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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289 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 like.author.displayName 1 Like

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.


atpcliff
atpcliff like.author.displayName 1 Like

@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.

DanLk
DanLk like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

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 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

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 like.author.displayName 1 Like

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 like.author.displayName 1 Like

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

FloridaPeach
FloridaPeach like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 6 Like

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.

OokamiPrime
OokamiPrime like.author.displayName 1 Like

@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.

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 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

@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.


WordCertified
WordCertified

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

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.  

Reaverbear
Reaverbear like.author.displayName 1 Like

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 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 5 Like

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 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 4 Like

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

KathleenMIsabell
KathleenMIsabell like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 3 Like

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 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

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 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 4 Like

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!!!!

idiocynic
idiocynic like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 5 Like

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

Rdeems
Rdeems like.author.displayName 1 Like

@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.

alphabet678
alphabet678 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

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 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 4 Like

I remember when toys used to be innocent fun.

CeeJay
CeeJay like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 4 Like

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

TheLogician
TheLogician like.author.displayName 1 Like

@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.

StevenHorne
StevenHorne like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 3 Like

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.

TheLogician
TheLogician like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 3 Like

@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!

RanJM56
RanJM56 like.author.displayName 1 Like

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

RyanJohnson
RyanJohnson like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

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 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 5 Like

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 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

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 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 3 Like

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 like.author.displayName 1 Like

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.

mbutler91c
mbutler91c like.author.displayName 1 Like

Muslims need to get a grip on reality. Period

JustinBrown
JustinBrown

@mbutler91cit's just a group, don't blame all Muslims. Christians have killed way more than Muslims, but I don't assume they don't have a grip on reality. Look at all the serial killers and world wars.  If you would open your eyes you would see the truth instead of propaganda. I bet you think Osama bin Laden was Muslim, too. Muslim men aren't allowed to wear gold rings. Firefighters and other witnesses heard many explosions that were like a demolition, along with the buildings falling like a demolition. 2 planes hit, 3 buildings fell. There were a few goofs and early news of it happening. Jet fuel burns at 1517 F, while structural steel melts at 2750 F. Jet fuel burns very quickly too. 

FloridaPeach
FloridaPeach like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

@JustinBrown @mbutler91c  you are a denier of what caused the events of 9/11?  No wonder you hide behind a mask. The ignorant who engage in political discourse are automatically ashamed of their ignorance.  They know they are so without being told.  Kinda sad really.  

JustinBrown
JustinBrown

@FloridaPeach@JustinBrown@mbutler91cI'm not hiding anything, my face is in my photos if you check. I can't find anything of co2 being part of the reason it collapsed. Benghazi might have been set up by Obama, but there's not enough evidence to say what really happened. The empire state building was hit by a plane in 1945 and it was fine. I've looked at so many buildings that have had collapsed by structural damage, and not one collapsed like a demolition. The government can easily do these kinds of things to start wars. Look at MLK, a jury actually said the government assassinated him in 1999. I'm a very skeptical person, and I weigh the evidence on both sides without allowing emotions to get in the way. There's plenty of evidence and eyewitnesses, just try researching a bit


FloridaPeach
FloridaPeach like.author.displayName 1 Like

@JustinBrown @mbutler91c You have never studied any history to say christians have killed more than islam.  One would also have to distinguish between christianity and catholocism which is something entirely different than christianity.

TheLogician
TheLogician like.author.displayName 1 Like

@JustinBrown @mbutler91c 1 building was crushed by the debris

TheLogician
TheLogician like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

@JustinBrown @mbutler91c Yes, but compressed O2 combusts at a temp 1000 degrees hotter. All planes contain pressurized o2. Recordings prove there were terrorists on the plane, people died, you say the government killed citizens? What if I said the Benghazi affair was a hoax set up by Obama? Liberals would get pissed, right? So to say it was a hoax, you obviously don't have a grip on reality. And Osama Bin laden was an extremist. Taliban members confess they do it for Allah. Not all terrorists are Muslim, and not all Muslims are terrorists. To say Christians are murderers, that makes you a bigot.