Jabba the Turk?

Lego (about which I occasionally blog lovingly) has been accused of racism for alleged similarities between its Jabba the Hut lair set and famous Turkish mosques.

Lego Accused Of Racism Amid Claims Jabba’s Palace Resembles Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia Mosque (HuffPo):

 A Turkish community in Austria has accused Lego of racism amid claims a model from its Star Wars range resembles a renowned mosque.

The model in question is Jabba’s Palace – a dome topped structure housing the slobbering Star Wars villain Jabba the Hut. [more]

I’m pretty vigilant and unapologetic about calling companies out for pushing the envelope on such things, but I have to say that I don’t agree in this case.

It’s not as if this style of domed building were even specific to the Ottomans, either. Byzantine Christians were doing it before them (hence the exotic curves of the Kremlin). To wit, the iconic Hagia Sophia was once a cathedral, not unlike how the Alhambra of Grenada began as a mosque.

And you eventually run out of new “alien” architectural styles in Sci-Fi.

  • http://chicagoboyz.net TMLutas

    I believe the Hagia Sophia is currently a museum, making it neither a cathedral or a mosque. Or does that make it both?

  • pagansister

    How many buildings are there in the world that have architecture similar to Turkish mosques? IMO the Turks in Austria are stretching a lot for this suit. Hopefully the suit won’t go very far.

    • Svend White

      True. Also, with the exception of special cases where such reappropriation has sinister consequences (e.g., if Hollywood borrowed from Black culture but almost always in a “Blaxsploitation” style that reinforces racism), I don’t accept the idea that any group enjoys a right of veto over how their culture’s icons get “remixed” in the shared culture of our pluralistic world.

  • Lily

    Or maybe Lego was trying to make it look like Jabba’s palace from Return of the Jedi….

    • Svend White

      Good point!


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