jar jar is to padme, as dooku is to Qui-gon.
jar jar serves the SAME dramatic purpose as Count Dooku.
he is absolutely necessary to the story.
episode 1: introduce 2 noble concepts via 2 sympathetic protagonists:
- TPM give us "padme's militarization" of naboo. she made the decision to use the Gungan Army, to defend her people from battle droids. jar jar is the ONLY person in the room, when she makes this decision.(jar jar says "my people's got a Grande Army" and a lightbulb goes off in her head).
- TPM also gave us "qui-gon's Defiance" (yoda's words). the idea that you shouldn't ALWAYS listen to the voice of authority. sometimes you just need to (follow the will of the force and) "Do The Right Thing".
--> the audience agrees ,with BOTH of these noble concepts.
episode 2: push these 2 noble concepts down the Slippery Slope, via 2 UNsympathetic characters:
- jar jar is universally hated (because he's jar jar). he takes "padme's militarization" to the Next Level. he makes the decision to use militarization, on a galactic scale. he makes the decision to use the "Grande Army" of the republic. he does this because he is asked "what would amidala do", and he remembers EXACTLY what she did in TPM. she used the Grande Army. ((unfortunately, padme does NOT agree this time, because of the Slippery Slope)).
- dooku is universally hated (because he's Count Freaking Dracula). he takes "qui-gon's defiance" to the NExt Level. dooku makes the decision to Defy the jedi order, on a galactic scale. he does this because he's angry that the Jedi have allowed the sith to return, and now, qui-gon is dead. he understands, like qui-gon did, that sometimes you need to defy authority -- he is doing EXACTLY what qui-gon did in TPM. ((unfortunately, qui-gon would NOT agree this time, because of the slippery slope)).
-->the audience does NOT agree, with EITHER of these concepts.
episode 3: make anakin choose:
- anakin chooses "padme's militarization" AND he loses her, BECAUSE of the slippery slope. he burns-to-Vader ON a "slippery slope" (poetic imagery). this leads to the creation of the Empire.
- the rest of the jedi order (yoda and obiwan) are now forced to adopt the other position: now THEY are the ones who will "Defy authority", in order to do the "right thing". they adopt qui-gon as their master. this leads to the creation of the Rebellion.
the Prequel Trilogy is an Origin Story: it tells us the origin of the Empire AND the rebellion.
---> The Phantom Menace is (arguably) the most important episode of the arc. why? because it lays the groundwork for the creation of BOTH the Empire, and the Rebellion: they are both rooted in noble concepts.
---> jar jar and dooku are (arguably) the most important characters of the arc. why? because they represent the application of the Slippery Slope. in fact, these 2 characters ARE the slippery slope..
..and that's the whole point of the trilogy.
if it weren't for the "slippery slope" then anakin would not have become vader.
if it weren't for the "slippery slope" then padme would not have created the empire. (SHE thought it up. "militarization" was HER idea).
if it weren;t for the "slippery slope" then qui-gon would not hace created the rebellion. (HE thought it up. "Defiance" of authority was HIS idea).
(( jar jar IS the slippery slope :o without him, there is NO trilogy))