One cannot deny the astounding success of the “Twilight” series of books and films. Seemingly overnight, almost everyone has been sideswept by the popularity of the four-book series namely, “Twilight”, “New Moon”, “Eclipse”, and “Breaking Dawn”, all by debuting author Stephenie Meyer. The book’s characters have also become household names, the most popular ones being Edward Cullen, Bella Swan, and Jacob Black. Not surprisingly, the actors who portrayed them in the films have also been catapulted to stardom: Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, and Taylor Lautner, playing the mentioned characters respectively.
Definitely amazing, considering the simplicity of the story, a love triangle involving three teenagers. What probably makes the difference is that two of them are not human. Twilight Mystique 4 Demystifying the “Twilight” Mystique Most of us dream of making it big. Maybe to discover or invent something that will change the world, or put together an award-winning record album that will go platinum, or possibly, write a book that will sell millions of copies worldwide. The Author Herself Stephenie Meyer had a dream, literally.
“A vivid dream took her to a forest meadow where she saw an average-looking girl and a stunningly handsome vampire having an intense conversation”, it says in her website, stepheniemeyer. com (cited in Vaz, 2008). She then began to flesh out a story, and after three months, she finished the first book, “Twilight”. She submitted her manuscript to several literary agencies and eventually ended up in the hands of the publishing company, Little, Brown where the road to success got a jumpstart, to say the least (stepheniemeyer.com, 2010).
The rest of the saga has then followed the path to fame and fortune. Crossing age barriers the world over, the “Twilight” series has proven that if you take seemingly ordinary characters in a seemingly ordinary setting and spice it all up with something extraordinary, create situations and experiences that are almost believable, then you have got a winning formula. The Twilight Series The back cover of the first book, “Twilight”, teases us with the words, “About three things I was absolutely positive.
First, Edward was a vampire. Second, there was a part of him – and I didn’t know how dominant that part might be – that thirsted for my blood. And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him” (Meyer, 2005, back cover). Twilight Mystique 5 Almost immediately, two things jump out at the reader, the fact that there is a vampire involved, and so is that crazy, adrenaline-pumping emotion called love.
The lore and legend of vampires goes way back into the olden days, with practically every culture having its own imaginative version of the creatures, often tortured souls who drink the blood of their victims (Vaz, 2008, p. 13). In fact, “Twilight” director Catherine Hardwicke says, “One reason the Twilight series has such resonance may be that the vampire myth is deeply rooted in the human psyche” (Vaz, 2008, p. 15).
Joel Schumacher, director of “The Lost Boys”, a film about vampires haunting a resort town on the California coast, remarked in his commentary on the said film’s DVD, “I think one of the reasons vampires have an enduring quality is they’re the only monsters that are really sexy” (cited in Vaz, 2008). True enough, vampires are often portrayed as very attractive human beings, the only obvious giveaway is when they bare their fangs, to satisfy their thirst for blood.
The universal theme of love has been used countless times in books, movies, poetry, music, and all other possible vehicles of expression. Thus, the obvious love angle in the “Twilight” series may be nothing new, but it still definitely sells. As an article by S. A. Dalton declared, “Every girl dreams of falling in love one day. She dreams of that perfect soulmate who was put on this earth to love no one but her…It’s a love that voids all pain and validates the very reason that either of them were born…Because of this love, the Twilight series was a huge success!
” (cited in helium. com, 2002-2010) The character of Bella herself, as the narrator, often articulates the extent of their feelings. In the second book, “New Moon”, she narrates, “My head was already spinning by the time he leaned closer and pressed his icy lips against mine…I forgot all about my worries, and concentrated on remembering how to inhale and exhale (Meyer, 2006, p. 16) Twilight Mystique 6 Hardwicke even accurately observed that “for all the inherent darkness that came with vampires, it was the love story that touched people” (Vaz, 2008, p.134).
The reader can also easily identify with Bella’s character, for she was portrayed as an ordinary, not particularly popular, oftentimes clumsy teenage girl. In the third book, “Eclipse”, she said, “We were almost to the clearing when I fell. I could see the wide opening ahead, and that’s probably why I got too eager and forgot to watch my feet. I caught myself before my head bashed into the nearest tree, but a small branch snapped off under my left hand and gouged into my palm” (Meyer, 2007, p. 470).
Incidentally, the movie version of this third installment, to be shown June 30, 2010, is being eagerly awaited by the fans, as attested to by the “official online destination for all Twilight fans,” thetwilightsaga. com (thetwilightsaga. com, 2010). Stephenie Meyer makes it all so believable. After all, Bella remains unchanged, as unassuming as ever, even for instance in the fourth book, “Breaking Dawn”, wherein she was driving a new Mercedes Guardian and two strangers asked to have their pictures taken beside it.
“It took me a second to process that. ‘Really? You want to take a picture with the car? ’, says Bella. ” And as the two guys proceed to take pictures by the hood and even the back end, Bella whimpers to herself, “I miss my truck” (Meyer, 2008, pp. 6-7). This fourth installment meanwhile, will be shown as two films, and back-to-back shooting is expected to begin in October 2010, as stated in an article by Erik Davis (cited in cinematical. com, 2003-2010). Twilight Mystique 7
Anyhow, as Peter Facinelli, the actor who portrays Edward Cullen’s dad, said in his interview with Early Show co-anchor Maggie Rodriguez, “Anything that gets kids to read is a fantastic thing too” (cited in cbsnews. com, 2008). And so the “Twilight” phenomenon goes on. It will forever inspire us to follow and live our dreams, be it literally or figuratively speaking. So when a sudden inspiration strikes, take it as a hint to possibly start something big. Twilight Mystique 8 References Cbsnews. com. (2008). Facinelli on “Twilight” Phenomenon.
Retrieved May 15, 2010, from http://www. cbsnews. com/stories/2008/11/21/earlyshow/leisure/boxoffice/main 4625399. shtml. Dalton, S. A. (2002-2010). Why the Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer became so successful. Retrieved May 15, 2010, from http://www. helium. com/items/1430290-stephenie- meyers-twilight-was-a-success. Davis, E. (2010). It’s Official: “Breaking Dawn” will be Two Movies. Retrieved May 15, 2010, from http://www. cinematical. com/2010/02/11/its-official-breaking-dawn- will-be-two-movies. Meyer, S. M. (2005). Twilight. New York: Little, Brown and Company.
Meyer, S. M. (2006). New Moon. New York: Little, Brown and Company. Meyer, S. M. (2007). Eclipse. New York: Little, Brown and Company. Meyer, S. M. (2008). Breaking Dawn. New York: Little, Brown and Company. Stepheniemeyer. com. (2010). Bio. Retrieved May 15, 2010, from http://www. stepheniemeyer. com. Thetwilightsaga. com. (2010). Eclipse Movie Tie¬-in Books. Retrieved May 15, 2010, from http://www. thetwilightsaga. com. Twilight Mystique 9 Vaz, M. C. (2008). The complete illustrated movie companion:twilight. New York: Little, Brown and Company.