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Credit: Lionsgate

Bella Swan, Renesmee Cullen, Edward Cullen and Jacob Black (left to right) in “Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2.”

Fur vs. Fangs: love and war in the “Twilight” series

November 29, 2021

In 2011, World War 3 almost broke out in theaters nationwide. The battle began over a simple question: are you Team Edward or Team Jacob? This has been an immortal topic ever since “Twilight” premiered November 18, 2011. This series has gained a cult following, continuously growing since the original books by Stephanie Meyers were published and over the span of five movies.  Bella, the main protagonist in the series has two love interests though-out the series, Edward and Jacob. 

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Credit: James Hauke/Lionsgate

Photo illustration of author Conner McBride as Bella Swan with Jacob Black from “Twilight” (2011).

I will fight for you: the heartwarming charm of Jacob Black

Edward Cullen is a sparkling, brooding creep, and Jacob is the one that is better to date between the two

First of all, Edward Cullen, from Stephanie Meyers series “Twilight,” along with any of his family members, could kill me the moment I get a paper-cut that is deep enough. He would be physically faster and strong enough to crush the bones in my hand while holding it if he wasn’t careful enough. He also has impeccable eyesight which means every flaw, or blackhead, or pimple on my skin could be easily seen. 

On top of that, Edward has his mind reading powers which means that no thought I have would be hidden from him. I tripped in front of the class earlier today: he would know about it. I get called on to present something and I don’t practice at all: he knows about it. My entire life would be laid bare for him to dissect and pick apart as he pleases.

Jacob, while still posing a risk to my health and safety, is only a major threat when he’s angry. The way the werewolves in “Twilight” are portrayed is that they are able to change form at will or forcefully with extreme emotions such as anger. 

Edward along with his family are a constant risk to my life, with the possibility of dying present in every moment a person spends with them.

Along with that, Edward isn’t even the most attractive member in his family. He has an expression that looks like he has just smelled someone who hasn’t showered in a month and when they finally do shower, it is in a sewer. It’s a highly unappealing facial expression which he has during all five movies. 

Edwards’ dad, Carlisle Cullen, first and foremost, is a doctor so there are brains to match the beauty. His brother Emmett is also much more appealing and is made of muscle. He has a personality as well, when Meyer and the writers for the films could have easily just made him the stereotypical jock seen in movies and TV: all brawn and no brain. And you have Jasper, who is always able to tell if you’re having a bad day or feeling anxious due to his ability to read emotions, then cheer you up. 

Edward also has a total lack of personality. Despite being hundreds of years old and being able to watch the rise and fall of multiple trends, political ideologies, and social issues, yet Edward remains as dull as ever. 

Throughout the whole movie and book series Edwards entire personality seems to revolve around loving Bella and protecting her, and has no additional hobbies or things he enjoys to do, just focusing on Bella. 

Jacob has a personality. He knows when to be silly and when to joke around. He has hobbies such as cliff diving, and working on old cars, along with spending time with his dad.

Along with a severe lack of personality, Edward also lacks mortality. While I wither away from old age he remains effectively immortal, and because of how vampires are made, by dating him you are literally dating a corpse. No comforting heartbeat to fall asleep to. 

Instead, you get unnervingly yellow eyes and skin that’s ice cold and hard as rock. As in, when his immortal-until-otherwise life is over, he becomes a pile of rock-like chunks, powdery debris and all. 

Jacob on the other hand, has a warmer internal body temperature both in human and wolf form, so you get a nice warm, and maybe furry, cuddle buddy for the colder seasons.

The age gap between Edward and I is also too large for my liking. Sure, I don’t mind a few years difference in age between couples, but a 107 year difference is too much, especially if you’re in high school. Why date someone a century older than you when instead you could have a boyfriend, who sure, is maybe a year or two younger than you, but far closer in age than 107 years. Having a boyfriend closer in age means that you both get to experience life’s moments together, moments that an older man might have already experienced.

Edward also makes highly objectifying and creepy remarks towards Bella throughout the series such as “Your scent is like a drug to me,” or he stares at her for long periods of time. That would be so uncomfortable to have in a relationship. Imagine waking up at 6 in the morning, ready to go to school, only for you to see Edward staring at you from beside your bed, unblinking. Jacob would fall in love with you as a person, not based on what your blood, and by extension, you smell like.

Edward is also very toxic. From guilting Bella to rush to Italy because he is going to kill himself for her, to watching her sleep, this man exhibits multiple bad qualities to have in a partner. He hoards her attention all for himself, shows abusive traits by isolating her from her friends, and then when he leaves her because she’s been isolated so much, she feels detached from her friends. 

I understand that when you’re in a relationship, especially one that is brand new, you may want to spend time with your partner without your friends around, but when it gets to the point where you feel like an outsider amongst your friend group, it’s a problem.

Edward also constantly puts Bella in danger, which is why there’s action in the movie in the first place. In the first movie, Bella is put in danger because of a pack of rogue vampires who are after her. In the second movie it is Bella’s own risk-seeking actions such as cliff diving, and riding motorbikes at fast speeds in hopes to see illusions of Edward again after he leaves her, that puts Bella in danger. In the third movie, it shows Victoria, a vampire from the first movie who is creating a vampire army to take revenge on the Cullens and Bella. And in the final movies it is the giant battle between the Cullens and the Volturi, the vampire government, caused by Bella’s child Renesmee, who was born when Bella was still human. The Volturi, along with several other vampires, believe that Renesmee shouldn’t exist. And as punishment for her existence      attempt to kill both the Cullens, now including Bella, and Renesmee.

Jacob also wouldn’t abandon me, like Edward did to Bella in the second movie: “New Moon.” In fact, Jacob is the one who comforts Bella when Edward leaves her because she is in ‘too much danger’ around Edward. Jacob provides a shoulder to cry on and then picks up the pieces when she is done being upset. He would also encourage me to pursue my goals, like how he does with Bella in the second movie when she wants to learn how to ride a motorbike.

 

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Credit: James Hauke/Lionsgate

Photo illustration of Gigi Fox as Bella Swan with Edward Cullen in “Twilight” (2011).

Every moment of forever: the sharp appeal of Edward Cullen

I am Team Edward. Personally, I am not into dating an animal like Jacob fans are. Not only is Jacob an animal, but he is also a child. 

In the first movie, “Twilight,” Jacob is 15 years old, while Bella is 17. Granted two years in the grand scheme of things is not a big deal, but when you are minors, the age gap becomes a lot more prominent. A 17-year-old is focused on plans after high school and being an adult, while a 15-year-old is busy playing with toys. 

In the films, Jacob is portrayed as really mature-looking, so it would be more believable for him and Bella to be together, which is gross on its own when he’s supposed to be 15-years-old. In “New Moon,” Bella, Mike and Jacob go to a rated R movie, and Jacob can’t even buy his own ticket because he’s too young. 

Edward is the better choice because he’s tall and gorgeous. He can carry you anywhere you want to go because he’s so strong. He also is super-rich, and who wouldn’t be interested in that. I mean the man’s family buys Bella an entire island just for their honeymoon. Also, Edward will never age and will always be as attractive as he is now. On top of that, he saves Bella from the creepy guys in the alley-way in “Twilight.” Where was Jacob during that? Nowhere in sight. 

Jacob is not a consent king, he forces himself on Bella when she makes it clear she is not interested . Jacob makes his feelings for Bella known and she rejects him. What does he do? He kisses her. When Edward finds out he says, “Wait for her to say the words.” He’s not even mad that Bella and Jacob kiss, he’s mad that she doesn’t consent to the kiss. 

Speaking of kissing, Jacob manipulates her into kissing him again. In “Eclipse,” Edward, Jacob and Bella are up in the mountains during the climactic fight scene between the wolves and the newborn vampires. When Jacob finds out Bella and Edward are engaged, he decides to join the fight and makes a big huge scene out of killing the newborns and guilts Bella into kissing him! He threatens to pretty much end his life because Bella has rejected him. That checks off manipulation in my book.

Personally, I don’t know what either one of them sees in movie Bella: she’s very boring and makes the worst decisions ever. Book Bella, I understand why they would like her. She is much funnier and actually has a personality. Same thing with Edward. He’s hilarious in the book and known for his wit and personality, while Jacob is just the little kid that Bella has grown up with.

This next point isn’t so much with the character but with the casting of Taylor Lautner as Jacob. Lautner is not Native American, yet somehow he is playing a Native American character. The cultural appropriation of Native Americans in this movie is concerning. Once Jacob cuts his hair, he suddenly becomes this hot heartthrob while, in Native American culture, hair is a symbol for pride and is very important to their heritage. By cutting his hair the producers are westernizing Native American culture. 

Jacob only ever pursues Bella because he is in love with her unborn child from the very start. Imprinting is when a wolf connects to another person and they will do anything for that person and there’s no controlling it.  He always wanted to imprint on Bella, but he couldn’t and the minute he lays eyes on Renesmee, Bella’s child, he imprints on her. His only attraction from the very beginning to Bella is because he was using his wolf-like instincts to sense Renesmee. 

Jacob being in love with a baby is very creepy. I know what Jacob fans will say: “He said he would be what she needs him to be a brother, a mentor, a friend, blah blah blah.” 

In Alice’s vision in one of the final scenes, it shows Jacob and Renesmee walking together on the beach. Even though Renesmee is older in that vision, Jacob looks the same age which implies it is not very long into the future when they start dating. I don’t care how old Renesmee looks. This is why there shouldn’t really even be a Team Edward or Team Jacob because Jacob was never actually in it for Bella, he was in it for her unborn child. 

Jacob also jokes and refers to Edward as “dad” in the final movie, “Breaking Dawn: Part 2.” This implies Jacob sees Renesmee and himself as more than friends and sees a future with her. 

Bella was born to be a vampire. That is why she is a shield and no one can hear her thoughts or use their powers on her. If she ended up with Jacob, she wouldn’t have been happy and she would’ve felt empty because she wasn’t fulfilling her full potential. 

I think many people forget that it’s Bella’s choice who she ends up with, and obviously she has good taste because she ends up with Edward and not Jacob.

 Jacob fans are putting themselves in the role of Bella and who they would want for themselves, but that is not the question at hand. The question is: who is best for Bella? The answer to that is Edward.

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