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I was thinking about the phrase 'young padawan,' and it seemed to me to be a permanent part of Star Wars lore. Yet, I definitely remember being into Star Wars well before the prequels, while I just re-watched the original trilogy and don't remember hearing the term padawan anywhere. There are multiple uses of the word 'apprentice;' but in movie terms, padawan seems to be fist introduced in Episode I.

In the greater Star Wars universe and all its associated products, what is the first use of the word 'padawan'? To be clear, I don't care about what is canon and what is not, I want to know the first time it showed up in any written script, book, video game, etc.

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    Some time around the Prequel Trilogy – Edlothiad Dec 19 '17 at 17:05
  • @Edlothiad I remember it from before then, as CBredlow's answer tells us. I don't know if I came across it in a video game, RPG, card game or novel, but I knew it before the prequels. – Todd Wilcox Dec 19 '17 at 18:17
  • It might help to clarify whether you're looking for the "first" usage in-world, or out-of-world. Thankfully @CBredlow seems to answer both ("Phantom Menace" for in-world, and the 1974 script is the first time Lucas used it, which would've be around the time of "A New Hope" in-world) – Doktor J Dec 20 '17 at 15:26
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In the current canon, the first time the word 'padawan' shows up is in Phantom Menace, where Qui-Gon calls Obi-Wan that.

According this rough draft by Lucas in 1974 (page 18) we see the first ever reference to the word 'Padawan' as a student to the Jedi.(Thanks NKCampbell for finding it)

This is the first time we see the word written down, and much of the expanded universe used this as a reference, as they had to get approval from Lucasfilm for their works.

The word also appears in the 1993 series Tales of the Jedi as well as the series Knights of the Old Republic (the comics of course, since they came before the games). However, some of the earlier issues of Tales of the Jedi used the phrase "jedi apprentice" and later did padawan.

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    Sorry for not being specific, I clarified that I want to know the first time it appeared in any format. If it was in an early draft for the original Star Wars, can you find a reference to that? – kingledion Dec 19 '17 at 17:56
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    maddogmovies.com/almost/scripts/starwars_rough5-74.pdf - page 18 - no idea how valid this doc is - has a lot of things I do know were in the original draft (Utupau, Jedi Bendu, etc...) – NKCampbell Dec 19 '17 at 18:03
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    @NKCampbell thanks, I knew the word had appeared in the Dark horse comics adaptation of the rough draft. – CBredlow Dec 19 '17 at 18:09
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    @CreationEdge The one where we first see Luke's academy on Yavin IV and Exar Kun shows up to cause trouble, that was a long time ago (maybe I got the trilogy name wrong) – CBredlow Dec 19 '17 at 19:25
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    Yeah but when was that draft made available to the public? – Mazura Dec 19 '17 at 20:40
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You're right, the term was introduced in The Phantom Menace. Wookieepedia states:

The term Padawan first appeared as far back as George Lucas's first story treatments for Star Wars. However, it was not heard before Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace was filmed; in all previous works, the concept was called "Apprentice."

Although the article is categorized as Legends, it holds in Canon, too.

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    Sorry for not being specific, I clarified that I want to know the first time it appeared in any format. If it was in a story treatment for the original Star Wars, can you find a reference to that? – kingledion Dec 19 '17 at 17:55

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