The padawan is the Jedi quest guardian; four appear in the center room of the quest home level, along with the Jedi Master. (Several Jedi player monsters also appear on the home level and throughout the quest.)
The Jedi quest is designed so its quest guardians and peaceful monsters play a more active role than most quest guardians: the NPC Jedi and padawan will help the player somewhat by attacking stormtroopers on sight. Conversely, stormtroopers will attack Jedi and padawan.
"Padawan" is also the rank title for a Jedi player from experience levels 3 to 5.
In the Star Wars canon, padawan are members of the Jedi Order in the second stage of training, after the "younglings" or initiates, and before the Jedi Knights.
The term may have been inspired by the Sanskrit word for "learner."
Reference: Benjamin Schieder's Jedi Patch