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Why We’re Still Obsessed with ‘Twilight’

For many of us, Twilight was likely our first introduction to fantasy and now the ever-popular world of vampires and werewolves among the entertainment industry. We grew up mesmerized by the beautiful Cullen clan and the undeniable love between Edward Cullen and Bella Swan. The nostalgia the film provides from the music, to the blue filter of the first film, to the horrible 2000’s fashion, and the intentionally dramatic but truly comedic exchanged looks and conversations between the two forbidden lovers all immediately drew us into the fandom and has kept us here ever since. When we re-watch the films, it brings us back to a simpler time in which all we had to worry about was whether Team Edward or Team Jacob would win in the end.

            On the surface Twilight may not seem real or relatable granted that its focus is on the sparkling vampire. However, the all-consuming love that we see between Bella and Edward quickly shaped our views of a high school romance and became one that we would only hope to experience for ourselves during our own time in high school. Of course, it’s true that once we got to high school, we quickly realized there aren’t any guys that look like Edward Cullen nor any that would become infatuated with us and work to ensure we were his. It’s also easy to point out that we obviously did not have a vampire boyfriend. Although, the all-consuming aspect of love that often comes along with first love is something that we may now be able to relate to. Just as we can now relate to Bella’s ridiculously awkward and self-conscious nature. When it comes down to it, Twilight is honestly as relatable and real as it isn’t.

The Romeo and Juliet type of love story that is portrayed in these films is evidently not a very healthy one to instill in the minds of young impressionable individuals. In New Moon, Edward convinces Bella that she is unworthy of him which is something she already innately believed to be true. This led to Bella’s deep depression which Edward allows her to suffer with even after she becomes prone to life threatening idiocy. During this time, Jacob begins to take the place of Edward only to eventually abandon Bella as well. Throughout this book and the film as well as those that follow, Jacob attempts to use coercion, at times forcing himself on Bella, to win her over which is as equally bad if not a worse representation of a relationship worth dreaming about. Despite this, years ago many of us within the fandom were die-hard Team Jacob supporters. While watching this as teens and even younger we were blind to the fact that these films were more successful at teaching us about mentally abusive relationships than that of healthy and successful ones. Although, I suppose mentally abusive relationships may often be more accurate to what many of us have and will sadly experience in our lives.

Let’s get back to the good stuff though because that’s what we all really want to talk about. The love we have for Twilight likely has a lot to do with the cinematic experience it provides beginning with the iconic baseball scene in the first movie which is paired perfectly with the epic song “Supermassive Black Hole.” The thunderstorm baseball sequence was arguably one of the best scenes in this series because of Alice’s perfectly pointed toe during her legendary high kick and her partner, Jasper’s equally dramatic baseball bat trick before he effortlessly strikes the baseball. Rosalie’s “monkey man,” Emmett climbing up the tree and the moment in which lightning strikes when Edward and Emmett collide in mid-air also added to the appeal of this scene. It seemed nearly impossible for another scene to ever top this one until we reached the emotional ending of Breaking Dawn Part 2. We all collectively gasped in theaters as we saw Carlisle’s head get ripped off by Aro, thus sparking the intense fighting sequence that made us hold our breath until the moment Alice brought us back to “reality.”

Above all, the reason why we still collectively obsess over the Twilight franchise is because the love between Edward and Bella withstands all the trials they endure. Even after Edward leaves Bella, the run-ins with the Volturi, the influence of the wolves, especially Jacob, the many threats to Bella’s life, including their own child’s, they make it in the end. They find their way back to each other and remain devoted and irrevocably in love with one another through it all. And that is all we want, for someone to love us through everything life throws at us. We want a love that’s stronger than all else. We want someone that will stay and love us for exactly who we are and that is what we see in Twilight. That is what we grew up with and that is why we love this franchise. That is why on our worst days we return to the books, to the music that is played in the films, or sit and binge watch all five movies to escape the world and to believe once again that love can truly conquer all.

…In case you were wondering, yes, of course I was watching Twilight while writing this and don’t lie, now you want to re-watch it for the millionth time too.

Melissa is a Junior at Emmanuel College majoring in Writing, Editing, and Publishing. She enjoys finding new creative outlets, frequenting local coffee and book shops, and admiring the night sky and rainy weather.
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