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Volkswagen Super Bowl Commercial 'The Dog Strikes Back' Nods To 2011 Darth Vader 'The Force' Ad (VIDEO)

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Last year, Volkswagen won the hearts of America with the tale of little Darth Vader and his "super powers." But this year, the German automaker has decided to make a dog the star of its highly anticipated Super Bowl commercial.

In the ad, a 2012 VW Beetle speeds through the neighborhood, causing Bolt the pup to take a good, hard look at himself and decide it's time to get into shape. The dog spends months training -- swimming, running and climbing stairs, to the tune of James Brown's "Get Up Offa That Thing" -- so he can one day keep up with the car.

Winter turns into spring, and when Bolt hears the car approaching, he darts out the doggy door in full force to chase after the shiny red Beetle.

But the ad, dubbed "The Dog Strikes Back," wouldn't be complete without a nod to last year's successful campaign, and incorporating a "Star Wars" reference was important to the advertising team, Mashable reports.

As the Beetle speeds off, the camera pans to a bar full characters, who have been watching new the commercial. One of the men declares the dog is funnier than the "Vader kid."

But the comment doesn't go over well with a certain someone standing nearby.

Mark Hunter, Chief Creative Officer of advertising agency Deutsch L.A., told Mashable that the success of last year's "The Force" ad was due in large part to the huge "Star Wars" fan base.

As millions prepare to cheer on the New England Patriots or New York Giants this weekend, others will tune in solely for the commercials.

And with a 30-second ad costing businesses a whopping $3.5 million, some advertisers are upping the ante by leaking their ads early with hopes they'll go viral online.

Just last week, a "Ferris Bueller" ad preview generated tons of buzz online. Once bloggers figured out what Matthew Broderick's classic character would be advertising, Honda released the full version of their CRV commercial, much to the joy of fans of the iconic 1980s film.

Jerry Seinfeld's Acura ad is also stirring up a lot of talk. In the commercial, the comedian even makes classic "Seinfeld" references by offering one of the men his own Soup Nazi in exchange for the No. 1 spot on the waiting list for the 2012 Acura NSX.

For a look back at some 2011 Super Bowl ads, click through the slideshow below.

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