Turkish Cultural Association of Austria Calls LEGO Playset Of Jabba’s Palace “Culturally Insensitive”

leggoplaysetbox

Chairman of the Turkish Cultural Association of Austria, Birol Kilic, thinks the Jabba’s Palace LEGO play set is “culturally insensitive” and resembles Istanbul’s historic mosque Hagia Sophia. He went on to say that ““This does not belong in children’s bedrooms, and the minaret-like tower features machine guns. Children will become insensitive to violence and other cultures.”

Um, has he seen Star Wars: Return Of The Jedi?

640px-Jabba's_Palace_1

According to NBC World News:

Kilic said his organization was notified of the issue by an outraged Austrian father, whose sister had given the Lego set to his son last Christmas. The father returned the toy to the store, Kilic said, and the Turkish Cultural Association petitioned Lego to drop the play set from its line-up.

Personally, I think his issue would have to more with Lucasfilm than LEGO, however, LEGO has released a statement in an attempt to clarify their position and, sadly, the Jabba’s Palace Playset will be discontinued at the end of the year—though they claim that was the plan all along:

As a normal process products in the LEGO Star WarsTM assortment usually have a life-cycle of one to three years after which they leave the assortment and may be renewed after some years. The LEGO Star WarsTM product Jabba’s Palace 9516 was planned from the beginning to be in the assortment only until the end of 2013 as new exiting models from the Star Wars universe will follow.

This seems like a lot of people who seem to have missed a Star Wars films and, really, isn’t that the real tragedy here?

The full statement from LEGO:

All LEGO Star WarsTM products are based on the movies of the Star WarsTM saga created by Lucasfilm. Jabba’s Palace appears in Star WarsTM 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 WarsTM product.

This is done to allow both young and old Star WarsTM fans to act out the scenes from the movies at home. The LEGO Star WarsTM 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 interprete it wrongly, but point out that the design of the product only refers to the fictional content of the Star WarsTM saga.

A few media have reported that the product is being discontinued due to the mentioned criticism. This is, however, not correct.

As a normal process products in the LEGO Star WarsTM assortment usually have a life-cycle of one to three years after which they leave the assortment and may be renewed after some years. The LEGO Star WarsTM product Jabba’s Palace 9516 was planned from the beginning to be in the assortment only until the end of 2013 as new exiting models from the Star Wars universe will follow.

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