Before Howard, there was another duck in George Lucas’ life. There was a curious bit of dialogue between Ob-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker in the novelization of 1977’s original Star Wars. In the scene where Kenobi mentions Luke’s father and their past in the “Clone Wars”, the following interchange occurs:
Kenobi: I understand you are quite a pilot yourself. Piloting and navigation aren’t hereditary, but a number of the things that can combine to make a good small-ship pilot are. Those you may have inherited. Still, even a duck has to be taught to swim.
Luke: What’s a duck?
Kenobi: Never mind.
A funny little interchange, left in there by Lucas, no doubt, as a little inside joke between Earthling writer and Earthling reader. Of course, in the Star Wars universe it would seem to imply that Obi-Wan Kenobi was aware of our planet, a long time in the future in a galaxy far, far away.