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An Unspoken LEGO Design Policy?

GuerrinoGuerrino Member Posts: 4
I came out of my Dark Ages at the end of last year, after coming back to the States and digging out my childhood sets for my son. In hunting for the instructions online, I noticed how solidly LEGO appreciates over time, and, like most of you, have since spent more time and money than I should in reading these forums and buying LEGO. I keep telling myself (and my wife) that it is a good investment, but we all know the real reasons.

As this is my first post after so much lurking, I would first of all like to thank you all for participating in this forum and sharing your knowledge and opinions. My reason for posting this was to share some of my first impressions in coming back to LEGO as an adult and to hear your reactions to them.

My experience: Walking around B&N right before Christmas, I saw the architecture sets for sale. Only three or four sets were for sale, and I looked at them to see if I felt any would make a good Christmas present for anyone. None of them really seemed that appealing to me, being mostly skyscrapers. None of the buildings available seemed really beautiful or interesting, with the exception of the Seattle Space Needle and the Brandenburg Gate, but neither of those buildings held any significance for me or my gift recipients, so I didn't get them.

Being a classical-type person, I wondered if they had anything more “old-school” in the Architecture line, like a Parthenon or Palladian villa. After Christmas, I looked up what was available and was a little surprised to find that the small selection at B&N was pretty representative of the line as a whole. Out of 19 sets to date, all but Big Ben, the White House, Brandenburg Gate, and Sungnyemun are from the 1900s, give or take a few years. 7 are American skyscrapers, and 7 are Frank Lloyd Wright or Bauhaus-style modern architecture, mostly houses.*

Now, I realize there are two factors here, namely, my own personal tastes developed from my travels contrasted with the architectural training and experience of LEGO Architecture designers, which I would guess tends to skew in favor of modern architects. Fair enough, there are plenty of other LEGO lines out there for me. Different strokes for different folks, and all that. However, two other relatively minor events happened, which, combined with my response to the Architecture line, raised some questions in my mind.

One event was the kerfuffle over the Jabba’s Palace set (9516). With all the complaining about how it looked like the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, all I could think about was how much I would really love to see an actual Hagia Sophia set. Around the same time, I bought a Kingdoms Chess set (853373) and put it together with my son. What really threw me off while playing chess was the slight differentiation between the green bishops and knights: knights have feathered helms and axes, while bishops have some kind of lobster pot helmets, breastplates, and great axes with banners attached. Both bishops and knights appear rather knightlike when I actually played chess, which is confusing. Adding to the confusion, the red knights are actually jester-archers. Wouldn’t it be easier to just have an actual bishop?

Although TLG’s attitude to modern weaponry and warfare is well-known and has been discussed quite often, I can’t help but reach the conclusion that there is an unspoken (and as-yet undiscussed) policy about representing religious buildings and figures in LEGO sets as well. By doing so, I suppose TLG prevents criticism from either seeming to favor a certain religion (“Why is the bishop in my chess set not a Wiccan priestess/Shinto priest/televangelist?! That’s discrimination!”) or disparage any particular religion (Mohammed minifigure = epic fail). At the same time, I would love to see sets, large or small, for any of the following:

St. Basil’s (Russian Orthodox)

St. Peter’s (Roman Catholic)

Canterbury Cathedral (Roman Catholic to Church of England)

Hagia Sophia/Aya Sofya (Eastern Orthodox to Roman Catholic to Eastern Orthodox to Muslim to a museum)**

Notre Dame (Roman Catholic)

Temple of Heaven (Taoist)

Jogyesa (Zen Buddhist)***

Potala Palace (Tibetan Buddhist)

Golden Mount (Theravada Buddhist)

Akshardham (Hinduism)

Perhaps though, it is not so much a non-religious policy as a pro-modernist policy: there are no Parthenon or Palladio or Neuschwanstein sets either. As the exception probes the rule, the four non-20th century Architecture sets might bear this out: Big Ben, Brandenburg Gate, and Sungnyemun are (perhaps) added primarily as major landmarks in modern cities, and the White House is more a symbol of modern power than a celebration of Neoclassical design.

In the end, do you think that TLG’s sets reflect some kind of Kierkegaardian philosophy of separation of church from everything else? Alternately (or simultaneously), do the Architecture set choices just primarily reflect that northern European modernist aesthetic that brought us such wonders as the Helvetica font and IKEA furniture?****

I look forward to hearing other’s hypotheses and opinions on this topic.


______________________________________
*I realized that I forgot to add the advanced models. The Taj Mahal seems to be an exception to the religious rule, but remember that it is not a mosque, but rather a mausoleum.

**Jabba’s Palace doesn’t count!

***I must admit, Sungnyemun is very similar in style to Jogyesa, which would make this less unique.

****I’m more of a Garamond font/Georgian furniture fan myself.
thornieFollowsCloselycatwrangler
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Comments

  • TechnicNickTechnicNick Berkshire, UKMember Posts: 276
    Interesting points. I'm pretty comfortable with the pro-modernist Architecture set bias - I have the same bias myself; but perhaps a wider range of designers with different areas of interest would be a benefit. A well designed Parthenon set would go down a storm, surely.

    The lack of representation of religious figures seems like good sense to me.
  • BumblepantsBumblepants Sofia BG/Dallas TXMember Posts: 5,113
    I am pretty sure the exclusion of religious buildings and figures is a spoken policy for the Lego Group. Not sure where to find it though.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 16,666
    edited April 2013
    I don't know if it is an unwritten rule or not, but lego don't do religion. It does mean that some great architecture is missed, but I can live with that. Many people MOC churches / cathedrals, I have done loads in the past.

    I wouldn't mind architecture only sets based on famous religious buildings, but definitely not as play sets - how many kids want to play sermons?

    There is then the problem of numbers. Why, for example, Canterbury? Just sticking to England, they could do Canterbury, or Salisbury, or Winchester, or Lincoln, or Westminster, or St Pauls, or York Minster, or Worcester, or Lichfield, or ...

    Part of the problem is if they do one religion does this mean that they are anti another religion? Does it mean they are mocking that religion turning it into a toy? A lego Mohammad minifig would obviously be offensive, but what about a lego Jesus? I reckon it would be seen as offensive to many Christians, which reflects badly on the whole lego range.

    I don't see the need for bishop figures in chess sets. There are many chess sets where the bishop is not a religious character, yet people can still play chess with them. Take this one ...

    image

    Should the bishop be Luke and Yoda or Han or C3PO and R2D2? It doesn't really matter, so long as you decide which is which and stick to it. Same with the imperial guard / Boba Fett / stormtrooper.
  • GuerrinoGuerrino Member Posts: 4
    I guess, to be clear, we should lay out the three possible situations:

    1: TLG has a "pro-modernist Architecture set bias" (as TechnicNick describes it), which would preclude any Architecture set from being made which is not either 20th century and/or a major landmark in a major city.

    2: Similar to the "no realistic modern warfare" policy, TLG has a "no actual religious buildings" policy, which means everything from the Parthenon to Notre Dame will never be represented in the Architecture line. (At the same time, even the warfare rule has exceptions, such as the Red Baron and the Sopwith Camel.)

    3. TLG has a "no religious representation of any kind, whether general or specific" policy, for buildings or minifigures. There will never be a miter-wearing figure in a LEGO chess set. There will never be a modular Romanesque or Gothic chapel with a non-denominational minister and a bride and groom getting married. (I forgot to mention in the original post, the presence of the bride and groom at the Town Hall made me realize that there would probably never be a modular chapel.)

    TechnicNick agrees with #3 as a policy, and is comfortable with #1 as a matter of taste. Bumblepants seems to agree that both #2 and #3 are policy. Just to be clear, though, there are different potential policies of TLG, and any or all of them could be in place.
  • GuerrinoGuerrino Member Posts: 4
    CCC, you commented while I was typing, so I didn't have a chance to respond in my last post.

    You bring up good points. Regarding which cathedral to pick as an architectural example, I agree it is difficult, but I think there is the same difficulty with the Architecture line in general: what to create, what not to create? Even a good choice precludes other good choices.

    I also feel ambivalent about the general idea of having a LEGO "play set" of a religious building, although I personally would be happy to add a well-designed modular church to my downtown.

    As to minifigure representation, I think this is the sticking point for most people. Of course, particular historical religious figures would be off limits, but even generic religious figures (such as a minister at a chapel) could be taken the wrong way, either as not being inclusive or as being offensive. Now that I think of it, I can't remember any real-life person represented as a minifig, although I suppose the Roman Emperor is supposed to be Gaius Julius Caesar.

    WIth the bishops issue, I have had "alternative" chess sets as well. It was just one of the things that led me to believe that there might be an actual policy.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 16,666
    There are a number of minifigs that can represent historical or fictional characters, but lego doesn't actually name them as such. Cleopatra / Egyptian Queen, Caesar / Roman Emperor, Sherlock Holmes / Detective, Robin Hood / Forestman, Dracula / Vampire, Frankenstein('s monster) / The Monster, etc.

    For religious characters, the easiest recognizable one to make is a monk, since we have hoods.
  • MatthewMatthew Cheshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 3,734
    Guerrino said:

    3. TLG has a "no religious representation of any kind, whether general or specific" policy, for buildings or minifigures. There will never be a miter-wearing figure in a LEGO chess set. There will never be a modular Romanesque or Gothic chapel with a non-denominational minister and a bride and groom getting married. (I forgot to mention in the original post, the presence of the bride and groom at the Town Hall made me realize that there would probably never be a modular chapel.)

    I think we can rule this out, in addition to the several brides and grooms present in several circumstances, there is also a small chapel in the HP Graveyard Duel set. Yes, that is a licensed set, but the chapel plays zero part in the book or film, and it has simply been added for scenery/to set the scene/or as a play feature (skeletons under floor).
  • mr_bennmr_benn United KingdomMember Posts: 813
    edited April 2013
    Most of the buildings that Lego puts out are pretty common to everyone's experiences - police stations, hospitals, shops, houses, alien defence bases, etc. Religion is quite a defining - and dividing - issue for many people. Whilst an official Lego church would compliment your sleepy home counties Lego village nicely, you've almost instantly lost part of a customer base who really feel no affiliation with the Christian church whatsoever - and similarly if you produce a mosque, synagogue or whatever. If you look at other 'model' toy lines like Playmobil I'm pretty sure you see the same thing happening.

    That said, I think there are certainly some good candidates for the Architecture line, but there are enough non-religious buildings around to be represented they can just play it safe by not going down that route. Maybe once they've done the BT Tower...
  • BastaBasta Australia Member Posts: 1,259
    I think it's sad that some of the greatest buildings (Architecturally) in history won't be released in Lego form, just so not to offend over sensitive people or religions.

    People need to lighten up and not worry so much about what others think.

  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 16,666
    ^ It is not just whether they are being over sensitive, it is whether or not they would sell. I'm surprised at some of the architecture line already, but they must sell if they keep releasing them.

    I've also MOC'ed a few cathedrals over the years. You need a large piece count to make them look any good. If lego released one in the way they did Sydney Opera House, well, enough said.
  • jockosjunglejockosjungle Member Posts: 701
    Not only would they not sell that well, I don't see how they can be done well especially in the Architecture series. A catherdral is very intricate and on a micro scale would look awful, take Big Ben for example.
  • plasmodiumplasmodium UKMember Posts: 1,935
    If you want examples of Lego breaking all their own rules just look at the Indiana Jones sets: I see realistic (modern) weapons/military uniforms, violence, Religious symbols (temples, Ark of the Covenant) and political symbols (bad guys are Nazis/Communists).
    Just to point out that Lego do violate their own rules sometimes. ;-)
    However, I expect that they'll be a little more careful (read: paranoid) after that bizarre Jabba's Palace episode a couple of months ago...
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 16,666
    I think they'd still do a Jabba's Palace in the same or similar way - it is a copy of the one in the movie.

    The temples in Indiana Jones sets are not depicting real temples. They are generic style ancient temples, again copied in style from the movies. The bad guys are not depicted as Nazis in lego form, as they carry no insignia. Lego were careful there not to use the swastika.
    plasmodium
  • OldfanOldfan Chicagoland, IL, USAMember Posts: 600
    ^Yes, and I'm amazed that the German cross was used in the biplane in set #7198 . And even then, they were careful to include it only on the biplane and not on the German fighter plane...

    Back on topic, I have a different take on how TLG chooses the buildings for the Architecture series: With a few notable exceptions, LEGO bricks are either square or rectangular in shape. At the scale of the Architecure series, using square- or rectangular-shaped buildings helps keep the piece count down while still capturing the shape of the building. Again, witness the Sydney Opera House; curves just don't work well in LEGO at that small scale. As the model size (and piece count) increases, the bricks allow for a little more detail and accuracy.
  • koozkooz Connecticut, USAMember Posts: 158
    I'd love to see the Hagia Sophia, and I'm an atheist. It was a Christian building for 800 or 1000 years, then a mosque for several hundred more, but has been a secular building officially for almost a century. Just don't make a Mohammed minifig--that would really upset Muslims... But a Justinian (or Constantine, which wouldn't be entirely historically appropriate, but still cool) would work. Hell, even Mehmet II, the Sultan who conquered Constantinople/the Hagia Sophia would be cool.
  • RedbullgivesuwindRedbullgivesuwind Brickset's Secret HeadquatersMember Posts: 1,645
    The religion thing is a very hot potato. They could cover ones but then we get into "Well why don't they make my buliding or religious importance" and then there is the otherside which would be "why are you making their building thats not a real religion only mine is/its political correctness gone mad." And then athiests get upset. And by the time they are done they have isolated most people.
  • BastaBasta Australia Member Posts: 1,259
    edited April 2013
    @CCC sorry I didn't mean that they should do them as part of the architecture line. I would want them done as part of the large Monument sets (Eiffel Tower, Taj Mahal & Tower Bridge etc).

    I realise that TLG will keep there distance just to save them selves the pain of dealing with the critics, but its still unfortunate that we miss out because of it.
  • markarm919markarm919 USAMember Posts: 60
    But if you release it under the Architecture line, I believe it't not really intended for play, but more display and as a result takes on an academic existence. I'm completely in a agreement about the minifigs though. Portrayinig deities in plastic could potentially start wars...
  • pillpodpillpod Member Posts: 273
    mr_benn said:

    Most of the buildings that Lego puts out are pretty common to everyone's experiences - police stations, hospitals, shops, houses, alien defence bases, etc.

    Alien Defense Bases are common to your experiences?? I'm jealous :)

    Anyways.

    I agree that the Architecture line could diversify a bit. Some of the FLW pieces could go in other directions.

    The discussion is as easy as looking at it from TLG's perspective (a large business) and not an AFOL's perspective (we want everything). You never want to alienate a segment of your market. Yes, there are people in this thread and beyond that are okay with these buildings being made, but we aren't even close to a majority. Maybe if TLG was on hard times and needed to make a risky play to boost sales, but at the moment they don't need to make any risky moves in the market.

    Is it petty to get upset about a religion being represented in lego form? Maybe. Is it worth the risk? Not at all.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 16,666
    Remember lego is a company that no longer make yellow hips because of "nude" minifigs. If they want to go risky, maybe that would be a first move.
    jasor
  • DadsAFOLDadsAFOL USAMember Posts: 598
    edited April 2013
    I don't think its as much of a hot potato as people think. Look at the Playmobil Nativity set. Every hear any controversy around that?





    Now I don't expect TLG to launch a "Religions of the World" line, but producing models that allow people to show admiration for great architecture or sybolize their personal faith is not a negative thing.

    Lego has said that they are trying to crack the Asian markets, and as the OP pointed out, there are many fantastic examples from that region that are religiously oriented and woudl look great represented in Lego bricks.
    jasor
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 16,666
    ^ I'd love lego to do one of those, if only for the (generic) baby minifig.
  • prof1515prof1515 EarthMember Posts: 1,561
    Matthew said:

    ...there is also a small chapel in the HP Graveyard Duel set. Yes, that is a licensed set, but the chapel plays zero part in the book or film, and it has simply been added for scenery/to set the scene/or as a play feature (skeletons under floor).

    It's not a chapel, it's a mausoleum.

    tamamahmPitfall69
  • davee123davee123 USAMember Posts: 799
    Another factor that weighs into their decision is marketing. For example, if you go to the Guggenheim, they've got the Guggenheim LEGO model for sale there. If you go to Taliesin West, you'll find a plethora of Frank Lloyd Wright models for sale. So, I'm guessing LEGO does some legwork beforehand to find out which landmarks would be willing to sell their LEGO versions before going ahead and making the kits.

    Looking at it from that perspective, it seems less likely that places like the Hagia Sophia would have a gift shop where LEGO would sell its sets effectively. Essentially, are the tourists that are visiting these places also spending a chunk of money on knickknacks? Maybe for kids? Can LEGO work a deal with them? Seems less likely for religious sites.

    "Artsy" and "upscale" venues, however, seem like prime candidates. The clientele seem like a good fit, and the venues are probably often likely to want to jump into cooperation with LEGO.

    DaveE
  • prof1515prof1515 EarthMember Posts: 1,561
    image

    What a piece of crap. Where's Fonzie? Mork from Ork? George Burns? The dinosaurs? What kind of pathetic nativity scene doesn't have dinosaurs?
    GothamConstructionCo
  • GuerrinoGuerrino Member Posts: 4
    @davee123

    Good point. Marketing would always be a primary factor in choosing which sets to make. I remember reading something about TLG having some kind of agreements with their Architecture line, and I thought, "why don't they pick less modern buildings that don't require that?" In light of what you said, I realized that the agreement might be including gift shop space. I bet more than half of some of these sets would be sold on location. I myself would be more inclined to buy a Seattle Space Needle if I had visited it, and especially as an impulse buy while visiting the gift shop there.

    At the same time, not all of these places have gift shops, I'm sure. Do the Wright houses have them? One I know for certain: Sungnyemun is literally a gate, no gift shop near. I see Sungnyemun as an appeal to the large, growing LEGO fanbase in South Korea and an attempt to fracture the local OXFORD blocks fanbase (which mostly has traditional Korean themes), while simultaneously providing a neat bit of Far East flavor to the line.

  • peterlinddkpeterlinddk DenmarkMember Posts: 170
    As other have pointed out, the "no religious imagery" is a very spoken and written policy within TLG. Cuusoo projects are not allowed to include: "Religious references including symbols, buildings, or people"

    The minifigs are getting married at the Town Hall, both in #10224 and #10184. But the brides are still wearing white dresses ...

    The Architecture seems to be (mostly) about buildings known for their architectural features, rather than their history. Most religious buildings have a very rich (and interessting) history, that often shadows the architectural features. I think that is one of the reasons we won't see churches or mosques in the Architecture-series.

    The Bishop in chess isn't known as a bishop, or indeed as a religious figure, in most of the world. In Scandinavia and Germany it is a "runner" - like a messenger, and in french it is a "fool/jester" - thus making the Kingdoms Chess-set very apt. In italian it is an "ensign", the flag-bearer of the military, and I guess that loads of other languages have other designations for that chess-piece.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 16,666


    The minifigs are getting married at the Town Hall, both in #10224 and #10184. But the brides are still wearing white dresses ...

    Back to lego being risky / up to date... I wonder when their first civil partnership or gay marriage will occur in a set!
  • Dread_PirateDread_Pirate Member Posts: 184
    I'm not a religious person in the modern sense of the word but I have my own beliefs, take it how you will. That being said I have had in the past Nativity sets to display during Christmas (unfortunately not Lego) and yes I would buy one in Lego if it were made. I also have no objection to seeing any of the historical religious buildings modeled in Lego. I would also love to see something like the Spinx and the city of Petra done in Lego as architecture models. I do not collect the Architecture sets but those 2 I just may.

    Also to the OP. I dont know what you call modern but for me the Frank Lloyd Wright's work while it looks like it was designed and built only a few years ago is over 100 years old. His newest structure is 70 some years old. To me this is not modern but more contemporary architecture. I would have to say Falling Water or the Robbe House is some of my favorite of his designs.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 16,666
    ^ I imagine #7326 is as close as we will get to the sphinx for a while.
  • markarm919markarm919 USAMember Posts: 60
    To further complicate, Jedi is a religion. Given that, TLG has an entire line, spanning longer than a decade, dedicated strictly to a religion. May the force be with you!
  • masterX244masterX244 GermanyMember Posts: 430
    ^but the origins are from a movie which was art by an artist and the real life "jedi" are fanboys which wanted to carry over some movie stuff.
  • markarm919markarm919 USAMember Posts: 60
    The same could be said for scientology except it was a book. My point is, where you do draw the line? TLG has every right to do what they want for whatever reason. I'll support them regardless. The truth is that many incredible things in the world, buildings or not, will be left out of Lego's history. While it's sad, it is what it is.
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    The same could be said of Christianity or almost any religion. They're mostly just stories designed to tell us how to live as a community with little historical basis, other than they happened a long time ago. When our kids come home from school asking questions about Jesus we tell them he's kind of like Luke Skywalker, a character in a story.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 16,666

    My point is, where you do draw the line?

    We don't. Lego does.
  • markarm919markarm919 USAMember Posts: 60
    CCC said:


    My point is, where you do draw the line?

    We don't. Lego does.
    Which is what I said. Back to topic. I'm sad many things will never be made into Lego Sets.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 16,666

    I'm sad many things will never be made into Lego Sets.

    It doesn't stop MOCs. And for that reason, I'm quite glad some things are never made into official sets.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409

    To further complicate, Jedi is a religion. Given that, TLG has an entire line, spanning longer than a decade, dedicated strictly to a religion. May the force be with you!

    Jedi a religion? I never saw it that way...

    A religion to me is something that people "believe in" based on "faith".

    Jedi and the Force require no faith, they are provable. After all, Yoda does lift the X-Wing out of the swamp, which is proof enough that the Force exists.

    Then there are lightsabers, a weapon that cannot really be used by a non-Force user. They are more likely to hurt themselves with it than hurt someone else (there is no mass to the blade, a challenging weapon to wield), and blocking blaster bolts really does require some Force ability.
  • markarm919markarm919 USAMember Posts: 60
    I don't know that it's believable to me either. But there is quite a contingency worldwide claiming this as a their religion. I applaud TLG for making policy and having a reason to back it. If the reason is not to offend anybody, then more power to them. That's a fantastic business model.
  • DiggydoesDiggydoes Cologne/GermanyMember Posts: 1,057
    davee123 said:

    Another factor that weighs into their decision is marketing...

    Looking at it from that perspective, it seems less likely that places like the Hagia Sophia would have a gift shop where LEGO would sell its sets effectively. Essentially, are the tourists that are visiting these places also spending a chunk of money on knickknacks? Maybe for kids? Can LEGO work a deal with them? Seems less likely for religious sites.

    "Artsy" and "upscale" venues, however, seem like prime candidates. The clientele seem like a good fit, and the venues are probably often likely to want to jump into cooperation with LEGO.

    DaveE

    Have to disagree on this point! It may be true that religious buildings may not have their own gift-shop,but very often they are surround by gift-shops who sell stuff with the counterfeit of that building! For example,here in Cologne/Germany we have the Cologne Cathedral (Kölner Dom),it doesn't has a Gift-shop on it's own(from what i know) but there are hundreds of Souvenir-shops around where you can buy dishes with the cathedral painted on it or "mini-cathedrals"and stuff!
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 16,666
    Diggydoes said:



    Have to disagree on this point! It may be true that religious buildings may not have their own gift-shop,but very often they are surround by gift-shops who sell stuff with the counterfeit of that building! For example,here in Cologne/Germany we have the Cologne Cathedral (Kölner Dom),it doesn't has a Gift-shop on it's own(from what i know) but there are hundreds of Souvenir-shops around where you can buy dishes with the cathedral painted on it or "mini-cathedrals"and stuff!

    But touristy nick-nack sellers are not likely to get a contract to sell lego though.
  • davee123davee123 USAMember Posts: 799
    @Diggydoes -- Basically, I don't think the clientele is as good of a match for LEGO. Not that there aren't souvenir shops around (there are usually quite a lot in the general vicinity), but that they're not the sort to go selling LEGO. And as @CCC mentioned, LEGO may not want to do the extra tedium of working with a ton of mom-and-pop souvenir shops instead of a larger organization that has an structured buying strategy that can co-ordinate with LEGO better for future purchases.

    Not that that's the only criteria, of course-- but I expect that it's a large factor in the choice of subject matter.

    DaveE
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409

    I don't know that it's believable to me either. But there is quite a contingency worldwide claiming this as a their religion.

    Yes, but they don't exactly get much mainstream media coverage. :)

    Two minor problems with trying to be a real life Jedi:

    1. The Force doesn't actually exist, as far as we know.
    2. Lightsabers are not real, at least right now.

    Without those two things, a Jedi isn't much of a, well, Jedi.

    My 7 year old son wants to be a Jedi, which is fine, kids play such fantasies, but hopefully he grows up and figures out that becoming a Jedi isn't really a career option. :)
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 10,749

    To further complicate, Jedi is a religion. Given that, TLG has an entire line, spanning longer than a decade, dedicated strictly to a religion. May the force be with you!

    Jedi a religion? I never saw it that way...

    A religion to me is something that people "believe in" based on "faith".

    Jedi and the Force require no faith, they are provable. After all, Yoda does lift the X-Wing out of the swamp, which is proof enough that the Force exists.

    Then there are lightsabers, a weapon that cannot really be used by a non-Force user. They are more likely to hurt themselves with it than hurt someone else (there is no mass to the blade, a challenging weapon to wield), and blocking blaster bolts really does require some Force ability.
    "Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a blaster at your side, kid"

    I have always considered The Force as a religion. Han thought of it as a religion and so Does Admiral Motti when he dismisses the Force when speaking to Vader before being choked.

  • davee123davee123 USAMember Posts: 799

    1. The Force doesn't actually exist, as far as we know.

    Granted, pretty much all bona fide religions have had that same problem-- gods, magic, absolute morality, heaven, hell, spirits, angels, demons, etc, similarly don't exist as far as we know! They only exist if you've got faith in them (which many people have)!

    DaveE
  • prof1515prof1515 EarthMember Posts: 1,561
    I read somewhere that enough people in Britain filled in "Jedi" as their religion during the last census that it qualified for automatic inclusion in the list of selections in the next census.

    As for what people consider a religion, there's all sorts of wacky belief systems out there. "Jedi" is no weirder than Scientology, Mormonism, Christianity, Judaism, Islam or any other. Aliens, magic underwear, reanimated corpses, talking bushes, flying reindeer, midichlorians, etc. It's all pretty much based on the same lack of evidence.

    I need to take a page out of L. Ron Hubbard's book and found my own religion centered on me. Like he said, there's money to be made off of people and founding a religion is a potentially profitable scam.

    All Hail Jason, High Time Lord of the Federation, Galactic Republic and Verse. The High Time Lord accepts tithes and confession in cash, credit card and Paypal.
  • DiggydoesDiggydoes Cologne/GermanyMember Posts: 1,057
    ^donations via paypal only when declared as "gift" ;)
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 16,666
    edited April 2013
    prof1515 said:

    I read somewhere that enough people in Britain filled in "Jedi" as their religion during the last census that it qualified for automatic inclusion in the list of selections in the next census.

    It is a British sense of humour thing, plus partly a protest against being asked such questions, plus partly doing it as others do it. A bit like getting "Ding Dong the Witch is Dead" to number one in the charts now Margaret Thatcher is dead. Many people probably don't even know why they are doing it, they see it online or social media, and do the same.
    prof1515 said:


    As for what people consider a religion, there's all sorts of wacky belief systems out there. "Jedi" is no weirder than Scientology, Mormonism, Christianity, Judaism, Islam or any other. Aliens, magic underwear, reanimated corpses, talking bushes, flying reindeer, midichlorians, etc. It's all pretty much based on the same lack of evidence.

    Hoverboards though, they are real. I saw them in a documentary called Back to the Future. Plus of course Ali G has one ...

  • Huh. Mocking of my religion is definitely why I come to these forums. Thanks guys! Like there isn't anywhere else on the web to debate religion, let's bring it to the LEGO threads.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    Pitfall69 said:

    "Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a blaster at your side, kid"

    I have always considered The Force as a religion. Han thought of it as a religion and so Does Admiral Motti when he dismisses the Force when speaking to Vader before being choked.

    Yea, I knew someone would post that. The problem of course is that it is a movie and thus breaks its own canon and timeline.

    You have to mostly ignore parts of the first movie. Or ignore almost everything else, since they don't fit.

    The Jedi were only wiped out 19 years before A New Hope, Han would be old enough to personally remember the Jedi, so having them wiped from history wouldn't have affected him, even more so considering his anti-authority nature.

    Keep in mind that everyone seemed to know who and what Jedi were in the prequels, so you have a bit of a continuity problem in the movies. That is part of what makes the prequels so bad, they break a lot in the original movies.
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