Tuesday was a big day for Twihards, Twilighters and Fanpires everywhere, as author Stephenie Meyer released “Midnight Sun,” a companion novel to the 2005 book “Twilight.” “Midnight Sun” retells the story of “Twilight” from the point-of-view of heartthrob vampire Edward Cullen instead of the previous narrating character, Isabella “Bella” Swan.
The rise, er, publication, of “Midnight Sun” is the perfect opportunity to revisit the five successful “Twilight” films created by Meyer’s four books, so the movies were watched again for this feature, not that arms were twisted, and they were great time-sucking diversions during the current coronavirus pandemic.
Full disclosure: This story is entirely about the five films, not Meyer’s novels, impressively released in order from 2008 to 2012. Spoiler alert: Stop reading if you have not watched the 8- to 12-year-old films yet and do not want anything revealed. You’re welcome. Finally: Team Edward. Forever.
The cinematic world is introduced to one of the supernatural world’s greatest love triangles: outsider teenager and Arizona transplant Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart), vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) and werewolf Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner). Stewart and Pattinson would become a couple in real life.
Remember making plans to travel to Forks, Washington, the setting of “Twilight”? Many Twihards did, of course. Fun fact: At the time, the $70 million weekend opening was the largest ever for a female director (Catherine Hardwicke). U.S. box office gross (estimated per boxofficemojo.com): $193 million
“The Twilight Saga: New Moon” (2009)
Edward leaves Bella after two intense experiences, and Bella falls into a deep depression. She also becomes closer to Jacob, who is in love with Bella, and Jacob’s presence is now mostly shirtless, tan and in – gasp! – jean shorts. This film also is an opportunity to see the taller and much paler Edward shirtless and shining bright like diamonds in the sun. Box office gross: $297 million
“The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” (2010)
Seattle is being ravaged by a string of mysterious killings, Bella is approaching her high school graduation, Bella must choose between Edward and Jacob, and Victoria continues her quest to avenge the death of her vampire lover, James. There is so much excitement in the commercially most successful film of the five! Box office gross: $301 million
“The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1” (2011)
Bella and Edward wed. After their honeymoon on Isle Esme, Bella is pregnant, and the baby is growing at an abnormally fast rate (because it is part human and part vampire, of course) and causes many health problems for the still-human-for-now Bella. All are concerned and/or very interested, from the Cullens and Quileutes to the powerful vampire coven the Volturi. Box office gross: $281 million
“The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2” (2012)
The final “Twilight” book is split into two films (“The Hunger Games” would do the same later with “Mockingjay”), and it is a satisfying conclusion to the franchise. Vampire clans from across the globe are gathered to protect Bella and Edward’s daughter, Renesmee, from the Volturi. The final battle is impressive and super fun. Box office gross: $292 million
The best films of the “Twilight” series are the first – because the first is always the best, and you never forget the first – and the last because, again, it is a satisfying end to the series. Fun fact: Yes, that is future Oscar winner Rami Malek as the vampire Benjamin who controls water. And it is not too late for that trip to Forks in Western Washington for the sake of nostalgia.
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