Twilight: Eclipse movie posterOur roving cohost, Chris Jones, joins Eve Franklin in the studio, without Daniel Lewis, to discuss the highly anticipated (at least by a high percentage of the female population) sequel to Twilight and New Moon: Eclipse.  We’re both sleep deprived from attending midnight previews, but it was worth it because the movie was well done, stayed close to the book, and was over all fun to watch.

We both anticipated fairly weird crowds for the midnight previews, but in our separate experiences, the fans were pretty low key, wearing Twilight paraphernalia, but not showy costumes.

Spoiler-free review

Of all three of the movies, Eclipse seems to stay closest to Stephanie Meyer’s book. There were whole sections of dialog taken verbatim from the book, and even though there were some things left out and some things added, it all fit the overall flow of the movie. Some parts of the book were truncated to make room for other more important parts that were kept true to the book.

There were also scenes in the movie that covered off-scene action that was not from Bella’s perspective in the book.

Very little violence

The first scene gives you a new perspective on the Twilight vampires, where a young man is turned into a vampire.  Even the bad vampires and the fights are done in a very bloodless manner. The violence was very low-key and acceptable even for older children.

Marriage

We really appreciate the way that marriage is dealt with in both the books and movies. Stephanie Meyer had a strong abstinence message in her books, and that message is well carried into the Eclipse movie.

Bella’s views on marriage:

Marriage is a piece of paper.

The biblical perspective on marriage is very specific:

And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”

They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?”
He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.” (Matthew 19:4–9, NKJV)

The Cullens show good examples of marriages, and even Bella’s father, Charlie, who is divorced, doesn’t speak against marriage. Then Bella has her awkward conversation with her dad and eventually blurts out,

I’m a virgin.

Surprisingly enough, this gained a very positive reaction from the audience watching with us. We were very encouraged to experience that positive reinforcement of the abstinence position. Bella promptly tries to seduce Edward, but he stands firm against her, that the sex will wait until they are married.

It’s not modern, it’s ancient.

Bella’s view of Edward’s position on sex and marriage did not budge him and in the end, she concedes to him. This is an important message, especially to the young girls who are enthralled with this series. Sex belongs in marriage, not before or outside of the marriage bed.

Courage

The tribal stories mention a woman that was not supernatural in any way, but had a special role. What was said of her was that she had,

No special powers, but one: courage.

It was interesting to see them stress the role of the plain human among all the supernatural characters. And then they parallel it by having Bella make a similar gesture at the end of the movie, actually coming to Edward’s aid in a tricky spot. This differed from the book, and we both liked it better because it made Bella a stronger character who could take a stand and do something to help.

Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD! (Psalm 27:14, NKJV)

The concept of courage as an action—being prepared to stand up and stand out against overwhelming odds—is one that applies well to Christians in a society that has fallen far from Christian morals and behavior. It takes a lot of courage to stand up and simply say no to the wrong behaviors that our society thinks are common and casual.

Strive to make mistakes?

We weren’t entirely sure about the added valedictorian speech at the graduation ceremony.  The message:

Nothing’s permanent … make as many mistakes as you can … .

The person giving it just seemed odd to both of us. This message that encouraged reckless behavior didn’t come from the book, and it is not one that is good for teens starting out after high school.

Dual natures fighting

Bella’s concluding statement,

It’s not a choice between you [Edward] and Jacob. It’s a choice between who I should be and who I am.

Bella explains that there are two people inside of her: one who had the option of loving Jacob and going the route that she “should” go, and one who was giving in to her stronger love for Edward and taking the path that it leads to. She has to choose which person she wants to be.

This description of a dual nature in opposition closely parallels a passage in Romans:

So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good.  So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.

And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.

I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin. (Romans 7:14–25, NLT)

That choice is between your two natures. Just like with Bella—who, in putting off her decision, hurt herself, Jacob and Edward—not daily deciding to choose the correct path in following God’s law, you will hurt yourself and everyone around you. Intended or not, this dual nature parallel is an interesting springboard to discuss the Gospel of Christ with the people around you.

Don’t forget to check out Plugged In’s review of Eclipse.

Editor’s note/revenge

What did you think?

Did you see The Twilight Saga: Eclipse? What did you think of it? Comment on this post, email feedback@AreYouJustWatching.com (audio feedback welcome), or call (903) 231-2221. You can also follow  Daniel and Eve on Twitter. And please join our Facebook Page. Don’t forget to leave us some five-star reviews in iTunes! Finally, you can support us by doing your regular shopping through our Amazon.com affiliate.

Are You Just Watching?™ is produced and sponsored by D.Joseph Design. The opening vocal talent is thanks to Mariah. Our theme song is used courtesy of Answers in Genesis, from their exciting vacation Bible school curriculum, Operation Space.

About the Author
I’m an avid reader and movie lover. There’s not much I like better than reading a book and then seeing the movie version, or watching a movie and then reading the novelization. I have a degree in English literature, which means that at some point in my life I actually received grades for discussing and writing essays about literature. Can’t get much better than that, right? Well, it can. Who needs to pull apart the deep inner workings of dusty old classics when there’s such wonderful fodder in the mass media that people watch (and read) everyday? Above all, I believe that I can’t do much better in this life than in pointing my friends toward a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Everything makes perfect sense when viewed from a Christian worldview. Even when the intent of the writer was something entirely different, everything can point to our Creator God. He is the foundation for every logical thought, the judge of all evil, and the author of all beauty.

One comment on “Initial Reactions 11: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

  1. Vicky says:

    Hey! Thanks. One extra thought. The Unsaved cannot follow God&#039s Law. The focus in God&#039s view and in Christians should be their conversion ( their translation from the kingdom of darkness to God kingdom which is in His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ) and their subsequent sanctification (which is still not accrording to the law, Galatians 2 and 3 ). We can stay on this thinking because it is New Covenant thinking and still tends to Holiness.
    Thanks and Christ bless you all,
    VR

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