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.
Change. Either you’re a person who likes change, or you go with the “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” theory. The Twilight Saga has had its changes, ranging from casting, to directors, to character appearance, to Edward’s Volvo, and those are just for starters. Most fans realize that when you are going to adapt a book to screen, or switch out directors, inevitably, some things are going to get cut or changed. The question is how much change is good and how much is distracting.
There was some angst earlier this week when Entertainment Weekly had an image of Edward and Bella, as portrayed by Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart on the cover. Fans noticed that Kristen Stewart wasn’t wearing Bella’s brown contacts and Robert Pattinson wasn’t wearing his golden ones. Lens-gate, as the fan sites started to call it, was put to rest when Bill Condon confirmed, through his partner Jack Morrissey, that the shots were taken during a scene rehearsal. With all that water, it was understandable why they wouldn’t put the contact lenses in until the last second. Fans could rest easy knowing that director Bill Condon had an eye on the finer details!
No sooner than lens-gate was put to rest, a full-length The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn poster produced by the official licensee, NECA hit the web. An abridged version was out for Comic Con. In general the fans aren’t loving the heavy photoshopping and the pink/orange hues. The colors are causing some interesting shading on the characters’ skin and hair. In particular, Peter Facinelli, who plays Carlisle has been described as “having pink helmet hair”. As for Alice’s new hairdo, fan opinion is divided. On the other hand, the images are not nearly as photoshoped as the images in the Twilight Saga: New Moon wolf pack poster were. In those posters, Alex Meraz, who plays Paul, was rendered practically unrecognizable.
Among fans, the original Twilight movie seems to be the favorite as far as character look goes. There is something very natural that the relatively low-budget Twilight achieved compared to the sequels. Even with some glaring missteps like the caked-on look of Peter Facinelli’s make-up in the hospital scene, and Jackson Rathbone’s chia-pet hair in the cafeteria scene, fans adore Twilight. The clothing wasn’t too perfect. Bella looked like she shopped at Sears or Target. The Cullens looked high-end but not like Alice coordinated their outfits for them before they left the house each day. Referring to the latest Breaking Dawn poster, a fan on Twitter commented, "So, I see the Cullens are modeling for Kohls now." As unrealistic as a vampire tale is, the look of Twilight helped to make it more believable verus the overly matched look of the sequels.
Aside from the characters’ changing looks, there is the matter of the Volvo. The exact model that was mentioned in the novels was no longer made by the time the first movie rolled out, and they had to substitute. I admit it, I was skeptical when I first saw Edward’s Twilight car. At the time, I described it as “Herbie the Lovebug’s European Cousin”. I changed my mind once I saw the car in action in the alley scene where Edward rescues Bella from the frat boys. I was a fan; that car could corner! Like me, most fans came around to accept that change. They even started showing up to Volvo dealerships to take pictures with that model. It wasn’t the exact car, but it was a silver, sports model.
Given all the Volvo sports car love and the iconic level the car has in the books, fans were left baffled when in the next two movies the car was radically different. Edward suddenly traded in a zippy, shiny sports car for a forgettable, black (even if the model color officially called it grey) SUV. This was Edward Cullen, Car Enthusiast? His “other car” was an Astin Martin. Why was he now driving, what was in many fans’ eyes, a “mommymobile”? As I explained to a male friend just the other day, romance and SUV don’t go together. The unobtainable guy always has a great car, not something you would buy because it can fit the soccer gear. It's hard to imagine Edward burning rubber in an SUV to rescue Bella. Fortunately for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, the resourceful ladies over at TwiFans discovered that the car is back to being a sports model, even if it is a dark color.
Where do you stand when it comes to change? Are you OK with the new looks of the characters, or do you want that Twilight feel back? Which character has the best look and which has the worst?
Just 91 days until all the new looks will be revealed when Breaking Dawn hits the big screen.