The Twilight Saga continues to enthrall audiences around the world. The massively popular series has been going strong for more than a decade, with each film becoming a cultural phenomenon. The last entry in the series, Eclipse, was just as successful as the rest of the series, with a global box office of over $400 million. To celebrate this success, Twi-Hards will no doubt be looking for ways to continue the craze.

The franchise is famous for its rich mythology and love triangle. We can’t forget about the beautiful and complicated Bella Swan, either, who has been the subject of many emotional breakdowns and incredible stories over the years. Since the beginning, the films have focused on the human condition, exploring themes such as loneliness, depression, addiction, and finding one’s identity. The series has always done well at the box office, and fans can now look forward to much more exciting cinematic adventures with the release of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse in theaters this week.

The Evolution Of A Cultural Icon

It’s impossible to put into words just how much The Twilight Saga has changed our culture. When the first film was released in 2008, it wasn’t uncommon to see people wearing Bella’s signature pale pink or dark red dresses on Halloween or at Halloween parties.

The series helped to pioneer the ‘couture’ trend in pop culture, as famous fashion designers like Ralph Lauren and Burberry got involved. Many stars wore their own versions of Bella’s dress on the red carpet, helping to shape the fashion trends of the future. One blogger even referred to 2008 as “the year of Bella”, as her style was emulated by female fans around the world.

A Love Triangle That Continues To Inspire

The story behind Bella’s relationship with Jacob is what makes the Twilight Saga so unique and interesting. The films constantly explore the nature of love and commitment, often showing the characters wrestling with their feelings for each other. It’s fair to say that neither Bella nor Jacob are truly satisfied with the way their love story unfurls in front of our eyes. They both want more. Even as the series progresses, they cannot seem to find peace, and neither does the audience.

The Twilight Saga is often compared to literary legend Jane Austen’s work, as both writers are famous for their witty social commentary on love and romance. The films even borrow liberally from Austen’s work, with the most obvious being the titles of the films themselves: Twilight, The Ballad of Twilight, New Moon, and The Golden Compass. (Which, for the record, does not feature an incestuous relationship.)

Iconic Villains And Heroes

It would be a missed opportunity not to mention the many iconic bad guys and heroic vampires that appear in the series. There are so many memorable characters, but it’s hard to pick just a few: James St. Patrick, Louis Hamilton, and Victoria, to name just a few. (Plus, who wouldn’t want to be a vampire for a day?)

While some of the characters prove to be surprisingly sympathetic, none of them are safe to love or trust. (Unless, of course, you’re a vampire.) This makes for some fascinating drama as the series progresses. Each film contains at least one villain who is more than willing to wreak havoc and cause suffering. The heroes, too, prove to be more than capable of betrayal and have plenty of secrets they aren’t willing to share. This creates an incredible amount of suspense, as we anxiously wait to see who is going to turn out to be the good guy or bad guy.

The Biggest Surprise In Film History

Let’s be honest – we didn’t see that coming. It was always going to be Edward Cullen who would turn out to be the ‘chosen one’, the mythical figure who would save Bella from her terrible fate. (Or at least, help her to understand it. Is he truly a savior or is he responsible for all the drama?)

The first time we see Cullen in Twilight, we easily conclude that he is a villain. The film revolves around Bella’s escape from an abusive father, and we soon learn that Edward is responsible for her protection. It is only after Bella breaks down and cries for help that we see just how far Edward will go to protect her. (He even goes so far as to bite off his own tongue in order to keep her safe.)

Eclipse As The Final Chapter

The Twilight Saga is one of the biggest movie series of all time. Not only did it completely change the way we look at vampire fiction, but it also gave birth to a new genre: dystopian fiction. Without a doubt, this is what makes it so memorable. While the previous installments of the series were set in the early 1900s, in Eclipse the story jumps ahead forty years, placing it firmly in the late 1970s. (Which is why the film is sometimes referred to as ‘post-apocalyptic” vampire fiction.)

We meet up with Bella once again, now a married woman who is pregnant with Edward’s child. Things are looking bleak for our heroine as Carlisle, the vampire who guided and protected her as a child, has been turned into a vampire himself. The wilderness has claimed many lives, and as a result, society has broken down.

After the emotional fallout from the events of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2, the audience finally gets to see the two lovers they have been longing to meet: Edward and Bella.

The story ends with a heartbreaking proposal, which leads us to a poignant question: will Bella say yes? Will she finally find peace and contentment with Edward? Or will she forever be looking over her shoulder, afraid that her past will catch up with her? It’s a question that will continue to have all of us on the edge of our seats as we dive into The Twilight Saga: Eclipse this week.