'Mini Darth Vader' Undergoing Open Heart Surgery

Star of Volkswagen Super Bowl ad faces fight of his life
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 13, 2012 12:04 AM CDT

(Newser) – Look to The Force, Max. The 7-year-old boy who played a pint-sized Darth Vader in last year's popular Volkswagen Super Bowl ad is undergoing open heart surgery. The operation, scheduled for today in Los Angeles, will repair a hole in Max Page's heart and replace the pulmonary valve, according to his mom. In the Volkswagen commercial, Max played a boy dressed as Darth Vader attempting to use The Force on household objects. He's amazed that his power works on the Passat parked in the driveway—as his dad secretly clicks the ignition key. Max, who suffers from a congenital heart problem, was diagnosed as a baby and was already outfitted with a pacemaker when he made the ad, reports MSNBC.

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When he was first told of the surgery, "Max was crying and repeating how scared he was," his mom, Jennifer, wrote in an email released by Max's talent agency. But The Force didn't desert mini Darth. Max finally bucked up with the help of a "Can Do" list of fun activites, like setting up art projects in the garage. "Mom I don’t have a choice. I have to go through" with the surgery, he told his mother. "I might as well go through it with a good attitude." (Read more Star Wars stories.)

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