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The Hollowness of Twilight

Who doesn’t like a good, sexy vampire? Of course, that’s why Twilight did well! But wait, shouldn’t that mean the new book should be doing as well? Is it just because the Twilight craze ran its course? Is it just too borderline for today’s political climate? Or is it just that it gives Edward too much character?

For anyone living in a place where young girls could get their hands on this book when they came out, you likely recall the craze. Screaming girls, vampire shirts everywhere, vampire mania in other books, movies, TV shows, it was all over! Most of us are glad it died down eventually, but if it worked then, why isn’t it working now?

There are a few theories out there. A basic Google search will show you several articles saying it’s the political climate. Edward being a stalker and more similar issues likely just make it a no-no for parents or similar thoughts. So this is a possibility.

Others say it’s just too late. The twilight craze is over, and you can’t just resurrect it.

But that isn't’ true. Harry Potter crazy almost was reborn when the first Fantastic Beasts book came out. The world went nuts when the musical came out. Those flames can be relit in time, but why isn’t it coming even close with Twilight?

Well, part of is, half of those who want to read this book, have read half of it. That’s right. Someone hacked Moor Mrs. Meyer’s computer and leaked half the book on the internet. She was so upset it is reported she just wanted to kill the characters off and never go back. She didn’t, but she never finished the book. But now, years later, she’s finally done it.

So perhaps that’s part of it. Half of the book was already read in beta form, so the buzz is even more dead.

But what if I told you it has nothing to do with politics or even missing the opening. But it has to do with character.

The characters of Twilight are well mocked for being shallow and hallow. The actor who played Edward hated this fact and hated playing a character so empty. It ruined his career and was like pulling teeth to play. So wouldn’t we all be happy to see Edward get so much depth and character in this new book?

No. The answer is not at all. Because that’s what made Twilight such a powerful book in the first place. It gave any pre-teen to teenage to adult girl/woman the chance to role-play their own vampire boyfriend/husband fantasy. Bella was so shallow, nothing but teenage high and lows, she could be anyone. She could be you. You could be Bella or your complete opposite personality sister could be Bella. Anyone could step into Bella’s shoes because she was so empty and just did the expected teenage thing.

What about Edward though? Wouldn’t you want your beau to be full of depth and amazing character to fall in love with?

No. Just no. Because as anyone who dreams about a boy then dates a boy knows, the real thing is never as good as your fantasy. A true good character with depth has flaws, and not the ‘I love you too much’ kind of flaws either. Not the ones that force him to break your heart. I mean things that have no romance at all. Like, he eats like a slob or bigger problems, he doesn’t know how to communicate and so says things that hurt for no reason, or gets upset when you don’t pick where you want to eat or change your mind for the eight-time, or maybe he gets angry with himself so snaps at you while you’re building a bookshelf.

Those things build a real character but they kill a fantasy. Twilight’s success was in her ability to make the characters so empty, the prose so simple, and the plot exactly what you’d dream, good and bad, to help build a fantasy of you and your vampire. It’s that simple. And adding character to the prince or princess kills it.

And the filmmakers knew that. It’s why they went for more empty characters and more eye candy. It has a fun story, to say the least, even if it’s... odd, which adds to the appeal. But it’s about being able to feel like you’re living the romance fully.

And that’s why it’s not taking off. It’s not about marketing or timing or politics. It’s about why fans loved it at all. It has been so long, those people no longer want to play pretend, and least of all when the story is only adding character and things they can fill. And new audiences aren’t getting that same pretending experience.

Want to make another Twilight? Find the same empty formula, and write lesbian or gay vampires. That hits a market not yet had and would do about the same.

So is Twilight good or bad? It’s up to you. What do you think though? Do you think it really is just a missed window or politics? Am I right? If you loved Twilight in the hay day, what about it captured you? Let me know below and subscribe for more content just like this.


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