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David "Draykov" Raykovitz | January 24th, 2013 | LEGO, LEGO Star Wars, News

LEGO Faces New Allegations of Racism

9516 Jabba’s Palace

According to an article in The Daily Mail, LEGO is taking some heat from the Austrian Turkish Community for the perceived similarities between 9516 Jabba’s Palace and the Hagia Sophia Mosque in Istanbul.  While arguments can be made that George Lucas has been guilty of incorporating some stereotypes into his films, it should be noted that filming in Tunisia as a stand-in for Tatooine may just have had some influence on some of the creative choices made for the fictitious palace.

Personally, I don’t think of Jabba as a terrorist because he smoked a hookah…I just think he’s a chill cat.  Dr. Melissa Günes, General Secretary of the Turkish Cultural Community, must have a  gold medal in the logic long jump.  LEGO’s Katharina Sasse responded appropriately by pointing out that “…when designing the product only the fictional content of the Star Wars saga were referred to.”

The entire Turkish population of Austria weighs in at around 132,000 according to the CIA World Factbook, so worst case scenario, LEGO has enraged a population roughly the size of Topeka.