Carl Sagan wrote in Cosmos that we are all made of “star-stuff”. The elements that make life on earth possible were formed in stars a long time ago. It puts things into perspective to remember that we still have no clue how the first life on earth came to be and why we run around on this rock hurtling through space, but at least we know that we are all made from stars :). You ask yourself what this has to do with Python? Right. Nothing. But obvioulsy the humans involved in the development of Python are also made of star-stuff and I like to believe that their deep sense of wonder about the miracle of life has inspired them to put so darn many stars into its syntax.
The history of the underscore goes back to mechanical typewriters as a way to combine them with text in order to … surprise … underscore text. I don’t know whether it was due to inertia, backwards compatibility considerations, or the missing insight that underscoring text might work differently on computers, but whatever it was: the underscore made it into the original US-ASCII character encoding standard in the 1960s and is here to stay. In Python it has also found many creative uses providing contextual information about a name.