Twilight’s Team Jacob vs. Team Edward Debate Ignores Bella’s Best Match
Taylor Lautner recently re-sparked an age-old Twilight debate: Team Jacob vs. Team Edward. But that doesn’t include the most logical choice for Bella.
Actor Taylor Lautner recently referenced his time as Jacob Black in The Twilight Saga, and naturally, this reignited an age-old debate. Since the first film dropped in 2008, there’s been one big cultural phenomenon looming around the series: Team Edward or Team Jacob. The argument really took the world by storm as the story did. But there should also be a Team Mike in the running.
The Twilight Saga follows Bella Swan as she moves into the gloomy Pacific Northwest town of Forks, Washington. She meets the sparkly and vampiric Cullen family and falls head over heels in love with Edward. But she’s also somewhat in love with her longtime werewolf best friend. So, the first part of the series partially explores her struggle to choose between the two and then the balance between her humanity and the supernatural elements at play. As such, the love triangle featured in Twilight is epic, but no one seems to consider the third option for Bella.
Mike Newton Was Always There for Bella
In the early parts of the first Twilight film, Bella arrives in Forks, Washington. Almost immediately after she arrives at her new high school, she’s welcomed by none other than Mike Newton. He, along with a small group of friends — including Anna Kendrick’s forgettable character, Jessica — tries to make Bella feel welcome at the school despite her being the new kid. It’s pretty obvious that he has a crush on her from the start, but he’s nothing but a sweet, albeit awkward, gentleman towards her. Unfortunately, he quickly realizes that Bella has two other suitors, and he’s in the friend zone. Because Edward and Jacob seemingly had him beat, and Bella wasn’t reciprocating his crush, he took a respectful step back.
Mike embraced his strictly-platonic role in Bella’s life and remained one of her closest friends throughout the drama. In New Moon, he takes on the part of Bella’s shoulder to cry on and even helps her through her love triangle issues with Edward and Jacob. Considering he’s such a good friend, it really isn’t surprising when he shows up to support Bella at her wedding. He’s there in Bella’s nightmare version of the wedding as well. It had been a while since he was featured in Twilight, but his inclusion in her dream and her real wedding shows that he was still somewhat of an active part of her life.
Mike’s a Better Choice Than Edward and Jacob
It’s fair to question why Bella never gave Mike the attention he deserved. Simply put, his status as a human hurt his chances greatly. Human is not Bella’s type, as displayed through her strict interest in the supernatural Edward and Jacob. This could be because the idea of immortality enticed her or that she reveled in being sought after by one of the many ancient vampires in The Twilight Saga. But, overall, Mike was the opposite of a tall, dark, mysterious, and dangerous individual. Despite him not fitting in with Bella’s dream man, he’s definitely a better fit than her other suitors.
In terms of being there for Bella, Mike has them both beat. Even though he didn’t have much screen time, the audience never watched Bella suffer in his absence. The same cannot be said about Edward, as he left her without a word for months, which was a significant blow to Bella’s mental health. Jacob was also guilty of leaving Bella without any contact, though his ghosting her didn’t result in months of her sitting silently in front of her window. Mike also never put Bella in direct physical harm, unlike Edward, who did so on multiple occasions.
The Twilight Saga hasn’t aged in the best way for a lot of reasons, and one of them is Bella’s tragic taste in men. While Bella and Edward’s romance has been considered one of the best modern love stories, they’re not the healthiest example. All of her romantic drama could’ve been avoided if her and Mike’s relationship wasn’t an unrequited crush. If things had played out in such a manner, there would be no franchise, but Bella would likely still be a living, breathing human with a future.