Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Title text: The Lord of the Rings sequel, set years after the Ring hubbub has died down, is just Samwise discreetly creeping back to Bag End to finish dropping the eaves.
Sequels are often made to resolve pressing issues that are left unresolved in the original works. This comic was a humorous take on how the then-upcoming sequel in the Star Wars franchise might have resolved issues from a previous film in that series.
 Star Wars background
In the first-produced movie of the series, Star Wars:Episode IV: A New Hope, Luke Skywalker's uncle tells him to clean two newly purchased droids (R2-D2 and C-3PO). Luke complains that he had plans to pick up some power converters at Tosche Station. Luke is told to clean the droids first; however, while doing so, he discovers a message carried by R2-D2, starting him on a course of events that runs through the original trilogy. As a result, he never ultimately goes to Tosche Station.
The conversation between Luke and his uncle, Owen Lars, is as follows:
- Uncle Owen: Luke! Take these two over to the garage will ya? I want ’em cleaned up before dinner.
- Luke: But I was going into Tosche Station to pick up some power converters!
- Uncle Owen: You can waste time with your friends when your chores are done. Now, come on. Get to it.
Luke's line is one of many well-known lines from the series and is often-quoted as an example of how Luke is initially portrayed as a whiny teenager. By the end of the Episode VI:Return of the Jedi, Luke has grown into a mature and powerful Jedi, completing his transformation through the original trilogy.
 The Force Awakens
Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens was, at the time of the comic's release, the upcoming seventh feature-length live-action film in the Star Wars series, and was the first since the rights to the franchise were sold by creator George Lucas to the Disney Company. It is a sequel to the original trilogy.
Since creating the original trilogy, many of Lucas's decisions in respect of the franchise have been subject to fan criticism, including criticism of the quality of three prequel films Lucas produced beginning in 1999 (after a more than 15-year hiatus). The new seventh film was entrusted by Disney to producer/director J.J. Abrams, who in 2009 produced and directed the highly acclaimed (although still highly criticized by some fans) Star Trek reboot.
Given all of this context, the new Star Wars film was as highly anticipated, or more highly anticipated than the prequel trilogy, and had a strong buzz around it. Much of the early buzz surrounded the nature of the new film's plot: For example, whether it would be a prequel or a sequel, and whether it would feature any of the original cast/characters.
J. J. Abrams and others involved in the filming Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens had appeared in a panel at San Diego Comic-Con the weekend prior to the comic's release to unveil details about the film. This is likely the impetus for the timing of this comic.
 The Comic
This comic portrays Randall's own conception of what the sequel might have been. In his version of the movie, Luke returns home to Tatooine years later with R2-D2 to finish the errand that was interrupted. Luke goes to Tosche Station and says "I'm here for those power converters", thus completing this unresolved task from the first movie. The action is bookended by the opening and closing credits, suggesting this uneventful scene comprises the entire film.
Therefore, the comic jokingly implies that getting the power converters was the most pressing of all the unresolved issues in the other films, and the most interesting upon which to base the sequel. In reality, this would likely be one of the least entertaining and most disappointing sequels that could possibly be made (perhaps second only to a version that had no reference to the previous films at all).
Randall may have also been commenting that there are few if any unresolved issues in the Star Wars franchise that required revisiting and that the series should be left alone. Or he could have been making a joke about how sequels call back to elements of previous movies without fully considering the context. In this case, the farm he's buying those power converters for was destroyed more than thirty years ago.
The title text alludes to another fantasy franchise, Lord of the Rings, and how Samwise Gamgee was similarly interrupted from a menial task of gardening and listening in on conversations outside Bag End by Gandalf and his quest to save the world at the start of the first film. The title text uses the term “dropping eaves” as Samwise did in his denial of eavesdropping in on the conversation between Frodo and Gandalf. In both cases, the issue of collecting power converters and Sam’s gardening duties were left unresolved in their respective stories and the main plot of the series is thoroughly concluded.
- [Black background with white letters in the style of the Star Wars logo with the subtitle in between the two words.]
- The Force Awakens
- [Building in the desert, two persons are seen in the background, and Cueball is running in front of the building. Next to the building is a sign.]
- Sign: Tosche Station
- [A hooded man standing next to R2D2 has entered the building, and is seen in front of the opening portal with the desert in the background.]
- Hooded man: Hello.
- [Closeup of hooded man. The man has a mustache and a beard and thick black hair.]
- Hooded man: I’m here for those power converters.
- [Black background with white letters resembling movie credits.]
- Directed by
- J.J. Abrams
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For anybody interested, the dropping of eaves is not an actual activity:
- Wikipedia on etymology of eavesdropping
Eavesdrop: "The dripping of water from the eaves of a house; the ground on which such water falls". An eavesdropper was one who stood at the eavesdrop (where the water fell, i.e., near the house) so as to overhear what was said inside.
126.96.36.199 09:10, 13 July 2015 (UTC)
Question: Is there a joke in the J. J. Abrams credit?
188.8.131.52 09:10, 13 July 2015 (UTC)
- J. J. Abrams is actually the director / producer of the film in question, Episode VII: The Force Awakens Taibhse (talk) 11:04, 13 July 2015 (UTC)
- I want to think the format of the comic is a parody of the opening of Alias or pne of Abrams's other television series. (You would get the title card, a brief sequence to set up the particular episode, then the "Directed by" credit. I'm not absolutely sure since it's been some time since I saw one of those series.) Rawmustard (talk) 13:38, 13 July 2015 (UTC)
- The joke in the final panel is the main overall joke, that the entirety of Episode VII's plot is Luke going back to finish his unfinished business on Tatooine of picking up the power converters. Thus we have opening title shot, three panels of storyboard, Luke delivering his line and then cut to credits. It's a wrap! R0hrshach (talk) 16:36, 13 July 2015 (UTC)
Staying on the topic of J. J. Abrams... Why no lens flares? - 184.108.40.206 12:11, 13 July 2015 (UTC)
I assumed the hooded man was Luke Skywalker. Is there anyone else it reasonably could be? Djbrasier (talk) 13:30, 13 July 2015 (UTC)
I'm sorry, ever since I first saw Episode IV in the 90s, I always interpreted "pick up some power converters" to mean "cruise for dudes", especially given how the line was delivered. Even Uncle Owen seemed to share my sentiment.
220.127.116.11 15:12, 13 July 2015 (UTC)
Robot Chicken expanded on the power converter line from A New Hope but in the other direction as a euphemism for a strip club routine. R0hrshach (talk) 16:38, 13 July 2015 (UTC)
I thought the comic was a trailer for the movie, as opposed to the whole thing (after all, there's no opening crawl). Anyone else, or is it just me? 18.104.22.168 04:39, 14 July 2015 (UTC)
- That's how I first saw it. Apparently Raw up above saw it like that, too. 22.214.171.124 21:53, 14 July 2015 (UTC)
- Doesn't make sense - there are many more uncompleted tasks
As to the allegations that there are many unresolved issues in the franchise that have a significant impact on the overall narrative of any of the movies I offered a quote from George Lucas “
I’ve left pretty explicit instructions for there not to be any more features. There will definitely be no ‘Episodes VII-IX’. That’s because there isn’t any story. I mean, I never thought of anything! The ‘Star Wars’ story is really the tragedy of Darth Vader. That is the story.”
I hope this ends the multiple reverts. I know superfans may read more into stories than exist, but many times the "unresolved issues" they see are just plot gaps and details not judged worthwhile to put into the narrative. 126.96.36.199 19:42, 16 July 2015 (UTC)
- It is unquestionable that the series leaves issues unresolved - it is literally impossible to resolve every fine detail. Did Han and Leia get married? Have kids? issue unresolved. Does Luke train new Jedis? Do the Jedis return to power? Does Lando return to be leader of Cloud City again? There's lots of issues left unresolved - I could come up with a hundred - it's just a matter of whether anyone wants to see a movie relating to those issues, which is subjective. I don't read expanded universe stuff, but I'm quite positive there are already expanded universe books or comics that follow Jedi and must address issues that are "unresolved".
- As for The Lucas quote, Lucas is full of s*#%. Read "The Secret History of Star Wars" and you will see how Lucas learned a handy catch phrase: "I always intended...." He quickly started using that to start every sentence and avoid any criticism. The film series was originally conceived as an ongoing Flash-Gordon-style serial with maybe 12 films - like a James Bond series - independent plots - each film a self-contained unit, directed by a new director.... His annoyance with the first film and his failing marriage eventually wore him down to the trilogy, but in between he had other numbers. I believe it's in the interviews that precede the special editions on VHS that he claims he has stories planned for 1-3 and 6-9 - that there were three trilogies. He later claimed "I just had vague concepts for 6-9 and never really had any real films planned" and now he says "There's no story left- please don't make sequels!" but this is all just because of another lie. Star Wars was always supposed to be about Luke's journey - until the prequels, then he suddenly jumped over to the lie that "the films were always intended to be the saga of Darth Vader's rise and fall and redemption" However, if that's true, clearly there are no sequels because the story of Vader ends in VI. So he had to revise his claim about 6-9 to suit his story that the series was now all about Vader. It is for this reason that I don't think he deserves to be quoted in this comic because as much as he said "there are no unresolved issues" in one interview, he's said in others that he planned to do sequels. Complete flip flopping. TheHYPO (talk) 20:34, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
- Of course you are right, sadly the author keeps changing his story. I never bought the story being about Darth, looking at the first film clearly it was about Luke, even the Rebel Alliance is a symbol of luke's struggle with his "father" in the final movie. Clasic coming of age story. But it does show it is reasonable to assume there are no unresolved issues "that have a significant impact on the overall narrative", and that it is possible that Randell may think so. I will put it back if i need it to to stop the reverts, the author did say it. I will word weaker. As to if there are no issues resolved, that was never stated, just that there are no unresolved issues "that have a significant impact on the overall narrative". Those questions may not be significant to the plot of the previous movies in every-ones eyes. Also the explanation of the comic goes first and the trivia was at the bottom, not deleted. 188.8.131.52 23:33, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
- The "who shot first" situation has traveled full circle. Star Wars (original release) shows Han shooting first, but the 90's special edition shows Greedo shooting first, as well as the 2000's dvd release. The Blu-ray edition, on the other hand, shows both Han and Greedo shooting at the same time. at least that's my understanding of the scene. Beardmcbeardson (talk) 20:53, 16 July 2015 (UTC)
- I respectfully think that suggesting that this comic is a play on Randall suggesting that the "power converters" is the only unresolved thread in the films is incorrect. I think the point of this comic was simply Randall's musing on "What would be the most disappointing sequel possible?" with the response being "Luke picking up those power converters he mentioned needing to pick up in the first movie". It's a sequel because it ties to the prior films, but it's completely boring because it's pointless, emotionless and procedural and literally one scene. It might also be a musing on Randall's part of whether die hard star wars fans would still pay to see such a movie over and over again (hey, it does feature luke and contain a major callback to the first film) or that Disney would milk, the franchise by putting out a one-scene film with little or no plot. That's all just my opinion though. I don't htink any of it (including the unresolved issues bit) should go into the article. That's what this discussion section is for. TheHYPO (talk) 04:21, 18 July 2015 (UTC)
In the Explanation, in the section "The Comic", the word 'those' has been rendered in bold in the sentence "I'm here for those power converters". Is there an reason for this? I don't see it that way in the comic itself.These Are Not The Coments You Are Looking For (talk) 02:05, 19 July 2015 (UTC)
- Samwise and Gardening
In the Explanation it talks about Sam's task of gardening being unresolved, and implies that it's not important. However, in the books that's really the conclusion to the story: Sam takes the gift from Galadriel and replants trees all throughout the Shire, ending the destruction caused by Saruman. Lts13 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)