SDCC 2012: 'The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2' Panel Wraps it Up

Thursday, 12 July 2012 12:37 Written by  iamrogue
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SDCC 2012: 'The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2' Panel Wraps it Up

This year marks the end of a semi-tradition at Comic-Con in San Diego.  Since the massively popular franchise's initial appearance up in the convention center caused trouble for other presentations because of sheet number of Twilight fans on hand to see a panel for their favorite series, the annual Twilight panel is now the first big Hall H event, allowing enthusiasts to camp out, queue up, and scram without holding onto valuable Con real estate during other panels.  Since The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 closes out the series, this is the last Comic-Con dance for the romantic vampire franchise.

Since this is the final movie and the last chance for Summit Entertainment to make giant sacks of money from its adaptations of the novels by Stephenie Meyer, this particular panel pulled out many a stop to promote the climactic movie, which adapts the second half of Meyer's Breaking Dawn novel.  A packed Hall H played host to many fans both casual and fervent, as the line to gain admittance began earlier this week, with more than a hundred people camping out overnight by Wednesday night. 

Scheduled to start at 12:45 today (Thursday), and it began just a little late with a moment of remembrance for Gisela Gagliardi, the Twilight fan who was fatally injured after being struck by an automobile while trying to secure a place in line on Tuesday.

Moderator Eric Moro began by pointing out that this would be the last Twilight panel, an observation that drew both cheers and boos from the massive crowd.  Reaction was far more unanimously positive, however, when stars Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner took the stage, where they were eventually joined by fellow castmembers Ashley Greene, Peter Facinelli, Nikki Reed, Jackson Rathbone, Kellan Lutz, and Elizabeth ReaserMackenzie Foy, who plays Edward and Bella's daughter Renesmee, brought some adorable precociousness to Hall H, too.

Author and producer Stephenie Meyer was on hand, though Bill Condon, who directs both Breaking Dawn installments, could not be in attendance because he's working on the film's score with composer Carter Burwell in London.  Condon did, however, show up in a recorded message for the crowd, but that message was a mere footnote considering that the panel included seven minutes from the beginning of Breaking Dawn - Part 2.

The first clip, and the film itself, starts exactly where The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 ended, as Stewart's Bella opens her newly vampiric eyes.  Condon then enters a kind of vampire-O-vision from Bella's perspective, as her now superhuman vision allows her to see teeny tiny details of her surroundings.  She moves to hug Edward, played by Pattinson, who flinches at her new and uncontrolled strength, saying, "It's your turn to break me."  Bella's eager to see newborn Renesmee, but Edward tells her that she must first build up her strength by hunting. 

This leads directly into some action as Bella and the Cullens rush through the woods at a breakneck pace.  The forest setting is used to further emphasize Bella's enhanced senses, as she listens to abundant natural sounds and observes small insects and flowers a mortal would miss.  As she hunts a deer, a mountain climber way, way off in the distance cuts himself.  As previous movies in the series have shown, vampires tend to lose control when confronted with human hemoglobin, and Bella is no exception, immediately hurtling off and climbing a rock face to capture human prey.  Luckily, Edward stops her, and after an initial moment of fury, Bella returns to her pursuit of the deer.  As she prepares to drink deer blood, a mountain lion moves in on her target, and Bella wrassles the feline predator, brutally killing it and feeding off it before the whole clan skips off back to the Cullen residence.

Once there, they run into Lautner as Jacob Black.  Looking relaxed, Black represents Team Jacob by making a few passive aggressive cracks at Bella's new vampirism before complimenting the newlyweds as a beautiful couple.  Adding some levity, Bella notes that her new sense of smell has tipped her off to the fact that the young werewolf does indeed smell terrible.

Before the final clip, the stars answered some questions from the moderator.  Stewart and Pattinson, who never looked terribly comfortable as Teen Beat icons, seemed noticeably more at ease on the panel, whether because they now have plenty of experience or because this is their last Twilight Comic-Con panel, no one can say for sure.  Lautner said that, for the first time, Jacob is truly happy, allowing him to play the character more mellow, while Stewart revealed that she's been waiting to play Bella as a vampire since she started the series.

Her enjoyment was evident in the last clip, which was a sort of montage as the Cullens attempt to teach Bella how to pass for a normal human.  She must learn to control her fearsome strength and speed, as well as her inhumanly rigid posture.  Her eyes now have a telltale unnatural color, but the Cullens deal with this by wearing contact lenses.  It's all played for laughs, and the cast appears to be having fun.

After the clips, the supporting cast joined the stars in order to participate in a Q and A session with the crowd.  Asked which recognizable villain they'd like to cosplay as at Comic-Con, Stewart worked in her current summer movie, Snow White and the Huntsman, saying she'd like to dress up as the Evil Queen, played by Charlize Theron.  The still slightly-uncomfortable Pattinson first said that he'd like to dress as a Con attendee, then corrected himself with a Superman baddie, answering, "Maybe Zod...Kneel!"

With the movies ending, Meyer was asked if she intends to write Midnight Sun, a novel that would retell Twilight from Edward Cullen's perspective.  The author joked that Pattinson should write it, then mentioned that she is a little exhausted with vampires these days, but didn't entirely rule out an eventual return to the oh-so profitable world of Twilight at some point.

Pattinson earned probably the biggest laugh of the panel responding to a question about what advice each person would give their character at the start of Twilight, as he said simply, "Keep it in your pants."

Asked about favorite scenes Breaking Dawn - Part 2, Stewart revealed that the sequences of Bella hunting were her favorite.  Lautner, meanwhile, responded that his personal favorite is the scene in which Jacob reveals to Bella that he has "imprinted" on her infant daughter.  The actor commented that the scene is actually "hilarious" and Stewart said that she always imagined Bella essentially punting Jacob across a football field, but Condon staged it in a closed environment, though Bella does still smack the werewolf around.

Speaking of werewolves, Foy said that she loved riding Jacob in his wolf form, and that she lost a tooth in the process.  Not to worry, though, as it was only a baby tooth and she now has "big girl teeth."

After several more questions, the panel made good on the second of two initial promises.  The first was that the Breaking Dawn - Part 2 panel would include more footage than any prior franchise presentation, and the second was that it would include more special guests than any other.  Having fulfilled the first with the earlier clips, the panel delivered on the second by bringing out more than thirty castmembers representing all the different vampire covens in the final sequel.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 arrives in theaters on November 16th this year.

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