Since the first Twilight movie was released in 2008 and the last one in the series was released in 2012, it has been almost ten years since we last saw one in theatres. The YA paranormal romance franchise, adapted from Stephanie Meyer’s best-selling book series, was a significant success and propelled Meyer and its actors, Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, to new heights of fame.
The five-film series brought Meyer’s world of glittering vampires to the big screen, and the author’s original perspective on vampires marked a considerable change from how they are often portrayed. With one little exception, however—there are only four novels in the book series, although there are five total films—watching the movies in order is quite simple. The last novel, Breaking Dawn, is so dense that it had to be split into two movies — a technique later adopted by series like Harry Potter and The Hunger Games — therefore, the extra installment was required.
The listing below will keep you on schedule and enable you to understand this magical love tale as it develops, whether you are viewing the epic romance of Bella and Edward for the first time or want to replay it.
The plot of the Movie Series
Kristen Stewart’s Bella meets Robert Pattinson’s Edward when she relocates from Phoenix, Arizona, to Forks, Washington, a tiny town on the Olympic Peninsula, and starts high school.
Edward, a secretive and withdrawn young man who appears to interact with his siblings exclusively, is briefly introduced to her at her new school. She looks repulsive to him at first, but after a vacation from school, he unexpectedly shows an interest in getting to know her. From there, despite the cautions of Jacob Black, a nearby Quileute youngster Bella also befriends, their lives start to entwine. The relationship is fraught with difficulties, not the least of which are the interference of Bella and Edward’s family, town residents, and eventually, other vampires.
Meyer’s four novels were adapted into five films, all of which were huge box office successes, with a combined box office take of slightly under $3.4 billion. The fan base for the novels, who had purchased 120 million copies of the saga in 38 different languages, flocked to the movies in droves, and the films, the latest of which this year had its 10th anniversary, continue to draw a fervent following of viewers who enjoy seeing them again and again.
Ensure you watch these movies in the sequence they were supposed to be shown if you’re new to the series (there are some minor spoilers here if you are). Here is a guide to watching the Twilight films in sequence, without further ado.
Twilight Movies in Chronological Order
The publishing dates for the Twilight series correspond with the timeframe, making it quite simple to track. The only challenge may be keeping the names straight, but don’t worry—the accompanying summaries will help you figure out which movie has your favorite scenes.
The name of the first film is simply Twilight. It leads us to Bella (Stewart), a seventeen-year-old who relocates to Forks, Washington, to stay with her father and Charlie, the police chief (Billy Burke). When she enrolls in her new school, she immediately attracts Edward (Pattinson). She struggles to find out what he feels about her and is intrigued and annoyed by his hot and cold attitude. He rapidly makes himself known as a vampire more than a century old rather than a youngster like her. Conflicts result from that, not the least of which is that Edward and his other vampires find Bella’s blood alluring.
Despite the difficulties in their relationship, the two fall in love; this thrusts Bella into a dangerous magical universe and introduces her to the Cullens. Along with adopted vampire siblings Alice (Ashley Greene), Jasper (Jackson Rathbone), Rosalie (Nikki Reed), and Emmet, this also contains the “parental figures” Esme (Elizabeth Reaser) and Carlise (Peter Facinelli) (Kellan Lutz). It also exposes her to a more risky vampire family, designating Bella as a target. When the Cullen family comes together to defend her at the expense of James (played by Cam Gigandet), another vampire, it sets off a chain reaction of vengeance and vampire politics that lasts throughout the remaining movies.
The Twilight Saga: New Moon
In New Moon, the story continues. Twilight ended on a happy note, but when we return to the plot soon after the finish of the first movie, things swiftly turn tragic. When Bella receives a papercut during the birthday celebration the Cullens are throwing for her, Jasper loses control and tries to ingest her blood. The Cullens stop Jasper before he can damage Bella, but Edward breaks things up and leaves town because he finds Bella’s blood too alluring to keep his family close to her. She is devastated and finds it difficult to move on from the loss, dependent on risky, thrill-seeking behavior to compensate for the gap.
She meets Jacob Black (Lautner) at this time in the movie, and they become friends. He accompanies her in her newly daredevil activities and helps her overcome her despair. Even though she still misses Edward, she gradually enjoys life again as her bond with Jacob grows. When Jacob unexpectedly becomes ill one day and recovers with a different appearance, things become problematic. Soon later, Bella discovers his secret: he is a werewolf, like other Quileute tribal members. Even though the tribe maintains a long-standing peace bond with the Cullens, they are naturally hostile to vampires.
By the time the Volturi are presented after the book and the movie, Edward and Bella are back together. These vampires are regarded as members of the royal family of vampires; they are eminent, highly placed, and strong prehistoric beings who created the rules that govern vampire society. Alice sees Bella leaping off a cliff, leading Edward to believe she committed suicide.
In front of the Volturi, who would murder him right away for disclosing their secret to humans, he chooses to take his own life by confessing to being a vampire in a busy Italian piazza. Just in time for him to be saved, Bella and Alice arrive, Bella’s knowledge of vampires is also made known, and the pair is offered the choice of having Bella killed or transformed into a vampire.
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
Following Bella and Edward, as they battle to maintain their romance and deal with the royal family’s order that she be transformed due to her knowledge of the vampire community, Eclipse is the last book in the Twilight trilogy. If Bella marries him, Edward will convert her. Bella is hesitant to be married at such a young age. Before settling their differences, Victoria (Bryce Dallas Howard, formerly Rachelle Lefevre) makes a comeback with a horde of newly born vampires to exact revenge on Bella and the Cullens for the death of her boyfriend, James, in the first movie.
To defeat Victoria’s army, the Quileute tribe and the Cullens decide to fight jointly. During the conflict, Edward, Bella, and Jacob retreat to their camp, far from the fighting, and go to hide. When Jacob hears Edward and Bella talking about getting married, he becomes highly enraged and walks out, but Bella stops him by kissing him, and in doing so, she discovers that she also loves him.
Just simply, she adores Edward more. As soon as Victoria is vanquished, Jacob finally consents to keep out of Edward and Bella’s way, and as they go on to the next fight, they reveal their engagement to Charlie.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1
The first half of the fourth book, Breaking Dawn, which is divided into two movies, is included in the series’ fourth episode.
Bella and Edward’s wedding is the first event in Breaking Dawn – Part 1, which starts a few months after the end of the previous chapter. When Jacob shows up at the wedding, he surprises Bella. This is pleasant until he learns that Bella and Edward intend to get married right away, before Bella transforms, which could be fatal.
It doesn’t, but Bella does get pregnant with Renesmee, Edward’s vampire-hybrid child, who develops at an alarming speed and puts a great deal of strain on Bella’s health. When Jacob learns that Bella is pregnant (a threat to herself and, as the Quileute feel, presumably others around her), he becomes enraged once again, and the werewolves disagree about how to get rid of the danger they see in her unborn child.
Finally, Bella almost dies during the delivery, causing Edward to turn her into a vampire. The moment Jacob sets eyes on the baby, he “imprints” on her, which is what occurs when a Quileute shape-shifter finds its soul mate. Initially, Jacob charges in to murder the child. Because she would give birth to his soul mate, Bella was the reason Jacob felt so drawn to her. Renesmee is now safe—at least from werewolves—because the Quileute rule bans hurting someone a tribal member has imprinted.
Not so much from the Volturi, whose major finale appearance is hinted at in the post-credits sequence in Breaking Dawn: Part 1.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2
After giving birth, Bella awakens to find that she has turned into a vampire due to Edward’s transformation, which prevented her from having a crippling delivery. This happens as the final movie begins. She adapts to the adjustment incredibly well and handles the transition better than anybody else. When Charlie starts demanding explanations after Bella learns that Jacob is destined to be her newborn daughter’s mate, she is at first outraged. However, when Charlie starts pressing for information, Jacob helps him accept the impossibility and accept Bella’s new state by revealing his wolf transformation.
Renesme, Bella and Edward’s daughter, is quickly discovered by the Volturi as she keeps growing at an alarming pace. They think she is an “Immortal Child,” a young person who was transformed into a vampire as a child and is now forever locked in that state. The Volturi have arrived to destroy her since Immortal Children are a complete taboo.
To show that their daughter is not what the Volturi believe her to be but rather a human-vampire hybrid wholly distinct from the Immortal Children, Edward and Bella enlist the aid of allies. By presenting the Volturi with a vision of a bloody battle in which Carlisle, Jasper, and several high-ranking Volturi coven members perish, Alice is ultimately able to persuade the Volturi to leave them in peace. She also introduces the Volturi to their final witness, a vampire-human hybrid named Nahuel (J.D. Pardo), who demonstrates that Renesmee can grow up peacefully.
With the help of Alice’s visions, the fifth and final movie closes with a sight of a bright future and Bella and Edward making one more declaration of their undying love.