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Child actor famous for playing Mini-Darth Vader leaves hospital after surgery

Bryan Alaspa's picture

The child actor who became a worldwide sensation for playing a mini-Darth Vader in a Volkswagen commercial that ran during the Super Bowl underwent heart surgery recently.

The young man became quite a sensation when the commercial, called "The Force," was released weeks before the Super Bowl. The commercial went viral and became one of the most talked about commercials of the 2011 Super Bowl. Since he wore a Darth Vader mask for the entire commercial, many wondered what the actor looked like beneath the mask. It turned out it was a young man named Max Page.

Now, according to Hollywood sources, the young actor has been released from the hospital after successful open-heart surgery. The young man, who is 7-years-old, appeared before the press earlier this week to discuss the surgery and how he was feeling. Mr. Page appeared to be all smiles and was described by some as “squirmy” in front of reporters as he fielded questions.

"I'm feeling great," Page said. "I do feel a little pain in my chest, but not much."

Page had a congenital heart problem known as Tetralogy of Fallot. The condition can cause a wide variety of heart problems. In Page’s case it affected his pulmonary valve which is key in keeping the blood flowing steadily through his heart. He had already undergone a number of treatments for the condition that attempted to heal and preserve his pulmonary valve, but doctors decided a surgery to replace the valve with a porcine valve would have much greater success. With the new valve in place it should last anywhere between 10 to 15 years.

According to Page’s doctor Michael Silka, "We're hopeful that this will be -- quite possibly -- the last major surgery that Max will need."

Page was famous for the commercial promoting the new Volkswagen Passat. Max Page is seen wearing a full Darth Vader helmet and a black cape trying to use The Force on various objects around his house. He tries using on the washer and dryer, a doll, a sandwich and even his dog. All of which do not respond to his efforts. Then, as his father comes home from work he heads out into the driveway to try the Force on his father’s Volkswagen only to have the engine come to life - thanks to his father’s remote starter on his keychain. Mini-Darth immediately jumps in surprise and whirls around in amazement.

For fans of the Star Wars movie Page also bears a resemblance to the young actor who played Anakin Skywalker in The Phantom Menace. Of course, Anakin Skywalker becomes Darth Vader, the villain of the original series.

Page’s doctors are hopeful for his outlook and his condition going forward. There should be no conditions imposed against Page and his health should be fine.

As for the Star Wars movies, Page has yet to watch them. Even when he became famous for the commercial he stated he had not watched the films because he was scared to watch them. His mother says he is still scared to watch the films and has not done so.

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