So after the initial Star Wars, er Eragon, complete with farm boy, Ben Kenobi and princess to rescue, followed by The Empire Strikes Back, er Eldest, complete with Yoda (Oromis) and even the (ever so shocking, for all the wrong reasons) "twist" ending involving a family member... (and unfortunately even more parallels)... is Mr Paolini going to truly surprise us all this time round with something new, or shock horror, is there a small harmless new race of characters (shall we call them Ewoks for want of a better name) in wait, ready to leap up and revolt against the Empire?! Bets are off though, I'm afraid, that the family member in question switches sides at the end to overthrow the Emperor, but will he survive though (because that'll make things totally different and original won't it?)?
Forgive my cynicism, but I had such high hopes for these books and so far the only thing I have found remarkable about them is that George Lucas hasn't taken Mr Paolini to the cleaners for (blatant) plagarism...
i can only agree with you on the matter the parallels are truly unbelievable and undeniable, im sure with a more in depth look several more could be found easily, and would result in an ancient version of star wars, not that im complaining :P
Well yes, there are parallels but I would be surprised if any modern day author could come up with a truely novel plot line. The writing behind the story is what matters surely. You can not possibly compare Paolini's style with JRRT, but not every one can read LOTR or his others (have you tried to get your head aroung Silmarillion?). I think that Paolini is accessible and if it gets people interested in reading again then what's the problem. One could argue that Rowling has done something on a similar level with Harry Potter - thousands of kids are reading her books. The formula works.
I completely disagree with you. Although there are many parallels between Inheritance Cycle and the Star Wars films, these are staple plot devices used by many many authors. The idea of a farm boy (or peasant of some kind) rising to glory is definitely not unique to star wars and probably existed before George Lucas had even thought of Star Wars. In fact, I think it is a plot device used in almost every fantasy novel I have ever read (examples include LOTR, the Belgariad, The Sword of Truth series, the Riftwar saga and many others I cba to name). There are a finite number of stories in the world and they have all been written. It is the task of a good author to re-write them in and engaging and interesting way. That is the way literature always has and always will work I'm afraid. Besides, those points you have cited are not at all specific. I agree with you if you are saying that they are clichéd as that is obvious, but they were definitely not copied from Star Wars. George Lucas wasn't the first to think of a damsel in distress Nor was he the first to use a more experienced older character to teach the protagonist Now I could keep on writing about this all day, but I'll stop here because I've just given up English and never want to write another piece of coursework on literature again.
True, the nature of genre fiction is that you get re-occurring themes, but never have I encountered them in such a a predictable fashion, ie thinly veiled and in chronological order... For Jedi power, read dragon. then follow the sequences... Princess abducted after releasing thing of importance to empire. Meet Luke/Eragon on farm. Meets mentor. Leaves with mentor. Empire shows up and destroys farm. Discover have to rescue princess. Break into inpregnable fortress to do so. Flee to rebellion. Defeat Empire counter-attack (read final SW battle or Hoth, take your pick). Abandon rebel base. Eragon/Luke goes seperate ways and meets new mentor/yoda. Enter brother/Han Solo and his flight in ship across asteroid belt/whirlpool to shake off empire ships. All meet up again on battlefield/Bespin where shock horror, Luke/Eragon is defeated by family member he never knew he had, who also happens to be the Emperor's right hand man... Need I say any more? There probably are many more DIRECT parallels...
It all makes you wonder whether Mr Paolini has only ever read the Hobbit and LOTRs, watched Star Wars and then became a published author ('cause his parents are in the business), successfully because he was marketed as a 15 year old. 'Fraid it shows. The one redeeming factor is that it doesn't try to be the LOTRs, but, let's face it, it was never going to come close, and equally unimaginative people have only compared it to this book simply because it contains elves, dwarves and a map inside the front cover. After that the comparisons stop... Actually, it makes you wonder if Mr Paolini has even read Tolkien come to think of it. So that just leaves Star Wars and my (un)original point.
Like I said, let's hope he surprises us this time round but I'm not going to count my ewoks... er chickens.
u know the strange thing is... i've never noticed this. i love star wars and have read eragon and eldest quite a few times. u have made me feel very stupid :) however i suppose the reason paolini can get away with this is the time period and setting. i have never in my head associated eragon with star wars, i mean star wars takes place in space with all the technology and eragon is in the time of swords and farms. great, now im just going 2 be comparing brisingr with star wars! also, although these books aren't particularly original, the writing style is engaging, its not a challenging read but it keeps you interested. also i find tht i really like and can empathise with the main character which makes the whole book better. (try reading the twilight series: great setting, ideas, and all the characters were fabulous, except the main character, from my point of view she ruined what could have been an amazing story) so basically no there probably wont b any surprises, but it wont stop me enjoying it :)
When I first read Harry Potter my first thought was that the idea of a school for witches had totally been taken directly from 'The Worst Witch' books. In case you haven't read these books, this is a school for witches where the young girl has various adventures where she saves the day all the time. However, after reading Harry Potter I could see that the basic concept had been expanded on and developed so much that it didn't matter that the idea had been used before. J K Rowling hd created something that was so rich with variety that it wasn't just a copy of an idea.
Now I agree that Christopher's book do have a similar concept to some other books that I have read - but his books are so wonderful to read that it doesn't matter. I really find myself rooting for the characters and I am right there along side them. So it couldn't be said that Christopher can't write. Age has nothing to do with natural talent - which he has. I look forward to reading Brisingr when it comes out.
I'm sorry, but you simply cannot use the excuse that it's merely a tribute or that everyone else uses other people's ideas. Because, while that is true, Paolini's 'borrowing' is in a whole other league. He doesn't just give nods to Star Wars and Lord of The Rings and Dragonriders of Pern and place them in his own work, he lifts entire themes and tropes from them, and they make up THE ENTIRE STORY. There is not one original thing in Eragon or Eldest, it's all a mish-mash of everything else - there's no voice of it's own, no identity. As such, the whole thing is empty, heartless.
As for saying Paolini can write - no. The opening line of Eldest is "The songs of the dead of the lamentations of the living, thought Eragon..." This sums up Paolini's writing ability perfectly: while on the surface it looks clever and complex, when you look again, it really is meaningless, flowery, 'purple prose' - over-pretentious writing that seems to say loads but in fact says nothing. Put the thesaurus away, Chris. And who would think that line, anyway? No-one, certainly not a 15-year-old farm-boy who couldn't write a single letter a month ago. I truly despise Paolini's work, and the only reason I come back to it is by my own rule of finishing series's I started, and also at my exasperation as to how anyone can find these not just readable, but good. If people are really looking for a series to latch onto Post-Potter, they really need to pick up Jonathan Stroud's 'Amulet of Samarkand', first of the Bartimaeus Trilogy. Sublime, exciting, scary and VERY funny.
It is possible for a book to be enjoyed for simply being a book. Whilst i agree there are many parallels to Star Wars and other works of fiction the Eragon series can be enjoyed by themselves. And at the end of the day does it matter? Does it make it any less of a good story? Just because there may be prarlels to Star Wars does not make it Star Wars.
Point i'm trying to make is it doesn't matter, in this day and age where so much is done electronically people should be allowed and encouraged to sit down and read a good book what ever the subconsious influences.
what you just said was a load of bull, if it has no heart stop reading the book, as far as those of you who seem to keep saying hes basiclly stealing the story lines from other books have you heard of inspiration?? as a art student when i see an artists peice of work i interpritate it my own way bringing new things into it expanding etc, just remmber the age he was when he started creating these books so wat is hes using these other parts as far as im concerned i think its a lovly entertaining story, many storys start of by making the main character seem like an avergae or below average person like a pesent or a farm boy i think this has a fantastic effect on the reader by making the reader feel like "omg hmm so this could happen to any body even me mabe??" bassicly making the reader feel more ingaged in the story making them actually feel like they could be the main character.
many people seem to think that its only about money but he is human its a career and hes doing somthing he loves a passion so he enjoys making these stroys i think wat hes doing is amazing i love fantasy storys cuz i can escape into them when there are times in my life wen things arnt going well for me atleast i can escape from them by gettin sucked up in to a story. you seem to claim its not origanal but i dont see whats wrong with what hes doing. theres thosands of writers who do the same but it seems u have only noticed the few you have read or that have become populer, books are there to be enjoyed i just like my favarate quote if you have nothing nice to say then its best not to say anything!
sorry for my bad spelling im only human no 1s perfect :/ cuz i kno theres gonna b some 1 to critasise me
Richard - You can take LOTR out of your list, frodo does NOT become all powerfull like the other main characters. Another flaw with you logic is that you are focusing on one cliche. Those books do not copy and paste themes from other successful authors so blatently and without a hint of recognition. And there is the point that leaves Chris lacking from other authors; I have not been able to find anywhere where he publicly acknowledges incfluences apparent in thiese books (maybe because they arnt so much influences as the audaciously ripping of whole themes and rolling them into one). Take Erikson's malazan books for example - the 'bridgeburners' are very similar the Glen cook's 'Black Company', but low and behold Erikson ACKNOWLEDGES Cook as an influence.
K.F. Window has the best point, as it is what you do with the themes you choose. However, Paolini was always on a losing streak with these books because there are so many themes used here, plus he's rather shamelessly copied star wars' chronoligy.
George Lucas has often cited Joseph Campbell's "The Hero with a Thousand Faces" (1949) as being influential in the creation of "Star Wars". A study of comparative mythology, THWATF argues that certain story components recur cross-culturally with regard to the `heroes journey'. The suggestion being that there are `primal' (if not Jungian) expectations around what an individual needs to achieve in order to be defined as a hero. As such, GL did his research, then constructed an original paradigm, albeit one that drew on Campbell's conclusions. Paolini, on the other hand, seems to have `cut and pasted' GL's narrative structure. The question here isn't who's doing the borrowing, but when does patterning become plagiarism?
Paolini is not alone in his approach (if indeed this was the case). James Joyce's "Ulysses" drew heavily on the structure of Homer's "Odyssey", the myth of Prometheus is Shaw's "Pygmalion", which is Alan Jay Lerner's "My Fair Lady", which is (arguably) Meg Cabot's "The Princess Diaries". "My Own Private Idaho" is an amalgam of "Henry IV, Parts One & Two", "Top Cat" is "Sgt. Bilco", "Bridget Jones's Diary" is "Pride and Prejudice", etc, etc, etc.
What seems to set a reversion apart is its inherent vitality, or some other quality that usefully distances itself from the source material. It's not whether you're a thief, it's how you steal. Allegedly.
All said and done - It is Starwars and it does 'borrow' rather more heavily than the word influence would imply. If George Lucas decided to take it to court I rather imagine he would win easily enough. However, if you enjoy reading it then stop complaining. If you don't enjoy it or the 'borrowing' annoys you a lot, then don't read it and move on to something different... It is IMHO a fairly standard yarn and not special enough to get upset about