Alright I am back to doing Star Wars proposals! I just rewatched some Clone Wars and after this guy I will make one more proposal and hopefully that will the last of the Star Wars proposals (no promises). For such a minor character this guy does some very unique and admirable deeds so without further ado, let’s discuss Roos Tarpals.
What’s the Work?
Star Wars is a popular science fantasy franchise that primarily focuses on the adventures and experiences of the Skywalker family. The prequel trilogy told the story of Anakin Skywalker before his transformation into Darth Vader and the conflict of the Clone Wars (secretly orchestrated by Sith Lord Darth Sidious).
Who is the Candidate/What Have They Done?
Roos Tarpals is a minor character in the Star Wars franchise. He serves as a supporting character in The Phantom Menace and a one-shot character in Star Wars the Clone Wars. He was a Gungan captain and later general who was a close friend of Jar Jar Binks. He served as a serious and competent foil to Jar Jar.
He is introduced in the Phantom Menace reluctantly arresting Jar Jar after Jar Jar breaks his sentence of banishment to go back to Gungan society. He brings Jar Jar and his friends, Qui Gon Jinn and Obi Wan Kenobi to Gungan leader Boss Nass who Qui Gon is able to convince to spare Jar Jar's life since Jar Jar will serve as a guide to take them to the capital of Naboo, Theed. Roos Tarpals later appear when Padme Amidala convinces the Gungans to ally with the humans and put aside their past prejudices to unite to save their home from Naboo. Jar Jar was promoted to leader of the Gungan army and Roos Tarpals served under him to try and stop the Trade Federation. Although Jar Jar was technically his superior, Roos Tarpals was the one giving out the orders to fire and retreat as Jar Jar was being an incompetent comic relief. As the Gungans were retreating, Tarpals saves Jar Jar from being killed by a tank, getting captured soon after but luckily for him, the Droid Control ship was destroyed by Anakin so the droid shut down.
Roos Tarpals makes his tragic last appearance in the Clone Wars episode, Shadow Warrior. The new leader of the Gungans, Boss Lyonie, was secretly hypnotized by Separatist traitor Rush Loo and began rallying the Gungans to start a race war with the humans on Naboo. Notably Roos Tarpals was the only commander against this and once exposed Rish Loo knocked Boss Lyonie unconscious. Jar Jar took his place due to a strong physical resemblance to convince the Separatists not to commence an invasion. However, it turned out General Grievous himself was there to lead the invasion and Roos Tarpals contacted Senator Amidala and together they came up with a plan to stop Grievous and the invasion. Once Grievous figured out it was Jar Jar and not Lyonie, he chased out Jar Jar and was about to kill him until he saw Tarpals who deactivated his entire invading army and Grievous was soon surrounded by Gungan warriors and Tarpals told him to surrender. Grievous ignored this and began killing several Gungan warriors until Tarpals grabbed a spear to face him. He was able to hold Grievous off for a few moments before being fatally wounded by him. However, as Grievous was taunting him, Tarpals stabbed him, disorienting the General and Tarpals told Jar Jar and the Gungan warrior to throw emp bombs at the General, disabling him and allowing the Gungans to capture him. Jar Jar and the recently arrived Padme then went to check on Tarpals but it was too late, he had already passed away.
Star Wars has a very high admirable standard to say the least. However, Tarpals has an incredibly low amount of screen time, the lowest out of any proposed Star Wars PG hero so far, only appearing in a supporting role in one movie and a one shot character in one tv show. Gungan weaponry is also notably less advanced and primitive by Star Wars standards, consisting of simple spears along with some emp bombs and energy shields. Anyway with all that, I believe Tarpals more than stands out with his actions which include:
- Although Jar Jar was technically his "superior", Tarpals was the one who truly led the land defense of Naboo from the Trade Federation, giving the orders to fire and retreat while Jar Jar was being incompetent.
- Saves Jar Jar from being killed by a tank
- Was the only Gungan military or political leader who was shown to be against war with the humans
- Shuts down the entire separatist invasion army for Naboo, saving Naboo from invasion and war
- Indirectly saves Jar Jar's life again but drawing Grievous' attention towards him and the shutdown army instead of Jar Jar
- Sacrifices himself to defeat and capture General Grievous by impaling the General to disorient him and telling his warriors and Jar Kar to use emp bombs to bring him down
I am not exaggerating when I say I can't think of any corrupting factors for him. Unlike Jar Jar, who is the textbook example of an incompetent comic relief, Tarpals is very seriously minded and competent. He wasn't prejudiced towards humans like Boss Nass and other Gungans were, and he is also unique as he was the only commander who did not want a race war between humans and Gungans as the other commanders were perfectly fine doing so. He is also the only person (besides maybe Padme) who doesn't get angry, annoyed, or exasperated by Jar Jar's antics unlike PG hero Qui-Gon Jinn. He even told Grievous to surrender before engaging in a fight with him, proving he only uses violence as a last resort. Overall he stands out for a lack of even potential or subverted corrupting factors unlike other Star Wars PG heroes.
He is the only person able to defeat and capture General Grievous, something no one not even the most skilled Jedi including the Chosen One, Anakin Skywalker was able to do. He is also the only instance of the Republic stopping a Separatist invasion before it even began and stands out for his lack of corrupting factors. I know Star Wars has a high admirable standard but again for such a minor character, I'd say he does more than enough.