The final Twilight panel at San Diego Comic-Con, to promote this fall’s release of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2, was a roller coaster ride of emotion for attendees at Hall H on Thursday.
The panel began with a tribute to Gisela Gagliardi, the Twilight fan who made headlines on Tuesday when she was struck and killed by a car while trying to cross a street and return to her spot in the lengthy Twilight panel line. A Comic-Con employee began the tribute by reading a short statement, followed by a second statement from Summit and Lionsgate Entertainment that read as follows, “Before we begin the show, we want to take a minute to honor the memory of Gisela Gagliardi, a friend we tragically lost here two days ago,” Moro said. “Gisela will always live in our hearts and memories, and we wish her family and friends our best in this difficult time.”
On that somber note, stars Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner and others took to the stage to huge applause.
The Twilight panel at Comic-Con has become infamous over the years for both helping launch the film series into the stratosphere and overpopulate the vicinity of Hall H for the other big panels that follow it. As the final Twilight panel, Summit and Lionsgate wanted to go out with a bang. And they did.
In year’s past, new footage debuted during the Twilight panel in the form of one or two short clips. This year, director Bill Condon chimed in via a pre-recorded video and surprised the audience by introducing the first seven minutes of the film. Needless to say the audience almost spontaneously combusted.
Bits of the footage screened has been seen in the previously released trailers. Newly turned vampire Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) is learning to adjust to and control her new supernatural powers. Since human feeding is off limits, she hones her skills on stalking and feeding off animal prey in the woods.
For Twilight fans, the panel was a fitting end to the saga’s run in Hall H at Comic-Con. For everyone else, next year will have one less insanely long line to maneuver around.