Cheesah beecha wonky LEGO. (at last we have the mighty LEGO)
Believe it or not, the Turkish community is accusing Lego of being racist because Jabba’s domed palace Lego set allegedly resembles, according to the statement, an unwanted resemblance to Istanbul’s great Hagia Sophia, and another mosque in Beirut. This story is Bantha Fodder!
But why would the resemblance of ancient Byzantine architecture mean racism? According to the statement it isn’t just the design of the palace but its inhabitants as well.
A statement posted on the organization’s website describes Jabba the Hutt as a ‘terrorist’ and says that he ‘likes to smoke hookah and have his victims killed’. Adding ‘It is clear that the ugly figure of Jabba and the whole scene smacks of racial prejudice and vulgar insinuations against Asians and Orientals as people with deceitful and criminal personalities.’ It also claims that the figures in the set are made to resemble ‘terrorists, criminals and murderers’. Referring to weapons contained in the set, the statement suggests that the ‘combination of temple building and bunker facilities where shots are fired cannot be appropriate for children between 9 and 14 years old’. The statement concludes: ‘One would expect more empathy and responsibility from a manufacturer of toys that has produced toys and models that are good for teaching for decades.’
The stupidity of this claim is mind boggling. First, Return of the Jedi came out in 1983. Why didn’t they protest back then? Let’s look at a comparrison to the original palace in the movie, the mosque and the lego set.
You can clearly see that the Lego set is using the movie for reference and not the mosque. Also, the mini figures are based on characters in the movie. Did these muslims never see Return of the Jedi? It seems to me they never have. One of them saw that a child received this as a gift, immediately recognized it to something in their world and freaked the fuck out. If there was even a grain of truth to any of this, it would have to go back to George Lucas in 1983, not Lego. Why didn’t they attack this playset from 1983 with Jabba and the Hookah?
The organization even posted the alleged similarities of Jabba’s Palace and the mosque on their site.
A dome and a tower?! Wow, you have me convinced.
Lego’s response was
‘The Lego Star Wars product Jabba´s Palace does not reflect any actually existing buildings, people, or the mentioned mosque. The Lego mini-figures are all modeled on characters from the movie. We regret that the product has caused the members of the Turkish cultural community to come to a wrong interpretation, but point out that when designing the product only the fictional content of the Star Wars saga were referred to.’
The truth is that if anyone has a beef with Jabba it would be obese people. Because Lucas has portrayed Jabba as a grotesque, obese slug, anyone with a weight problem has probably been teased and called Jabba. Even director Kevin Smith who was kicked off an airplane for being too fat jokes about his weight this way:
Some people go like, “Wouldn’t you like to be in Star Wars?” But they cast Jabba, so I don’t know who I’d play.
I grew up a hardcore Star Wars fan. Never once did muslims or mosques even enter my mind while watching Return of the Jedi for the 150th time. It could be a good idea to pick this up just in case Lego pulls it from the shelves. It would then be a valuable set to own.