The Twilight Saga
The final instalment of the world renowned Twilight Saga, Stephenie Meyer’s Breaking Dawn, has recently been released as a two-part motion picture, the first of which arrived in cinemas in November. With the original novel having sold 1.3 million copies within twenty-four hours of its release, and over a thousand showings of the film having already sold out in British cinema pre-sales, it is clear that despite the series soon drawing to a close, its commercial success continues to grow rapidly.
Breaking Dawn begins with the long-awaited wedding of main characters Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) and Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), which is followed by their honeymoon together in Rio. On their wedding night, Bella becomes pregnant. However, bearing a half-vampire child of course does not come without dramatic consequences, as the baby’s rapid growth and naturally violent nature bring great danger and chaos to the lives of the main characters.
If you are unfamiliar with the phenomenon of recent years that is Twilight, it originated from a series of four vampire-themed fantasy romance novels written by Meyer. The first of which, Twilight, was released in 2005, and tells the story of a young, insecure and clumsy Bella Swan moving to live with her father in Forks, Washington. There, she meets the mysterious and handsome Edward Cullen, a member of a vampire family with special powers who choose to drink the blood of animals instead of humans. Edward, who is in fact 104 years old, rescues Bella from a sadistic vampire named James who tries to hunt her.
The sequel, New Moon, follows Bella after the Cullen family leave Forks to protect her from danger. Bella falls into depression until she finds friendship in her neighbour Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner), who becomes a werewolf due to the presence of the enemy: vampires. Jacob falls in love with Bella, so when she is in grave danger at the hands of James’ partner Victoria, who wishes to avenge his death, he must try to protect her with the help of his wolf pack. Due to a misunderstanding, Edward believes that Bella is dead, and decides to commit suicide at the hands of the vampire authority: the Volturi. However, his sister Alice and Bella save him, and the couple are granted freedom on the condition that Bella herself becomes a vampire.
During the third novel, Eclipse, Victoria creates an army of new-born vampires to battle the Cullen family and kill Bella for revenge. Meanwhile, Bella must choose between her relationship with Edward, and her friendship with his rival Jacob. The Cullens and the wolf pack join together to protect Bella and defeat Victoria and her army, but in the end Bella chooses Edward by agreeing to marry him.
Each novel has been released annually as a film since 2008, which brings us back to the release of Breaking Dawn on November 18th. With the birth of Bella’s child having almost killed her, Edward finally turns her into a vampire with her own special power. The second instalment of the film will be released next year, which will show Jacob “imprinting” upon the child Renesmee; meaning he chooses her as his soulmate and therefore helps to raise her until they may be together. He and Edward have put their past rivalry behind them, and are now close friends. But of course, our final film will not be without more drama from the sinister Volturi vampire authorities...