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The Star Wars API and Star Wars as a genre

posted by Jason Kottke   Dec 08, 2014

SWAPI is a new web service will use a RESTful interface to return JSON about the “Planets, Spaceships, Vehicles, People, Films and Species” from all six of the Star Wars movies. This API would be really useful if Disney would have done as Matt Webb suggested and turned Star Wars into a genre rather than a franchise.

Imagine, imagine if Disney had said: Star Wars isn’t a franchise, it’s a genre.

The legendary galaxy, a long time ago, far far away, is well understood: What’s true is what’s in the Holocron continuity database.

Open the Holocron. Show everyone what’s in it. Let it become history.

Then let anyone make movies and books that share the Star Wars world. Not like all those other franchises that argue about what’s canon and what’s not… rise above it, become a new shared set of conventions, formulas, history and myth, just like the western but for the 21st century.

My friend David suggested something similar with Harry Potter a few years ago…open it up and let any director take a shot at making Potter movies. Open source franchises.