(Becket Adams) Before we get into the meat of this story, let’s play a game of “Spot the Supposedly Racist and Discriminatory Undertones in This LEGO Star Wars Playset”:
No, really, take a good look at it. Notice anything wrong? No? Well, even if you didn’t, members of a Turkish community in Austria say they did: They claim the playset is an unflattering reference to Hagia Sophia, one of Istanbul’s most revered mosques.
“Austria’s Turkish community said the model was based on Hagia Sophia mosque in Istanbul and that the accompanying figures depicted Asians and Orientals as people with ‘deceitful and criminal personalities,’” The Telegraph reports.
Here’s Hagia Sophia:
Outraged at the supposed connection, the Turkish Cultural Community of Austria has called on LEGO to apologize for “affronting religious and cultural feelings.”
And for those of you who don’t know who Jabba the Hutt is, he’s that big ‘ol slug thing from “The Return of the Jedi.” Yes, he is a “deceitful and criminal personality”:
Photo: Evertte Collection
Jabba’s domed home and accompanying watchtower bare, according to the statement, an unwanted resemblance to Istanbul’s great Hagia Sophia, and another mosque in Beirut,” The Telegraph report notes.
But it’s not just the toy design that has the Turkish Cultural Community of Austria up in arms: They’re none too pleased with the accompanying figurines.
“The terrorist Jabba the Hutt likes to smoke a hookah and have his victims killed,” said a statement posted on the group’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.”