Why Breaking Dawn, Part 2’s ‘Big Twist’ Was The Smartest Thing Twilight’s Ever Done

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Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2 plot twist spoiler fight scene messing with the feels Carlisle Jane Jasper dead heads Aro

You know how Taylor Lautner let slip that there's a “big twist” in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2? Well, I saw the movie at midnight last night, and that's all I want to talk about today. So if you don't want to be spoiled, move on.

One of my major problems with Summit splitting Breaking Dawn into two movies was that it seemed like nothing more than grubbing for more money. After all, the entirety of Part 1 is “Bella and Edward get married… have sex… and conceive a baby.” For over two hours. And from what I remembered of the latter half of the novel, all that happens is “The Volturi think Renesmee is an immortal child… then they don't.” Even walking into the theater, I kept rhetorically asking just how the screenwriter and director thought they were going to fill two hours.

Oh boy. That epic fight scene at the end! Shit got real in the Twilight universe, and the audience ate it up.

I have to confess that I actually dozed off right before the Cullens and the Volturi went head-to-head (literally?). It'd been a long week and it was late, and the movie just started to feel like it was stretching into tiredness. I watched Alice (Ashley Greene) approach Aro and offer to show him the future—then next thing I know, Aro has ripped off Carlisle‘s head! I definitely screamed louder than Esme did, and that was her husband who just got decapitated.

Suffice to say, I was awake for the rest of the movie. My theater, where everyone had sort of been dozing or just laughing at the bad one-liners, was up in arms, shouting, jeering, clapping, screaming, and gasping at the bloodbath that was laid out before us. (The girl shouting, “But that didn't happen in the book!”? Yep, I found my inner Twihard, if only for twenty minutes.) We were united by our confusion at this mostly defanged franchise suddenly getting violent—and our eagerness to see the battle scene play out.

This was what I go to midnight screenings for. When Edward hurtles into the chasm and you start to think, At this rate, they're killing everyone off, he could totally die but then he explodes out? Made me actually care for the guy briefly. And of course, when Alice stalked after Jane (Dakota Fanning) and just gave her hell for killing Jasper… That was the moment that had everyone in the theater cheering to see poor Dakota's head roll.

…And then we find out that it was all a vision that Alice gave Aro. Gotta hand it to Michael Sheen, the way he plays Aro's terror without losing his cool was fantastic. After that bloody interlude, we were back to Stephenie Meyer‘s novel where nothing actually happens. But what a little vacation it was!

Twilight has managed to garner an extra few ounces of respect at the very last minute. How smart was this, right? By showing us the fight scene, the producers a) got the violent, cathartic showdown everyone secretly wanted, b) deviated from the book enough that you felt like you were getting a new story, and c) sent a little “fuck you” to everyone who's ever said the series wasn't as badass as True Blood or other vampire shows. It's like they were saying, Yeah, we sparkle, motherfuckers, and we rip your head off. Problem?

When we first heard of the twist, everyone was worried that it would be an alternate ending that would totally fuck with canon. I know that, given the Kristen Stewart/Robert Pattinson drama this summer, I considered the possibility that Bella and Edward might get divorced or die. But Stephenie Meyer dispelled those rumors earlier this month, saying, “The end was something we knew that had to be cracked. In a way, it's kind of offscreen in the novel because we only see what Bella sees. This was just a way of making visual what some of the other characters might have been seeing.”

Because let's admit it, it would have been hugely boring to watch Aro say, “Oh, our bad, we'll leave Renesmee alone.” After all that buildup, fans needed to see the Volturi get their due and the Cullens display just how badass they are. It was the WTF climax to a truly WTF series.

Photo: Summit