Middle Eastern diplomacy is a pretty sensitive business but according to recently printed school textbooks in Saudi Arabia, the King turned to Yoda for help and possibly jumbled words of guidance. The country's Ministry of Education accidentally printed books featuring a doctored photo of the late King Faisal with the Star Wars character.
In the image, the Jedi master is seen sitting calmly next to the royal as King Faisal signs the 1945 UN Charter. The books were immediately recalled by the ministry but not before the photos could be shared on the internet.
"The Ministry of Education regrets the inadvertent error," Ahmed al-Eissa, the Saudi education minister told the media. "The ministry has began printing a corrected copy of the decision and withdrawing the previous versions, and has formed a legal committee to determine the source of the error and to take appropriate action."
While the mix-up has left the ministry shamefaced, the creator of the doctored image was surprised to find his work end up in school books. Twenty-six-year-old Saudi artist Abdullah al-Sheri who goes by the moniker Shaweesh, stresses that he did not mean any disrespect to the royal family by the photo. "I meant no offense to the King at all," he told the New York Times. "Everyone loves King Faisal here, even the younger generations."
The photo was part of a collection in which he superimposed America pop culture characters into photos of historical events. Shaweesh went on to explain that he chose to pair Yoda with the King because of the similarities between the two. He pointed out that both of them were intelligent and the Jedi's green skin and green lightsaber matched the green of the Saudi flag.
"I am the one who designed it, but I am not the one who put it in the book," he added. "Someone should have checked the image before printing."