Laura Byrne-Cristiano is a co-owner of The Twilight Lexicon, the longest continuously operating Twilight Saga fansite on the web. You can read her Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn column here on Movies.com every other Thursday.
It’s that time of year when everyone seems to be making a top ten list, so why don't we jump into the mix too. The Twilight Saga has so many possibilities when it comes to top moments. I started out writing an overall Top Ten Twilight Saga Iconic Moments list taking into account all the Twilight Saga movies, but quickly realized I was going to have to totally rethink that idea because The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 has so many iconic moments just by itself. This was definitely destined to be a two-part idea. So for this week, let’s take a look at the Top Ten Twilight Saga Iconic Film Moments leading up to Breaking Dawn Part 1. Then, in my next column, we’ll examine the Breaking Dawn Part 1-specific ones.
1. The original Twilight movie has possibly the most iconic image of the series. It’s the moment where both Bella and Edward are entranced with each other right after Edward saves Bella from Tyler’s out-of-control van. For many fans who didn’t know anything about Twilight until they saw the films, that was the moment that hooked them. They became captivated by Robert Pattinson and/or the Bella and Edward love story right there during those intense few seconds.
2. One of the most parodied parts of the entire series is the infamous moment in the meadow of “Say it out loud. Vampire.” If you ask people who aren’t fans of the series for a Twilight Saga moment that stands out in their minds, this one is easily it. Even though we don’t get the romantic meadow scene as presented in the book, the scene is memorable to fans nonetheless. It’s the big reveal to Bella that confirms what Edwards is, and consequently it’s what drives the action forward from that point on.
3. The final iconic moment in Twilight is the prom with Edward and Bella’s dance at the gazebo. It’s the first truly prolonged, tender moment they have in the films. Iron and Wine’s song Flightless Bird: American Mouth underscored the sequence and became an instant fan favorite. It was now unofficially Bella and Edward’s song, the one that defined who they were to each other. So far, it is the only song to make a comeback on any of the soundtracks. It currently serves as the song at their wedding in Breaking Dawn Part 1.
4. Moving on to New Moon, the image that hauntingly epitomizes much of the movie is Bella huddled alone in the forest abandoned by Edward. It sets the tone of depression and isolation that lasts almost the entire film. Even in some of her lighter moments with Jake, Bella still suffers from a broken heart. The image of her in a fetal position as leaves blow over her on the damp forest ground represents what she still feels inside.
5. Every fan is aware of the Team Edward vs. Team Jacob debate. The moment when Team Jacob first took over the screen is the next iconic moment -- and t happens when Bella crashes the motorcycle and Jacob runs over to her. Not only do we get the famous “You’re sort of beautiful” line from the novel, but we also get a look at the 8-pack that launched Taylor Launter's heartthrob status. Everyone knew Lautner bulked up for New Moon, but now it was obvious to what degree that was true. Adult fans everywhere started counting down to Lautner’s eighteenth birthday because, as one put it, “It makes the drooling seem less inappropriate.”
6. Bella’s desperate run through the streets of Volterra culminating in her kiss with Edward under the clocktower is a huge moment. Even though they know what is going to happen, fans urge Bella on as she races uphill in a sea of red cloaks and attempts to beat the clock. Critics constantly talk about Bella’s need to be saved. Well, there’s no damsel in distress here, as Bella willingly risks her life to save Edward from self-destruction. Bella and Edward are reunited, and it’s almost entirely her own doing.
7. If you need a larger-than-life, kick-ass villain, it pays off to have an Academy Award nominated actor play that villain. As impressive as Bella meeting Jane, Demetri and Felix in the hallway in Volterra is, it was nothing really compared to her meeting Aro. Michael Sheen proverbially chews up the scenery every time he is on screen, and his first appearance as Aro is no exception to that. He manages to add depth and sadistic humor to Aro making him compelling to watch.
8. As we move on to Eclipse, the first thing that springs to mind are two words: leg hitch. After missing Edward for almost all of New Moon, fans wanted a return to romance. Particularly, with director David Slade at the helm, fans were concerned that romance was going to take a backseat to the action. At that time Slade was known for more darker and action-heavy films.Clearly they needn’t have worried when the most iconic moment from the novel was delivered exactly the way it should've been on screen (see image to the right).
9. Tension in relationships is certainly an ongoing theme in the Twilight Saga movies. In no place is that tension thicker than in the tent scene in Eclipse where Edward, Bella, and Jacob are trapped in tight quarters. It’s just about the only real discussion regarding Bella that Edward and Jake ever have, a departure from the usual name calling. Team Edward vs. Team Jacob quite literally goes head-to-head and culminates with Bella kissing Jacob.
10. The final iconic moment would be the proposal in the meadow in Eclipse. Fans were relieved that the budget was now bigger and the meadow looked a whole lot better than it did in Twilight. No more newborns, no more Victoria, and the immediate threats were all gone, making it so Bella and Edward could focus on each other. Bella finally saying “yes” in the field surrounded by wildflowers ended what had largely been an action movie on a sweet romantic note.
So what do you think of these iconic moments? Is a crucial one left out? What moments from Breaking Dawn Part 1 do you think we should include on next columns list?
Just 337 days until The Twilight Saga concludes on screen.