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.
Get out those folding chairs, clean out that cooler, and bring plenty of sunscreen. After a year's hiatus, The Twilight Saga will be back at Comic-Con. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 panel will be in the 6,500-seat Hall H at 11:15am a week from today on July 21st. This means fans will start camping out the night before in the plaza that abuts Hall H.
So what exactly is in store for fans this year? So far, Summit Entertainment is pretty tight-lipped, but going on past experience, several things are likely. The top items to look for are footage, a fan event, and the trio, A.K.A Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, and Kristen Stewart.
When it comes to footage, director Bill Condon has some pretty big shoes to fill. Two years ago Chris Wietz, the director of The Twilight Saga: New Moon, wowed the audience with two clips. The first was the motorbike scene where Taylor Lautner revealed his eight-pack abs, and Kristen Stewart uttered the iconic line, “You’re sort of beautiful.” The second scene was the race to Volterra in the Porsche featuring Bella running through streets packed with red-cloaked revelers as she tried to beat the clock to save Edward.
For a fan event, just about anything is possible. Back in 2008, at The Twilight Saga’s first Comic-Con appearance, there was a signing with the cast members and author, Stephenie Meyer. In 2009, Summit Entertainment rented a local theater and played the original Twilight movie for fans while various cast members popped in and greeted the crowd before each showing. They also had the thrones from Volterra at their booth on the show floor, and a limited amount of fans got to sit in them for photo ops. So, will there be a 2011 fan event or perk for a few or the many? No word yet, but that’s not unusual, they’ll likely have something extra to entice fans.
Above all, what the fans look forward to is the panel. As usual, the panel hasn’t officially been announced; however, there’s a pretty clear pattern from past history: Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, and Taylor Lautner always make an appearance with the director. In this case the director is Academy Award winner Bill Condon. There’s also a chance for one or two other cast members to pop up on the panel, but given a cast the size of The Twilight Saga Breaking Dawn: Part 1, it’s hard to blame Summit if they go with the “less is more” theory. If the fandom can get their “IloveYouRobIWantYourBaby” screams out of the way at the beginning when the cast all walks on, it should be an awesome panel. As one of my fellow bloggers put it, “Let’s hope the fandom gives the cast an opportunity to talk.”
Aside from all the events on Thursday, July 21st there is another event, and that is the anticipated fan camping that will take place in the plaza next to the convention center. Plenty will be lining up overnight hoping to get front row seats. I decided to talk to some of the Comic Con experts in the fandom about this year’s panel. With The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 panel going first on the Hall H schedule, things maybe a little different than in the past. Veteran Comic-Con attendee @OhMyCarlisle on Twitter had this take. She felt that, “No matter where you are in the room you will see the presentation. There are large screens throughout Hall H…Just remember before camping out that…chances are you will not be in the front. If you want to ask a question, don’t try to get in the front. Head to the walls where the microphones are set up. If you try to get up to ask a question during the panel you’ll be way too late.” She also had this to say for those who are nervous about spending the night in the great outdoors, “You don’t have to camp out to get in, but you do need to arrive early. Your goal should be to be in the room, which should happen if you are there no later than 7:00am.”
I also did a Q & A with Alison Genet, who runs the Twifans website. She has camped out at several, major Twilight Saga events, and has frequently been the first to arrive. She has elevated camping out for Twilight events to an art form.
Movies.com: What one item do you consider to be your core, don't leave home without it item?
Alison: Your camping buddies are one item that you cannot live without. With a friend or friends, you can take breaks from line without worrying about your belongings. This is essential for restroom breaks, showering, charging your phones, and eating. Sometimes on long camps you can take turns sleeping at the hotel.
Movies.com: What is your frivolous you have it just because you can item?
Alison: Coffee table. Yes we like to display our Twilight merch or eat in style.
Movies.com: What's your best memory of camping out?
Alison: I would say the best moment camping out was when Alex Meraz walked up to the New Moon premiere camp line, totally by himself. No bodyguards or entourage. The line stayed calm, and he walked the whole line taking pictures with every fan in line. I was impressed that he did it and came without muscle, and I was impressed at how well behaved everyone in line was. They were definitively excited, but very well-mannered at the same time.
Movies.com: What advice can you give to Comic Con camping newbies?
Alison: Make friends with everyone around you cause they will be your new best friends for awhile. Enjoy your time cause it's like a big Twilight slumber party and what could be more fun?
Get ready Comic-Con, Twilight is back! This is what TwiHards have been waiting for. Fans not in attendance will be glued to their computer screens waiting for coverage. Are you going to be at Comic Con this year? What scene do you hope is shown? Who from the cast do you hope is there?
126 days until we can see what director Bill Condon and cast have in store for us.