OT: New Hope [was Re: Why not a Python compiler?]

Steven D'Aprano steve at REMOVE-THIS-cybersource.com.au
Fri Feb 8 13:13:15 CET 2008

On Fri, 08 Feb 2008 08:25:56 +0100, Torsten Bronger wrote:

> Hallöchen!
> Reedick, Andrew writes:
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: python-list-bounces+jr9445=att.com at python.org [mailto:python-
>>> list-bounces+jr9445=att.com at python.org] On Behalf Of Torsten Bronger
>>> Sent: Thursday, February 07, 2008 3:32 PM To: python-list at python.org
>>> Subject: Re: Why not a Python compiler?
>>>> I wonder if George Lucas intended it as a joke or if he thought a
>>>> parsec was a unit of time.
>>> The latter because it was corrected in the novelization.
>> Errr... didn't one of the novels explain it away by describing the
>> kessel run as a region of space warped by black holes or other objects?
>>  Bragging rights for crossing such a field thus centered on shortest
>> distance instead of time.
> Well, in the link that Grant provided, it says
>     In the A New Hope novelization, Han says "standard time units"
>     rather than "parsecs". Therefore, the reduced distance of Solo's
>     Kessel Run is most likely a retcon to explain George Lucas's
>     confusion of time and distance units.

Bah humbug! New Hope, new poke. 

Some of us are old enough to remember when Star Wars was Star Wars: the 
movie was called Star Wars, the opening credits listed it as Star Wars 
(with New Hope merely a subtitle specifically to invoke the flavour of 
the Saturday afternoon movies of Lucas' teen years) and the novelization 
was called Star Wars.

That novel was credited to Lucas but actually ghost-written by Alan Dean 
Foster. The 1976 Sphere Books edition is called Star Wars, it's subtitled 
"From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker", and the inside front page refers 
to the movie as Star Wars. With no subtitle.

In that book, Han refers to "twelve standard time parts", a clunky and 
ugly phrase even stupider than calling it twelve parsecs, which reads and 
sounds like real language.

Personally, I think Lucas should have just said that in that particular 
galaxy far far away and a long time ago, "parsec" *was* a measure of 
time. I'd buy that.


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