History Textbook Mistakenly Printed Photo of Yoda With Saudi Arabian King

The Star Wars films supposedly took place a long time ago but one history textbook in Saudi Arabia forgot the part about "in a galaxy far, far away" and mistakenly included a photo of Yoda alongside Saudi Arabia's King Faisal.

How the photo actually ended up printed in the textbook is unclear, but the Saudi Arabian education minister tweeted out his apologies and claimed to have fired Under-Secretary for Curricula Mohammed bin Attia Al-Harthi. Additionally, he created a committee to discover how the error occurred in the first place.

The photo alteration comes from Saudi artist Shaweesh who claims the photo was a tribute to the leader and wasn't intended to mock anyone.

"Everyone loves King Faisal here, even the younger generations," the artist told the BBC.

The photo alteration isn't the first of Shaweesh, whom the BBC explains, "The 2013 artwork, entitled United Nations (Yoda), is part of a series in which symbols of American pop culture—ranging from Captain America to Darth Vader—are superimposed onto archive photos of historical events."

Incorporating Yoda into this specific image, which was taken at the United Nations in 1945, was meant as a tribute to King Faisal, selecting Yoda because both figures were "wise, strong and always calm."

While the artist was proud of his work, he pointed out he had nothing to do with how it ended up in the textbook.

"I am the one who designed it, but I am not the one who put it in the book," Shaweesh told The New York Times.

The printing might be seen as an embarrassing oversight, but the original creation of the photo came from a photo project with positive messages.

"All the pictures were very sad, you know, refugees and war," Shaweesh said about an exploration of photo archives of the Middle East. That all changed when he saw a photo of Egyptian president Anwar Sadat meeting Mickey Mouse during a trip to Disneyland.

"This is what the archive needs," the artist remembered. "Something fun, something that makes it less depressing."


The textbooks will all be recalled and replaced with the correct photo, sans Yoda.

[H/T Nerdist]