'Little Darth Vader' Wore Helmet To Prepare For Heart Surgery
Max Page, the 7-year-old actor who rose to fame after playing Darth Vader in Volkswagen's Super Bowl commercial in 2011, is undergoing open heart surgery in Los Angeles today (June 13, 2012). Max suffers from a congenital heart defect and has turned to the Star Wars villain to help him through it.
In the days leading up to the surgery, Page told his parents that he was scared for the surgery - his eighth time under the knife in seven years. A reminder of his most famous role helped him calm the nerves, with his mother Jennifer telling NBC News, "He saw a pair of Darth Vader headsets and he said, 'I want those'. It really struck me because he's not usually wanting those.He said, 'Cause when I'm Darth, I feel strong". In the Volkswagen ad, Max dressed as a miniature version of the Star Wars villain and attempted to "use the Force" around his house, before seemingly discovering that he could start up his father's car with the wave of a hand. He was diagnosed with a heart defect when he was just a few months old, and has used a pacemaker ever since.
His overnight fame led Max to become an ambassador for the Children's Hospital Los Angeles, helping to raise money for other children with heart defects.