Quotes such as, “As if you could outrun me!” and “hang on tight spider monkey,” have been living in my head, rent free, for more than a decade. When Netflix announced that the Twilight series, in its entirety, would be gracing their site on July 16, my weekend to-do list vanished.
Since their release onto the site, they’ve managed to stay on the top ten most-watched list. At one point, they held the first five spots all on their own. This was comforting to me, knowing that I wasn’t the only one still weirdly obsessed with the franchise.
Watching the first movie this time around, I was struck by how much I enjoyed one character in particular. He wasn’t there to shine or sparkle. He wasn’t even there to move the plot along. He was just there.
He was…Charlie Swan.
It wasn’t until the fourth time I watched ‘Twilight’, that I discovered what a gem Charlie Swan is. Although I didn’t know it the first few times around, I was watching for him, and his insanely hot mustache.
Charlie is the only character, in the entire film, that’s grounded to reality. This, I believe, is one of the reasons people keep coming back for more. He’s the character that all people can relate to. It’s fun to watch an awkward, uncoordinated girl get fawned over by an impeccable 104-year-old teenage boy. However, no one can relate to that.
We see Charlie the most in ‘Twilight,’ the first film of the franchise. He doesn’t have an insane amount of screen time, but that’s part of his charm.
Bella says it best, “One of the best things about Charlie, he doesn’t hover.”
#1 bestselling author Stephenie Meyer makes a triumphant return to the world of Twilight with the highly anticipated companion, Midnight Sun: the iconic love story of Bella and Edward told from the vampire's point of view.
"People do not want to just read Meyer's books; they want to climb inside them and live there." -- Time
The entire movie, we see Charlie struggling to be a full time, single dad to a teenage Bella. Before the beginning of the film, Bella had spent most of her life growing up with her mom, only seeing Charlie once in a blue moon (or ‘New Moon,’ I should say).
We see him take her to his favorite diner and tell her about his work. We get to see him become a caring father as he rushes to the hospital to check on her after the van mishap. The first few times I watched that scene, I was so focused on Edward gaslighting Bella, I never got to experience the tenderness that Charlie exuded in that moment, for her.
Charlie is not only the most caring in the film, but also, by far, the funniest. I don’t know many people that watch ‘Twilight’ for the humor, but I highly recommend it. The only thing that makes me laugh more than Charlie while watching the film, are the lines the come out of Robert Pattinson’s mouth. A few of which are featured at the beginning of this article.
Charlie’s lack of understanding with everything that’s going on is comical within itself. This goes back to my point of him being such a grounded character. As Bella becomes closer with Edward, she decides to introduce him to Charlie. Charlie loads and locks his gun and gives her a canister of pepper spray as she walks out the door. Just like any small-town dad would do when their teenage daughter gets her first boyfriend.
Bella and Edward head off to play baseball with his family. Which is arguably, the best scene in the entire franchise. As they play, opposing vampires come in and threaten Bella’s life. While making her escape, she fights with Charlie, hitting him where it hurts the most. Leaving him just like her mother did years before. It was this moment that cemented the fact that Charlie deserved BETTER.
As Bella runs off with her vampire boyfriend of five days, Charlie is left heartbroken and in shambles. He’s left with the feeling that if he can’t protect his own daughter from a teenage relationship, how can he protect the entire town as their sheriff?
We then see Bella and the Cullen’s trying to escape Jace and Victoria, the ‘evil’ vampires, leaving Charlie behind for the next chunk of the movie.
Charlie graces our screen again when Edward is waiting for Bella to come down the stairs for prom. The two guys sit in the kitchen, with Charlie drinking a beer and staring Edward down, like looks could kill. As Bella heads off to prom, Charlie tells her that he got her a new canister of pepper spray, and she looks beautiful. What more could you want in a father? Yet, Bella couldn’t seem to care less.
In conclusion, if you’re feeling nostalgic, or you want to experience greatness for the first time, watch ‘Twilight’ as soon as you can. Don’t watch for the vampires, or the socially awkward teenage girl. Watch for Charlie. The saving grace of the franchise.
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About The Author
Boise State University
Bachelor of Arts (BA), Journalism, Media Studies and Communication