George Takei, who rivals James Earl Jones in the "I'd listen to him reading a shopping list" voice department, sends out a plea for Star Trek and Star Wars fans to unite against the mutual threat of... Twilight. "There are no great stories, characters or profound life lessons to be had in Twilight." He's right.
I have read the first two books in the saga and last night watched the third movie, Eclipse, thinking to further my education. I'm writing this assuming the scene I'm about to highlight plays out more or less the same in the book. Once again I was stunned by the moral bankruptcy of the very people we're supposed to be rooting for - the Cullens. While the hero is busy impressing us all by saving himself for marriage, something happens at the end that makes me wonder just how badly characters can behave without readers noticing because they're - I don't know, blinded by the greatest love story ever told?
The head of the clan, Carlisle Cullen, has made it his life's mission to encourage and train vampires to not eat humans. He has assembled a family who follow his ways. In Eclipse, Carlisle and his wife Esme offer sanctuary to a "newborn" vampire (a 15-year-old girl named Bree) following a major showdown with the evil vamp Victoria. Victoria has been forming an army of newborns with the sole purpose of killing Bella, as vengeance against Edward for killing her true love (in the first book). Bree is shown in the movie hiding out during the battle. The Cullens take pity on her and she surrenders.
Then the head vampire clan, the Volturi, show up to see what the fuss is all about. They aren't friendly to the Cullens because of the Bella situation, but they don't like Victoria and her army either because they've been drawing attention to themselves. Vampires are supposed to munch on humanity under the radar. The Volturi feasted on a roomful of tourists in Book 2, and I've had a thing or two to say about that - specifically Bella's reaction to it, and the Cullens' complete disinclination to stop such behaviour. This time around, the Volturi decide that Bree must die because she was part of Victoria's army. Carlisle makes a vague protest about how he's given her asylum. The Volturi ignore him and one of them steps forward and kills Bree while the Cullens... all stand back and let him.
How are we supposed to feel anything but disgust for a man who offers zero resistance when a 15-year-old girl, who's already shown the potential to be turned to the good side of the force, has her head snapped off under his pale sparkly nose? Exactly what does "offering asylum" mean?
The take-home message: virginity before marriage = good; preventing the murder of innocents = not even a blip on the moral compass.
Do readers notice these things? Do they care? Why don't they care??