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A 'Twilight' dawn breaks over Comic-Con

The giant Comic-Con pop culture showcase opened on Thursday with the stars and director of the newest teen vampire "Twilight" movie thrilling fans, some of whom camped out for days just to see them.

Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner and director Bill Condon gave fans a taste of the first of two final installments in the film franchise that has generated $1.8 billion in worldwide ticket sales from three movies.

The fourth in the series, "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1," lands in theaters on November 18, and is the first part of the final chapter in the saga. Stewart, who portrays lead character Bella Swan in the romance movies, told fans at Comic-Con that she has had a difficult time separating herself from the character she portrays.

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    Comic-Con 2011

    Superman, warrior princesses, sharks and aliens gather in San Diego to celebrate movies, comics and more.

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    Comic-Con 2011

    Comic-Con, the annual San Diego-based convention for lovers of fantasy, science-fiction and horror genres, has expanded exponentially since its modest start in 1970 as a comic book fan gathering. Today, attention from TV and film studios make it a must-attend event throughout the entertainment industry.

    Members of the audience wear 3-D masks in the image of Edgar Allen Poe during the panel for the movie, "TWIXT" on Saturday, July 23. Val Kilmer plays a writer who has ghostly encounters with Poe and a young girl, and director Francis Ford Coppola says digital technology will allow him to tweak the film every night it's shown.

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    Yee-haw!

    Executive producer Steven Spielberg attends the premiere of Universal Pictures "Cowboys & Aliens" during Comic-Con on Saturday, July 23.

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    'Total Recall'

    Kate Beckinsale and Colin Farrell speak about their remake of "Total Recall" at Comic-Con on Saturday, July 23.

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    Why so serious?

    Jason Figler of Castle Rock, Colo., poses in Joker makeup at Comic-Con on Saturday, July 23.

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    Does whatever a spider can

    "Amazing Spider-Man" star Andrew Garfield speaks during Comic-Con on Saturday, July 23.

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    Who's the fairest of them all?

    Charlize Theron and Kristen Stewart speak at the "Snow White and the Huntsmen" panel on Saturday, July 23.

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    Rainbow coalition

    Guests in costume pose at Comic-Con on Saturday, July 23.

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    Comic-Con

    Convention attendees in costume as Cylon warriors from "Battlestar Galactica" leave the convention center following the pop culture convention's opening day on Friday, July 22.

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    Bloody good

    Jill Pantozzi dressed up as Daenerys Targaryen from "The Game of Thrones" and re-enacts the season one scene where the character eats a horse heart.

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    Blonde ambition

    Actress Emilia Clarke undoubtedly shocked many at her "Game of Thrones" panel at Comic-Con, appearing without her character Daenerys Targaryen's white-blonde locks. The HBO series received three Emmy nominations.

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    All dressed up

    Comic Con attendees showed off their costumes, including Wolverine in the yellow, on Friday, July 22.

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    America the beautiful

    "Captain America" star Chris Evans strikes a pose before the stars and stripes during Comic-Con in San Diego.

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    Having a blast

    Costumes are almost de rigeur for the many fans who attend San Diego's Comic-Con ... and they often come with (non-functioning) weaponry.

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    Just in time

    In the upcoming movie "In Time," humans stop aging at 25 and have to buy more time; co-star Justin Timberlake knows a lot about stopping time, as he drew a crowd of paparazzi and fans to his appearance at Comic-Con.

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    A Lannister always greets his fans

    Peter Dinklage greeted the crowd as he arrived for a panel for the Emmy nominated HBO show "Game of Thrones" on Thursday, July 21. Dinklage plays Tyrion Lannister on the drama, and was nominated for an Emmy for best supporting actor for the role.

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    The Dark Passenger arrives

    Actor Michael C. Hall, star of the Showtime series "Dexter," posed for a portrait at the LMT Music Lodge during Comic Con on Thursday, July 21. Hall plays the lovable serial killer Dexter.

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    Together again

    "Twilight" saga stars, from left, Taylor Lautner, Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson spoke at the "Breaking Dawn Part 1" panel during Comic-Con on July 21.

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    Surprise!

    "Twilight" stars Ashley Green, left, and Nikki Reed surprised fans by making an early morning appearance at Comic-Con on Thursday, July 21. The two were joined by several other cast members of the upcoming "Breaking Dawn, Part 1," and they signed autographs and delivered breakfast to fans who camped out over night to catch a glimpse of the film.

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    Wicked

    Comic-Con attendees dressed as the baddies from Disney's "Sleeping Beauty" (Maleficent on the left) and the witch in "Snow White" walk the convention floor.

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    Big as life

    Fans take in the attractions of the Comic Con.

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    Scary sight

    She's probably a very nice person outside San Diego's Comic-Con event, but on preview night for the annual convention Caitlin Walters struck a menacing, long-clawed pose for the photographers.

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    Chomp

    Taking a bite outta Comic-Con: Sinqua Walls, who will appear in "Shark Night 3D" encounters a land shark (alas, mechanical).

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    Fish food

    Actresses Alyssa Diaz, Sara Paxton and Katharine McPhee take a dive into the deep end at a "Shark Night 3D" press preview evening. The three ladies swim — and possibly sleep — with the fishes in the film.

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    Red, white and blue

    "Captain America: The First Avenger" may have just opened in theaters, but the character is a long-standing Marvel Comics favorite, as fan Jehoshua Kelly proves.

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    Who you gonna call?

    It doesn't matter what area of fantasy, sci-fi or horror you may admire — Comic-Con has a place you can geek out. Here, an attendee arrives in full "Ghostbusters" regalia — including the car!

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    Dressing up

    Costume play (or "cosplay") attracts not just the young at heart, but the young as well. Colin Chamberlin showed up with mask, hat and sword.

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    Showing some skin

    She's a little bit Princess Leia, she's a little bit ... we're not sure what. But Danielle Radford was ready to wow the geek crowd.

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    Eyes on the prize

    Costumes are some of the biggest draws at Comic-Con; everyone's got a favorite genre, and under that a passion for a sometimes very specific TV show, movie or graphic novel collection. This attendee, on hand for the 2011 edition of the convention, wants all eyes on him (or her).

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    Where's a phone booth when you need one?

    Security at Comic-Con was clearly well in hand, what with Superman (Demir Oral, right) riding into the convention center alongside Tracy Ho as a warrior princess.

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    Ready, aim, fire

    For those who've always desired a laser ray gun of their very own, Dr. Grordbort's booth was on hand to assist. (Sadly, they don't work, but they're quite spectacular to behold.)

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    Blending in

    Comic-Con draws costumes of all shapes, sizes and ... well, species.

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"I can't draw the line between myself and the stuff I do," she said at a news conference. "This one is loaded with those really cathartic and impactful life moments, and they are not all completely fantasy."

Fans of the films and best-selling "Twilight" books by author Stephenie Meyer, know that in this first part of "Breaking Dawn," Bella and the vampire to whom her heart belongs, Edward Cullen, finally marry. But, of course, there is more trouble afoot for the pair.

Director Bill Condon was asked whether there might be more of the "Twilight" movies following "Breaking Dawn - Part 2," which hits theaters next year, and he said that it is likely, but probably not with Bella in the tale.

"I think (Meyer) always says it's the end of the Bella story. Especially in the second movie, there are so many characters that I suspect she'll want to revisit them at some point," Condon told reporters.

More "Twilight" movies should excite fans of the love stories set among a world of vampires and werewolves. Many had camped out overnight and waited in line to get into a Comic-Con panel and catch a first glimpse of the movie.

Roberta Curry of San Diego said she and her group had tried to line up as early as Sunday, but had been told to leave and come back on Monday. To greet them, some of the movie's stars came outside to the line to give them breakfast.

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    'Twilight' mania lights up Hollywood

    The hot vampire series is taking cinemas by storm, and its stars' off-screen romance only helps matters.

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    Family affair

    In "Breaking Dawn Part 2," young Mackenzie Foy plays the half-human half-vampire child of Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattinson). Jacob (Taylor Lautner) also plays an important role in Renesmee's life.

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    Next generation

    Mackenzie Foy, 11, plays Renesmee Cullen, whose name is a hybrid of her two grandmothers, Renee and Esme.

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    Super couple

    While Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson's relationship progressed to marriage and a child onscreen, the actors' offscreen romance had a few bumps in the road.

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    Cullen clan

    Plenty of vampires, including Edward's adoptive father Carlisle (Peter Facinelli), take sides in the war between the Volturi and the Cullens in "Breaking Dawn Part 2."

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    Love gives a lift

    Pattinson as vampire Edward Cullen gives Bella Swan a lift in "Breaking Dawn, Part 1."

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    Ready for a fight

    Taylor Lautner, as Jacob, gives a menacing glance as a blood-splattered Edward and his parents stand behind him in "Breaking Dawn Part 1."

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    Like picking up a toothpick

    Kellan Lutz and Nikki Reed move some trees in "Breaking Dawn, Part 1." We assume they're making a clearing for Edward and Bella's wedding. Good thing vampires have that super-strength!

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    What lies ahead

    Smile while you can, Edward and Bella. Things are about to get crazy.

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    Team Jacob

    In between his "Twilight" duties, Taylor Lautner found time to shoot the action movie "Abduction."

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    If the shoe fits

    Ashley Greene as Alice convinces Bella to try on some possible wedding shoes in "Breaking Dawn Part 1."

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    Awaiting the bride

    Ashley Greene, Jackson Rathbone, Elizabeth Reaser and Peter Facinelli await the "Breaking Dawn" wedding.

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    Wedding night at last

    Reportedly the wedding-night scene involves Edward biting through the pillows, with feathers flying. The sex scene itself, however, had to stay PG-13.

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    Hot honeymoon

    Edward and Bella's honeymoon was shot in Brazil, which stands in for Edward's adoptive mother's own private island.

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    Baby on the way

    Bella and Edward didn't believe she could become pregnant with a half-vampire baby. Boy, were they wrong. Their daughter Renesmee enters the world in "Breaking Dawn Part 1," but the battle over her existence will mostly take place in the second film, due out in 2012.

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    I'm getting married in the morning

    Ashley Greene (Alice Cullen) and Nikki Reed (Rosalie Hale) help Bella get ready to walk down the aisle in "Breaking Dawn."

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    Greeting the guests

    Elizabeth Reaser, as Edward's adoptive mother, Esme, greets Denali coven guests Irina (Maggie Grace), Kate (Casey LaBow) and Tanya (MyAnna Buring) as they arrive for Edward and Bella's wedding in "Breaking Dawn."

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    Vegetarian vamps

    Mia Maestro and Christian Camargo play Carmen and Eleazar, vegetarian vampires from Alaska's Denali coven who come south to attend Bella and Edward's wedding.

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    Not going to RSVP, then?

    Jacob (Taylor Lautner) is furious when he receives the invitation to Bella and Edward's wedding.

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    Facing up to a star

    A fan gets up close and personal with an image of "Twilight" star Robert Pattinson during the 2010 Los Angeles Film Festival at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on June 24, 2010, in Los Angeles.

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    The terrific threesome

    Taylor Lautner, Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson arrive at the premiere of the third movie in the series, "Eclipse," during the 2010 Los Angeles Film Festival at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on June 24, 2010, in Los Angeles.

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    A childhood pal grows up -- and fills out

    While vampire Edward Cullen is Bella's true love, Taylor Lautner, as Jacob Black, who can phase into a giant wolf, is the true monster star of the third film, thanks in no small part to Lautner's abs and tendency to take his shirt off often.

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    Another vampire couple

    Alice Cullen (Ashley Greene) and Jasper Hale (Jackson Rathbone) are two of the vampires who are part of the Cullen coven. In "Eclipse," Jasper tells how he became a vampire, when, as a Confederate major in the Civil War, he was bitten by the bewitching Maria.

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    Shirts? We don't need no stinkin' shirts!

    The "Twilight" wolfpack is allergic to chest coverings.

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    Murdered by her fiance

    Rosalie Hale (Nikki Reed), shown here with partner Emmett Cullen (Kellan Lutz), is another of the Cullen coven with a tortured past. Her fiance was a drunk who orchestrated her gang rape and then left her for dead. As a vampire, she sought revenge and killed her rapists one by one.

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    You only hurt the one you love

    Emily Young (Tinsel Korey) is permanently scarred from a wolf attack by her boyfriend, Sam Uley (Chaske Spencer). He lost control and didn't mean to hurt her, and forever feels guilty for her injuries.

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    A force to be reckoned with

    Vampire Riley (played by Xavier Samuel, center) leads a group of newly undead planning to kill Bella and anyone who gets in their way -- including the Cullens and the werewolves.

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    Bella in the middle

    In "Eclipse," Bella once again finds herself forced to choose between two men she loves dearly -- vampire Edward and her childhood pal, Jacob, who has secrets of his own.

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    The Cullen clan

    Is it an ad for denim? No, just a meeting of the Cullen clan, vampires who have bonded together as a family and managed to hide in plain sight of the mortal world. Shown in a scene from "Eclipse," from left, are Ashley Greene as Alice, Nikki Reed as Rosalie, Elizabeth Reaser as Esme, Jackson Rathbone as Jasper and Peter Facinelli as family patriarch Carlisle.

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    Just friends?

    Jacob grabs a rare moment alone with Bella in "Eclipse," the third film in the saga. There's one more book, "Breaking Dawn," which will be split into two films.

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    Cute couple

    In the second film, "New Moon," Bella and Edward are inseparable until a major threat rips them apart.

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    Frail Bella

    In "New Moon," the sequel to "Twilight," Bella starts off deliriously happy and in love with the vampire Edward Cullen, but falls apart and becomes a shell of herself after he leaves her. When she realizes that she hears Edward's voice and sees visions of him whenever her life is in danger, Bella engages in high-risk activities as a way to hang on to her memories of him.

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    Three's company

    Edward watches on as Bella chats with her friend Jacob Black in "New Moon." Jake, who harbors a not-so-secret crush on Bella, brings her back to life after she is crushed from the breakup with Edward.

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    A crushing blow

    After Edward breaks up with her, Bella lies in the forest in shock overnight until her police chief dad, Charlie (played by Billy Burke), scours the woods for her with his squad. When they find her, she is unresponsive and remains in a deep depression for months.

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    Boy no more

    In "New Moon," Jake transforms from a lanky teen to a beefy hunk, thanks to his new werewolf status. To prepare for the physical change the role required, Taylor Lautner started hitting the gym and eating 3,200 calories a day to gain muscle so that his physique would better resemble Jacob's.

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    If you love them, let them go

    Though it nearly kills him, Edward breaks up with his beloved Bella in "New Moon" in an attempt to keep her safe from the constant dangers of the vampire world.

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    Give me death

    When Edward hears that Bella has died, he goes to Italy to see the Volturi, a powerful coven of vampires that governs the laws of their world. He asks that the Volturi will grant him his wish: to destroy him, as he has no desire to live in a world without Bella. Here, the Volturi tracker Demetri stands over him.

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    Team Edward!

    A female fan kisses a poster showing the face of actor Robert Pattinson before the presentation of his new film, "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" at an HVB youth event at the Olympic Hall in Munich, Germany, on Nov. 14.

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    Playing heroine

    When Bella discovers that Edward plans to have the Volturi destroy him after coming to believe that she has died, she races to Italy to save him.

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    Finding love in the 'Twilight'

    Though Edward finds Bella's scent intoxicating and dangerously irresistable, he can't help but be drawn to her in "Twilight."

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    Hunk with a hidden life

    English actor Pattison moved from modeling to the role of Cedric Diggory in "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" before taking on the role that would make him famous, that of hunky vampire Edward Cullen in "The Twilight Saga."

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    Muscling up but staying sweet

    Kellan Lutz plays Emmett Cullen in the "Twilight" movies. He's considered Edward's brother in the film and books, but in reality, the young vampires aren't related -- they were brought together by an older vampire and present themselves as a family to the outer world. Lutz bulked up for the films, but insists it hasn't interfered with his addiction to gummy bears, gummy worms, chocolate and other sweet treats.

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    Leading the vampire clan

    Peter Facinelli (husband of "90210's" Jennie Garth) and Elizabeth Reaser play the Cullen parents, Carlisle and Esme, in the "Twilight" movies. Carlisle, a doctor, managed to gather his small band together as a family and convince them to kill only animals to slake their bloodlust. They occasionally clash with other vamps who aren't quite as compassionate where humans are concerned.

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    So my daughter's in love with a vampire ...

    Billy Burke plays Bella's father, Charlie, and serves as the chief of police in their small rainy town of Forks, Wash. The Cullen vampire clan resides in the damp town because it's low on the bright sunshine that would reveal their non-human identities. Vampires in the "Twilight" universe sparkle brightly in direct sunlight.

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    Hanging with the wolf pack

    Bella's pal Jacob (far right) has a secret of his own, and it involves a wolfy transformation often associated with the full moon. His dad, Billy Black (Gil Birmingham, in wheelchair) is good friends with Bella's father, Charlie (Burke, in blue shirt). When Bella's relationship with Edward puts her father in danger, Billy and his community protect Charlie.

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    Bella, Bella

    Beautiful Bella Swan leaves her mother in sunny Arizona and moves to the Pacific Northwest, where she stumbles upon Edward Cullen and his vampire clan. Instead of being horrified, she confesses her love for Edward, and wants him to change her into a vampire as well, something he tries to resist doing.

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    This sister's trouble

    Nikki Reed plays Cullen sister Rosalie, a gorgeous vampire who resents her status and takes some of her anger out on Bella. She doesn't want her brother's human girlfriend to join her clan, leading to trouble in the second book of the series, "New Moon."

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    Look out for Laurent

    Edi Gathegi, seen here with Peter Facinelli in a scene from "Twilight," plays Laurent, a vampire from a group of nomad vampires that does battle with the Cullen clan.

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    It's tough to be a bloodsucker

    Jackson Rathbone plays Cullen brother Jasper. The newest vampire in their clan, he must constantly struggle to fight off his urges to kill humans, Bella included. His fascinating backstory includes a history as a Confederate soldier in the Civil War and years spent training newborn vamps to learn to control themselves. He has the power to feel and manipulate the emotions of others.

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    On the prowl

    Vampire James, played by Cam Gigandet, is considered a "tracker," and once he discovers Bella's human scent, plans to pursue her until her death. In "Twilight," he convinces her that her mother is in danger and thus forces her to sneak away from Edward and meet him in the Arizona ballet studio where she studied as a child.

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    The hunt continues

    Fiery-haired Victoria makes up the third and final member of Laurent and James' coven. Her mate dominates the action in the first book, "Twilight," but by the third book, "Eclipse," Victoria takes center stage to try and wreak bloody revenge on Bella and the Cullens. Rachelle Lafevre, center, plays Victoria in the first two films, but when she needed time off for a movie, she was fired and replaced by actor Ron Howard's daughter, Bryce Dallas Howard, right.

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    Team Jacob or Team Edward?

    While Jacob Black is a Native American in the books and the films, actor Taylor Lautner himself is not. He was nearly replaced for the second film when moviemakers thought he couldn't convincingly pull off the bulk required for the role, but an impressive workout routine changed that.

    Summit Entertainment, Getty Images / Summit Entertainment, Getty Images
  • 40th NAACP Image Awards - Red Carpet

    'Twilight' mania lights up Hollywood

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    Life with the vampire royals

    Young actress Dakota Fanning plays Jane in the "Twilight" sequel "New Moon." Jane is a member of the Volturi guard, working with the royal family of vampires who reside in Italy. Jane has an especially cruel power that allows her to create the illusion of pain and thus torture others.

    Getty Images for NAACP / Getty Images for NAACP
  • 'Twilight' mania lights up Hollywood

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    Waiting for 'Twilight'

    "Twilight" fans are among some of the most devoted around, with numerous Web sites, fan clubs and conventions gathering groupies to discuss and debate both the books and the films. Here fans reach for free T-shirts at the Los Angeles premiere of the first movie, in November 2008. Stores such as Hot Topic offer plenty of "Twilight" merchandise, including "TEAM EDWARD" and "TEAM JACOB" shirts, allowing fans to declare their allegiance to one of Bella's suitors.

    AP / AP

Elsewhere, Comic-Con International kicked off for some 130,000 people who are expected to turn out for four days of panel discussions and seminars about comic books and the latest science-fiction movies and TV shows.

The annual event is filled with fans of all things pop culture -- many of them dressed as their favorite characters from movies and publishing -- and has become a key place where Hollywood's studios promotes upcoming films and TV programs.

There are numerous panels for directors and stars to talk up films such as "The Amazing Spider-Man" and "The Adventures of Tintin." Steven Spielberg will be on hand to accept an award, and two big-budget flicks -- "Captain America: The First Avenger" and "Cowboys & Aliens" will get big promotions.

Some of the more talked-about new TV shows anxious to woo crowds here include fantasy-themed "Grimm" and "Once Upon a Time," along with "Person of Interest" and "Alcatraz," both produced by "Lost" creator J.J. Abrams.

The casts and creators from "Dexter," "Supernatural," "True Blood," and "The Big Bang Theory" also will appear.

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