The Twilight Saga: Unveiling Questionable Moments Throughout The Popular SeriesBy Abigail T
The Twilight Saga was one of the biggest cultural phenomena of its time. As a generation that grew up with Harry Potter reached the end of the era of witchcraft and wizardry, a new period dawned, one that involved teenage vampires and werewolves. The author Stephenie Meyer decided to make her mark right between the magic era and the dystopian killing spree era. Teenage girls fawned over pale centenarian Edward Cullen and others over long-haired Jacob Black. Every girl wished they were being fought over like Bella Swan was. Twilight unarguably created unrealistic romantic expectations for girls all over the world. But between the books and the movies, it is clear in 2021 when looking back that there were certain problematic things about the series, to say the least. Whether you were a Twihard or a hater, here are several questionable things present in the Twilight saga.
The age gap
Debates have long been posed regarding what the appropriate age gap is in a romantic relationship. Society typically frowns upon any couple aged more than a decade apart. But nobody seemed to bat an eye when Bella and Edward became a thing.
True, Edward doesn’t look his age – Perks of being a vampire, immortal, and whatnot. But, it is because he never ages that people seem to readily forget how old he actually is. In truth, Edward is a 107-year old man trapped in a 17-year old body dating 16-year old Bella.
The bad wig job
Bella’s other love interest probably needs no introduction. Jacob Black, the other third of this love triangle, won girls’ hearts mostly because teen heartthrob Taylor Lautner played him. Bu,t we cannot ignore the reason why Jacob is significantly less attractive than Lautner.
As he’s supposed to be a werewolf, the film’s wardrobe and makeup department decided to stay true to the book by giving Jacob long hair. We don’t know why Lautner didn’t just grow out his own hair for the role because the wig he wears in the movie is ridiculously horrible.
The awkward first encounter
Romances in movies often begin with a cute introduction with the love birds. We understand that this is a romantic comedy trope, which is not the genre Twilight falls under. But, we would take a cute meeting any day as opposed to the awkwardness of Bella and Edward’s first meeting.
Sure, maybe the filmmakers were trying to portray the inevitable unease of an interaction between a teenage girl and a 100-year old man. Perhaps they were trying to make it like high school. But between the cuts, editing, and Bella’s internal monologue as a voiceover, it’s something we can all do without.
You have to admit, most of Bella and Edward’s conversations are either awkward or cringe-worthy. Even if you were a fan back in the day and rewatching the movies now, you have to notice that these scenes are hard to sit through.
One of the oddest moments in the first film was the scene where Edward takes Bella on a ride through the woods. It’s bad enough that the “flying” special effect made everything awkward. But the fact that Edward called Bella “spider monkey” out of nowhere just exacerbates everything.
The level of trust despite bloodthirst
Picture this. It’s your first day of high school. You meet a cute guy, and he’s a little weird, but you two hit it off. Then he takes you to the woods and tells you he wanted to kill you from the first time he smelled you.
Most, if not all, girls would run away. What a creepy thing to say. It’s borderline assault. But not Bella Swan. She’s not like other girls. When faced with an incredibly pale man saying he wanted her blood, she’s willing to just him.
The first kiss
The pleasure of watching two love interests grow closer lies in the build-up to the first kiss. It’s the thing audiences look forward to most and usually happens near the end of a movie after a grand gesture or in the rain. Not in Twilight, though. It pretty much happens right away.
The nature of the kiss is what bothers us. Edward had just startled Bella because he had taken his liberty to enter her room through her window after watching her sleep. Then, he tells her to stay still. Any sane woman with a conscious brain would be immediately alarmed and call 911. But not Bella. Bella kisses Edward back.
“Hotter than you”
If there’s anything about the writing in Twilight, it’s that it can sometimes be extremely literal. And that’s okay in small doses. But too much of it can end up switching the mood up to become humorous, like that scene in Eclipse during the snowstorm.
As Edward’s vampire body temperature is generally lower than the normal human, he couldn’t keep Bella warm. So Jacob takes the job upon himself, telling Edward that he’s hotter. Literally, hotter. Can you imagine a regular interaction between two males in the 21st century where one person says, “I’m hotter than you” to the other person’s face?
The choice of décor
Foreshadowing is a device used in both literature and film to indicate something that might happen later on in the story. You would think that Bella’s picture of a wolf hanging in her room is a sign that she would choose Jacob in the end, but nope.
First of all, that photo must be randomly chosen. If Bella is obsessed with wolves, she would be talking our ears off about it, not just putting up pictures of wolves on the wall. Secondly, maybe the picture was just a foreshadowing that a wolf would be part of her life soon enough.
The sunglasses in gloomy weather
We all know that in the Twilight world anyway, vampires sparkle in the sunlight. So explain to us why Edward is wearing shades in this one scene, but not sparkling. Surely it would be sunny out if he needed shades?
You’ll notice several of these inconsistencies throughout the movies. Maybe these tiny things just go right past the filmmakers’ heads because of just how big the production is. Or maybe Edward was hiding bloodshot eyes. You’ll never really know.
Vampires cooking with garlic
Here’s another inconsistency in the Twilight story world. The Cullens cook a meal in preparation for Bella’s visit. Totally normal human behavior, but does the lore not state that vampires don’t eat? That’s one thing. Another thing in this scene. Does anyone notice the garlic?
Does the lore not state that garlic is the vampire’s one weakness? Then why do the Cullens have plenty of garlic on their kitchen counter? Obviously, something is up here. Are the Cullens just another kind of vampire entirely? Are they vampires at all?
The name on the passport
When Jacob flees to keep Renesmee safe, Jasper and Alice Cullen make him a new passport. We assume it’s to protect his identity and whatnot, but they didn’t have to be so on the nose with the fake name they gave him.
Yes, we know Jacob’s original name is Jacob Black. But the passport from Jasper and Alice notes the name “Jacob Wolfe,” which is fine. But, if they’re really going to protect his identity, then why literally put “Wolf” in his name?
The inappropriate feelings
We can’t talk about Twilight without talking about the fact that Jacob Black falls in love with a literal child. If you have no idea what we’re talking about, Jacob, who is in his 20’s, falls in love with Renesmee, Bella and Edward’s daughter.
This isn’t only inappropriate. If Jacob acts upon these feelings, it’s pretty much illegal. Sure, he was entrusted to flee and take care of Renesmee in the end, but it doesn’t justify his actions. This is by far the most disturbing thing about the story.
The daughter’s name
Speaking of Renesmee, can we talk about her name? It is the combination of the names of the two most influential women in Bella and Edward’s lives. But in putting both names together, it just sounds like a disease. Like the Renesmee virus, maybe?
Stephenie Meyer has said in interviews that there was no way she was naming the child something ordinary. When asked about naming the child of vampires in an interview with EW, she said, “You have to pick a name that was completely and totally unique.”
Pushing Charlie away
You can chuck it up to teenage angst or Bella being blinded by her love for Edward. But it’s still uncool how she just shuts her father out as her relationship with Edward progresses. Despite it being just the two of them, she chooses Edward over Charlie every time.
Someone calculated each character’s screen time while watching all five Twilight movies and concluded that Charlie Swan’s screen time totaled at just 1 hour 36 minutes across all the films. Considering he is Bella’s father and only close relative, that’s a crime!
The stalker behavior
We’ve touched on this earlier, but Edward’s inappropriate behavior in the form of watching Bella sleep is genuinely that of a stalker. There is no justifying him, a grown man, sitting by a young girl’s bed and watching her sleep without her knowing.
Considering we see this side of Edward pretty early on, we’re still surprised that many girls at the time still pined over Edward Cullen. Like their one dream is to have a pale figure watching them sleep. That sounds like a nightmare to us!
The possessive boyfriend
Back in the day, Twi-hards and Team Edward people might have wished they had someone to love them like Edward loves Bella. But, when we watch the movies back now, we realize that Edward was a problematic and possessive boyfriend.
It may just be the way he shows his love for Bella, but there have been multiple occasions when Edward takes it too far. He does everything he can to have Bella to himself, even pulling her away from her father and her friends.
The toxic result
A healthy love should be one that also draws you closer to the people that are already in your life. It shouldn’t result in you shutting other people out just to be with that one person. Clearly, Bella only did the latter for Edward.
If you notice, the little friends Bella had at the beginning of the series begin to dwindle. Once she was all in with Edward, she basically lost all her friends. They never really showed up again, and she spent all her time with Edward and the Cullens.
The impossible pregnancy
Bella Swan’s pregnancy is probably the second logic-defying pregnancy since the Immaculate Conception. In theory, according to vampire lore anyway, vampires are venomous. Edward should therefore be unable to fertilize Bella’s eggs. But of course, this is the fictional world.
The movie does very little to explain this occurrence other than a throwaway line that states vampire hybrid babies happen randomly, maybe because it’s easier than having to come up with some intricate backstory as to how this was possible.
The immunity issue
Here is yet another inconsistency in the story. It is canon that Bella Swan is immune to any of the Cullens’ powers. Bella didn’t flinch when Jane tried to hurt her, and neither Edward nor Aro’s mindreading abilities could cut through Bella’s thoughts.
However, for some inexplicable reason, Jasper was able to manipulate Bella’s emotions. Why then is Bella immune to everyone but Jasper? Maybe because he isn’t actually a Cullen? He is adopted, after all, and was born as Jasper Whitlock.
The poor CGI job
For a franchise with a budget of $401 million across five films, the Twilight saga sure didn’t splurge on their CGI and visual effects. The most obvious proof of this is the CGI on baby Renesmee, who ends up looking like Chucky at times.
Yes, the CGI was meant to show that Renesmee was growing at an alarmingly quick rate, thanks to being a vampire-human hybrid and whatnot. But the development from baby to toddler to child just looks visually disconcerting and bizarre.
The obsession with Bella
In teen movies, you have the popular mean girl who is usually the leader of a clique wearing really stylish clothes. Students fear and are obsessed with her. And then you have the outcast who has a total of one friend and is always the subject of ridicule.
In Twilight, Bella Swan is somehow both kinds of high school girls. She only hangs around a couple of people and doesn’t dress like a mean girl, but other kids find her irresistible to a weird degree. As seen in this still, one of them even sniffs her. How unsettling is that?
The awkward date
Let’s address another one of the scenes in Twilight that is hard to sit through. Yep, we’re talking about Bella’s date with Mike, where Jacob is somehow third-wheeling them. Despite Mike making it clear that it was a date, somehow Jacob ended up there too.
The bad part doesn’t even stop there. Jacob totally swooped in, taking his chances with Bella after Mike got sick. Clearly, Jacob has never heard of the bro code. It was totally inappropriate of him when Bella had given Mike a chance.
When Bella is turned into a vampire in Breaking Dawn Part 1, she seems to have incredible self-control. It is said that new vampires will go crazy with the bloodthirst and pretty much kill on the scent. But not Bella.
Somehow, Bella manages to hold her own and without anyone’s help, too. Despite Bella’s naturally cool, calm, and collected nature, she’s still a newborn, and it just doesn’t make sense that she didn’t completely lose it. It even baffles and freaks out Edward.
Stephenie Meyer may just be one of the first authors to pose the canon that vampires sparkle in the sunlight. While other vampires disintegrate at the slightest touch of UV, Edward Cullen reflects sun rays like a disco ball.
In establishing that vampire’s sparkle, Meyer has effectively rid the vampire of any and all intimidating and terrifying qualities that have been attributed to them for centuries. Not even the colored lenses and the fake fangs from the makeup department could make Edward Cullen look scary.
The explanation for the inappropriate Jacob and Renesmee potential romance is that werewolves will imprint on the person they will end up with one day. This was explained in the Eclipse movie. But that doesn’t make it any less appalling.
While this logic can be accepted, when you see Jacob and the little girl together, you can’t help but cringe. It’s everything from Renesmee being the daughter of his love interest to the fact that the age gap is way too wide. And, oh right, she is a child.
Let’s face it. These two aren’t exactly the poster children for a “healthy, loving relationship.” As we’ve mentioned before, Edward pretty much stalked Bella until she fell for him. He has also driven her away from her family and friends.
But it goes even further than that, to a point where Bella couldn’t function without Edward around, falling into depression when he left her in New Moon. Edward also centering his life around Bella isn’t the healthiest thing to do.
It’s not only the story and the movie that are inconsistent. The characters are often inconsistent as well. Granted, they are just teenagers here, but it is still annoying to watch. Like when Edward tells Bella he is moving out of Forks.
Here, Edward breaks up with Bella because he has to leave and then leaves her alone in the woods in the dark. As someone who is head over heels in love with Bella, it’s incredibly ironic that he breaks up with her and then just leaves her vulnerable to danger.
The obviously adult
The Cullens all attended high school with Bella. This might be so that they look like average teenagers to the locals. But out of all the siblings, Edward is the only one who looks like he belongs in school.
Everyone else looks like they’re at least 25. Of course, as we all know, they’re vampires, so they’re actually four times that age. But they don’t in any way fit in the high school scene as teenagers. It’s actually unsettling to see.
The bag full of eggs
This movie franchise has been inconsistent on the lore front multiple times. Considering vampires don’t eat, we have seen a significant amount of scenes where they are either eating or preparing food. Like the first time we see them in the cafeteria.
Okay, they have the right to be there. It’s lunchtime in school, so where would anyone go during this time? But does anyone else notice the random plastic bag full of eggs that Emmett is holding? Why would he need that many eggs if he doesn’t eat?
The awkward recasting
Some of you may remember the character Victoria in the first two Twilight movies. She was played by Rachelle Lefevre, who sported a head of blonde curly locks for the role. But did anyone notice Victoria looked a tiny bit different in Eclipse?
That’s because she was recast. Bryce Dallas Howard ended up playing Victoria in the third installment, where the character perished. But then, Rachelle Lefevre’s Victoria reappeared in archived footage in Breaking Dawn: Part 2. Awkward much? The continuity here is not great.
The lack of a shirt
Sure, promotional stills of a hot, muscly, shirtless guy is bound to get a good amount of people into theater seats. But that doesn’t mean that said guy has to be shirtless throughout the entire saga. It does seem like that’s pretty much the case with Jacob Black, though.
This lack of a shirt for Jacob was hilariously called out by Edward Cullen himself, saying, “Doesn’t he own a shirt?” Edward was probably just feeling jealous and a teeny bit insecure. But he basically said what was in all our minds.
The romanticization of depression
We’ve touched a little on codependency between Bella and Edward, but let’s dive deeper into the proof of the issue. When Edward left Forks in New Moon, Bella was so upset that she fell into the bottomless hole of depression.
We’re not trying to discredit any feelings here. It’s normal to be sad about a breakup. But to a naïve audience, Bella’s depression can be seen as signifying an enduring love for Edward. Romanticizing the depression leads to people thinking being codependent is a part of love.
That lethal papercut
You know what we’re talking about—that one papercut scene where an otherwise innocent family gathering goes awry thanks to a papercut. As Bella opens her birthday present, her skin is grazed and out comes blood, sending Jasper into manic mode.
You would think that Jasper would have more self-control than that. He went to a high school for goodness’ sake. Worse injuries than a tiny paper cut happen on the football field on the daily. If he attacked Bella for a small nick, wouldn’t he have attacked a wounded quarterback before that?
Jacob isn’t that great either
In any love triangle, there is always the obvious better choice that the audience is rooting for, but that the protagonist never seems to figure out. Jacob Black is that guy in the Twilight saga. But as it turns out, he isn’t exactly the “better” choice.
He’s just another choice to confuse Bella. Compared to Edward, Jacob is just as emotionally manipulative, constantly swooping in when Bella is vulnerable. He’s equally as possessive as Edward, even throwing fits when Bella tried to be clear that her heart was with Edward.
The author’s cameo
We all know how Stan Lee makes an appearance in all the Marvel movies. It’s almost an Easter egg that everyone watches out for while watching a new installment from the studio. Well, author Stephenie Meyer decided she wanted to get on that train.
Meyer made it into one of the scenes in the diner. She is briefly seen sitting at the bar behind a laptop, probably writing the next installment for another saga? Only true fans of the series will even recognize Stephenie, though.
We don’t even have words for the look on Bella’s face when Edward sucks the blood out of her for the first time. As the cut switches to a close up of Bella’s petrified face, everyone can see it—she has gone cross-eyed.
This is an interesting acting choice from Stewart, for lack of better words. We’re sure she has her reasoning behind this. But it’s just awkward to watch! Are we meant to assume we would go cross-eyed as well should a vampire ever suck our blood?
The takeaway mugs
Okay, this is a minor detail in the film that you might very easily miss. But it’s irking us because it just makes no sense. In one scene, Bella notices a group of her friends exiting a café. But that’s not what’s weird.
Now that this photo has pointed out the flaw, do you see it? This group of kids has straight up just left the café with mugs. Who does that? Who even is allowed to do that? Is there some sort of takeaway mug we aren’t aware of?
The random child in a high school
As we all know, Bella, Edward, and the gang are all students in a local high school. So you can imagine our surprise when for one brief second, a child about the age of 12 is seen running across the gym in the background of one scene.
As you can see, the little blonde girl looks out of place. She definitely does not belong in a high school basketball game. Maybe she was just the daughter of a crew member on Bring Your Kid To Work Day, begging her mom for a cameo.
Remember when Edward decided to go to Italy on a whim? Okay, maybe not on a whim. He was distraught after he thought that Bella had died and he would rather join her in death. He wanted to reveal himself and piss off the Volturi.
But does anyone know if there is a specific reason why he had to go all the way to Italy to do that? He could have revealed himself anywhere under the sun. Maybe he was just romanticizing dying in a European city.
The anticlimactic ending
After stringing fans along for five movies, you would think that the Twilight saga would end with a bag. You would want all issues to be resolved, and for everyone to get the ending they deserved. But the ending to Breaking Dawn: Part 2 has been dubbed cheesy by many.
To have an intense fight that turned out to have not existed is just the worst way to end a movie. Even though they all lived as happily ever after as they could have in the end, it’s not the kind of ending anyone wanted.