Imperial Stormtroopers Get A Paint Job In This Japanese Nissan Juke Campaign

Don’t ask why people are driving a car with wheels in a galaxy where even a crazy old man like Ben Kenobi can afford a hovercar–just be glad there’s no Jar Jar Binks.

One might think that individuality would be frowned-upon in the clone army of an evil empire bent on galactic domination, but any Imperial Stormtrooper tired of blending in with his (?) bright-white armor would have to admit: The Nissan Juke in purple, with orange accents and a silver sport stripe, is a pretty sweet-looking ride.


That’s the idea behind the Juke’s new campaign in Japan, anyway, which features Star Wars Stormtroopers who, upon recognizing the eye-catching nature of the Juke (seen in the 30-second spot in bright red and white), decide that it’s time to give the ol’ white plastoid suit a new paint job. As the Juke–apparently the favored ground transport on one of the dustier Imperial planets–zooms past a brigade of Stormtroopers, there’s a flash inspiration that you can almost see through their helmets and into their deadened, cloned eyes.

Okay, so it’s a bit of a silly mashup (although it’s unlikely to crack the top 20 weirdest Star Wars tie-ins–looking at you, life-sized R2D2 aquarium), but Nissan is clearly quite proud of it: In addition to the 30-second spot, there’s also a three-part web series that “coolly and excitingly tells the story of Stormtroopers’ encounter with Juke,” according to a Nissan press release. They’ve also created a simulator website where you can virtually customize a Juke in an assortment of colors–as well as its little Stormtrooper pal standing at the car’s side–and a contest that could award lucky fans their own customized Juke/set of Stormtrooper armor (seriously).

Star Wars has been synonymous with complicated marketing campaigns for a long time, and while this one’s perhaps a bit belabored, it’s also a fine tribute to that long history of selling rando products (anyone for a bowl of C3PO’s?) with the help of The Force.

About the author

Dan Solomon lives in Austin with his wife and his dog. He's written about music for MTV and Spin, sports for Sports Illustrated, and pop culture for Vulture and the AV Club.