Elements from the Twilight novels were cut from the film adaptations, like Edward Cullen backstory, which would make a perfect prequel. Based on Stephanie Meyer’s series of books, the Twilight saga brought the series to the big screen through five movies, released between 2008 and 2012. The stories – both in writing and film – focused on the tumultuous love story between the human protagonist Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) and vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson).
Twilight primarily revolved around Bella, but Edward’s dark backstory in Twilight was also a focal point of the story. He was turned into a telepathic vampire by his adoptive father Carlisle Cullen (Peter Facinelli), after almost dying from the Spanish influenza in 1918 (yes, Edward is 104 in the first book). Together, the two spent the next 90 years gathering a family of vampires who were also turned as a result of life-threatening situations. For much of their immortal lives as vampires, the Cullens chose to live among humans, blending in and attempting to live somewhat ordinary lives.
Despite his strive for a sense of normality, there was a time when Edward chose to give in to his instinctual desires. Absent from the movie, the Twilight book documented Edward’s rebellious past, following his temporary abandonment of Carlisle and Esme in 1927. Edward utilized his telepathic abilities to target, kill and feed on the blood of people he perceived to be bad, believing their actions justified his own. Though he ultimately returned to the Cullens in 1931, this was an important chapter in his life and provides insight into how he reconciled life as a vampire. Twilight’s cut Edward backstory could even make a perfect prequel for the still popular franchise.
How An Edward Prequel Series Would Fix Twilight’s Biggest Criticism
With a more prominent focus on romance, the Twilight saga is often criticized for its overly sanitized depiction of its vampires, especially compared to more traditional portrayals of the mythical beings. While there are brief scenes of Twilight’s newborn vampires attacking and feeding on humans, there is great emphasis placed on the Cullens’ resolve to be “vegetarian,” i.e. hunting animals for blood instead of humans. Additionally, Twilight’s vampires are governed by a coven called the Volturi, who enforce a set of laws amongst the vampire world to ensure a low-profile. These laws include only inconspicuously hunting humans who won’t be missed, and avoiding creating immortal children.
Diving into Edward’s vigilante past – especially as a forefront member of the virtuous Cullens – would be an interesting way to explore the darker side of life as a vampire, especially through the eyes of an impulsive newborn who is struggling to control his instincts. Exploring his past would also add enlightenment as to the horrific past that led to Edward’s eventual moral shift and decision to live a more humane existence. Though the Twilight books and movies – which ruled the wave of vampire-focused media in the early 2010s – concluded in 2012, they retain a die-hard following. The series’ resolution of Twilight leaves Edward and Bella’s love story feeling ultimately complete, but the histories of characters like Edward could prove to be interesting additions to the franchise.