Will ‘The Twilight Saga: Eclipse’ make fans mourn Riley’s loss?
One of the most immediately noticeable (and perhaps impactful) aspects of the new The Twilight Saga: Eclipse trailer is the amount of Riley it brought.
By now, it’s no secret that the character Riley will have more than just the few seconds of face time he had in the book version of the story (much like Felix in The Twilight Saga: New Moon, but probably even more so). Not only did the character get a last name for the film (“Biers”), but Xavier Samuel was one of only two castmates whose on-set photograph director David Slade shared on Twitter (the other was, of course, Taylor Lautner). So, it’s no surprise that we saw him in the trailer. What was a little surprising was how much we got to see of him.
Now, there are some conjectures being thrown around on this issue, such as the idea that the action end is being promoted to encourage an expanded audience or that some sequences involving other choice characters are still being worked on. Whatever the issue with that may be, the amount of content containing Riley in the trailer certainly indicates that he’ll be a character of heightened importance for this movie.
Here are the number of times each character appeared in the new trailer.
Jasper 2 4
Riley beats out Jacob in trailer time? Just below Edward? That’s a good bit of inclusion.
In the book, Riley’s a character whose destruction you, as a reader, become eager for. His death means the near end of this epic battle, and we don’t know enough about him to hesitate in that conviction.
So, with him becoming so much more critical and expanded upon in the film version of Eclipse, one has to wonder whether Twilight fans will begin to sympathize with him.
With Twilight, the villain was James. James was difficult to care about because he basically snaps to a decision to destroy Bella with no logic or persona to speak of (except that he was a tracker who liked a challenge).
With New Moon, the bad guys were Laurent, Victoria, and arguably the Volturi. The level of investment that we as film-goers had with these characters was rather slight. We didn’t follow Laurent around or hear what he was up to before his demise in the meadow, so it wasn’t hard to swallow his death. With Victoria, she was looming in the background, and we knew that she wanted justice for James’ death, but she was more just there for the special effects potential. The Volturi certainly weren’t overly sympathetic characters in New Moon.
So, with these characters, it was a matter of watching what happened in the book pan out on-screen. Nothing was new except the method of delivery, really.
Now that we’ve seen this fragment of Eclipse, though, we can see that not only will we the movie bring us Riley’s excruciating (and rather sad) transformation experience, but we will also witness him raising a newborn army for his creator and love interest. The parallels between Jasper Hale’s history and Riley’s present-day circumstances will be quite clear and drawn upon, it seems.
Add that to the fate we already know from the book (that he’s doing it all for his creator and love interest), and we might just experience the substance of this story in a new way . .