Lego Toys has come up with a mockup of Star Wars “Jobba’s Palace” which is the home of Jobba The Hut. The character Jobba, if you’re not familiar, is less of a human than he is a ugly giant glob of flesh with a face. He really is a hideous looking being that fits his evil persona. You don’t want to be like this guy.
The Toy can be seen here in an article by The Telegraph. It doesn’t resemble anything that exist nor does Jabba or the little Lego figures, not that any of that has to be said.
Turns out this is wrong. A group of Austrian Turks had some time off from their busy day and studied the Toy. They took a look at Jobba and the evil looking Lego characters and then the structure itself and found the whole thing has a striking resemblance to real Turkish people at a real Turkish Mosque, the Hagia Sofia in Constantinople.
To further prove that the Toy is referencing them they claim the Jobba character is a “terrorist” that likes to “smoke a hookah and have his victims killed”. Now the reasonable question that ought to be asked is “what does that have to do with you?” Certainly this has more to do with the self-esteem within the community than it does with a toy, no?
But the community is pressing on because they are offended by the whole thing. They say:
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.
I don’t see it but I guess we’ll have to take their word on it. Since Jobba is a terrorist and likes to smoke out of a Hookah, who am I to say, I don’t know much about Turkish culture or the Mosque itself other than the day before it was a Mosque it was an Eastern Orthodox Cathedral celebrating a liturgy when a band of soon to be “Turks” stormed in, massacred everyone inside and then proclaimed victory.
But that was a 600 years ago and in no way has anything to do with the Star Wars story. Certainly it was a brutal chapter in Islamic history but does it have to be compared to Jabba The Hut?
This is the problem. No one is comparing Jabba The Hut with Turkish history (I can’t believe I’m writing this) other than the Austrian Turkish community and they do so in the name of denouncing “racial prejudice”. Don’t they have to exhibit a resemblance in order to prove their argument, in which case they would have to temporarily be guilty of the very thing that they are making accusations of?
If Lego came out with a figure that looked like a platypus sitting at a bar drinking Lego whiskey surrounded by Lego dancing girls, I certainly wouldn’t turn around and sue Lego for slander.
The community is considering a lawsuit against Lego. If that were to happen they will be going against Lego’s position which was made in a statement by Katharina Sasse, a public relations manager working on behalf of Lego:
The Lego Star Wars product Jabba´s Palace does not reflect any actually existing buildings, people, or the mentioned mosque…
To which the counter-argument from the Turkish community will be “oh yes it does”??