LEGO praised for doing nothing unusual

Posted by ,

You will recall the ridiculous claims about Jabba's Palace made by a group of Turkish Muslims a few months ago.

It now seems, according to press reports such as this in the Daily Mail, that they are claiming victory because LEGO is going to cease production of the set in 2014.

What absolute rubbish. Don't they realise it'll be discontinued 2 years after it was released, like virtually every other normal retail set LEGO makes, anyway? Oh well, at least they are happy and LEGO comes out of it smelling of roses :-)

Thanks to multiple people including MattD and TheBrickFan for the news...

55 comments on this article

Gravatar
By in United States,

Good thing I got this one at Christmas last year and did not wait. But it makes me mad that they would do that.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

This absolutely ridiculous. They need to get a grip, it doesn't revolve around them.

On the other hand, most Star Wars sets discontinue withing 1.5-2 years byway so hopefully it was planned for the palace to discontinue then any way.

Gravatar
By in United States,

Another April Fools set up?

Gravatar
By in United States,

^No, the origianal news report happened several months ago.

Gravatar
By in United States,

Lego shouldn't have even acknowledged this cry of racism. Of course the religious zealots are going to claim a victory to create the illusion that they made Lego stop producing this.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

They couldn't have made this claim on a more fitting date! What a bunch of absolute morons!

Gravatar
By in United States,

And people like these are the reason I'm athiest.

Gravatar
By in United States,

Even if it WAS the reason for LEGO to cease production, seems like a hollow one--the sets are still available for another year!

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

I have very mixed feelings about this. I am pleased to hear that Lego have come out of this in a very positive light, but I at the same time I wish Lego had not even acknowledged the complaint and dismissed it as the rubbish it is.

Gravatar
By in United States,

I think this complaint is beyond ridiculous. I do have a little knowledge of the Hagia Sophia.

‘Turkish cultural leaders had claimed that Jabba’s palace had been modelled closely on a real life Muslim Hagia Sophia mosque in Istanbul.’

Just to provide some context the Hagia Sophia was an Orthodox Patriarchal Basilica (Christian!) for over a thousand years and later a mosque for almost 500 years. In 1935 it was transformed into a museum and religious worship prohibited. It is not a mosque and hasn’t been one for 78 years! Its original and longest use was not as a mosque! Seems like mosques are modeled after Christian buildings? Really the Eastern Orthodox Church (Christian) should be upset if it was modeled after the Hagia Sophia.

And these are Turkish cultural leaders in Austria? Austria has about 8.5 million people and about 2.3% speak Turkish or maybe 200,000. From the article it seems like a couple of community leaders had a problem with this set.

‘They said Asian and oriental figures included in the set had been portrayed as “deceitful” and criminal” characters like slave masters, gun runners and terrorists.’

I see no Asian or Oriental figures in this set (Jabba, Salacious Crumb, Bib Fortuna, Gamorrean Guard, Oola, Han Solo, Princess Leia, Chewbacca and B’omarr Monk), someone correct me if I’m wrong? And, yes bad guys do bad things like have slaves, run guns and are terrorists.

I am just aghast at what people can get away with complaining about, I thought this going to extremes was part of American culture, but it seems to be everywhere!

Of course, ending the set in 2014 is not much of a victory at all. It will be interesting to see if Jabba’s Palace EVER gets a remake. If it doesn’t that might be a victory for them and for investors! lol

Gravatar
By in Sweden,

The stupidity of humans never ceases to amaze.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

@Starwarsgeek, these lot truly are idiots, but don't let one group of idiots put you off everything they claim to represent. A fool of a football fan doesn't make the team he supports bad. These guys don't represent every Turk, or any religion other than Islam, and they probably aren't representative of most of Islam either.
I'm sure you have plenty of other reasons though. ;)

Gravatar
By in Italy,

normally after 2 or 3 year lego take out from production set,that is normal...so happy first of april!

Gravatar
By in United States,

"Don't they realise it'll be discontinued 2 years after it was released, like virtually every other normal retail set LEGO makes, anyway?"

Give me a break, of COURSE they realize it. They told the Muslims that the set would stop production in 2014 to make them happy; they didn't tell them that that (2 years) is how long it ALWAYS takes for a set to be discontinued. So really, the set's going to be around for as long as it would've been, and everyone's happy. Personally, I think it's kinda funny and shows that Lego has a sense of humor :D

Gravatar
By in Puerto Rico,

The problem is that Lego will not produce that product anymore. And I might as well buy it now.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Well played on Lego's part, though I find the claims made by those Turkish Muslims utterly ridiculous. Finding (pointless) offense in a representation of source material? Stupid, but there's always the foolish minority who always wish to find something to complain about.

Gravatar
By in United States,

Unintended consequences:

Now, every time I drive by our local mosque with its single tower and round, domed main building I instantly think of Jabba's Palace where I never did before ;)

Gravatar
By in United States,

LEGO should not have backed down. This set was based on the design from Star Wars ROTJ, which has been around for decades. The Muslims didn't have an issue with it then why now. Overly religious people love to find something to hate on. In the end Jabba is just as real as the deity worshiped in that mosque or any other church.

Gravatar
By in United States,

Maybe this is LEGO's April Fool's Day joke, to announce a retirement of a product that would be retired anyways.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Have LEGO officially 'backed down' though, or did they simply point out the set will be retired in 2014? Anyway who cares. LEGO have long had a policy of not representing religious buildings so the complaint is even sillier.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

I'm guessiing this is another April fools day joke, along with the BT tower and possibly the Mr. Gold (all guesses). With the dismissal of this further up, the accusations could be real but not this.

Gravatar
By in United States,

They're claiming victory? The set is still being produced the rest of this year, and it will linger for another half year. Guess what? That's an extra 14 or so months! Leave it them to think that is a win. Take it to Disney since they own Star Wars now. They must obviously have a beef with the Muslim faith for supporting Star Wars. Just... wow.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

>LEGO should not have backed down

That's the thing. It hasn't. 2014 will be the end of its lifecycle anyway.

I suspect the conversation went:

Complainant: "LEGO, will you stop producing Jabba's Palace because it offends us?"
LEGO: "Yes we will, in 2014"
Complainant: "Thanks! -- our campaign has been a success!"

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

@Huw - As you say, Lego did not actually back down, but it might appear as such to the media and the complainants which is what I think some people are getting at. :)

Gravatar
By in United States,

This makes me sick. This has been around fo thirty years now. Just to say I got this set and the rancor pit and it is a great set. I hate it when people come in and try to mess things up.

Gravatar
By in Singapore,

This should forever be remembered as one of the dumbest LEGO-related "news" stories ever. Never forget.

Also, obligatory loldailymail

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

For a start the group that complained confirmed yet again that in the muslim world there's no room for humour, interpretation or a sense of perspective.
The Lego set is not based on a mosque, it's based on a fictional building from a movie. As that movie was filmed in northern Africa it's not unreasonable to assume that the set builders took inspiration from local architecture:
http://lifewithoutbuildings.net/2008/04/rem-koolhaas-tunisia-and-sandcrawlers.html
For an even more interesting example try the Millenium Falcon / Otto Wagner link at the bottom of that article...

Gravatar
By in United States,

April Fools?...

Gravatar
By in Poland,

APRILL FOOLS GUYS :P

Gravatar
By in Canada,

This was actually on MSN's frontpage, I'm not even kidding. :/

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

To be honest I find it to be an almost impossible task to read anything in the Daily Mail and not dismiss it as an April Fools...

Gravatar
By in United States,

Wow it was on MSN. Now it is starting to look a bit more real, or TLC has a big sense of April Fools humor... Now might be a good time to finally buy one!

Gravatar
By in United States,

It would be good for lego to make a UCS Flip the Bird set, very well detailed and a foot tall. Sold Exclusively in Turkey with a base that say's in printed tile...'Sincerely, Lego.'

Gravatar
By in United States,

These people should be complaining about the Star Wars films... not to LEGO; LEGO just made an accurate representation of Jabba's Palace...

Gravatar
By in United States,

I thought for sure this had to be an April Fools Day joke...

Gravatar
By in United States,

It just made 'viral' news, on Yahoo news.

Gravatar
By in United States,

@LegoAthos - As did I.

This whole incident is truly a travesty, but certainly indicative of our globalized culture. Why else would a group of fundamentalists suddenly take offense at a worldwide company seemingly making a profit off of their sacred religious structure? I think that we as a community and as members of the homo sapiens species should all be able to learn something from this whole episode, however limited the events may have been in nature and duration. I have respect for how Lego handled the situation, further bolstering my overwhelmingly positive perception of TLG.

Gravatar
By in France,

Hey guys, we should find something blasphemous in the 10188 Death Star, and sue Lego. That way we may know when it finally goes EOL :D

Gravatar
By in United States,

So are all vaugely-domed buildings (whether real or fantasy) holy sites now?

Gravatar
By in United States,

Just for their "victory" they should make it for another few years

Gravatar
By in United States,

anyone buying this set off amazon doesn't have it figured out.

Gravatar
By in Netherlands,

I understand LEGO hasn't done anything special, but they've made it seem like they have, which give the religious nutters a reason to go on behaving like this some more.

They should've either ignored them, or told em to stick it imo

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Lego beat the mad Turks.... with intelligence.

thats a story for the ages.

Funny how hardcore muslims will find reason to attack the western world for perceived injustices, yet their country routinely rips off our movies, including ROTJ, with obnoxious knock offs

Gravatar
By in Netherlands,

Not everything that looks a little bit like something else is rasicm, come on, then Ninjago is racism too because it looks Japanese. Also City would be racism, it looks exactly like a first world modern city. I am furious, I feel offended, they can't just make a city that looks exactly like the city that I live in.

Gravatar
By in Pakistan,

Noticed Amazon is no longer selling Jabba's Palace . You guys think its that they wanted to get rid of the stocks and won't be restocking again or will we see it coming back in time ?

Gravatar
By in United States,

^There was probably a run on the set due to people thinking it would be pulled from shelves or discontinued. I'm guessing they will get more in stock, maybe it won't be discounted by 25% as often.

Gravatar
By in United States,

This set most likely be the definitive Jabba's Palace set Lego Star Wars collector ever going to get. I'm glad I got two sets before all of this. It is still offer at TRU and Lego Store at MSRP, I suggest getting this before MSRP is not within reach.

Gravatar
By in United States,

This is bizarre. There was no outcry from the Hindu community when the Scorpion palace was released in 2003. I think what makes this different is that the set is depicted as a place where scum and villainy congregate. I imagine if LEGO had made the same set but populated it with puppies and replaced the gun emplacements with flower pots there would be less uproar.

I'm amazed that those who brought up the lawsuit did not grasp the source material. If you're upset about the way the architecture is being portrayed they sould have brought their anger out on Lucusfilm as opposed to Lego. The company is only emulating a movie. That sould be directing their frustrations at Return of the Jedi, it's not like the movie is some independent cult flick.

Gravatar
By in Australia,

This isn't about cultural or religious issues, just another minority group wanting their '15 minutes of fame'. Reminds me a bit of the Stephen Hagan, Coon Cheese thing that caused an uproar here a few years ago.

diggydoes, thanks for posting the link to the official LEGO response.

Anyone notice that the Yahoo story linked above couldn't even get the story right anyway? It's the Turkish Cultural Association of Austria, not Australia.

Gravatar
By in United States,

I was never interested in this set or the SW theme as a whole(it wouldn't matter to me if this ste was discontinued), but this is just over the top. Everything can be "racist". Even racers is racist because the tuner garage had Asian characters on it. Ninjago is racist because it's Japanese. So is hero factory as the heroes are all stereotypical white males judging by their voice and the villains are savage jungle beasts. Does anyone complain? No. Is it true racism? No. There are some things you can't do without going on one side. You can't neutralize this Jabba set and make it non-racial. Even lego's yellow mini figures, although they don't portray a specific race, can be offensive to the Chinese, if they look at it wrong. What I'm trying to say is that one can interpret anything the way it was not meant to be.

Commenting has ended on this article.

Return to home page »