If this "Star Wars" tie-in Verizon ad -- part of its continuing "Better Matters" campaign out of Wieden & Kennedy New York -- feels incredibly authentic, well, there are very good reasons for that.
"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" director J.J. Abrams was deeply involved in the production and helped W&K secure the spot's director, Tommy Gormley, the first AD on "The Force Awakens." It was shot on film at Pinewood Studios in England, like much of "The Force Awakens."
And, of course, it stars Chewbacca and BB-8; the latter is shown using some sort of data download to help fend off Storm Troopers, leaving viewers to worry about their fate as the monitor on screen shows extreme lag at a precarious moment.
A rather distracting voice-over (Catherine Keener, for some reason) then goes into sales mode, explaining, "Some networks promise unlimited data, then they slow your downloads after just a gig or two. Verizon doesn't slow your stuff. Because when data is your only hope, better matters."
"Knowing the release of 'The Force Awakens' is going to be huge," said W&K New York Creative Director Sean McLaughlin in a statement, "using the Star Wars galaxy felt like a timely and fun way to bring this particular proof point to life -- the idea that having data available when you need it (when you really, really need it) is important."
Verizon's not the only one to go all out with a "Star Wars"-worthy production. Earlier, Anomaly released an epic Duracell spot directed by "Night at the Museum" helmer Shawn Levy and DP'd by the new "Star Wars" film's cinematographer, Daniel Mindel.