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Walmart's Super Bowl 2020 commercial recruits Martians, 'Star Trek,' Lego and sci-fi icons

Who knew that something as mundane as grocery pickup could be this relevant to sci-fi space exploration?

Walmart's new extended Super Bowl LIV commercial, released on YouTube Wednesday (Jan. 29), shows characters from all across the universe making food runs in between their intergalactic adventures.

It should be no surprise that the starship Enterprise from "Star Trek" is the first spaceship we see, given that Starfleet is based in San Francisco — home of the 49ers, the football team that will be facing off against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday (Feb. 2). But less likely, perhaps, is the arrival of Benny's spaceship from "The Lego Movie" or the Benatar from "Guardians of the Galaxy" and "The Avengers."

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Bemused and patient Walmart associates hand groceries to each of the groups as they come in, no matter how unusual the visitor.

"Glass cleaner?" two of them write on a whiteboard while facing the heptapod aliens from "Arrival," who wait behind glass in their spaceship. Hearing no response, one of the Walmart employees says, "I'm just going to set this down for you." A heptapod puts their tentacle on the window, and the employees scream.

Another employee cranes her neck to get a better look at the Lego spaceship, which is smaller than the sidewalk curb next to the vehicle. "I'm just noticing that the bag is much bigger than your ship," she says.

A third group of Walmart employees watches stoically while the phone booth from "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure" opens, with two Bills springing out the door. "Is this the future?" one Bill asks the other.

"This is the present," responds the second.

An employee hands over a grocery bag. "Here's your order, Bills."

"Excellent!" they both cry, starting an air guitar session on the spot.

Even Marvin the Martian from "Looney Tunes" comes by, ready to pick up his order with a robot arm. "Oh goody, sustenance!" he cries.

Among numerous franchise appearances, you will also see references to "Toy Story," "Men In Black," "Blade Runner," "Mars Attacks" and even a quick cameo from two "Star Wars" characters who were in the latest movie, "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker."

Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook

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Elizabeth Howell
Elizabeth Howell is a contributing writer for who is one of the few Canadian journalists to report regularly on space exploration. She is pursuing a Ph.D. part-time in aerospace sciences (University of North Dakota) after completing an M.Sc. (space studies) at the same institution. She also holds a bachelor of journalism degree from Carleton University. Besides writing, Elizabeth teaches communications at the university and community college level. To see her latest projects, follow Elizabeth on Twitter at @HowellSpace.