Yeah, that’s a question. And you thought Star Wars Episode I was the extent of George Lucas’ propensity for exploiting racial stereotypes and out-dated portrayals of race.
The Turkish Cultural Community of Austria (TCCA), which includes at least two things you never would have thought go together, is pointing at the new LEGO Jabba’s Palace playset and calling “racist” on it. Now you may be reading this at home, at the local cafe, or even on the bus and maybe thinking to yourself: “How can a LEGO version of Jabba’s Palace from Return of the Jedi possibly be considered racist?” Good question.
According to the TCCA, the palace looks like both the Hagia Sophia, a 1,600-year-old former basilica and mosque in Istanbul, and Jami’ al-Kabir, a mosque from the 7th century in Beirut, and that’s not cool. On the surface, that doesn’t sound that bad, but the TCCA looks at it thusly:
“It is clear that the figure of the ugly villain Jabba and the whole scene [exemplifies] racial prejudice and vulgar insinuations against … Orientals and Asians as sneaky and criminal personalities (slaveholders, leaders of criminal organizations, terrorists, criminals, murderers, human sacrifice)…,” the group wrote on its website.
First of all, really? Second of all, it’s been 30 years since the release of Return of the Jedi, did someone at the TCCA finally put on the Blu-ray? Or is like the whole thing last summer when adoption advocates went off against The Avengers for Thor’s wisecrack: a case of people with too much time on their hands and platform to exploit their over-sensitivity? I think we all know what I think, what about you Bastards?