Buffy Summers is probably one of the strongest female characters ever written for television (and I don’t mean because of her supernatural strength). She’s a teenage girl who goes through perfectly normal teenage girl experiences, but she also fights real monsters. She doesn’t let herself be manipulated easily and never lets anyone else direct her life for her. She is her own master, even at sixteen. She is definitely her own person and has her own distinct personality.
Bella Swan of Twilight is not really any of these things. Not only is she passive to the point of being almost unable to do anything on her own, but she’s got so little personality that it’s hard to describe her without mentioning at least one guy. I don’t think she fell for Edward because he was special (he wasn’t unique in any way other than perhaps his ability to stalk disturbingly effectively). I think that she would have fallen for any guy who paid attention to her, and who could have paid her more attention than obsessive Edward?
So what would have happened if Edward had obsessed over a girl like Buffy instead of the willowy nothing Bella that he did? Through some creative editing, Rebellious Pixels has given a likely answer to that question.
Hmm… picking a girl with a backbone doesn’t seem to have gone well for Edward, does it?
The commentary this video makes is really interesting. While Bella seems unaware of the inherent creepiness of Edward’s behavior, Buffy notices it right away. She is bothered by him from the moment he walks through the door, although perhaps the moment when he introduces himself (something people do every day without being creepy) best illustrates how off-putting even the most innocent of Edward’s overture’s can seem. Buffy seems to decide that Edward is harmless, if annoying, and pretty much tries to ignore him.
I noticed two pivotal moments in this video. The first happens when Edward comes to talk to Buffy at the dance club. She makes it very clear that she doesn’t really want to talk to him and that he’s being creepy, but he really doesn’t seem to understand (or maybe he just doesn’t care) and he persists in talking to her. Here’s how I read the scene (Edward’s dialogue is unchanged):
Edward: I’m on a… special diet.
Buffy: Duh. Vampire. Now why the hell are you talking to me? You’re creepy and weird, even for a vampire. Go away. I’m letting you live, but only because you’re pathetic.
Edward: I feel… very… protective… of you.
Buffy: (Oh my god, you’ve got to be fucking kidding me. This guy is even more pathetic than I thought. This isn’t even worth my time.) *gets up to leave*
Edward: Don’t leave. I…
Buffy: *walking away* (I can take care of myself and if you’re too stupid to figure that out, that’s really your problem, isn’t it?)
He later follows her at night and she tells him flat out that being stalked “isn’t really a big turn-on for girls”, but he just storms away. Clearly he’s not getting the message. Buffy confides in Willow, her friend, a couple of times and both of them decide that this guy is bad news.
The second major pivotal moment, however, is when Buffy wakes up and finds Edward sitting in her bedroom watching her sleep. She, understandably, reacts very strongly to this and tells him to get out or she will “drop [him] out head first”. He seems to think this moment is sweet and romantic (reading his facial expression, body language and tone of voice), even after the threat is made. Of course, he’s thrown out the window. Edward is clearly not used to a girl who can hold her own.
He tries once more, telling her she’s like his “own personal brand of heroin” and that he’s never wanted a human’s blood so much before. Buffy points out that this is childish, overblown and a little disgusting. She also expresses boredom at all the drama. At this point, since Edward has proven himself to be not as harmless as he seemed (he invaded her bedroom if nothing else), Buffy stakes him. It’s a nice, neat ending to a very creepy stalker story. I have to say, this version was much more satisfying for me than Twilight actually is. I found Edward’s insistent stalking more than a little creepy and disturbing, as Buffy obviously did too.
Women are not prey to be tracked and bagged, which is how Bella is treated by Edward. They are people in their own rights who deserve privacy and respect, as Buffy shows in this version. This remixed version of Twilight was excellent and I hope that it illustrates to more people some of the problems with the story Twilight tells.