Saudi Arabia's monarch King Faisal, who lived to be 68, and Jedi Master Yoda, who lived to be about 900(GUILIE BROGLIE/AP Photo/Handout)
Friday, September 22, 2017, 10:54 AM
A simple mistake it probably was.
In a country where citizens are mandated to practice the official state religion, Saudi Arabian high schoolers got a look at a different type of Force this week when they opened their social studies textbooks.
The New York Times reports that alongside a lesson about the United Nations was a black-and-white photograph of King Faisal accompanied by none other than the "Star Wars" star Yoda.
"He was wise and was always strong in his speeches," said the creator of the image, Abdullah Al Shehri, about the king. "So I found that Yoda was the closest character to the king. And also Yoda and his light saber — it's all green (like the Saudi flag)."
The Riyadh-based artist admits he's not sure how his work featuring his country's beloved slavery-outlawing leader and the Dagobah-dwelling Jedi master came to appear in the book, but he maintains it was created out of respect.
"I meant no offense to the king at all," said Shehri.
Thursday, Minister of Education Ahmed al-Eissa publicly apologized for the "unintended mistake" on Twitter," stating, "The ministry has begun printing a corrected copy of the curriculum and withdrawing the previous copy.
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Additionally, al-Eissa said a committee has already been created to find out how the rogue picture made its way into the textbook, promising the group would then "take the proper measures."
As for how Shehri found out about the misprint in the first place, he says he had an inside connection of sorts — his mother, a biology teacher, sent him a text Wednesday after she saw a copy.
"'Isn't this your work?' " Shehri recalled her asking about the King and Jedi. "'It's in the book.'"
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