This news has made the rounds on the internet that The LEGO Group has been accused of being racist by the Turkish Cultural Community of Austria. They claim that the Jabba’s Palace set from the Star Wars line is similar to the Hagia Sophia mosque in Istanbul and demands an apology because it offends the Muslim community. This all started because a Turkish man was offended after the set was purchased for his son by another family member. The Turkish Cultural Community also claim the scene to be “racial prejudice and vulgar insinuations against Asians and Orientals as people with deceitful and criminal personalities” and the minfigures “resemble ‘terrorists, criminals and murderers.'”
Honestly, this is about as funny as a screen door on a submarine. I’m from Asian descent and have absolutely no issues with the set at all. I actually like how the set looks overall and gave it high praise in my review. Obviously, the accusers haven’t seen any of the Star Wars movies to see what’s going on or what the set mirrored after.
LEGO has responded with a statement that the set is solely based on Jabba’s Palace from Episode VI and no reference to any real buildings, including the Hagia Sophia. See LEGO’s official response below:
All LEGO Star Wars products are based on the movies of the Star Wars saga created by Lucasfilm. Jabba’s Palace appears in Star Wars Episode VI and appears in a famous scene on the planet Tatooine. The building is the palace of Jabba – a fictional movie character.
The picture shown above depicts the building from the movie scene. The LEGO designers try to reproduce all buildings, space ships and characters from the movies as close as possible when creating a new LEGO Star Wars product.
This is done to allow both young and old Star Wars fans to act out the scenes from the movies at home. The LEGO Star Wars product Jabba´s palace does not reflect any non-fictional buildings, people, or the mentioned mosque.
The LEGO minifigures shown on the box and found inside the box (Jabba, Salacious Crumb, Bib Fortuna, Gamorreanic Guard, Oola, Han Solo, Princess Leia disguised as Boushh, Chewbacca and B’omarr Monk) are all modeled after fictional characters from the movie.
The LEGO Group regrets that the product has caused the members of the Turkish cultural community to interpret it wrongly, but point out that the design of the product only refers to the fictional content of the Star Wars saga.
**Via Daily Mail**