January 26, 2013

"The problem, apparently, is that the Jabba the Hut Lego palace looks like a mosque."

"And not just any mosque, but Istanbul’s great Hagia Sophia, and another mosque in Beirut, Jami al-Kabir."
Dr. Melissa Günes, General Secretary of the Turkish Cultural Community, confirmed that Lego had been contacted with an official complaint and that an Austrian toy store had removed the offending Lego sets, according to the Austrian Times.

54 comments:

bagoh20 said...

I always assumed Jabba was a Muslim. Just something about his style.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

but Istanbul’s great Hagia Sophia,

Which USED to be a an Orthodox Christian Basilica before it was taken over by the Muslims.

In the words of the Great Obama. "You didn't build that."

So....Muslims. STFU.

deborah said...

"In the words of the Great Obama. "You didn't build that.""


LOL

Mitchell the Bat said...

They wouldn't have sold many of them, anyway, because of the mucus.

Palladian said...

Hagia Sophia isn't a mosque anymore, it's a museum.

edutcher said...

The Gospel According to St Ann of Coulter comes to mind.

JAL said...

There are only so many configurations one can get with a *dome* Duh.

We need to let the Muslim world they aren't the boss of the rest of the world.

The quicker the better.


Ann Althouse said...

It's the combination of dome and tower.

Paco Wové said...

Like DBQ said, the Hagia Sophia started out life as a Christian church. THE Christian church, in a sense. A lot of the unifying design elements of Ottoman mosques are a result of copying the Hagia Sophia.

Paco Wové said...

Althouse: do a Google image search on "Greek Orthodox church". Domes and towers abound.

Chip S. said...

How many non-Muslim kids know what the Hagia Sophia is, or what it looks like?

Or is the fear that someday, when the kids who played w/ this set grow up, they'll rev up a new Crusade to free Istanbul from the brutal reign of Jabba the Hut?

Or, maybe, that Muslim kids will notice some similarities b/w Tattoine and the Caliphate?

Xmas said...

It does look anymore like the Hagia Sophia than the Hagia Sophia looks like the multiphallused genitalia of Yog-Sothoth. Are you saying that the Hagia Sophia looks like a Demon's Dingus?

rehajm said...

"It is apparent that, for the figure of the repulsive bad guy Jabba and the whole scenery, racial prejudices and hidden suggestions against Orientals and Asians were used as deceitful and criminal personalities (slaveholders, leaders of criminal organizations, terrorists, criminals, murderers, human sacrifice)."

It'd be okay if it was headquarters of the Rebel Alliance?

...and of all the things found objectionable I've always wondered why this place gets a pass?

Ann Althouse said...

Jabba ≈ Jaffa. Might be anti-Jewish.

BDNYC said...

I always there was something vaguely Arab about Tatoooine. It seemed like Saudi or North Africa.

Ann Althouse said...

"Althouse: do a Google image search on "Greek Orthodox church". Domes and towers abound."

Yes, I did that and compared it to some mosque pictures and there's a significant difference in the look (with the mosques having taller, thinner towers), but neither of them look like that Lego building. The Lego building looks more like non-Greek Orthodox Churches with bell towers.

Becon said...

And I saw the face of Jesus on my burnt toast this morning.

No doubt Lucas looked toward our world's deserts to design his sets for a desert planet. If Muslims are offended by that, they should leave the Middle East and change their architectural heritage.

Mary Beth said...

Needs more towers.

Steven said...

I always there was something vaguely Arab about Tatoooine. It seemed like Saudi or North Africa.

Well, the Tatooine scenes were filmed in Tunisia.

Coketown said...

Palladian is right. The Hagia Sophia has been a museum since the early 20th century. Is basing a Lego set on the museum/mosque more disrespectful than opening the ancient and religious building up to slobs and tourists and carpet salesman? That's always the anecdote people tell me when discussing their trip to the Hagia Sophia: a Turkish man who just HAPPENS to be at a popular tourist trap--as if New Yorkers spend all their time at the Statue of Liberty--strikes up a four-hour conversation that ends with an offer to go see his family's carpet shop.

Such reverence!

But anyway, I have no doubt Hutts palace or whatever is based on the Hagia Sophia. Star Wars took inspiration from anywhere they could get it: the Death Star is modeled after one of jupiters moons; the fight sequences are modeled after World War II fighter planes. With production of the first trilogy occurring throughout the Middle East I'm sure a stop in Istanbul lead one set designer to think "hey, that museum would be PERFECT!"

bagoh20 said...

I find it hard to believe that any Islamic group would be offended...by anything. They are very tough skinned.

EDH said...

And Jabba the Hut looks like...

Jabba the Kennedy

Oso Negro said...

Coketown said...
Palladian is right. The Hagia Sophia has been a museum since the early 20th century. Is basing a Lego set on the museum/mosque more disrespectful than opening the ancient and religious building up to slobs and tourists and carpet salesman? That's always the anecdote people tell me when discussing their trip to the Hagia Sophia: a Turkish man who just HAPPENS to be at a popular tourist trap--as if New Yorkers spend all their time at the Statue of Liberty--strikes up a four-hour conversation that ends with an offer to go see his family's carpet shop.


The second time I visited the Blue Mosque a man walked up to me and asked if I was going to visit the mosque. Oh no, I exclaimed, I am looking for a carpet salesman! I thought he was going to pass out.

Oso Negro said...

Coketown said...
Palladian is right. The Hagia Sophia has been a museum since the early 20th century. Is basing a Lego set on the museum/mosque more disrespectful than opening the ancient and religious building up to slobs and tourists and carpet salesman? That's always the anecdote people tell me when discussing their trip to the Hagia Sophia: a Turkish man who just HAPPENS to be at a popular tourist trap--as if New Yorkers spend all their time at the Statue of Liberty--strikes up a four-hour conversation that ends with an offer to go see his family's carpet shop.


The second time I visited the Blue Mosque a man walked up to me and asked if I was going to visit the mosque. Oh no, I exclaimed, I am looking for a carpet salesman! I thought he was going to pass out.

James said...

...and of all the things found objectionable I've always wondered why this place gets a pass?

Heh...is Medinah near Cairo, IL?

The Drill SGT said...

and if we go back to 1453, the Hagia was packed with Christians fleeing the sack of the city. The Janissaries, entered the Cathedral and slit the throats of most of those seeking sanctuary, and sold the rest into slavery...

Michael McNeil said...

Hagia Sophia (Ayia Sophia — “The Church of the Holy Wisdom” — to its home civilization, the medieval Roman Empire) was not just any church, it was the most famous cathedral in the world for almost 1,000 years.

The towers — minarets — were added after the Turkish conquest, to service its new, usurped role as a mosque.

chuck said...

Instant collector's item. Buy now, get rich later.

Hagia Sophia was an Orthodox patriarchal basilica, the Turks should apologize for mistaking it for a mosque.

mccullough said...

Free us or die.

McTriumph said...

rehajm

Good point, how about this getting a pass?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Randolph-air-force-base-taj-mahal.jpg

Balfegor said...

and if we go back to 1453, the Hagia was packed with Christians fleeing the sack of the city. The Janissaries, entered the Cathedral and slit the throats of most of those seeking sanctuary, and sold the rest into slavery...

There are so many stories about the Hagia Sophia and the Fall that I have confused them all, but there is a handprint high on a pillar there. I heard it was where Mehmet II, the Conqueror, placed his hand to steady himself, as he clambered over the bodies of the dead.

I am not a Christian, but it is absurd to have the Hagia Sophia, the greatest architectural treasure of the Eastern Roman Empire, built by order of Justinian the Great, appropriated by the conquerors and despoilers of Constantinople. The Ottomans were not so crass. As Mehmet II murmured in the ruins of the Great Palace --

The spider weaves the curtains in the palace of the Caesars
The owl calls the watches in the towers of Afrasiab


He understood what he had taken, and who he had taken it from, even if it was only a shadow, then, of the grandeur that had been the New Rome.

Balfegor said...

Also, all complaints about the dastardly appropriation of one of the architectural treasures of Christendom aside, the Lego set doesn't look anything like the Hagia Sophia.

Balfegor said...

And these Austrians! Knuckling under to crude intimidation like that! Shameful!

Michael McNeil said...

A picture of Hagia Sophia taken a few days ago in snowy Constantinople. (Now let's see if I can link to a Facebook photo from here….)

Jose_K said...

tar Wars took inspiration from anywhere they could get it: not to mention the Triumph of Will in the final scene of a New Hope

Paco Wové said...

M McNeil, I believe that is a picture of the Blue Mosque, not the Hagia Sophia.

Freeman Hunt said...

What is it President Obama likes to say? "You didn't build that?"

Michael McNeil said...

Paco: Oops, you're right. Ah, well — the Blue Mosque is an unmitigated ripoff of Hagia Sophia, constructed more than a thousand years later just to show the Turks could do it too.

By the way, Constantinople/Istanbul is earthquake country. That enormous dome of Hagia Sophia's (though it did fall in a quake not long after its initial construction, and was rebuilt with a less flat dome) has survived now for almost a millennium and a half.

JAL said...

Blue Mosque pix -- Michael that is lovely.

icepilot said...

I't the attack of the Jabba the Hut Hut...

icepilot said...

It's

James Pawlak said...

Jabba The Hut would have made an ideal follower of Mohammed: He was a liar; Thief; Murderer; And. abuser of women.

Unknown said...

Could commenter Inga track down some and translate some original-language articles about this? It would help those of us who, like President Obama, don't speak Austrian

Help is always appreciated.

furious_a said...

“The Future Does Not Belong to Those Who Model Lego Sets After Turkish Tourist Traps." -- Barack Obama.

Big Mike said...

The only thing that the Lego toy and the Haggia Sophia have in common is the dome. And it makes no sense to me that people should be prohibited from having toy houses -- or palaces -- with a dome just because many mosques also have domes.

Freeman Hunt said...

Heh. DBQ beat me to it.

chrisnavin.com said...

Poor Jabba, the guy gets a bad rap

Clyde said...

DBQ FTW!

Icepick said...

"In the words of the Great Obama. "You didn't build that.""

Damn, DBQ, that was funny!

Clorinda said...

I must ask. Why are people so caught up in Lego supposedly basing it off the Hagia Sofia, when it was George Lucas and his story board guys that made the original drawings, models and film scenes the Lego set is based off of?

That is like getting mad at textbook printers for not providing enough coverage of (pick a subject) when it is the textbook authors that should receive any ire.

Thorley Winston said...

I suspect that in future Star Wars re-re-re-releases, exterior shots of Jabba’s palace will be edited out.


Or not. Now that Disney owns the rights, I suspect they’ll be less inclined to cater to anyone who tries to mess with their latest gold mine. They didn’t cater to demands to sanitize Aladdin so I doubt they’ll give in on this.


I think Lucas probably did get the design idea from the mosque (now that I’ve seen a picture of it which you’d think would have been inclined in the article so that readers could do a side-by-side comparison) but that’s in part because so many things Lucas came up with were inspired by designs from real world or classic fiction/mythology.


Personally I think it’s a cool design and wouldn’t mind owning a palace like that someday. I’ll pass on the smugger wall decoration and the trap door on the dancing floor though ;)


Michael McNeil said...

By the way, the headquarters (or at least base) of the Rebel Alliance (in the first, i.e. IVth, film) was at Tikal (a very impressive ancient Maya city, in what is now Guatemala).

Thorley Winston said...

So maybe when the Mayans were predicting the end of the world, they were thinking of Alderran . . .

EMD said...

One is only slightly reminiscent of the other.