It’s been nearly a decade sine we last had a Twilight movie in theaters, with the first film arriving in 2008 and the final installment in the Twilight Saga being released in 2012. Based on the hit book series by Stephanie Meyer, the YA paranormal romance franchise was a huge hit, shooting Meyer to a new height of popularity, along with stars Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson.
The five-film franchise translated Meyer’s world of sparkly vampires to big screen, and the author’s unique take on vampires was a significant departure from their usual depiction. However, when it comes to watching the movies in order, things are pretty straightforward, with one minor caveat: there are only four novels in the book series, but there are five total films. The extra installment was necessary because the last book, Breaking Dawn, is so jam-packed that it had to be broken into two movies – a trend that would later be followed by franchises like Harry Potter and The Hunger Games.
Whether you are watching the epic saga of Bella and Edward for the first time, or you are interested in going through it again, the list below will help keep you on track and best follow this supernatural love story as it unfolds.
Twilight Movies in Order of Release Date
- Twilight – November 21, 2008
- The Twilight Saga: New Moon – November 20, 2009
- The Twilight Saga: Eclipse – June 30, 2010
- The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 – November 18, 2011
- The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 – November 16, 2012
Twilight Movies in Chronological Order
The Twilight series is pretty easy to follow as the release dates coincide with the timeline. The only difficulty may lie in keeping the titles straight, and if you’re wondering which film features your favorite moments we’ve got you covered with the following recaps.
The first movie is simply entitled Twilight. It introduces us to seventeen-year-old Bella (Stewart), who moves to Forks, Washington, to live with her father and the police chief, Charlie (Billy Burke). She is immediately drawn to Edward (Pattinson) when she starts at her new school. His hot and cold attitude intrigues and annoys her as she tries to figure out what he thinks of her. He soon reveals himself as a vampire, not a teenager like her but over 100 years old. That creates obvious conflicts, not least of which is that Bella’s blood smells irresistible to Edward and his fellow vampires.
Despite the issues with their situation, the two fall for each other, which brings Bella into a dangerous supernatural world, introducing her to the Cullen family. That includes the “parental figures” Esme (Elizabeth Reaser) and Carlise (Petter Facinelli), as well as adoptive vampire siblings Alice (Ashley Greene), Jasper (Jackson Rathbone), Rosalie (Nikki Reed), and Emmet (Kellan Lutz). It also introduces her to a more dangerous vampire family that marks Bella as a target, and when the Cullens band together to protect her at the cost of another vampire’s life (James, played by Cam Gigandet), it kicks off a chain reaction of vengeance and vampire politics that carry through the rest of the films.
The Twilight Saga: New Moon
The saga continues in New Moon. While Twilight left things on a positive note, we come back into the story soon after the first film’s conclusion and things quickly take a turn to heartbreak. The Cullens host a birthday party for Bella and when she gets a papercut, Jasper loses control and tries to drink her blood. Though the Cullens stop Jasper before he hurts Bella, Edward breaks things off and leaves town, distancing himself and his entire family from Bella for her safety because her blood is too tempting. She is heartbroken and has a very difficult time recovering from the loss, developing a reliance on dangerous, thrill-seeking behavior to fill the void.
This point in the story is when she becomes friends with Jacob Black (Lautner), who joins her in her newfound daredevil antics and helps her out of her depression. Although she still misses Edward, she starts to enjoy her life again as her friendship with Jacob deepens. Things get complicated when Jacob suddenly falls ill one day and comes back a transformed version of himself. Soon after, Bella learns his secret, he’s a werewolf – and so are other members of his Quillette tribe. What’s more, they are natural enemies with vampires, though the tribe has a longstanding peace covenant with the Cullens.
Edward and Bella are reunited by the end of the novel and film when the Volturi are introduced. These vampires are considered as the royal family of the vampires; elite, high-ranking, and powerful ancient creatures who set the laws of vampire society. Alice has a vision of Bella jumping off of a cliff and Edward mistakenly thinks she killed herself. He decides to end his own life by revealing he’s a vampire in a crowded Italian square, in front of the Volturi, who would immediately execute him for revealing their secret to humans. Bella and Alice arrive just in time to save him, but it is also revealed that Bella knows about vampires, and the couple is given an ultimatum – Bella must be killed or turned into a vampire.
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
The next installment of the Twilight saga, subtitled Eclipse, follows Bella and Edward as they struggle to continue their relationship and deal with the royal family’s decree that she be turned because of her knowledge of the vampire world. Edward agrees to turn Bella if she will marry him. Bella has concerns about marrying so young. Before they can hash it out, Victoria (Bryce Dallas Howard, previously played by Rachelle Lefevre) returns with an army of newborn vampires, seeking vengeance on Bella and the Cullens for killing her lover, James, in the first film.
The Cullens and the Quillette tribe agree to fight together in order to defeat Victoria’s army, and during the battle, Edward, Bella, and Jacob go into hiding, camping away from the action. When Jacob overhears Edward and Bella discussing their engagement, he storms off in a dangerous rage, but Bella stops him by kissing him, and in doing so, she realizes she loves him too. She just loves Edward more. When Victoria is defeated, Jacob finally agrees to stay out of Edward and Bella’s way, and onto the next battle, they tell Charlie about their engagement.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1
The fourth installment of the series contains the first part of the fourth book, Breaking Dawn, which is split into two movies.
Breaking Dawn – Part 1 opens a few months after the conclusion of the previous installment and begins with Bella and Edward’s wedding. Jacob surprises Bella by coming to the wedding, a nice surprise until he realizes that Bella and Edward are planning to consummate their marriage on their honeymoon, before Bella’s transformation – a decision that could possibly kill her.
It doesn’t, but Bella does become pregnant with Edward’s vampire-hybrid child, who they name Renesmee and who grows at an alarming rate, taking a tremendous toll on Bella’s health. Jacob once again becomes furious when he realizes that Bella is pregnant (a danger to herself and as the Quillette believe, likely those around her), and the werewolves become split over how to eradicate the threat they believe her child represents.
Bella nearly dies during the birth at last forcing Edward to transform her into a vampire. Jacob storms in to kill the child, but once he locks eyes with the infant, he “imprints” on her, which is basically the process that happens when a Quillette shape-shifter finds its soul mate. That’s why Jacob was so drawn to Bella, she was the future mother of his soulmate. Since Quillette law forbids harming anyone who has been imprinted on by a member of the tribe, Renesmee is now safe… from werewolves at least. Not so much from the Volturi, whose big finale return is teased in Breaking Dawn: Part 1‘s post-credits scene.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2
As the final movie begins, Bella awakens after giving birth and is now a vampire, having been changed by Edward to save her from the debilitating birth. She takes to the transformation exceptionally well and deals with the change better than everyone else. When Bella learns that Jacob is fated to be her newborn daughter’s mate, she is initially furious but when Charlie starts demanding answers, Jacob helps him accept the impossible and embrace Bella’s new state by revealing his wolf transformation.
Bella and Edward’s daughter, Renesme, continues to grow at an alarming rate and is soon discovered by the Volturi. They believe she is an “Immortal Child;” a human child that was turned into a vampire and remains eternally frozen in that mental and physical state. Immortal Children are an absolute taboo, so the Volturi come to destroy her. Edward and Bella recruit allies to help prove that their daughter is not what the Volturi think she is, but a human-vampire hybrid entirely unlike the Immortal Children. Ultimately, Alice is able to convince the Volturi to leave them in peace by showing them a vision of a brutal battle that costs the lives of Carlisle, Jasper, and several high-ranking Vulturi coven members, as well as introducing their final witness, another vampire-human hybrid named Nahuel (J.D. Pardo), who proves Renesmee can grow up peacefully.
The fifth and final film ends with a glimpse at a happy future, courtesy of Alice’s visions, and one final profession of love between Bella and Edward, who promise to be together forever.
‘Demonic’ will be released in theaters and digitally on August 20.
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