LEGO: We’re Scrapping Star Wars Toy, But Not Because of Muslim Backlash

LEGO says it plans to retire its allegedly "racist" Jabba's Palace toy set, leading many to conclude the company is caving to backlash.

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In January we asked “Is this LEGO Star Wars toy racist?” in reference to LEGO’s blocky rendition of Jabba the Hutt’s desert palace, as depicted at the beginning of the film Return of the Jedi.

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The Turkish Cultural Community of Austria recently caused a stir by claiming the toy’s design was racially motivated, arguing that it was based on the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul and the Jami’ al-Kabir mosque in Beirut. Also: that the figures found in the set exemplify “racial prejudice and vulgar insinuations against … Orientals and Asians as sneaky and criminal personalities (slaveholders, leaders of criminal organizations, terrorists, criminals, murderers, human sacrifice)…”

It seems the toy’s demise is now at hand: LEGO says it plans to retire Jabba’s Palace, leading some to conclude the company’s caving to backlash. Not so, says LEGO in an Apr. 2 statement:

A few media have reported that the product is being discontinued due to the mentioned criticism. This is, however, not correct … As a normal process products in the LEGO Star Wars assortment usually have a life-cycle of one to three years after which they leave the assortment and may be renewed after some years. The LEGO Star Wars product Jabba’s Palace 9516 was planned from the beginning to be in the assortment only until the end of 2013 as new exciting models from the Star Wars universe will follow.

Still, the TCCA seems to be greeting the move with celebratory rhetoric: “We are very grateful and congratulate Lego on the decision to take Jabba’s Palace out of production,” said TCCA president Birol Killic (via RT).

Despite LEGO’s denial that the toy’s removal is backlash-related, it devotes most of its statement to defending the toy as creatively anodyne, noting that it “regrets that the product has caused the members of the Turkish cultural community to interpret [the toy] wrongly, but … the design of the product only refers to the fictional content of the Star Wars saga.”

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290 comments
saywaah
saywaah

I find it strange that you mention "Muslim backlash" when in fact it was one Turkish group in Austria. It clearly says "CULTURAL" community, so why lump a whole religion into it? The reason I point this out is because of the anti-Muslim sentiment I see in the comments. Come on, we're all tired of being stereotyped, so please, try not to add to that!

Firebrand
Firebrand

What the heck is it going to take to stand up to the Muslim bullies?  Why are we such yellow-bellied cowards now that we have an illegal usurping Muslim as president?

CecilHenry
CecilHenry

The problem is: "Africa for Africans, Asia for Asians, White Countries for Everyone!! NO!"


AS Peter Hitchens recently admitted to no ones surprise:


"We were all in favour of as much immigration as possible.

It wasn't because we liked immigrants, but because we didn't like Britain. We saw immigrants - from anywhere - as allies against the staid, settled, conservative society that our country still was in the Sixties."


It was ALL about what he hated:


Multiculturalism is worse than murder. It is worse than mass murder, being akin to genocide.

Whites have become the ultimate refugees, lost at home, refugees in their own nations, wanderers in their own cities.

The citizen of the first world often finds that he seems to belong less in his own country than the refugees flooding it.

DIVERSITY is just a codeword for anti-white.


DanLk
DanLk

Now even LEGO toys offend religious factions...? The set is clearly modeled to look like the desert palace. There were only a few shots of the exterior in the movie but the LEGO set described and shown here still clearly resembles the movie/has captured the essence of the iconic structure.
This type of censorship is utterly asinine.

iamjensational
iamjensational

OOkamiPrime -  I would like to disagree with your statement that religions are nothing but fiction in content.  While I wish people from different religions would show respect for other religions with the same tolerance they expect for their own, it's probably not going to happen any time soon.  As far as people like you that feel they have to tell people of faith that there is no God, I would also hope that you, they, would show the same respect for those who follow a religion as you wish for them to show you for your non-religious beliefs.   Maybe THEN the world would get along better.

OokamiPrime
OokamiPrime

Society as a whole needs to stop Religious people playing the religion card. 

They are offended by something that appears to be whatever their mind projects on to it? So what, there is no right to not be offended.

Understand that all religions are made up by man, and have nothing but fiction in their content. Once we understand this, maybe the world would get along better.

Jiu_jit_jiuce
Jiu_jit_jiuce

Max Rebo and that Sy Snoodles would never associate themselves with anything racist...blue elephant guy, round piano...skinny broad who can wail...and those dancers! Right? right?

FloridaPeach
FloridaPeach

The lego fortress actually looks a good deal like the rotunda of galerius.

FloridaPeach
FloridaPeach

Round architecture precedes both the haggia sofia which was an eastern orthodox building prior to being pillaged and stolen and turned into a mosque.  Many, many early examples of round buildings and rotundas existed prior to the beginnings of either religion.  The early romans called and said they are not offended by legos.   However the greeks and etruscans, also builders of extravegant round architecture have yet to weigh in.  So, potentially Lego is correct to remove them in the off chance small children with swedish foot magnet plastic bricks devise terrible and dreadful racist views against ancient greece and etruscan peoples. 

WordCertified
WordCertified

You syndicate Seinfeild, and cancel Arseno. Yes those Lego toys look like a Minaret and a Masjid, but that is what Star Wars was about, the Darkside before bin Laden, Israel and the conflict could only be expressed not jut by Baruch, but also by the killing of the SandPeople. You can't help it you are hardwired to hate, and you try to program everyone to ignore their pain, and feel yours.

WordCertified
WordCertified

No matter what the media, hatters create characters and accessories to promote the current politic.

Reaverbear
Reaverbear

Interestingly, the guy from the TCAA saw this because it was bought as a present for his son by his sister (the kids Aunt) for his birthday, so it seems it's really a case of needing to raise a little controversy rather than a legitimate complaint.

Stephen Fry says it best. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02dXAkxbyQg

paulmartin200
paulmartin200

Actually the FAA should also be offended, since the tower looks like an air traffic control tower.

paulmartin200
paulmartin200

All the mosques I've seen don't have cannons mounted in their minarets, gun ports in their domes or sloping defensive walls. The TCCA person who thought this looked like a mosque must be the same kind of person who sees images of the Virgin Mary in a grilled cheese sandwich.  

ShahzadaHatim
ShahzadaHatim

As a Muslim and a Star wars fun, I am really sad to read this story. 

KathleenMIsabell
KathleenMIsabell

Oh my.  Please, let's get over ourselves.  This is a TOY, not a political or religious statement.  Most kids wouldn't have a clue that Jabba's Hut looks like a mosque or any other important building.  People take themselves much too seriously.

andulamb
andulamb

I usually don't like to tell other people what should and shouldn't offend them, but I will say that Jabba's palace looks nothing like the Hagia Sophia or the Jami’ al-Kabir. Jabba's palace has domes, but that's about the only similarity. Without getting ridiculously abstract, there are only so many design a building can have. So any fictional building is bound to resemble some real building. But Jabba's palace much more greatly resembles a collection of grain silos or salt and pepper shakers than it does the buildings to which it has been likened.

goldfish93712
goldfish93712

this is exactly how wars can be started, somebody gets offended by a toy and saying because it represents at mosque and has guns on it portrays all Muslims as terrorists. GET OVER YOURSELVES MORONS!!!! it's a flippin toy for cryin' out loud! Just because you pot heads don't like it don't mean it will offend everybody, if they don't like then they wouldn't buy it! and if they get offended they will ask why it looks the way it does and is it supposed to represent us as terrorists, it's a shame people don't pay attention and USE COMMON SENSE!!!!

HenryMiller
HenryMiller

These Muslim nuts need to learn to chill.  They're so thin-skinned they'd make great models in human anatomy classes.

idiocynic
idiocynic

Oh for Christ's sake, will this PC crap never end?

alphabet678
alphabet678

Yeah so its racist to sell a toy vaguely looking like a religious building, but its not racist to steal a church (among many others), desecrate it and convert it into a mosque?

daddy2010
daddy2010

I remember when toys used to be innocent fun.

CeeJay
CeeJay

In addition to the foolishness of this whole furor, the most laughable thing is that this toy does not even slightly resemble the real Hagya Sophia, which is a central building with 4 tall slender minaret towers, one on each corner.  Get a grip people.  Even if it did resemble Sophia (a truly remarkable place) have you never heard the statement "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery."  Get over yourselves already

StevenHorne
StevenHorne

Wait... Is this serious? This is the most outrageous thing I've heard of in my entire life. I have been a fan of the Star Wars films, games, literature and lore for the last twenty years of my life. I've even called Hasbro, the maker of the Star Wars: Trivial Pursuit game due to an error I had found on one of their questions. Never had I EVER came CLOSE to comparing Jabba the Hutt, Boba Fett or the Max Rebo band to anything "asian". I am offended because you're offended. Then to say Jabba's Palace was "racist" due to similarities to current architecture that stands in the world today is bogus. What would you have designed the palace to look like? Something large enough to accommodate the ins and outs of Tattooine. Something that would be cool and comfortable to the occupants and its guests. But don't think of anything you've ever seen that's currently in existence to draw ideas from. Must be completely original. Get over yourselves.

TimothyCollins
TimothyCollins

Well, yeah, Star Wars toys have a racial component. I mean, for gods sake - look at the movies. Those movies are rather obvious in their borderline racist depictions of aliens - from the obviously asian look to the trade federation to an obviously jewish look for slave owners to Jar-Jar, Star Wars is not exactly hiding it's stereotypes.

RanJM56
RanJM56

People are so frigging stupid at times. Ax grinding just for the sake of it.

RyanJohnson
RyanJohnson

My Inner Nerd is coming out, but Jabba's Palace in the SW universe was originally a monastery. The monks still live their during Jabba's rule. 


So I can see why it might be construed as a mosque.

dbk10000
dbk10000

The main building of Hagia Sophia is Christian Gothic architecture from the Byzantine (Eastern Roman Empire) under Justinian the 1st. The minarets were later added when it was converted to an Islamic Mosque. Both religions have equal claim to its beautiful architecture. It is just silly to equate Haggia Sophia to "Jabba's palace" which is wholly fantasy. Jabba's palace is based in a desert climate and that largely dictates that sort of architecture in its vernacular. To call it racist is sillier still since religion does not equal race. Why not enjoy it as fantasy entertainment, which it is, and stop picking arguments?


Read more: http://newsfeed.time.com/2013/04/03/lego-were-scrapping-star-wars-toy-but-not-because-of-muslim-backlash/#ixzz2PVeiBGkD

JeannetteIsraelson
JeannetteIsraelson

Soooo....there are peole out there that have not yet seen Star Wars?  Amazing!

WORD OF ADVISE:  Please do your homework (investigate it) before you object to something or decided it "raciest". 

Watch the movies!

FM
FM

This is funny as heck.  I'm a Muslim and I have this particular lego set.  I always will love legos besides what crack pipe smokers think.  Yeah George Lucas went to Lebanon and Turkey thirty some years ago to copy some mosque for the Return of Jedi!! yeah right. 

mightyjabba
mightyjabba

The headline is very misleading. LEGO is not "scrapping" the toy. It will be sold throughout the rest of the year, just as they always planned. This whole "controversy" has been blown way out of proportion by a news media that doesn't seem willing to actually research the issue. And all of the people getting upset at "muslims" should realize that the organization that made the complaint is quite small and only claims to represent Turkish people living in Austria. It's not like this is something that mainstream muslims are up in arms about.

atpcliff
atpcliff

@CecilHenry 

DIVERSITY is just a codeword for "More Interesting" and "New Ideas" and "Technological Advancements" and "A Better Place To Live".

PS-I am a very white guy.

OokamiPrime
OokamiPrime

@WordCertified Are you kidding? Star Wars is a Samurai film in space. The Sand People have nothing to do with anything in the Middle East unless you want to project it upon it.

Swillhound_008
Swillhound_008

How dare you put all that responsibility on the folks who simply want to create fashionable headwear for fancy folks to wear to special occasions and functions. It is not their fault that they want to create beautiful pieces accentuate ones outfit. For shame sir!

FloridaPeach
FloridaPeach

@WordCertified  actually no, most of them create things to get away from it.  To drown it out.  To let people escape the greedy monsters who represent only a small percentage of the human race but whose greed and lust destroy most of it.  

Rdeems
Rdeems

@idiocynic Rather then for "for Christ's sake" you should be saying "for Muhammad's sake". Let's start using Muhammad's name as a swear word so everyone is politically correct. Unless you would rather not have your head cut off.

TheLogician
TheLogician

@CeeJay Hagia Sofia was a church beforehand, so they were insensitive to desecrate a church and turn it into a mosque and then a museum to Islam.

TheLogician
TheLogician

@TimothyCollins The slave owners were blue with snouts... The Trade Federation was green with red eyes and sunken faces and Jar-jar had absolutely no racial undertones to his character at all!

WordCertified
WordCertified

@OokamiPrime @WordCertified  There is no way you can warp your imagination away from current events. You can see the correlation when you look back at the art/media/writing.

OokamiPrime
OokamiPrime

@WordCertified @OokamiPrime I am gonna call BS on your comment. 

Look at the writings about the creation of Stars Wars and see if you can find anything to back up your hypothesis. I will guarantee you cannot.

WordCertified
WordCertified

@OokamiPrime Every time you think of a being that lives out of space for instance, you can only imagine a humanoid, because that's all you have to reference.