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.
Well this is it. The last appearance of The Twilight Saga at Comic-Con will be July 12, 2012. Traveling back in Twilight history to summer 2008, Comic-Con was the event where the mainstream media finally woke up to the media powerhouse that is The Twilight Saga franchise. Ever since that explosive first appearance in Hall H, The Twilight Saga has been a force to be reckoned with at Comic-Con with every one of its fall release films. So what exactly can fans expect this year for the final hurrah of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2?
For starters, it goes without saying that there will be camping fans. If anything defines Twilight fans besides being highly passionate for their franchise, it's their willingness to camp out to see the cast in any kind, and I do mean any kind, of weather. In 2009, fans camped out two days in advance in uncharacteristic, blistering heat on hard concrete. Last year, they camped out three days in advance, mercifully this time on grass, under an awning erected by the Comic-Con organizers. One of the hallmarks about these campers is the group camaraderie that grows up in these mini "tent cities." It's completely common-place for perfect strangers to strike up friendships and to amicably watch belongings while people take a break for food or rest rooms. Other franchises fans might have to worry about theft or line jumping, not so with Twilight fans. They have each other's backs.
Another item to be on the lookout for is a PR stunt from the team at Summit/Lionsgate. With that many fans lined up three days in advance, they always do something. It's a beautiful photo op for them with so many fans gathered in one place. Why not take advantage? The only question remaining is what exactly are they going to pull-off this time around?
Last year, on Thursday morning to play off the movie name and to coincide with the break of dawn at circa 6:00am, they served the fans in line breakfast with beverage, muffins, coffee mugs, and posters being given away. Now, what's more impressive about this, is that it wasn't just a bunch of college students hired out to do the distribution. There were actually Summit executives handing out food and swag. After the crowd was warmed up with the free food and gifts, came phase two: a visit from the cast. Nikki Reed, Ashley Greene, and Elizabeth Reaser from the Cullen family made an appearance along with Julia Jones and Booboo Stewart from the wolfpack. They worked the fan lines in each of the tents signing autographs and posing for photos. The last bit of fun for some lucky fans was pulling a specially marked ticket from a bag that allowed the bearer to get an autograph from Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner, and Bill Condon right after the Breaking Dawn Hall H panel.
Now what can Summit/Lionsgate do to top last year's experience? Well certainly bringing out Pattinson, Stewart, and Lautner to visit the fans in line would be amazing. On the other hand, it would probably cause a near riot, so it's unlikely. Last year Stephenie Meyer visited the lines at the premiere tent city without incident. This would be a huge plus for the Comic Con fans, many of whom have never met Meyer before, or certainly wouldn't mind meeting her again since she does few public appearances Additionally, there are over 20 new cast members in this final chapter of The Twilight Saga. Surely a few will show up to entertain the masses suffering through the freight trains that make a good night's sleep waiting on line impossible. Fans will be clambering to see new cast members such as Lee Pace who plays fan favorite Garrett from the novel or the adorable Mackenzie Foy who plays Rensemee.
This all brings us to the panel. Summit/Lionsgate hasn't officially announced who will be on it yet. In keeping with tradition, the trio: Pattinson, Stewart, and Lautner will undoubtedly be there. After that someone from the creative team is likely such as producer Wyck Godfrey. Director Bill Condon, will be in London working on the score with Carter Burwell, so he'll be unable to be there in person. Aside from the talent appearing on the panel, no doubt there will be movie footage. Again in keeping with tradition, two scenes have been shown at previous Comic-Cons. It's probably a safe bet to see something that highlights Bella as a vampire and perhaps a romantic moment with Edward or the threat of the Volturi.
In the end, whatever Summit/Lionsgate does they are under enormous pressure. Last year's Comic-Con panel and fan experience were widely considered to be the best done Twilight Saga fan event. They have to live up to that precedent, and top themselves with not only the footage shown, but with the fan experience. If they don't the story will be an anticlimactic final Comic-Con instead of the wow factor they need.
So, what do you think they need to do to pull off the most epic Twilight Saga Comic-Con experience ever? Just 141 more days until The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 hits theaters.