This comic takes place in a scene from the third theatrically-released Star Wars movie, Return of the Jedi, wherein Darth Vader confronts his son, Luke Skywalker, who had recently surrendered to Imperial soldiers. In the movie Vader notes that Luke Skywalker has constructed a new lightsaber following the loss of his original during their duel on Cloud City, Luke Skywalker's original lightsaber actually having been Anakin Skywalker's second lightsaber, Anakin who later turned into Darth Vader.
In this comic, however, Darth Vader has accidentally discovered his son's Fleshlight (a male sex toy designed to imitate one of various orifices, most commonly a vagina), which he apparently brought with him on the attack on the Forest Moon of Endor. From a certain point of view, a Fleshlight could be mistaken for the handle of a lightsaber, without the blade extended. Like many teenagers, Luke Skywalker is attempting to hide evidence of his sexual activity from a parent. References to Fleshlight is a recurring theme in xkcd.
The title text refers to the fact that if Darth Vader turned the Fleshlight on, instead of creating a blade of pure plasma or energy suspended in a force containment field the device would simply vibrate, revealing it for what it really is. Randall is also punning on "being turned on" as slang for being sexually aroused.
In 1637: Salt Mine, Ponytail makes a very similar remark to the one that Luke makes here.
- [Darth Vader is holding up what appears to be the handle of a powered-down lightsaber looking down at it while talking to Luke Skywalker, drawn with thin hair hanging down his forehead.]
- Darth Vader: I see you have constructed a new lightsaber.
- Luke Skywalker: ...Yes.
- Luke Skywalker: That is definitely what I did.
- [Caption below the panel:]
- Vader finds Luke's Fleshlight.
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Vader: *turns fleshlight on* An invisible blade? That is quite interesting. I should build one of these myself. (Alternately, I find your lack of blade disturbing)126.96.36.199 05:55, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
- I was assuming that if you go ahead and turn on the fleshlight, you would get a column of a sticky white plasma shooting out insteaed 188.8.131.52 18:51, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
What are these "connection to previous comic" things? They seem random and arbitrary. 184.108.40.206 06:15, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
- There usually seems to be a point of contact with the previous comic. That a connection is usually there means it probably isn't coincidental but is part of the ingredients for making each new comic. So yes they do seem random and arbitrary because the content of the connection doesn't mean anything. The point is just that every comic is connected to the previous comic. The explanations of the connections may be incorrect. I thought I'd put these connection sections in to see how people feel about having a regular connection section. Rfvtg (talk) 06:33, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
- It may be a good idea, but I see no connection, just a lame pun. There usually dorsn't seem to be much of a connection anyways.220.127.116.11 07:14, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
- I don't think there's a real connection. I think that you're finding arbitrary segues, because you can segue between just about any two topics if you try. Try this - pick two random xkcd, and see if you can't find a "connection". 18.104.22.168 11:57, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
- I agree. This is the most stupid idea I have seen here on explain. Please remove them again. Thay make no sence and spoils the nice look of this great page. Kynde (talk) 13:37, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Anyone want to mention that this is probably referencing is a weird quirk of the films? We never see Luke construct a lightsaber (unless I missed something), and it's easy to assume that it's actually... I think Ben Kenobi's or Yoda's, maybe (for prequel enthusiasts) even Qui Gon's... After all, if Obi kept Anakin's, maybe he'd also keep Qui-Gon's, and any others, and end up leaving at least one green sabre on the Falcoln. Anyway, my point is, Randall noticed that this line of dialogue isn't really explained, and Luke is probably going along with Darth's assumption to save face... And then took the awkward situation to new heights. I can't tell if I'm being a total idiot here or if I'm on to something. Or option three, it's something glaringly obvious but needs a mention to explain the comic in context 22.214.171.124 10:29, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
- Vader would probably recognize his mentors' lightsabers at first glance. Yes, it could be another unknown dead Jedi's saber, but it just as likely that Luke constructed one of his own, given he does not react in an obvious way to the suggestion. (Ignoring the Star Wars EU, which probably details exactly how Luke constructed the device.) Besides, we are shown Kenobi's, Yoda's and QG's lightsabers in the movies.126.96.36.199 11:39, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
- There exists a deleted scene from Star Wars VI that shows Luke building his new lightsaber:  188.8.131.52 13:45, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
- Why would we need to see him build it? He lost his in the previous film. And he now has a snazzy new green one, along with much improved skill. The obvious conclusion is he built it. Vader then sees it and confirms that this is a mark Luke has gotten stronger. There is no reason to doubt that he built it. And before the prequels and such, we wouldn't have imagined there were thousands lying around. Now everyone and anyone has a light saber even up to Luke's time. When the movie came out, it was never clear how many Jedi there ever were. But it seemed to have been a very small number. 184.108.40.206 23:49, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
- I may be (mis)remembering something from the D6-based Star Wars tabletop RPG system (1980s, prior to this current D20 malarky), or something else "canon-derived-but-not-actually-canon" but personally creating one's own lightsabre is supposed to be something special. Obtaining/refining the crystals/whatever and tuning the device to work better with one's own Force Ability makes for a more harmonious relationship between Jedi/Apprentice Jedi and his or her weapon. Luke starts off 'raw' in the force (only with the innate and untrained ability) and with another individual's device (albeit his father's, which may count for something, the way these things work) but then like the various mythological instances of warrior-cum-blacksmiths (or blacksmith-cum-warriors) forging their own blade, something (even if only the Law of Narrativium) makes this self-made artefact singularly suitable for the fighting style of the creator/wielder. Or allows them to tune their still developing fighting style to the 'personality' of the weapon, if it is a two-way street.
- Naturally, how far any of this can be extended towards the Fleshlight is very much arguable. Although if it is personally designed and built, to suit their own 'needs' then it's probably much better at the function it is intended to fulfil than an off-the-shelf or a (*shudder*) borrowed or hand-me-down one... 220.127.116.11 00:08, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
- Boy, we're plumbing the depths of Star Wars geekdom here, aren't we? :) I think one other thing you folks are overlooking is that Vader is smart and powerful. He can see and deduce things that most other people can't, mostly due to his powerful connection to the Force. In the movie, I believe that when he says "I see you've constructed a new light saber", he's not only remarking on its visible newness, but he properly senses Luke's memory of having done so. This fits, given a number of other lines later in the movie where Vader remarks on Luke's feelings, especially in "betraying" Leia as his sister. So even more than when he sees the saber itself, Vader probably knew well ahead of time that Luke had built one, part of his "rite of passage" to become a Jedi. (Personally, all of this makes the fleshlight joke that much funnier, IMO. :)) KieferSkunk (talk) 16:02, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
This comic reminds of Vader's Little Princess and Darth Vader and Son by Jeffrey Brown.18.104.22.168 13:48, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Isn't which he apparently brought with him on the attack on the Forest Moon of Endor a pretty big assumption, given a white background? Seems more likely they're on Hoth (Or in his son's bedroom).22.214.171.124
Fleshlights don't vibrate do they? 126.96.36.199 18:14, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
- It's an available option. 188.8.131.52 18:29, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
- It wasn't an available option when I bought mine :(184.108.40.206
"turn on" seems to be a pun. To switch on vs. to excite sexually. Sebastian --220.127.116.11 19:10, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
"...most commonly a vagina." [Citation needed] 18.104.22.168 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)