Love, and other dilemmas

Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner return to fight old vendettas and heartache in the upcoming The Twilight Saga: New Moon.

The success of the Twilight series – both the books and now the movies – is an incredibly exciting phenomenon. The first movie was an instant success thanks to a built-in fan base from the novels written by Stephenie Meyer. It may have begun with teenage girls, but soon their mothers, brothers and boyfriends were raving about Twilight’s new breed of vampires as well.

The sequel based on the second book in the series, The Twilight Saga: New Moon, promises more action and special effects, as well as the inclusion of A-list stars such as Dakota Fanning. Here’s the basic gist of the story, and if you’re not already a fanpire (that is, Twilight fan), this is sure to pique your interest:

In the first movie, Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) and Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) fell in love, despite the fact that she’s human and he’s a vampire. Although he’s completely in love with her, there’s always a chance she could get hurt if he loses control. New Moon starts off with Bella’s birthday, and no matter how much she likes to downplay special occasions, Edward wants to celebrate her birthday with his entire family.

However, there’s always a risk when Bella visits the Cullens. Although the family members limit themselves to animal blood, Edward’s brother Jasper is still a danger. Prior to joining the family, he’d feasted on many humans and the temptation is still strong for him.

While opening her gifts, Bella gets a paper cut. Jasper flies out of control at the scent and sight of her blood, and although the others restrain him, it’s enough to make Edward decide that his presence in Bella’s life is too big a risk.

He begins to withdraw from her and when he makes an abrupt departure, Bella feels as if her heart is broken—no, more than broken, ripped from her chest. There’s an empty feeling and she’s not sure she’ll ever feel whole again.

To placate her father, and in an attempt to seem as if she’s back to normal, Bella starts hanging out with Jacob, a friend from the nearby reservation. Jacob has feelings for Bella, but they’ve been unrequited, since Edward has always been paramount to Bella. Now, with Edward gone, Jacob pulls out all the stops in an effort to take his place in her heart. Taylor Lautner, who plays Jacob, described the relationship to Metro World News this way: “Jacob’s love for Bella is really intense. He will always be there for Bella, no matter what. Even if she’s with another guy…or a vampire!”

But there’s something about Jacob that neither Bella nor Jacob know at first, and when he finds out, it changes just about everything—including his relationship with Bella.
To prepare for his role, Lautner, who was just 16 when the first movie was filmed, had to bulk up to match his character’s description in the books. There was even talk that he would be replaced by an older actor, but thanks to his dedication, he was hired back for the sequel. He told Interview magazine: “As soon as I finished filming Twilight, I knew I had to get to work right away; there could be no waiting involved. The day I finished Twilight, I came home and started bulking up. For New Moon, I’m 30 pounds heavier than I was in Twilight.”

Director Chris Weitz says he always felt Lautner would be able to continue the role in the sequel, telling MTV it wasn’t a difficult decision: “[Taylor] knew the character, and he embodied the character – as people are going to see in the movie.”

For fans who are worried that Edward’s absence means Robert Pattinson won’t figure much in the sequel, Weitz assures: “You’ll see quite a lot of Rob in the film, but [he’ll be] seen subjectively, through Bella’s eyes. It’s also in dreams that she has of him as well,” adding, “It strikes this very fine balance between too much Rob and too little Rob… Well, I know for a lot of people there’s no such thing as too much Rob. But we’ve got a nice dose of Taylor to sweeten any Rob deficiencies.”

– Alexandra Heilbron

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