I Guess All Your Favorite Characters Shop At Walmart, At Least According To This Cameo-Laden Super Bowl Commercial

The Super Bowl is coming up this Sunday, and since we evidently live in a world in which Super Bowl commercials no longer debut during the actual Super Bowl anymore (get off my lawn, etc.), we've started to see a few trickle out a few days early. Such is the case with this new one from Walmart, which features iconic science fiction characters like Flash Gordon, Frank the pug from Men in Black, and two versions of William "Bill" S. Preston, Esq. out buying supplies. Plus, it ends with a couple of familiar faces from a galaxy far, far away. Check it out below.

Walmart Super Bowl Commercial

Last year, Walmart did something similar with a commercial that aired during the Golden Globes. That one also included some science fiction, but it largely centered around recognizable vehicles from film and TV (for more on that topic, check this out). There are plenty of vehicles on display this time, too: the U.S.S. Enterprise, the Milano from the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, the black sedan from Men in Black, a Blade Runner hover car, and a blink-and-you'll-miss-it early appearance from Benny's LEGO ship from The LEGO Movie, which gets its close-up later in the spot.

But overall, this commercial feels a bit more personal because it features actual human performers like Sam Jones reprising his famous Flash Gordon role (which he also kinda-sorta did back in 2012 in Seth MacFarlane's Ted) and Alex Winter playing an older and younger version of Bill. (I'm assuming Winter played the younger version and that character was then digitally altered, but I guess it's also possible that someone else could have stepped in to perform that younger role before the CG was applied.)

And as much as I'm personally resistant toward all forms of advertisement, especially ones that try so desperately to attract our attention by using pop culture touchstones (mission accomplished, punks), even I must admit that the Arrival joke about glass cleaner is a pretty good joke. You win this round, Walmart. Frankly, I'm just glad to see Arrival make it into this thing because it means that that film has more of a lasting cultural impact than I thought – film lovers revere it and we love it here at /Film, but maybe this will get people curious enough to seek out the film if they haven't seen it.

The Super Bowl, in which the San Francisco 49ers face off against the Kansas City Chiefs, airs on Fox this Sunday, February 2, 2020. (That's Groundhog Day, and you'll see a familiar face celebrating that particular holiday as well.)