Photo of King Faisal with Yoda makes it to Saudi history book

PETALING JAYA: A doctored photograph of the late King Faisal of Abdulaziz Al Saud with Star Wars character Yoda has made it to a school textbook. It has been withdrawn and the Saudi Arabia's education minister has apologised for the mistake.

Ahmed al-Issa said a committee was looking into the "unintended mistake".

“The Ministry of Education regrets the inadvertent error,” said Ahmed al-Eissa, the Saudi education minister. 

“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.”

Al-Eissa told the BBC it was not yet clear how it had ended up in the textbook. He stressed that he had meant no offence to the king, who helped transform Saudi Arabia into a modern state and an actor on the world stage.

“Everyone loves King Faisal here, even the younger generations,” he said.

The image, which shows the diminutive Jedi Master sitting beside King Faisal as he signs the UN Charter in 1945, was created by the Saudi artist Abdullah al-Sheri.

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.

The artist was not aware of the instant fame of his picture, until his mother, who is a teacher notified him. “I meant no offense to the king at all,” he told the New York Times.