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"They grow up so fast, our students."
"Yes, it is the way of things."
Dooku and Yaddle[3]

A Padawan, also known as a Padawan learner, Padawan apprentice, Jedi apprentice, or apprentice, was the stage of Jedi training where a Force-sensitive of the Jedi Order trained under a Jedi Knight or Master. A Padawan's master was meant to choose their apprentice, although, during the galactic Clone Wars, the Jedi High Council began to assign Padawans. In order to become a Knight, the Jedi in training needed to complete their time as a Padawan and the Trials.

During the Clone Wars, Padawans were trained in combat and served as military commanders of clone troopers. At the end of the war, however, Order 66 was enacted by Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine, forcing the clones to turn on the Jedi Order. Still, some Jedi survived and, under the guidance of two survivors, Masters Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda, Luke Skywalker was trained as a Jedi. Skywalker attempted to rebuild the Order, but the majority of his apprentices were killed and Ben Solo turned to the dark side of the Force. Years later, Rey, a scavenger from the world of Jakku, became the apprentice of Skywalker and later Leia Organa.


"The boy. He your son?"
"No. He is my Padawan. Something between a student and an apprentice."
Grecker and Obi-Wan Kenobi, discussing Anakin Skywalker[4]
Caleb Dume Depa Billaba training

Padawan was a rank of the Jedi Order, given to apprentices who trained to become Jedi Knights.

A Padawan was a Force-sensitive who trained in the Jedi Order to one day become a full-fledged Jedi. Padawans were known as Jedi younglings at first, and trained in classroom settings with multiple students and a teacher.[5] Once they were ready for combat training and intensive study[6] and reached a certain age, Padawans were normally apprenticed to a Jedi Knight or Jedi Master, beginning their one-on-one training.[1] Just as a Padawan learned from their master, often times the teacher could learn from their student. Indeed, a master and apprentice needed to work together to be a true team and learning pair.[7]

Much older than the typical youngling and almost rejected because of his age, Anakin Skywalker was welcomed into the Jedi Order at the age of nine. Immediately upon his initiation into the Order, he was named the Padawan learner to the newly-Knighted Obi-Wan Kenobi. Despite his own experience as a young Padawan,[1] Skywalker, during his days as a Jedi Knight, expressed surprise at[2] the fourteen year old[8] Ahsoka Tano being a Padawan, questioning whether she was old enough for the position. Indeed, Kenobi had at first assumed Tano to be a youngling when he first saw her.[2] During the High Republic Era, the Jedi Vernestra Rwoh was a Padawan at a young age[9] and so much of a prodigy[10] that she was named a Jedi Knight at age fifteen, turning her into one of the youngest Knights in a generation. In fact, she would take on a Padawan of her own, Imri Cantaros, the following year.[9]

No matter their experience or age, all Jedi generally associated meditation with whoever had trained them; despite having been taught the basic principles of the matter during their time as younglings, it was only after becoming a Padawan that a Jedi truly began to understand the process of meditation, spending time, ranging from hours to weeks, sitting next to their master in meditation to uncover the truths of the Force. As such times created an unbreakable bond, it was often the case that a Jedi, even if years had passed since they had last meditated with their master, would find the process difficult after their master died. While it was indeed possible to recover and begin meditation again, the experience was never the same for the affected Jedi.[11]


A Padawan would undertake missions alongside their master as part of their training.

A Jedi was meant to choose the Padawan whom they wished to train.[12] Even though a Jedi could choose not to take on an apprentice, it was nevertheless considered part of a Jedi's responsibility to train the next generation of the Order.[2] Apprentices would often go on missions with their masters as part of this one-on-one training. The Code forbade a Jedi from training more than one Padawan or apprentice at a time. Most of the Padawans were known to grow or wear Padawan braids to symbolize their rank. After completing the Jedi Trials, a Padawan would be promoted to the rank of Jedi Knight.[1] It was rare for a Padawan to not advance to the rank of Jedi Knight,[13] but the struggles a Padawan faced on that journey, and the time it took to over come them, varied person-to-person.[14]


High Republic Era[]


Padawan Bell Zettifar was trained by Jedi Master Loden Greatstorm.

During the High Republic Era, a common training experience for Padawans was to be placed at a Jedi outpost alongside their master in the Outer Rim Territories, helping to uphold justice in the yet to be explored region. Nevertheless, they were sometimes given off-world assignments that took them away from the outpost. Padawan Bell Zettifar and his master, Loden Greatstorm, were stationed at the Elphrona Outpost. When they were meant to be rotated back to the capital of Coruscant, Supreme Chancellor Lina Soh established a hyperspace blockade due to the Emergences, forcing the two Jedi to stay on Elphrona for some time. During the Nihil pirates' raid on Elphrona, Greatstorm informed his apprentice that he was worthy of the title of Jedi Knight, but—after Greatstorm was captured by the Nihil—Zettifar refused to go through the Jedi Trials until he was rescued, wanting his mentor to attend the ceremony.[15]

In the aftermath of the Battle of Grizal, during which the Eye of the Nihil Marchion Ro unleashed the Great Leveler, which turned Greatstorm to stone and left other Jedi on the battlefield, including Zettifar, mortified,[11] Jedi Padawans were asked to step up and help the Jedi Order in whatever way they could, just like the more experienced Knights and Jedi Masters. As such, a number of Padawans aboard the Starlight Beacon left to help defend the Jedi Temple of the planet Takodana from a Nihil attack.[16] The stress of battles against the Nihil led to Masters Torban Buck and Kantam Sy re-establishing the "Great Jedi Rumble Race" for the Padawans of Starlight Beacon.[17] As the conflict carried on, Padawan Ram Jomaram found that masters were more willing to have their apprentices learn by "doing" and reasoned the previous generation of Jedi had not had the chance to take on as much duty as current Padawans needed to. He theorized to fellow Padawan Reath Silas that their mentors wanted the new generation to have an easier time during missions. Indeed, Silas's master, Cohmac Vitus, reflected to Sy that fighting dangers across the war-torn Galactic Frontier was not the life the two of them had been raised for.[18]

Fall of the Jedi[]

"Master Yoda, I gave Qui-Gon my word. I will train Anakin. Without the approval of the council, if I must."
"Qui-Gon's defiance I sense in you. Need that you do not. Agree with you the council does. Your apprentice Skywalker will be."
―Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda[1]

During the Clone Wars, Padawans served in the Grand Army of the Republic as Jedi Commanders.

During the Clone Wars, the Jedi High Council began to assign Padawans to Jedi Knights, instead of allowing them to choose.[12] During the war, Padawans were trained in combat and forged into officers[19] of the Republic Military partly because of a lack of military leaders. Padawans held the rank of Jedi Commander and could lead forces of clone troopers as large as a regiment.[20] This led to cases where young and inexperienced Padawans, many of them still teenagers, outranked clone troopers with far more experience in combat. At the end of the conflict, in 19 BBY, Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine, secretly the Sith Lord Darth Sidious, issued Clone Protocol 66,[21] forcing[22] the troopers to turn on their Jedi Generals and Commanders.[21]

After the establishment of the Galactic Empire, a few ex-Padawans that had survived Order 66 or left the Jedi Order before the purge joined the nascent Rebel Alliance.[23] This was the case of Anakin Skywalker's former apprentice, Ahsoka Tano,[24] as well as Depa Billaba's former apprentice Caleb Dume,[25] who became known as Kanan Jarrus[26] and later took on a Padawan of his own, Ezra Bridger.[27] By 0 BBY, Luke Skywalker, the son of Anakin Skywalker, began training under Jedi Masters Obi-Wan Kenobi[28] and later Yoda.[29]


"Pass on what you have learned. Strength. Mastery. But weakness, folly, failure also. Yes, failure most of all. The greatest teacher, failure is. Luke, we are what they grow beyond. That is the true burden of all masters."
―Yoda, to Luke Skywalker[30]

Luke Skywalker trained Rey as his final Jedi apprentice.

Sometime after the Liberation of Lothal, Ahsoka Tano took on Sabine Wren as her Padawan and taught her for a time.[31] After the Battle of Endor in 4 ABY, which saw the deaths of both Emperor Palpatine and his apprentice Darth Vader, Skywalker attempted to rebuild the Jedi Order. However, his new generation of Jedi were killed by his nephew, Ben Solo, who fell to the dark side of the Force. Following this, Skywalker isolated himself to the First Jedi Temple on the Temple Island on the distant planet of Ahch-To.[32]

In 34 ABY,[33] Rey,[30] a scavenger[32] from Jakku, arrived at the island to enlist him in the Resistance's fight against the First Order, and later became his apprentice. Despite his misgivings about the Jedi Order, Skywalker trained her on the Temple Island and had his faith in the Jedi restored after a conversation with Yoda's Force spirit.[30]

Following the Battle of Crait, General Leia Organa referred to Rey as having been Skywalker's apprentice to Ambassador Yendor of Ryloth.[34]

By the time of the return of Darth Sidious, in 35 ABY,[35] Rey had begun training under Organa on Ajan Kloss, where the Resistance had established a secret base. Using her training, Rey would eventually go on to redeem Ben Solo and defeat Darth Sidious once and for all.[36]

Behind the scenes[]

The term "Padawan" first written as "Padawaan" appeared as far back in George Lucas's first story treatments for the 1977 film Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, then titled as Journal of the Whills.[37] It wasn't heard, however, before the filming of the 1999 film Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace, the first installment of the prequel trilogy.[1] In all previous works, including the original movies or early Star Wars Legends stories, the concept was referred to as "Apprentice."

Set after the events of Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi, the Star Wars: Trials on Tatooine VR experience released by ILMxLAB featured an unidentified hopeful Padawan who hoped to become part of Luke Skywalker's new Jedi Order. In an ensuing mission to Tatooine, however, the Padawan found themself attacked by an Imperial remnant force. In the end, the Jedi would be victorious.[38]


Non-canon appearances[]


Non-canon sources[]

Notes and references[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Star Wars:The Clone Wars
  3. Tales of the Jedi logo Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi — "The Sith Lord"
  4. Obi-Wan and Anakin 3
  5. Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones
  6. Star Wars: The Visual Encyclopedia
  7. Choose Your Destiny: An Obi-Wan & Anakin Adventure
  8. StarWars-DatabankII Ahsoka Tano in the Databank (backup link)
  9. 9.0 9.1 StarWars-DatabankII Vernestra "Vern" Rwoh in the Databank (backup link)
  10. The High Republic: A Test of Courage
  11. 11.0 11.1 The High Republic: The Rising Storm
  12. 12.0 12.1 Star Wars: On the Front Lines
  13. Padawan
  14. The High Republic: The Fallen Star
  15. The High Republic: Light of the Jedi
  16. The High Republic Adventures (2021) 8
  17. The High Republic Adventures (2021) 11
  18. The High Republic: Midnight Horizon
  19. EAFavicon-Logo Order 66 on Electronic Arts' official website (backup link)
  20. Rise of the Separatists
  21. 21.0 21.1 Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
  22. TCW mini logo Star Wars: The Clone Wars — "Orders"
  23. Dawn of Rebellion
  24. Ahsoka
  25. A New Dawn
  26. Kanan 5
  27. Star Wars Rebels: Spark of Rebellion
  28. Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
  29. Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi
  31. AhsokaS1 Logo Ahsoka — "Part One: Master and Apprentice"
  32. 32.0 32.1 Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens
  33. The events of Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi are set directly after Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens, the events of which are dated to 34 ABY by Star Wars: Galactic Atlas.
  34. Resistance Reborn
  35. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: The Visual Dictionary dates the events of Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker as taking place one year after the Starkiller Incident, which Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates to 34 ABY. Therefore, the events of Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker, including Rey's Jedi training under Leia Organa, must take place in 35 ABY.
  36. Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker
  37. The Making of Star Wars: The Definitive Story Behind the Original Film
  38. Star Wars: Trials on Tatooine