Star Wars Empire Strikes Back

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

Inciting Event: Luke’s POV: An Imperial probe droid lands on Hoth. Luke is attacked by a Wampa before he can investigate. After Luke escapes the Wampa, Obi-Wan’s spirit appears to Luke in a snowstorm, instructing him to go to Dagobah and train with Master Yoda to become a Jedi Knight like his father before him. […]

Half BLood Prince

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Inciting Event: Harry sees Draco looking suspicious in Diagon Alley and follows him to a shop, where Harry believes Draco is being inducted as a Death Eater. This is a relatively vague Inciting Event, since viewers have no idea what’s happened, only that something has. But this late in the series, we also have a […]

Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Inciting Event: After being expelled from Hogwarts for using magic to save his own and his cousin’s life, Harry learns his godfather Sirius Black and his other friends have reorganized the Order of the Phoenix to combat Voldemort’s return. Harry is tried before the Ministry of Magic for his misuse of magic and makes his […]

star wars a new hope

Star Wars: A New Hope

Inciting Event: After Artoo crash lands on the desert planet Tatooine on his “mission” for the captured Princess Leia, he and Threepio are purchased by Luke Skywalker’s uncle. Shortly thereafter, Luke stumbles upon the message Leia embedded in Artoo: “Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope.” This is the turning point halfway through the […]

star wars the force awakens jj abrams

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Inciting Event: Rey sees the Resistance droid BB-8 about to be scavenged for parts and rescues him. She is the protagonist, and this is her first brush with the conflict—hence, this is the Inciting Event. Up to this point, we’ve seen plenty of conflict, but the plot has been mostly concerned with introducing characters and […]

Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Inciting Event: After arriving at Hogwarts after Voldemort’s Death Eaters made a debacle of the World Quidditch Cup, Harry and the others learn of the Tri-Wizard Cup competition. Even though there have been conflict and stakes prior to this, the Cup is this story’s main conflict, hence this is the Inciting Event. First Plot Point: […]

Thor Dark World Chris Hemsworth Natalie Portman Alan Taylor Marvel

Thor: The Dark World

Inciting Event: While reluctantly out on her first date post-Thor (she thinks), Jane Foster is alerted by her assistant Darcy that her equipment is showing anomalous readings. Although Odin’s narration in the prologue alerted us to the impending conflict with the Aether and the Dark Elves, this is the first time the story brushes the […]


Inciting Event: The Scottish princess Merida’s mother Eleanor announces that the clans are all bringing their oldest sons as suitors for Merida’s hand. Merida firmly rejects this Call to Adventure. She has zero interest in being married or having her life planned out for her by her mother. First Plot Point: The clans arrive. After […]

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Inciting Event: Just prior to leaving for Hogwarts, Harry is warned by Mr. Weasley that the escaped murderer Sirius Black is going to be coming after him. Promptly after, Harry is attacked by a Dementor—the guards of the Azkaban Prison, from which Sirius escaped—and rescued by the newly arrived Professor Lupin. Mr. Weaseley’s warning is […]

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Inciting Event: Shortly after meeting the malevolent Lucius Malfoy—father of his old nemesis Draco—in Diagon Alley, Harry and Ron discover they can’t get through the magic portal at the train station. Stranded, they steal Ron’s father’s flying car and crash land in a resentful wamping willow at Hogwarts. In a movie, all Inciting Events won’t […]