart when it comes to emptying out into the pulmonary arteries. The planned operation is to give him a new valve.
Here’s wishing Max the very best during his surgery today, as well as a speedy recovery in the days to come!
Watch the full Today Show segment here:
Lucia Peters is BettyConfidential’s associate editor.