Our story is set in a world dominated by a vast, evil Empire. Now this Empire wasn't always evil - it was once ruled wisely by an order of mystical warriors. However, one of their order turned to the Dark Side, and since then, he has ruled with an iron fist.

This germinated with the rage inside him from seeing someone close to him killed by a barbaric tribe, was fed by the order refusing his demands, inspiring a deep resentment towards them, and flowered when he was taught dark secrets by an evil figure that gave him power greater than any other member of the order.

The story opens with a beautiful-yet-kickass princess, heir to a faction allied with the Rebellion, who is fleeing Imperial forces with something that will be of great help to the Rebel cause. This something is so important, in fact, that it could spell the Empire's defeat. She is captured (by one of the Emperor's chief lieutenants, no less) but not before she can send away the object she was carrying to an old ally who is currently in hiding in a remote region. It is out of the hands of the Empire, for now, and the princess can only hope that by chance (or perhaps fate) the object will reach safe hands.

We then meet our protagonist, a poor farm boy who lives with his uncle's family (having been left in their care as a baby), in a far corner of the Empire. On the cusp of adolescence and adulthood, he dreams of leaving the farming life and seeking a great destiny in the world.

He comes across the thing sent by the beautiful-yet-kickass princess, is able to unlock it, and visits the local crazy old man (who may be more than he appears) to find out more. As it turns out, this crazy old man is in fact a wise old man - he is one of the few surviving members of the ancient order of mystical warriors! He tells the protagonist the tale of the order and how they were wiped out. He also informs the protagonist that his father was a reknowned member of the order, and that he and his father trained together. He moved to the area around the time of the protagonist's birth so that he could watch over the boy's development.

The forces of the Empire are still hot on the trail of the object, and while the protagonist is away from home, they burn down his uncle's farm, murdering his uncle. This causes the protagonist to return to the wise old man, vowing to seek justice, and adventure; a move that will eventually lead him into direct conflict with the Empire itself. Together they set off on their quest, first travelling to a nearby settlement to gain transportation.

The wise old man gives the protagonist a weapon which originally belonged to his father, and begins to tutor him in the mystical arts, in which the protagonist shows a remarkable proficiency. He may, in fact, be the one destined to bring back the ancient order and bring peace and harmony once more.

Along the way, they meet a gruff yet lovable rogue, who turns out to be fiercely loyal, despite his proclaimed selfishness. (This character is one of the most popular in the series, wheras the protagonist is often seen as rather irritating.)

The protagonist begins "seeing-from-afar" the beautiful-yet-kickass princess, who has been kept prisoner and is being tortured for information on the whereabouts of the Rebellion's HQ. Obsessed by her beauty, the protagonist vows to rescue her.

Travelling to a location where he hopes he will be able to contact the Rebellion, the protagonist is captured, although he finds out that the beautiful princess is imprisoned in the same fortress. He and his friends manage to escape with the princess, encountering a major agent of evil along the way. They escort her back to the Rebel hideout, along with the thing that could help the Rebellion win their struggle against the Empire.

Along the way, the wise old man is killed in battle protecting the protagonist.

They manage to evade the enemy and arrive at the Rebellion's HQ; however, the enemy has been able to track them and now knows the location of the rebel base. The protagonist pledges his support for the Rebel cause, and they immediately begin preparing for an epic battle between good and evil as the Empire musters forces to crush the Rebellion.

The protagonist fights valiantly in the battle, but the Rebels seem to be losing the day. That is until the protagonist, aided by one of his friends who arrives at precisely the right moment to cause a distraction, heroically destroys a noun of great power, causing a really big, impressive piece of craftwork to spectacularly explode. This wipes out the Empire's command structure, allowing the remaining Imperial forces to be easily routed and destroyed.


Our story is set in a world dominated by a vast, evil Empire. Now this Empire wasn't always evil - it was once ruled wisely by an order of mystical warriors. However, one of their order turned to the Dark Side, and since then, he has ruled with an iron fist.

This germinated with the rage inside him from seeing someone close to him killed by a barbaric tribe, was fed by the order refusing his demands, inspiring a deep resentment towards them, and flowered when he was taught dark secrets by an evil figure that gave him power greater than any other member of the order.

The story opens with a beautiful-yet-kickass princess, heir to a faction allied with the Rebellion, who is fleeing Imperial forces with something that will be of great help to the Rebel cause. This something is so important, in fact, that it could spell the Empire's defeat. She is captured, (by one of the Emperor's chief lieutenants, no less) but not before she can send away the object she was carrying to an old ally who is currently in hiding in a remote region. It is out of the hands of the Empire, for now, and the princess can only hope that by chance (or perhaps fate) the object will reach safe hands.

We then meet our protagonist, a poor farm boy who lives with his uncle's family (having been left in their care as a baby), in a far corner of the Empire. On the cusp of adolescence and adulthood, he dreams of leaving the farming life and seeking a great destiny in the world.

He comes across the thing sent by the beautiful-yet-kickass princess, is able to unlock it, and visits the local crazy old man (who may be more than he appears) to find out more. As it turns out, this crazy old man is in fact a wise old man - he is one of the few surviving members of the ancient order of mystical warriors! He tells the protagonist the tale of the order and how they were wiped out. He informs the protagonist that his father was a reknowned member of the order, and that he and his father trained together. He moved to the area around the time of the protagonist's birth so that he could watch over the boy's development.

The forces of the Empire are still hot on the trail of the object, and while the protagonist is away from home, they burn down his uncle's farm, murdering his uncle. This causes the protagonist to return to the wise old man, vowing to seek justice, and adventure; a move that will eventually lead him into direct conflict with the Empire itself. Together they set off on their quest, first travelling to a nearby settlement to gain transportation.

The wise old man gives the protagonist a weapon which originally belonged to his father, and begins to tutor him in the mystical arts, in which the protagonist shows a remarkable proficiency. He may, in fact, be the one destined to bring back the ancient order and bring peace and harmony once more.

Along the way, they meet a gruff yet lovable rogue, who turns out to be fiercely loyal, despite his proclaimed selfishness. (This character is one of the most popular in the series, wheras the protagonist is often seen as rather irritating.)

The protagonist begins "seeing-from-afar" the beautiful-yet-kickass princess, who has been kept prisoner and is being tortured for information on the whereabouts of the Rebellion's HQ. Obsessed by her beauty, the protagonist vows to rescue her.

Travelling to a location where he will be able to contact the Rebellion, the protagonist is captured, although he finds out that the beautiful princess is imprisoned in the same fortress. He and his friends manage to escape with the princess, encountering a major agent of evil along the way. They escort her back to the Rebel hideout, along with the thing that could help the Rebellion win their struggle against the Empire.

Along the way, the wise old man is killed in battle protecting the protagonist.

They manage to evade the enemy and arrive at the Rebellion's HQ; however, the enemy has been able to track them and now knows the location of the rebel base. The protagonist pledges his support for the Rebel cause, and they immediately begin preparing for an epic battle between good and evil as the Empire musters forces to crush the Rebellion.

The protagonist fights valiantly in the battle, but the Rebels seem to be losing the day. That is until the protagonist, aided by one of his friends who arrives at precisely the right moment to cause a distraction, heroically destroys a noun of great power, causing a really big, impressive piece of craftwork to spectacularly explode. This wipes out the Empire's command structure, allowing the remaining Imperial forces to be easily routed and destroyed.


Some similarities between the two storylines can be explained by the fact that George Lucas based his work on the Campbellian Hero's Cycle; something that Christopher Paolini is either directly aware of, or indirectly aware of through the effect of Campbell's work on modern film and literature. Some elements, (Obi-Wan Kenobi/Brom spring out at me) are clearly influenced by a Campbellian archetype, and may be independent of each other.

However, the Campbellian Cycle is a very loose framework, that exists with widely varying interpretations ranging from The Lion King to The Odyssey. There is nothing that states the protagonist must be a lonely farm boy, for example. The existence of so many common factors between the two works cannot therefore be attributed to the monomyth, or even to inspiration (the original Star Wars was itself heavily inspired by The Hidden Fortress, a 1958 Japanese film), but only to out and out plagiarism. (Well, maybe plagiarism is a harsh word. If you feel this way, imagine that I wrote "lack of imagination" instead. Actually, I do think that Paolini may not have been consciously aware of the Star Wars connection, so an accusation of plagiarism is unfair.) I've seen adaptations of other works that bear less resemblance to the original than Eragon does to Star Wars.

It is, as many people say, impossible to come up with a truly original idea. Yes, the damsel-in-distress and good-versus-evil themes existed long before Star Wars, but Lucas combined pre-existing thematic notes with some of his own to create a unique narrative melody. Every day, over six billion stories are told, all a little different from what has gone before. Every single person on this earth could tell a truly unique tale. Besides, it may be impossible to come up with an original idea, but it's also pretty difficult to unwittingly use so many unoriginal ideas all from the same source.

Paolini also plagiarizes the Lord of the Rings for setting (although he isn't the first to do this, admittedly, but he does do it to quite an extraordinary degree, even for a fantasy writer) and character names. He also borrows many features from Dragonriders of Pern, Belgeriad, Dune, and A Wizard of Earthsea, and scenes and features from a plethora of other books.

Yes, he did begin writing the book when he was fifteen, which is impressive, but Paolini was nineteen when he finished, which makes him a young, perhaps very young, adult author, but by no means a child prodigy. Heck, I'm seventeen and I reckon I could write a better book, if I focused on it (which hopefully I will). My parents don't own a publishing house, however, so I might have a bit more trouble getting it into print.

I don't plan on reading Eldest, though I hear that in it, Eragon travels to learn from an ancient, wise sage, and later travels to the Rebellion's new base, where he helps fend off an Imperial assault. I wouldn't be too suprised if giant Oliphaunts were used in the attack, and Eragon defeated them by flying round their legs with a rope. Oh, and the Emperor's right-hand-man turns out to be his father. (Seriously. I am not making that up.)

Sources: http://www.anti-shurtugal.com/starwars.htm

http://www.kajatm.com/reviews/41/

http://www.guerrestellari.net/article2416.html

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