As a little boy who grew up with Star Wars, not to mention a Dad myself these days, I love this.
Dad Vader captures the joys and frustrations of fatherhood told through answering the question, 'What if Darth Vader had tried to bring up Luke like a normal Dad?'
Make the familiar unfamiliar.
There's plenty of reasons why this works as far as humans go. We're hardwired to notice new and surprising stuff and filter out the familiar. Putting the anything in an unexpected situation, even the most familiar and banal makes us pay attention, which is, of course, gold in this over-supplied world.
One the most loved films from my childhood is Mary Poppins, which, of course, it really just a story about a family that has forgotten have fun together.
The underrated City Slickers conveys loads of stuff about male anxiety about being the 'other directed man' , mid-life crisis and male anxiety by subverting the cowboy ideal.
While Mad Men actually makes similar points about the hollowness of modern consumer society, the middle class ideal and and the conflicts beneath the surface of corporate men who go to ever greater lengths to feel something in jaded world.
Everyone loves Carousel, but while I admire the pitch as much as the next agency hack, it's the juxtaposition of the the corporate guy and the loving father unable to reconcile both or even give them the love and support he so desperately wants to that makes it so powerful for me. The struggle between doing what you want and what you should is timeless.
While the inability to externalise what a man feels inside, either because you are not allowed or you simply cannot is not limited to older generations. Go to any pub and watch young men bonding through shared mockery and bickering and you'll see what I mean.
While we're at it, his toe curling embarrassment at Bizou Bizou, skewers the stilted reserve that presents so many limits on what men (and women) feel able to say and do. Who hasn't felt uncomfortable, rather than electrified around spontaneous people who are able to have fun?
And of course, there's the tried and tested time-travel story. In the case of Back to the Future, familiar teenage themes given a new lease of life in the 1950's.
The Jetsons, the Flinstones and the Simpsons - all stories about family relationships.
The Sopranos (I think) is all about confused roles modern men find themselves trying to fulfill - the conflict between traditional macho identity and more modern, metrosexual roles.
On the other hand, this, our Italian American, ganster panda conveys product quality for Fox's without having to spell it out in the conventional ways that no one really notices.
Stella Artois 4 conveys it's Franco Belgian heritage, and the 'smooth' badge value of the brand by setting it in the 1960's French Riviera
And of course, the Smash Martians conveyed the ease of using Smash rather than peeling, chopping and boiling your own potatoes.
A lot of this is brand mascots of course, but much of it is finding the right situation and setting.
I've long wanted to steal the premise of the Incredibles- the struggles of a family with superpowers trying to get by in the modern world, with a bit more of an 'Outnumbered' tone - for an outdoorsy family orientated brand, aimed squarely at the anxieties modern Mums feel about their kids getting out and playing, growing strong and independent in a world where they simulate fun on a Wii or Xbox connect rather than actually having it.
Or, come to think of it, take the idea of exaggerated masculinity to the extreme for a shaving or beer brand, with a funny,modern take on the idea of a male comic book hero at once poking fun at the category and male cuture at large (where most brands seems to only the answer of new-laddism) while conveying the true modern masculinity as embracing the contradiction in modern male identity - the strong, capable superhero AND the sensitive, vulnerable, more feminised alter ego (or is it the other way around?).
I always thought this bit of dialogue has a killer insight on this: