It’s hard to believe that one of the most talked about movies ever made is now over, but that’s what happened last week. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 premiered in theaters across the country, and for better or for worse, it did not disappoint.

The sequel to Stephenie Meyer’s megahit novel, Twilight, was released last week and is currently the #2 movie in theaters, just behind Deadpool. Worldwide, Breaking Dawn – Part 2 has made over $400 million, which is pretty good for a film that many people may have already seen (especially since it was only three months ago).

Robert Pattinson

It’s safe to say that Robert Pattinson had never been more popular. Since Twilight gained such widespread popularity and recognition, the actor has been bombarded with interview requests and had his photos featured on the covers of numerous magazines. What started as an acting role gained him widespread recognition, and soon, fans were petitioning for his autograph. In the months since Twilight, Pattinson has appeared in more than 20 movies and TV shows, and counting.

Twilight definitely didn’t hurt. In fact, considering how much the actor’s image changed for the better since the first movie was released in 2012, it’s probably safe to say that it contributed to his newfound popularity. Fans of the series also noticed a difference in Pattinson’s attitude toward it. Though he has referred to it as “a bit of a cult phenomenon” and said that he has “never really felt like I was in a cult,” Pattinson has admitted that he felt “a little bit awkward” about the series when it first came out. As he put it, “I’d read the book, and I was like, eh, this is weird. I just didn’t really get it. I didn’t really understand it.”

However, at some point during the last year, Pattinson started to see the humor in it all. In an interview with Good Morning America, he said, “I’ve realized it’s probably the most irreverent, funny book that’s ever been written. And I think that’s why a lot of people have gotten into it.”

It’s also safe to say that the success of Twilight didn’t hurt Pattinson’s career. Since then, he has been featured in the Marvel Cinematic Universe via both Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Age of Ultron, and was recently seen on the big screen in Mr. Holmes, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. In addition to these appearances, he has been vocal about his support for feminist causes, and recently, he participated in a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” in which he answered questions from fans about anything and everything.

The Twilight Saga As A Whole

With Twilight, Stephenie Meyer created something special. Not only was it the first of its kind—a series that focused on non-human characters (mainly vampires and werewolves)—but it paved the way for future paranormal sagas. Since then, fans have been clamoring for more stories about the quirky, supernatural inhabitants of Forks, MA.

As much as they might not admit it, the success of Twilight can be credited to a number of factors. First off, the series managed to marry the right mix of action and heart, which provided an emotional connection with the audience while also making for exciting storytelling. Additionally, as an adaptation of a popular book, Twilight benefitted from its preexisting fan base, and thanks to the movie’s viral nature, soon, everyone was talking about it.

However, with Twilight, Meyer took a risk. After all, other than the occasional appearance in a children’s book (most notably A Series of Unfortunate Events), Meyer had never written anything serious prior to creating Twilight. Fortunately, Meyer managed to pull off something truly special with this series. Not only did it introduce a new generation of readers to the world of vampires and wolves, but it also showed that she was capable of writing something more substantial. Furthermore, it wasn’t just about vampires and wolves. The script tackled such diverse issues as alcoholism, domestic violence, and sexual politics with expert grace.

Though it took a while for everyone to catch on, Twilight was a success from the beginning. The story revolves around Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart), a human whose life is turned upside down when she receives a bite on the hand from a vampire, Edward Cullen (Pattinson). As a result, Bella is compelled to make a deal with the undead: she will become a vampire if he can complete a seemingly impossible task—to stay alive for a hundred years. For a brief period of time, she complies with his every demand, but ultimately, she decides that she’s had enough of his treatment and breaks the contract. This, of course, is when the trouble begins: Edward is not happy that Bella has ended their “engagement” and vows to kill her. Naturally, this leads to a series of events in which the lives of Bella, the Cullens, and their allies (mainly Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner)) are in danger. In the end, Bella and Jacob form a truce with the Cullens, and Edward and his siblings settle down with humans so that they can live in peace.

Thoughts On…

Why Did The Cullens And Jacob Stay In The Sunlight?

One of the most fascinating aspects of The Twilight Saga is how the vampires adapt to living in the sunlight. Thanks to screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg, who also co-wrote the upcoming Ant-Man, it’s not just that vampires are photophobic: they have to avoid direct sunlight or it will kill them. In Breaking Dawn – Part 2, this becomes a major theme: the Cullens must find a way to stay alive in the sunlight, and it’s something that they struggle with. For the most part, this is done through bloodlust-free days: when a vampire drinks human blood, their internal clock “resets,” and for a day, they are able to function normally in the sunlight. Naturally, this doesn’t last long: after 24 hours, the vampires must return to their secret, moonlit dens.

However, this adaptation was a risk. Up until that point, most of Meyer’s work was either kid-friendly or intended for young adults, and though there had been nods to serious issues (mostly in the form of dark humor), nothing quite like this had ever been attempted in a serious fashion. Fortunately, the filmmakers were smart enough to realize the potential that this posed and decided to go for broke.

Furthermore, while it has mostly been portrayed in the movies that the vampires’ existence is tied to the “bite”—the process by which they become a vampire—this is not strictly true. According to the book, it is actually a transaction between vampires, and the more gruesome details are something that Meyer left out. Vampires do not bite; they drink the blood of their victims, and the exchange is a mutual one: the vampire gives their blood, and the human offers their fangs in return. Naturally, this is something that even the most ardent fans of Twilight might not have guessed.

The Importance Of Humor

Another huge reason why Twilight worked was the presence of humor. As much as we enjoy a good scary story or suspenseful scene, it’s when a movie becomes funny that we truly start to enjoy it. Though many fans cite the humor in Twilight as a justification for why they love the movie, the key word is “love.” After all, not everyone is a fan of the movie; in fact, considering how graphic the scenes are and how much they’re in-your-face, it’s amazing that it’s reached such universal acclaim. While there is certainly plenty of humor to be found in the movie, it is not exactly what you’d call “wacky.” In fact, aside from the occasional joke about vampires or werewolves, much of the humor in Twilight is dark and very likely to make you LOL (laugh out loud) in a morbid way.

With regard to the comic books that inspired it, the humor in Twilight is an important element that sets it apart from most other adaptations. For a movie that had its roots in a series of comic books, it is actually pretty striking how little the two films have in common. Aside from the setting (Forks, Massachusetts vs. Forks, Mississippi), Twilight is a very serious affair, and this is something that the filmmakers were careful to maintain. According to interviews that the actors have done, this was something that Meyer and her crew were very conscious of.