Stephenie Meyer dropped a bomb on us Twihards yesterday when she released a completely gender-swapped version of "Twilight," titled "Life And Death," in the 10th anniversary edition of her classic novel.
For the most part, "Life And Death" is a pretty straightforward retelling of "Twilight." Broody Edward Cullen is now broody Edythe Cullen, while our ~heroine~ Bella Swan now goes by the name Beau(fort) Swan. However, the shocking ending -- in which Meyer totally abandons the "Twilight" narrative -- left us with plenty of questions.
Where will Beau and Edythe's story go from here? Will Meyer's all-but-abandoned companion novel "Midnight Sun" ever see the light of day? Does Renesmee even exist in this crazy AU world?! Those are just a few of our burning questions for Meyer. You can read the rest below:
Will we ever get "Midnight Sun?"
OK, so I know the first question should probably be about Beau and Edythe's story, but it's been seven years and I still can't believe we don't have "Midnight Sun." I get that Stephenie was burned by the internet troll who leaked the first 12 chapters of her unfinished manuscript (not cool, bro), but "Twilight" fans have been waiting for this companion novel from Edward's perspective for far too long. If it's not happening at this point, then she should just come out and say it... and then maybe share some unfinished chapters or something. (Just kidding, Stephenie!)
Is "Life And Death" canon?
The answer to this one is most likely a big fat NOPE, but to be fair, Stephenie never addresses this in her forward. For all we know, the events of "Twilight" could have been Charlie's fever dream. (That would explain the entire existence of Renesmee.) But since I refuse to live in a world where Edward and Bella aren't canon, I'm just going to answer my own question and say "Life And Death" is an AU experiment.
Why spell her name Edythe and not Edith?
If it's good enough for "Downton Abbey"'s Edith Crawley (born 1892), then it should be good enough for you, Stephenie. WHY IS IT NOT GOOD ENOUGH?
The name Beaufort is a French baby name. In French the meaning of the name is "from the beautiful fortress." Beau is also a French name, meaning pretty, dandy, handsome, etc. What I'm trying to say is, why give the kid a terrible name like Beaufort and not just name him Beau? I realize that she wanted to make him endure the same pain Isabella endured on her first day of school, but Beaufort is such a weird effing name.
Why didn't she gender-swap Charlie and Renee?
I know Stephenie Meyer said that at the time of Beau's birth, 1987, it would have been rare to see a father get full custody of a child, but why does she care so much about staying historically accurate when literal VAMPIRES and SHAPE-SHIFTERS exist in this world. Could you imagine how badass a female Charlie would be?! Tbth, I think it would have been great to see a mother who wasn't comfortable with being a mother. Motherhood doesn't come naturally for everyone.
Will Beau see Jules next summer and fall in love with her... you know, now that she's HOT.
Jacob underwent quite the physical transformation in "New Moon," so it seems normal that once Jules joins the pack, she'd undergo a similar one. Will Beau feel anything for her if they were to meet again? Part of the reason Bella fell for Jacob was his carefree spirit. He made her laugh and forget about Edward... you know, the guy who left her literally catatonic for months. Then again, seeing as Beau and Edythe lived happily ever after in the end, I'm pretty sure he's too obsessed with Edie (can I call her Edie?) to even notice Jules.
Renesmee just doesn't exist?
Excuse me. I meant CHEARNEST (Charlie + Earnest = Chearnest). Edythe, being a vampire, obviously can't have any children because her uterus is straight up DUST. So, bye-bye bb vampire.
So does this mean Jules is destined to be alone?
"Twilight" fans are well aware of the face that Jacob imprints on Edward and Bella's daughter Renesmee in "Breaking Dawn." They're destined to become soul mates. By turning Beau into a vampire and thereby erasing the existence of Renesmee entirely, who will poor Jules imprint on? WILL THERE EVER BE JUSTICE FOR JULES?
Why does Royal have a man-bun?
Why does anyone have a man-bun, really? Is that supposed to be, like, ~cool~ and sexy? The only man who should be allowed to have such follicles is Chris Hemsworth. Let it be known.
Speaking of Royal, what is Brosalie's deal?
So much of Rosalie's contempt for Bella came from her own backstory. Rosalie was turned into a vampire by Carlisle after being raped and beaten to the brink of death by a group of drunken men, including her fiancé. That's why Rosalie doesn't trust people, why she longs for a family of her own. Royal's own backstory just doesn't hold the same emotional weight.
Who The Rock actually whistle at a lady?
HELL NO. Dwayne Johnson is too much of a gentleman to do such a thing. Don't get it twisted.
Why could Edward suck the vampire out of Bella but Edythe couldn't do the same for Beau?
OK, I know Archie had a vision, and in his vision, he saw Beau dying after Edythe's attempts to remove the vampire poison -- but why? We know Archie sees multiple outcomes, and not all of them are reliable. This was clearly Stephenie's attempt to change the ending, and to be fair, it's not like she could have done it any other way. Edythe left the choice up to Beau, and he made the choice to turn. Had Edward done the same in "Twilight," I wonder what Bella would have chosen...
Will there be a movie?
It's no secret that "Twilight" is still one of Lionsgate's most valuable properties. So will "Life And Death" become the studio's next project? Probably not as a movie. For the most part, "Life And Death" is a straightforward retelling of "Twilight," and I'm not sure even Twihards are going to drop $15 at the movies to go see it. That being said, I love to see more companion novels from Little, Brown Books that detail Beau and Edythe's future with the Cullen family. Maybe Lionsgate could even find a way to turn it into a web series. I don't think Beau and Edythe's story is over yet.
Can we get a book from Alice's perspective next?
If you're not going to finish "Midnight Sun," Stephenie, then why not start a whole new companion novel from Alice's perspective? She's always been a fan-favorite character, and her complicated, emotional backstory is ripe for a novel of its own. Of any of the characters in the "Twilight" canon, Alice definitely has enough holes in her past to make for a compelling story.
Will Jacob and Renesmee get a book of their own?
JUSTICE FOR JACOB. We deserve this, Stephenie. We do not want our last image of Jacob to be him imprinting ON A CHILD. No no no. We need to see Jacob and Renesmee as damn adults. Only then will we believe in their love.
Does this mean we'll get a gender-swapped version of "Fifty Shades of Grey" just in time for Valentine's Day?
Obviously. Christina Grey and Andy Steele's love story is TIMELESS. And it will be called "Whip It." Your move, E.L. James.
Is "Life And Death" the greatest feminist text of our time?
I mean, no. Absolutely not. But I really appreciated how subversive it was. Imagining Edythe fight off the bad guys to protect Beau was honestly refreshing, especially for YA. Girls are strong. They kick ass. They are complicated, emotional beings, and "Life And Death" really celebrated that. Thanks, Stephenie.