What is so compelling about Twilight?
I have a confession to make. Just to buck the whole rush-around-during-Advent business I ducked into a movie theater last week. Took myself to the last Twilight movie, Breaking Dawn, part 2. No academy award winning acting there, but I love a great story. I felt a bit guilty taking a couple hours off when there was so much to do, but you don’t notice this in a darkened theater where great characters’ stories compel you. Time is suspended.
Many adults I know say What is the attraction for young people in all these vampires and werewolves? Aren’t they dark and evil and bloodthirsty? And this saga comes on the heels of the popularity of Harry Potter, where only magic and sorcery can overcome the forces of darkness. What is it that attracts so many, and not just young people? I’d say, part of it is the supernatural. I think we’re drawn to the question of body and soul, of temporal and eternal, of life and death and the what’s next. It’s a struggle we try to resolve in our seeking of peace.
An interesting twist in Breaking Dawn is (Spoiler alert: if you are still intending to see it, stop reading now.) the “imprinting” of Jacob, the werewolf on Renesmee, the half human, half eternal child. He has been drawn to her even before she was born and cannot be pried from her as she grows. He is pledged to love and protect her, and it’s not something he has chosen. It seems to have chosen him.
My Pastor might not be pleased to know that this came as he implored us to consider our imprinting by the Glory of God: marked with indelible marker, embossed, God’s hand print, individually on each of us. His sermon is titled “Experience Peace.” You can watch and listen here.
All of a sudden I am wondering whether those two movie hours really were “wasted” time. After all, the movie reaches its height in the showdown where “witnesses” have been gathered to testify to the truth that this part human-part eternal child is not to be feared but to be embraced. That instead of a threat to the known order, she may be its invitation to a future of peace, where all people are welcomed. The climactic moment hinges on Alice, a character gifted to be able to reach out to the forces of darkness, and she does so by showing them a certain future, unless by their free will they change their intended course.
Does that sound like fiction to you? Does it sound like a story you know? Perhaps the Christmas story? God’s story? Millions have read the Twilight trilogy and are coming in droves to see it portrayed. Is it really so remarkable that they’re drawn to it?
All is resolved and the final scene is played in a peaceful meadow, a symbolic location through out the saga as it ends in “forever.” The title word “Twilight” appears on the screen.
I see something in it I have never noticed before. There is a back lighting, almost a dripping of light, from a cross through the first and the last “t.” And one through the “l” which seems to dip its head.
I guess we all see something different in the stories that compel us. Even when we sneak away for a couple hours on a busy Friday before Christmas. Perhaps there was more peace there than I realized.