Jedi Academy: Return of the Padawan is a non-canon junior novel written and illustrated by Jeffrey Brown. It is the sequel to Jedi Academy (2013) and is the second volume of the Star Wars: Jedi Academy series. It was first published by Scholastic on July 29, 2014.
It's time to return to middle school in a galaxy far, far away….After surviving his first year at Jedi Academy, Roan Novachez thought his second year would be a breeze. He couldn't have been more wrong. Roan feels like he's drifting apart from his friends, and it's only made worse when Roan discovers he's not the amazing pilot he thought he'd be. When the school bullies take him under their wing, he decides they aren't so bad after all—or are they? This year, Roan will have to face alien poetry tests, menacing robots, food fights, flight simulation class, online bullies, more lightsaber duels, and worst of all…a girl who is mad at him. This incredible, original story captures all of the humor, awkwardness, fun, and frustrations of middle school—all told through one boy's comics, journal entries, letters, sketches, e-mails, and more.
The summer of 195 BBY
During the summer following Roan Novachez's first year training at the Jedi Academy, his best friend Pasha is finally able to visit Roan's homeworld, which is Tatooine. With Mr. Novachez at the wheel, they fly the Corellian Run together. The book opens when Roan and Timone approach Jesse and Regan afterwards. After Jesse begins teasing Roan about needing his father to fly them across the Corellian Run, Roan reveals that he gets to begin flight training. Regan also brags that at Pilot Academy, they get to blow things up, to which Timone points out that Roan's makeshift volcano blew up in last year's science fair, embarrassing Roan. After Roan goes home and finds his elder brother Davin, Roan admits that he cannot wait to go back to the Jedi Temple, where the majority will consider him understood. A few days later, Roan's family minus his rather busy father drives him to the spaceport, and Roan climbs aboard the flying bus, which is primed for Coruscant. But Roan realizes that he had forgotten to pack underwear.
Getting back on track
When he arrives, nobody else is there. It turns out Roan has arrived a few days early, because he had been excited and didn't look at his calendar properly. Fortunately, Master Yoda is around, getting ready for class. Yoda starts Roan on some exercises using the Force, so he gets back into the swing of things. A few days later, Roan goes outside to wait at the docking bay, where an astromech droid named RW-22 joins him. Finally, the bus carrying the middle schoolers arrives. The first out, Pasha, excitedly asks when Roan had arrived, to which Roan replies, “Don't ask!” Just then, a Zabrak named Egon comes out, followed by the Human Gaiana, an intelligent, extroverted, and dubious girl he has something of a crush on from the previous semester. Gaiana and Roan both hug, and Gaiana heads inside to put away her bags. Just then, the three bullies, Cyrus, Jo-Ahn, and Cronah show up and insist Roan's spectacular feat of Force levitation was a “fluke,” before warning him that if he wanted to keep up, he will have to fully master the Force. That night, Roan, Pasha, Egon, and a music-oriented Bith named Bill sit around Egon's dorm and have a conversation that lasted for several hours. Finally, Pasha checks his watch and ends the conversation by revealing it is 2 a.m.
During lunch, Roan meets Gammy, a hulking Gamorrean. After Gammy roars at him, Roan nervously approves him putting food on his tray. Shivering, Roan leaves to sit with Pasha, where they both agree that Gammy is very intimidating. Looking down at the slimy muck that is his lunch, Roan frowns. Finally, he gives in to his mounting hunger and begins stuffing the mixture of slime, mud, bones, and dried tails into his mouth, making Pasha extremely uneasy.
A montage of misunderstandings
In his second year, Roan helps Gaiana with the class pet program she had organized. He assists in the caretaking of a Voorpak from Naboo, whose name is Voorpee. This was also the year they slowly but surely get on unfriendly terms, as Roan hits her in the face with a ball during gym and fails to find her at the Satine Hawkins (an obvious pun of Satie Hawkins) dance, though both events are accidental. This leads to her ignoring him entirely, though she thinks it's his fault. He then attends the Hoth field trip in the third month, where Pasha points out that they're near the equator when Roan says they have to be on one of the planet's poles. They are ambushed by a hungry wampa, who is forced to retreat empty-handed by Yoda and another teacher named Mr. Garfield, who has always clashed with Roan.
Halfway through the year, after Parent Teacher Conferences, Pasha invites Roan to come with him for Spring Break, where they plan to visit two museums the Museum of Archaeology with Pasha's father. Both trips end in mayhem: Roan is not allowed in the first museum at all; at the second museum, Roan rips an ancient text by accident, angering both Pasha and his father. Afterwards, he vents his feelings to Davin, but it quickly becomes clear his older brother's mind is elsewhere.
A few weeks after his return from the Jedi Temple, Roan is making his way through the halls when he finds Gaiana and Pasha holding hands, much to his horror. Roan immediately runs away, but he bumps into Gammy. The Gamorrean chef roars angrily, getting Gaiana's attention, which prompts Roan to sprint the other way.
The birth of M.A.D.S.
Later, Principal Mar gives them all a readout of their new assignment. It says they are assigned to build a class droid together in assigned teams of five. The droids, which have to be unarmed and have at least one special function, will be judged on function, design, reliability, and originality. For the droid construction project, the Padawans are picked randomly on a computer. However, Roan feels it is playing a trick on him after he ends up with Cyrus, Cronah, their snarky friend Jo-Ahn, and the unsettlingly reticent Greer. Now he is torn between following along with what everyone else wants to do, or get them to listen to him, which sounded impossible. Later, Roan arrives in an empty classroom to find the others already at a table talking. When Cyrus proposes they brainstorm about their droid's appearance, Cronah said Roan is creative and none of them deserve a say as much as him. Roan is confused, and is ever more shocked when Cyrus, Jo-Ahn, and Greer agree. As they leave, Cyrus also asks Roan to draw some ideas and show them later.
After he cooks for the other Padawans in Home Economics, Roan gets to work building the droid with his initially antagonistic teammates. It is an elaborate training droid Roan had designed. During this, Roan shows Cyrus how to connect the droid's arm cables and decides to finish assembling the droid's head for Jo-Ahn so she can make it to a secret meeting. Roan then helps Cronah hook up the cables, but quickly realizes everyone had left him to do all the work. At the start of the year, he never imagined working with them, let alone leading the project. At last, Roan looks over the droid from every angle and realizes that everything is in check. They can even use it to train for the Lightsaber Fencing Tournament. Since everyone else in the group usually wore dark robes, Cyrus suggests Roan should present the droid in dark robes too. Cronah also suggests Roan should name the droid, since it was his idea. He calls it the Multi-Armed Dueling Simulator droid, or M.A.D.S.
On the big day, everyone shows their droids. Pasha, Egon, Bill, and Gaiana show their cafeteria droid, but it malfunctions. Principal Mar then has Roan's team present their droid. Cyrus explains that M.A.D.S. is designed for training and preparation in lightsaber dueling. After Roan explains several advanced functions, Greer proceeds to demonstrate by igniting his lightsaber and slashing at the droid repeatedly. Finally, Roan deactivates the droid, and M.A.D.S. produces five hot drinks and passes them to the team. With that, everybody applauds as Cyrus and Jo-Ahn congratulate Roan.
Their droid receives the best grade in the class. Principal Mar also seems impressed at how much work they put into it. Roan also seems to hang out with Cyrus and Cronah more often. Not only did he think they were cool, they also had video games he'd never heard of, which he thinks are much better than the games Egon had showed them. Later, he passes Bill, Egon, and a Togruti named Shi-Fara. Bill asks him to come with them to practice in the gym, though Roan claims he is going too, with Cyrus and Cronah. On a darker note, Voorpee has disappeared: Cyrus and Cronah have turned their bullying to this defenseless creature. Due to Cyrus and Cronah's disparaging comments, social media outlet Holobook is soon shut down due to cyberbullying becoming an increasing concern, to the utter disgust of Yoda, who believes the behavior of his Padawans leaves leagues to be desired.
Field Trip to the Galactic Senate
One day during lunch, the three bullies plant a hot chili pepper within Roan's sandwich. After an unsuspecting Roan makes a scene, Cronah and Cyrus make Roan think Pasha Kendels is responsible and convince him to throw it back at Pasha for payback. However, the pepper bounces off Pasha's head and hits Shi-Fara in the face. When they round on the quartet, Cronah and Cyrus blame Roan. As a fight erupts between all the students, Gaiana fetches Yoda and Mr. Garfield, who put an end to the fight and angrily take Roan and Pasha to the front office. Upon the discipline bench, Roan accuses Pasha for starting the fight, but Pasha argues that Roan's the one who has been acting like a jerk lately, and that he thought they were friends.
Later, the Padawans are flown to the Galactic Senate. On the way to the bus, Cronah also shows Roan a video of Gammy crying in fear during the food fight. Entering a Senate pod, Roan, Shi-Fara, Bill, the timid and introverted Silva, and the slinky Ronald Rinzler are escorted into the spacious Senate chamber. They listen in as the Senators began conversation on the medical aid bill. However, Senator Blagotine cuts them off and proposes a motion to customize the Senate pods, which is met with both delight and disdain, leading to a heated argument between several alien species. Yoda explains to Silva and the other Padawans that the governors' self-absorbance prevents them from seeing the bigger picture. Shi-Fara bitterly says the medical aid bill would help Gaiana's father, and explains that Gaiana's dad had been sick all year, preventing Gaiana's attendance and explaining why she was spending more time with Pasha, who is not with her romantically as his girlfriend is in fact Shi-Fara herself.
Lightsaber Fencing Tournament
With hours to spare before the Lightsaber Fencing Tournament, Cyrus and Cronah begin trying to make Roan cheat, threatening to blame the Voorpak's kidnapping on him if he refuses. But he fears that if he tells on them, he will have no friends. The annual tournament begins when Principal Mar speaks formally, as the head of the Jedi Temple's Academy. She announced that before the dueling began, they would witness a special demonstration from celebrity Jedi and guest M'Batee. This year, the outcomes are different: Gaiana defeats Jo-Ahn, Cronah defeats a Twi'Lek named Tegan (again), Silva defeats Ronald Rinzler, and Cyrus defeats Egon. Principal Mar announces that each team has two victories, so the final match will determine the winner — Roan Novachez against Pasha. Pasha attacks viciously, rapidly gaining ground on Roan and quickly forcing him to drop his guard. Just as Pasha is about to strike Roan, Cronah snaps the camera, briefly blinding Pasha. Roan raises his lightsaber to strike him down, but he ultimately decides it would be cheating, and he decides, then, that he doesn't want to be like Cyrus and Cronah anymore. He lowers his blade and regards Pasha until he recovers and resumes the duel. This leads to Pasha emerging victorious and M'Batee presenting him with an inscribed trophy.
With immeasurable regret, Roan leaves the auditorium, but Pasha comes running out and congratulates Roan for his efforts, before asking him why he didn't take the chance to defeat him. Roan explains that it would have been cheating, and he ultimately wants to be as different from the school bullies as is possible. He apologizes for being a bad friend, and explains that after Spring Break, he mistakenly thought Pasha was mad at him and in love with Gaiana. Amazed by his incredible maturity, Pasha fully accepts his apology and they become friends again. Gleeful, Yoda announces that Facebook will be reactivated, but not for Cyrus and Cronah. Roan is left with lingering threats of the bullies' imminent revenge.
His second year completed
During the final flight exam, Roan flew with Cyrus and Cronah. Unfortunately, the bullies ditch him. He later assists Shi-Fara and Gaiana in clearing the final, but crashes 90 percent through the course; this fails to displease him as the incident reassures him he still has friends. The way the year started, Roan was unsure if he would pass Starfighter Flight Training. Mr. Garfield has trouble deciding which grade to give Roan, though Yoda convinces him to give Roan a B (he would have given him a C-). The final exams for meditation take place are to consist of the Padawans Force-lifting two stones while meditating. Roan sits down and does the exercise successfully despite Cronah and Cyrus trying to distract him. Yoda congratulates Roan before the latter sits down to smiles from Pasha and Gaiana. Roan had learned a lot this year, but not in the way he had expected. Despite this, Mr. Garfield still dislikes him. He thought Cyrus and Cronah had come to like him, but then they started bullying him again after the Droid Construction Project. He once thought it was silly how his gym teacher, the Wookiee Kitnum, always told them that winning did not matter, but he now thinks she had the right idea. And even though Gaiana is no longer angry at him, he still doesn't know if she reciprocates his emotional attachment to her.
Days later, the school year ends. Roan and Pasha dismount together, Roan commenting on how quickly the school year had passed. Bill expresses his anticipation for him and Roan to talk on social media. Roan hands Pasha a magazine he made about Jedi artifacts to give to the latter's father. Roan proceeds to retrieve a get-well card from his pocket for Gaiana's father. Roan turns to see Gammy holding out a huge meat nugget; Yoda shows up behind Gammy and reveals that Roan will train with a Jedi Master as a true Padawan Learner. Finally, Roan boards his bus, which then takes off. As Roan rides on the bus, he learns via flier that his Master will be Mr. Garfield, much to his horror. Finally, the bus arrives on Tatooine and Roan embraces his kin on their moisture farm, intent on returning to complete his third year in the events leading to Jedi Academy: The Phantom Bully.
- ISBN 9780545621250; July 29, 2014; Scholastic Inc.; US hardcover
- ISBN 9780545666435; July 29, 2014; Scholastic Inc.; US eBook
- ISBN 9780545773171; 2014; Scholastic Inc.; US paperback
|Organizations and titles||Sentient species||Vehicles and vessels||Weapons and technology||Miscellanea|
Organizations and titles
Vehicles and vessels
Weapons and technology
- "Launch Pad" – Star Wars Insider 149
- "Growing Up with the Force" – Star Wars Insider 151
- "Blaster" – Star Wars Insider 151
Notes and references
- The events of Jedi Academy: Return of the Padawan take place one year after the events of Jedi Academy, in which Yoda is 700 years old. Since The New Essential Chronology establishes that Yoda was born in 896 BBY, it can be deduced that the events of Jedi Academy: Return of the Padawan take place in 195 BBY.