The new Jabba's Palace LEGO set is one of the best in recent years from the Danish company, condensing nearly all of the main elements of an enormous location into a neat, compact playset.
You'd think that would grant it universal acclaim, but no. Somebody, somewhere had to take political issue with it. That someone is bizarrely insignificant, at least in the global scheme of things (it's not like this is the Turkish government), but their reasons for opposing a LEGO set are at least interesting. And were strong enough that the group responsible claims LEGO has agreed to stop selling the set altogether.
After complaints from the Turkish Cultural Association of Austria, who believed the playset resembled Istanbul's famous Hagia Sophia Mosque, LEGO met the group in Germany and, according to the group's chairman Birol Kilic, "promised to stop selling the play set".
LEGO says differently, though, claiming that the set was due for retirement in 2013 anyway.
“The decision to terminate this particular product is not based on any dialogue with the mentioned community," said LEGO's wonderfully-named Roar Trangbæk in a statement. "We regret the misinterpretation but we fully stand behind the product.”
While LEGO can say that sets never live forever, it does seem a little premature to be retiring a large and popular item that only just came out.
Superficially, I can see the resemblance. No doubt that style of Byzantine architecture influenced the design of the Palace for Return of the Jedi's release in 1983. But if your kid can't distinguish - or you can't quickly and easily do it for them - between a Star Wars LEGO set and a significant historical and religious location, they have more pressing concerns than what that LEGO set looks like.