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  1. Fullmetal Xeno
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    Fullmetal Xeno Protector of Literature Contributor

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    Who thinks Eragon is a copy of Star Wars and Lord of the Rings?

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Fullmetal Xeno, Jul 18, 2011.

    Well, i know when Paolini wrote Eragon, he was 15. But don't you think it's way to similar plot-wise and name-wise of Cities and Characters? Eragon is a farm boy where he lives with his uncle. Luke Skywalker is a farmboy who lives with his uncle. Eragon soon meets Brom, who helps him fight the R'zac who burned down his home and killed his uncle. Luke Skywalker soon realizes his house was burn down by Sand People. Eragon soon becomes a Dragon Rider. Luke Skywalker soon becomes a Jedi. Eragon is one of the last Dragon Riders. Luke is one of the last Jedi's. Gallobrix rules Alagaesia. Darth Vader rules The Galaxy. Luke soon joins the Rebellion Alliance. Eragon soon joins The Varden. he list goes on... there's also a place called Angremost, which is an elvish word in Tolkien's Sindarin. And thers also a place called Vailnor, actually like Vailnor in Lord of the Rings. There's a evil tower called Isenstar, which is very similar to Isenguard. Do you see the similarities? I think Paolini copied off of both those Universe and he claims to enjoy Tolkien's work.. hmmm... Suspicious much? Im suprised he hasn't gotten sued yet.
     
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  2. Quezacotl
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    Quezacotl Contributing Member

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    Congratulations - you have just noticed the monomyth - now go read Joseph Campbell's the Hero with a Thousand Faces.

    Similar names and words mean nothing. If anything, it may be an homage.
     
  3. The-Joker
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    The-Joker Contributing Member Contributor

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    What Paolini did is not grounds for legal action.

    But yes he used a template for his story, one that was shared by Star Wars. I refuse to believe that Paolini didn't recognize the duplicated plot and mirror image characters when writing his first book. I honestly think he was just too lazy to make it different.

    It's okay to draw inspiration from other works, but as a writer you should always be cognizant of where those ideas come from, and their similarities to other stories. If your story shares an identical format to Star Wars, one of the most well known movies of all time, then you should make an active effort to change it so the link is not so recognizable. It's not that hard, just requires thinking. Paolini didn't bother.
     
  4. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I'm not. There isn't nearly enough there to support a lawsuit.
     
  5. Thog
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    Thog New Member

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    Everything is derivative. Every story owes something to something that came before.

    I'd bet that if I dusted off my copy of "a Tough Guide to Fantasyland" (if you're a fan of the fantasy genre and haven't read this, do so) and then went through to see how many entries I could find in the Inheritance books and how many entries I could find in a Song of Ice and Fire, I suspect the end tally would be very similar.

    Cliche's and tropes are not bad if you use them in a new and interesting way (for example a Song of Ice and Fire; Watchmen) or execute them very well (Alien; Star Wars). The Inheritance books consist entirely of "seen it before" cliche's and tropes not executed terribly well, this is why it isn't very good.
     
  6. East
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    East Member

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    When it first came out I listened to the audio book of the Eragon, and was not impressed. It seemed to me like weak and derivative fantasy writing.

    Then, I saw a special on CNN about "geniuses"... and guess who CNN considered to be a "genius"? Paolini...!
    ~CNN
    http://edition.cnn.com/HEALTH/blogs/paging.dr.gupta/2006/12/eragon-author-reveals-secret-to-his_15.html

    Go figure.
     
  7. NateSean
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    NateSean Active Member

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    An homage is writing time travel fiction and calling the high school my character goes to "HG Wells High."

    A rip off is having the princess in my story steal a vital object that the enemy wants. Having her send that item away moments before being kidnapped. Having her rescued by a guy who falls in love with her, who has teamed up with a mentor figure and a mercenary with redeeming qualities. Having the mentor figure dies in the stronghold and having the hero join up with the rebellion to hatch a plan that involves striking a very small target on an otherwise insurmountable enemy/object.

    Yes, similarities may exist in a story. A story may be derivative or unimaginative. But rip offs do occur and there are loopholes that protect them. Denying them doesn't change their existence.
     
  8. Quezacotl
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    Quezacotl Contributing Member

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    Nate, read the rest of the post and look up the Hero's Journey. EVERY story follows this outline. If anyone has the right to sue, it's whoever told the first story. George Lucas even used it as a guideline for Star Wars.
     
  9. NateSean
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    NateSean Active Member

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    Avatar follows an outline that's similar in story to Pocahantas, Ferngully, and Dances with Wolves. It still manages to tell pretty much it's own story.
     
  10. Quezacotl
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    Quezacotl Contributing Member

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    You are arguing with someone and completely ignoring them. Brilliant.

    [​IMG]

    All stories follow this same outline. Here, I'll do Avatar and Eragon.

    Unusual Birth -
    Jake is a marine and has a twin who is a scientist who conveniently dies before the story starts.
    Eragon is the son of a dragon rider and is hidden away from the big bad in a remote village.

    Begins in the Hero's Known realm.
    Jake on earth, being offered the chance. Starts as a human being in a familiar outfit - the military.
    Eragon in his village.

    The Herald/Supernatural Aid -
    Jake is given the chance by sciency dudes to get his legs back and get an avatar. He accepts.
    Eragon runs from the Ra'zac, Brom takes him in as a mentor.

    The First Threshold -
    Jake in getting used to Pandora and his first encounter with the Na'vi
    Eragon and his first use of magic.

    The Belly of the Whale/Death and Rebirth of the Hero
    Jake begins to think his self as a human is disintigrating, he is becoming a Na'vi.
    Eragon's mentor, Brom, dies and he begins to change as a protagonist.

    Road of Trials -
    Jake is guided by his love interest a becomes an accepted member of society.
    The Goddess - His love interest
    Eragon and Murtagh frolic merrily through a desert towards the dwarven capital. Eragon learns to think with magic. The Shapeshifter - Murtagh

    Night Sea Voyage -
    Jake, realizing peace is not an option, tries to stop the human hordes and escapes with a few allies.
    Eragon moves into Arya's mind to save her from death and escape the Ugral hordes.

    Fight with the Big Bad -
    Jake fights the humans and kills the warmongering colonel.
    Eragon fighters the ugrals and kills the shade, dispersing the army.
    Both acknowledge that the fight is not over.

    The Return Threshold & The Boon
    Jake chooses to abandon his life as a human and become a Na'vi, and grants a peace between humans and Na'Vi, becomes a protector.
    Eragon and celebrations afterward, accepts his role that he must be the once who saves them.

    I could do one for Harry Potter, the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Star Wars, and any book I have ever read for this.
     
  11. Fullmetal Xeno
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    Fullmetal Xeno Protector of Literature Contributor

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    Well, what i mean was that his story seemed too much like Star Wars. I know there are factors that are borrowed, but Paolini has too much similarities. His Elves and Dwarves are exactly the same like Tolkien's. And when Eragon finds out his father is Gallobrix is just a rip off from Star Wars. There's barely anything that isn't a copy or nothing new to it.
     
  12. Quezacotl
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    Quezacotl Contributing Member

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    Every 'standard fantasy setting' is guilty of ripping off Tolkien. He made fantasy popular, we'll just deal with the repricussions of his success.

    Brom is Eragon's father.
     
  13. Fei
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    Fei New Member

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    That's because he was 15 when he wrote it. No matter how good you are, it's my opinion that you are still incredibly stupid when you're 15. It's why I never wanted to get published that young: 'cause in a few years when I grew up and re-read my work, I would want to slap myself.
     
  14. colorthemap
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    colorthemap Contributing Member

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    All novels relate to each other, in some way.

    If you think about it stories can be traced back to holy books. Even something like Beowulf(first known English piece, HUZZAH!!!!!!) is inspired.

    Novels are based off of life, and life is based off of novels.
     
  15. Fantasyphanatic
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    It clearly seems that the ideas are mimicking one another. It could be entire coincidence, but you are right, there are similar names and ideas so the question is out there whether or not he used the ideas, or just came up with them himself.
     
  16. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    I know there are plenty of LOTR similarities that are too suspicious. The Vailnor/Valinor bit for sure....but also, a human guy named Eragon gets with a female elf named Arya, does that not sound familiar from anywhere? lol!
     
  17. Fullmetal Xeno
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    Fullmetal Xeno Protector of Literature Contributor

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    Yeah, that was what i was trying to point out haha. :D
     
  18. Unit7
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    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Except you know that part never happened. We were led to believe it was Morzan... but either way we were only guessing along with Eragon at this point.

    His father ends up being Brom.
     
  19. BallerGamer
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    BallerGamer Active Member

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    If I remember correctly, Eragon was just a school project until the author's parents saw the manuscript and decided to self publish it as a novel. He probably did have Star Wars in mind when making it but wouldn't have thought the opportunity would have presented itself where he would be publishing it to the world. I don't think it matters, I think they're terrible books either way.
     
  20. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Also, I disagree with the statement that every single story out there follows the Hero Outline and/or that no story can be unique because "everything's just a rehash.". My story certainly doesn't. There are steps in the outline that my story doesn't have, and twists and turning points in my story that aren't in the outline.

    Also, look at all the stories that paved their own genre. LOTR (the original one). "The Outsiders" as the first realistic YA novel. The first detective story, the first chick lit, the first romance novel, the first novels to parallel any given real-life issue.

    I get what you mean. There are certain plot structures that most stories follow. But I really dislike the "nothing can ever be unique" mindset when it comes to writing. It comes across as somewhat nihilistic and anti-individual potential to me.
     
  21. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    @Mallory - I agree. All‚Äč stories certainly do not follow that outline.
     
  22. BallerGamer
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    BallerGamer Active Member

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    Also it's funny that we're on the subject of stories copying stories and Star Wars is in the discussion. Star Wars I believe was sued by a Japanese director because he claimed George Lucas stole the ideas from his own movie (the name of the title escapes me right now). And more than half of the "hero embarks on an adventure" outline can be traced to Journey To The West.

    Though it shouldn't discourage any writer in thinking his novel won't stand out from the rest. Storylines aren't the most important aspects of a novel.
     
  23. Quezacotl
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    Quezacotl Contributing Member

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    As a Joseph Campbell fanboy, I find this very offensive.
    At its nuclear level, the hero's journey is three stages. Departure, Initiation, and Return. In other words, the three act structure. If you are saying that your story does not have such a structure, you should also admit that your plot is riddled with holes and thus an incomplete. Not EVERY pattern has to be used, Campbell is merely elaborating on what often happens during these stages.

    This, however, does not mean that stories cannot be unique. I agree with your sentiment that "its all been done" is quite overdone. Before LotR there was no LotR, before Harry Potter there was no Harry Potter, and before Frankenstein there was no Frankenstein. There may be stories with similar ideas - Frankenstein/Prometheus, but every story is unique.

    As for name similarities, damn you people are nit-picky. Deal with it.

    Edit: I'm yelling with love, Mallory. Didn't mean to rant.
     
  24. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    There are loads of comparisons between the plots of Star Wars and Harry Potter, but they're vastly different stories. Ideas are just ideas; re-tell the same idea a thousand times, and you won't find one the same as another. It's unique to the writer.

    I've not read Eragon, but looking at it now in the "look inside" feature of Amazon, I can see this 15 year old still had a talent for writing. His langage and ability to deliver the story, with advanced descriptive ability, is still really impressive at that age. People seem to neglect this fact in favour of bashing its similarities, which undoubtedly are there.

    Tbh, It just makes me want to read his books and see for myself!
     
  25. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I don't think Campbell himself would have taken your position. Campbell is not talking about all stories, he is talking about myth. And he clearly distinguishes between those stories that are myth (those that rise to that level) and those that are not. Not every story follow's the hero journey or monomyth. It is an established motif in myth, but not every story takes on the character of myth.
     

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