Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
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.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Lego Accused of Racism With Star Wars Set

Comments Filter:
  • here we go (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Titan1080 (1328519) on Friday January 25, 2013 @11:18AM (#42691649)
    Is there anything left in the world that the big bad white man hasn't destroyed through 'racism'?
  • Huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tripleevenfall (1990004) on Friday January 25, 2013 @11:19AM (#42691665)

    This objection is silly because Jabba's Palace and the Hagia Sophia ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hagia_Sophia [wikipedia.org] ) don't look much alike at all, other than having a dome, in which case they'd better prepare for a lot more outrage when they start to see other photos of the outside world...

  • by mark-t (151149) <markt@lynx. b c .ca> on Friday January 25, 2013 @11:21AM (#42691691) Journal
    .... that their objection should be with Lucasfilm (or Disney, now, I suppose)... since the concept is actually theirs. All Lego does is license it.
  • by SirGarlon (845873) on Friday January 25, 2013 @11:21AM (#42691695)
    If Star Wars Legos represent offensive racial stereotypes, then they're an accurate representation of the films. The Phantom Menace was quite striking in its overt caricatures of Japanese (Trade Federation), blacks (Jar-Jar), Jews (the flying blue dude who was Anakin's master). So it doesn't surprise me that Jabba is an offensive caricature of someone, too. Par for the course.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 25, 2013 @11:22AM (#42691701)

    Sucks the life out of everything.

    Wrong, it's politically correctness bullshit that sucks the life out of everything.

  • I'm mad too (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hawguy (1600213) on Friday January 25, 2013 @11:24AM (#42691745)

    I'm still mad at the makers of Silence of the Lambs for portraying Hannibal Lecter as a Caucasian male. I am a Caucasian male and it's clear that the whole movie the smacks of racial prejudice and vulgar insinuations against Caucasians as people with deceitful and criminal personalities. Movies should stop having bad guys because it always paints some race or culture as having deceitful and criminal personalities and that upsets me.

  • by mark-t (151149) <markt@lynx. b c .ca> on Friday January 25, 2013 @11:25AM (#42691757) Journal

    The Phantom Menace was quite striking in its overt caricatures of Japanese (Trade Federation), blacks (Jar-Jar), Jews (the flying blue dude who was Anakin's master).

    I think that those racial stereotypes are only obvious when one is actively trying to look for them. Or.... you could just sit back and enjoy the story. Because you know, it's actually quite entertaining when you aren't trying to overanalyze it to pieces.

  • by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Friday January 25, 2013 @11:25AM (#42691761) Homepage Journal
    Huh.


    And here I was thinking that Jabba was a caricature of American politicians - fat, stupid, lazy, ready to kill on a whim, and unable to speak anything but nonsensical gibberish.
  • Re:No It Doesn't (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JaredOfEuropa (526365) on Friday January 25, 2013 @11:28AM (#42691813) Journal
    Too bad Lego responded to this nonsense and even offered an apology. Were I in charge of the company, I'd have offered a different reply: "We at the Lego company do not usually offer the following advice, but in this case we will go ahead and suggest that you grow up.". Seriously, some people...
  • by TheSunborn (68004) <tiller AT daimi DOT au DOT dk> on Friday January 25, 2013 @11:28AM (#42691819)

    Enjoy thte story??? Are we talking about the same movie?.

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

    by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Friday January 25, 2013 @11:29AM (#42691825) Homepage Journal

    Is there anything left in the world that the big bad white man hasn't destroyed through 'racism'?

    ...
    Porn?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 25, 2013 @11:30AM (#42691841)

    The only bad guys you can safely portray in movies are white guys. So what if Jabba's Palace borrows some architectural, decorational and floral inspirations from the Persians. Having a villain with taste Persian trappings doesn't make any Persian a villain any more than owning a Walther PPK makes you a hero.

    Perhaps most villains are white, but not all villians are white. And given that Vader and Palpatine where both very white, and Lando, Chewie, Yoda and R2 weren't, if anything I think it's the corn fed Nebraskans that should be offended.

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

    by DarkRat (1302849) on Friday January 25, 2013 @11:34AM (#42691901)
    praying is part of the problem
  • Re:Huh? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by atomicxblue (1077017) on Friday January 25, 2013 @11:44AM (#42692033)
    Rounded walls versus squared, lack of minarets and replaced with an off center tower that looks vaguely European, "sandstone" versus "granite", guns versus no guns -- they're EXACTLY alike.. *rolls eyes* The only thing they have is common is the arch over the door, but that is a common shape.
  • by idontgno (624372) on Friday January 25, 2013 @11:52AM (#42692121) Journal

    I bet most people in the Austrian Turkish community are embarrassed as fuck to be associated with the specific whinging ass-rags..

    FTFY. I hope.

  • by cervesaebraciator (2352888) on Friday January 25, 2013 @11:53AM (#42692135)
    Yeah. I'm Greek Orthodox and you know what? That doesn't offend me at all. The Hagia Sophia and all the churches and mosques inspired by it are largely beautiful buildings. There's no reason they shouldn't inspire buildings for "the good guys" and "the bad guys" in fantasy settings. There are far worse things that could be done the Hagia Sophia.
  • Re:here we go (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 25, 2013 @11:54AM (#42692149)

    Hokey religions and old superstitions don't compare to a good blaster at your side.

  • Yea because Muslims NEVER form terrorist groups, blow up innocent people or launder money.

    It NEVER HAPPENED.

    Are you kidding?

    Right so that's why whenever Americans appear in a very popular Vietnamese movie the Americans murder and rape everyone? Because it's not like the My Lai Massacre [wikipedia.org] never happened.

    All I meant was there are more blatant "all Muslims are bad" productions in American culture than Jabba's Sail Barge. I'm not saying Muslim based terrorism never happened. I'm not saying all Muslims are good. I'm not saying none of them launder money. I'm saying that the most prominent representations of them in movies and TV happen to be solely bad guys. But you can go ahead and list off all those Muslim turban wearing hero movies that Hollywood puts out every year. That'll show me. Hell, name one Hollywood male lead actor who's Muslim.

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

    by Artraze (600366) on Friday January 25, 2013 @12:09PM (#42692325)

    Really? Because this seems to have an awful lot more to do with race (and stereotypes thereof) than religion. Heck, the "mosque" in question has been a museum for almost 70 years! (And in the long past if was Christian rather than Islamic.) It has far more meaning at this point as an iconic and history bit of architecture that represents the region.

    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. You'll find plenty of overly sensitive or overly insensitive atheists. Many westerns that get upset about this kind of thing are anti-religion and a lot of hate groups are agnostic. So I quite fail to see where religion plays into this at all.

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

    by craigminah (1885846) on Friday January 25, 2013 @12:13PM (#42692369)
    Who cares is it resembles a famous mosque? If the mosque wasn't so old I'd love to see Lucas sue them for copyright infringement for stealing the design from Star Wars. All these cries of racism are pretty weak and detract from the actual racism being committed daily. People need to lighten up...
  • by Skewray (896393) on Friday January 25, 2013 @12:16PM (#42692427) Homepage
    In Phantom Menace, the evil guys are clearly parodies of Japanese samurai, while the comic relief is given by stupid Jar Jar and friends, clearly parodies of Rastafarians. The Star Wars movies have all sorts of fodder for the ultra-sensitive.
  • by GameboyRMH (1153867) <gameboyrmh AT gmail DOT com> on Friday January 25, 2013 @12:23PM (#42692515) Journal

    The Star Wars movies, especially the prequels, are riddled with racist undertones that people were too un-PC to realize the offensiveness of at the time. Like Gene Roddenberry's progressiveness, appreciation for the offensiveness in Star Wars will be a series of gifts that will be opened over time for decades to come.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 25, 2013 @12:36PM (#42692687)

    a LEGO Jabba the Hutt as insulting asians and orientals and completely ignoring Jar Jar Binks, who is at least a *RECENT* example of racial stereotyping in a Star Wars theme. I mean shit the Lego Jabba has been around for over 10 years now (maybe nearing 15), and I imagine even Turkey, nevermind Austria, has had access to the original 3 Star Wars films for at least 20 years.

    Obviously much like the fundie Christians this guy is just racism-mongering, but still.

  • by starfishsystems (834319) on Friday January 25, 2013 @12:41PM (#42692755) Homepage
    The Turks in Austria today find themselves at the short end of the stick. As immigrants and members of visible minority in a host culture known for harboring a certain degree of racism, they're at a distinct social disadvantage. But the situation for Turks in Austria is exceptionally uncomfortable because Austria withstood 150 years of war with the Ottoman Empire.

    The Viennese, in particular, are never going to let the Turks forget it. Take a walk through the city sometime and check out the newspaper vendors on the street corners. It's nobody's idea of a great career move, and the worst of it is that they have to wear these wretched demeaning monkey suits. And notice, they're all Turks. It's not an overstatement to say that they live in a state of public humiliation. It's not subtle. It's almost the first thing you notice as a tourist.

    Never mind the right and wrong of it. Some of these people - the ones who aren't completely subjugated - are bound to kick up a fuss once in a while, and not always in a rational, measured way. I expect that's what's happening here with the protest against Lego.
  • Re:here we go (Score:3, Insightful)

    by I Mean, What (2778851) on Friday January 25, 2013 @12:47PM (#42692825)
    The US is European?
  • Re:here we go (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SirGarlon (845873) on Friday January 25, 2013 @12:51PM (#42692879)
    If you think Cuba, India, and China haven't been colonized by Europeans, then world history isn't your strong suit.
  • by denzacar (181829) on Friday January 25, 2013 @01:26PM (#42693319) Journal

    ...and culture clash. Also, possibly trolling.

    The original text at www.turkischegemeinde.at [turkischegemeinde.at] also mentions that:

    Erschreckend ist auch die rot-schwarze Teufels-Fratze auf der Schachtel rechts oben, die zumindest ein augenfÃlliges Signal ist, dass das Spiel nicht unter dem Christbaum am Weihnachtsabend - Auch Türken feiern Weihnachten - liegen sollte.

    Translation:

     

    Also frightening is a grotesque red-and-black devil's face in the right corner of the box, which is at least an obvious hint that the toy is not something one should lay down under the (Christmas) tree on Christmas Eve - Turks celebrate Christmas too.

    The "red-black devil's face" is a drawing of - you guessed it - Dart Maul.
    Now to me that indicates that the article was written by someone who hasn't actually seen (at least) Episode I, or quite possibly hadn't had ANY contact with the Star Wars franchise until now.

    And yes, however unbelievable that may seem to us - there are people out there who've managed to live through the last couple of decades without actually watching or having any interest in Star Wars.
    Or science fiction.
    Or movies.

  • Re:Deflection (Score:4, Insightful)

    by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Friday January 25, 2013 @01:33PM (#42693415)

    Nice rant, but sadly history completely contradicts it.

    For example, the Golden Age of Jews in Europe occurred under Muslim rule in Spain.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_age_of_Jewish_culture_in_the_Iberian_Peninsula [wikipedia.org]

    Jews under Christian rule have generally been treated much worse.

    It is only recent radicalization that has caused the problems.

    Most of the sites that you reference put forth a point of view that is just as intolerant, radical and ultimately destructive as that of the radical Islamists.

    The idea that the US should adopt a set of laws that specifically prohibits Sharia Law is ludicrous. The Constitution of the United States of America and it's provisions based on the principles of the Enlightment is the correct approach. If something needs to be reinforced it should be provisions against ANY radical religious based laws, Christian, Muslim, Confucian and so on.

  • Re:here we go (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 25, 2013 @01:56PM (#42693759)
    I'm pretty sure colonized is the right word, and that those "few small enclaves" were in fact colonies.
  • by thomasw_lrd (1203850) on Friday January 25, 2013 @03:01PM (#42694631)

    I wish I could go back and un-see Ep 1-3.

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

    by TapeCutter (624760) on Friday January 25, 2013 @04:42PM (#42695815) Journal
    Hitler was in bed with the Pope, Stalin split the orthodox church by attacking it and used what was left as a sock puppet. Religious institutions are powerful players in society, no dictator worth his title is going to allow the church to oppose him, nor can he completely dismantle it. The simplest option is to co-opt it and absorb the obedient followers into his own flock. Stalin did this so effectively he was seen as a benevolent demigod by the majority of his people, even those in death camps believed Stalin would rescue them if he knew what was going on.

    This is not to say either of them were motivated by religion, but they most definitely tamed and harnessed the power of religious institutions and used it to suppress internal opposition.

What is mind? No matter. What is matter? Never mind. -- Thomas Hewitt Key, 1799-1875

Working...