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Star Wars Prequels Toys

Lego Accused of Racism With Star Wars Set 514

Posted by Soulskill
from the Han,-mah-bukee,-keel-ee-calleya-ku-kah dept.
Ch_Omega writes "According to this article over at The Telegraph, Lego has been accused of racism by the Turkish community in Austria over a Star Wars model that supposedly resembles one of Istanbul's most revered mosques. The anger was provoked by 'Jabba's Palace,' a model of the home of Jabba the Hutt from Lego's Star Wars product range based on the blockbusting series of science fiction films. 'The terrorist Jabba the Hutt likes to smoke a hookah and have his victims killed,' said the statement posted on the organization's website. '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.'"
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Lego Accused of Racism With Star Wars Set

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  • by eepok (545733) on Friday January 25, 2013 @12:22PM (#42691699) Homepage

    First, Lego didn't design Jabba's Palace. I'm pretty sure that was under LucasArts' realm.

    Second, Jabba's Palace is modeled like all the other homes on Tatooine. Except his is bigger. It's desert design influencing desert design.

    Third, Jabba's not the only one smoking from a hookah like device in the movie.

    Fourth, omg stop being the dumb.

  • Ridiculous (Score:5, Informative)

    by theof (1004512) on Friday January 25, 2013 @12:29PM (#42691835)
    The Hagia Sofia was built as an Orthodox Christian Church, and was used as such for a thousand years. It was converted into a mosque when the Turks conquered the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire in 1453, and it's been a museum since 1931. As it's not a Turkish building, they should not be offended. I'm sick of the whining and attempts at playing the victim by some people. It's even more ridiculous that what they are claiming offense at isn't even a building which was built by their culture.
  • by bazmail (764941) on Friday January 25, 2013 @12:35PM (#42691913)
    Just try telling the Turks about the Armenian genocide committed by their troops in the early 20th century and you'll see their inner Jabba come out.
  • Re:I'm mad too (Score:5, Informative)

    by Psyborgue (699890) on Friday January 25, 2013 @12:45PM (#42692041) Homepage Journal
    It's the accent. You guys just sound really cool as the villain. Take it as a compliment.
  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohnNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday January 25, 2013 @12:46PM (#42692067) Journal
    According to the "Behind the Scenes" on Episodes 1-3 Naboo's architecture was based on Hagia Sophia [wikia.com]. Examples: Hagia Sophia [sights-and-culture.com], Naboo [thisisnotatrueending.com], Titus Blue Mosque [imageshack.us], more naboo [blogspot.com].

    Also ... it took them how long to notice this latent xenophobia? I'm not saying they're wrong, Lucas was a little unimaginative when he developed some of the Star Wars cultures but it's not like he presented Muslims like they did in the movie "True Lies."
  • Re:No It Doesn't (Score:5, Informative)

    by gnasher719 (869701) on Friday January 25, 2013 @12:48PM (#42692085)

    Too bad Lego responded to this nonsense and even offered an apology

    Responding is not bad; you said yourself that the company would have responded if you were in charge. And there was no apology either, the reply was "We regret that the product has caused the members of the Turkish cultural community to come to a wrong interpretation. " That's not an apology. That's saying these people are wrong.

  • Re:Ridiculous (Score:3, Informative)

    by operagost (62405) on Friday January 25, 2013 @12:53PM (#42692131) Homepage Journal
    Indeed. Perhaps the Christian world should be denouncing them for never returning the structure to its rightful owners, or making amends for their atrocities:

    In 1453 Sultan Mehmed laid siege to Constantinople, driven in part by a desire to convert the city to Islam. The Sultan promised his troops three days of unbridled pillage if the city fell, after which he would claim its contents himself. Hagia Sophia was not exempted from the pillage, becoming its focal point as the invaders believed it to contain the greatest treasures of the city. Shortly after the city&#226;&#8364;(TM)s defenses collapsed, pillagers made their way to the Hagia Sophia and battered down its doors. Throughout the siege worshipers participated in the Holy Liturgy and Prayer of the Hours at the Hagia Sophia, and the church formed a refuge for many of those who were unable to contribute to the city&#226;&#8364;(TM)s defense. Trapped in the church, congregants and refugees became booty to be divided amongst the invaders. The building was desecrated and looted, and occupants enslaved or slaughtered; a few of the elderly and infirm were killed, and the remainder chained.Priests continued to perform Christian rites until stopped by the invaders. When the Sultan and his cohort entered the church he insisted it should be at once transformed into a mosque. One of the Ulama then climbed the pulpit and recited the Shahada.

  • by hermitdev (2792385) on Friday January 25, 2013 @01:00PM (#42692201)
    Never mind they're objecting over a structure (the Hagia Sophia) that was originally a Christian basilica. And, it's Byzantium architecture, not Persian.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 25, 2013 @01:43PM (#42692777)

    in regards to Muslim 'good guys' (which I did find kind of funny since they're members of an order protecting against a 'pre-Muslim threat' (IE curse of an Egyptian God.)

    But anyhow good guys concerned with protecting the world from an evil their forebears mistakenly wrought.

  • Re:here we go (Score:4, Informative)

    by bennomatic (691188) on Friday January 25, 2013 @02:02PM (#42693003) Homepage
    Uh... Iraq [wikipedia.org] and from this section on Iran [wikipedia.org], this quote:

    The operation, supported by the Shah, was successful, and Mosaddegh was arrested on 19 August 1953. The coup was the first time the US had openly overthrown an elected, civilian government of another sovereign state.

  • Re:here we go (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 25, 2013 @02:07PM (#42693075)

    I want to agree with you here, but

    I know hating on religion is all the rage these day, but racial stereotyping and sensitivity (like this article and discussion are about) have basically nothing to do with it.

    does kind of conflict with

    The Turkish Cultural Community of Austria released a statement calling for Lego to apologise for affronting religious and cultural feelings.

    It looks like religion and stereotyping have everything to do with it. At least in their eyes. And let's be honest, most of the hate groups and violence we read about are perpetrated under religious excuse. Not a lot of militant atheists out there wiping out neighboring tribes for having religion, or blowing themselves up on public transportation, RPG'ing the kafir embassy, genital mutilation, firebombing health facilities, shooting doctors, or getting on TV to scream "GOD HATES FAGS".

    I'm happy to give people the benefit of the doubt. Particularly in more civilized nations where the religious are less likely to kill people. But let's not go full-on hallucinatory.

  • Re:here we go (Score:2, Informative)

    by supercrisp (936036) on Friday January 25, 2013 @02:09PM (#42693091)
    Well, sadly, you're wrong. Thailand was under French colonial occupation. And trade in Japan was opened at gunpoint, and post-WW2 Japan was "modernized" as part of a pacification program. I guess you could say those things don't count. But certainly Thailand fits.
  • Re:here we go (Score:5, Informative)

    by afeeney (719690) on Friday January 25, 2013 @02:25PM (#42693309)

    In Turkey, this has always been more or less flexible, as it is in many branches of Islam.

    It comes from two theological roots: The first that portraying the face of a prophet (including Jesus, Moses, etc.) is full of opportunities for blasphemy, the second that creating realistic images of living things usurps Allah's role as creator. In many ways, these reflect the Judaic prohibition in the Ten Commandments against creating carved images. This is one reason why Islamic architecture is full of those amazing geometric designs.

    In Turkish art and architecture, this has been fairly relaxed, especially in Istanbul. Typically, images of a prophet simply cover his (I'm fairly sure that they're all male) face with a veil or show him from behind. Mosques in Istanbul are full of images of flowers and sultans often commissioned portraits of themselves, books with figurative art in illuminated manuscripts, and so on. Topkapi Palace is full of this kind of art.

    I've been in Hagia Sophia several times and can't see the resemblance myself, beyond the fact that it's a domed building with a squared front.

  • Re:here we go (Score:4, Informative)

    by belmolis (702863) <billposer@alum.miPARISt.edu minus city> on Friday January 25, 2013 @02:34PM (#42693439) Homepage
    China was not colonized by Europeans. Europeans established a few small enclaves but never took control of the country as a whole.
  • Re:here we go (Score:3, Informative)

    by mZHg (2035814) on Friday January 25, 2013 @03:11PM (#42694007)

    Not to mention that Hagia Sophia is originally a orthodox basilica.. and so a orthodox design..

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