Continuity errors can become quite confusing when they span an entire film series. The X-Men film universe is filled with continuity issues due to its muddled timeline that often leave viewers confused. The timeline in the movies spans about 50 years and there are so many jumps in time that these kinds of mistakes were inevitable. Some characters appear to not age a day in a twenty year span (and no, not every mutant ages slowly due to their power) while others die in a prequel film yet are miraculously alive in the first trilogy. On top of that, there are some films within the universe that simply do not fit in with the rest of the series either due to their tone.
Many loyal fans attempt to rectify these errors by coming up with theories that make sense of these glitches in their favourite movies. They don’t always work, but when they do, they can potentially change how you view the entire series. Let’s look at the 15 X-Men fan theories that will blow your mind. Warning to those who haven’t seen the entire film series: this list is full of spoilers for all the X-Men movies.
15. WOLVERINE IS A CLONE?
Ever wonder why Wolverine’s escape from the Weapon X program in X-Men: Apocalypse was so different from all the other depictions in the film series? Some would argue that this is because X-Men: Days Of Future Past hit the reset button on the series, which could potentially explain why Striker is far younger here than in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. It also explains why Wolverine looks different and is wearing a headpiece reminiscent of the Weapon X comics which was never depicted in any previous film. But why was Wolverine behaving so differently?
Perhaps it is because it isn’t the Wolverine you know and love but a clone. His behaviour during his escape in Apocalypse was a lot more aggressive and violent than what was shown in previous movies, which is reminiscent of X-24’s behaviour in Logan. He went out of his way to slaughter all the guards rather than just make his escape. That kind of rage can only be X-24 and not Wolverine.
14. WESTCHESTER INCIDENT
Throughout Logan there is a lot of vague talk about the Westchester Incident, but audiences never got a complete answer regarding what happened. The facts reported in the film state that there were 600 injured humans and 7 dead mutants. Many believed that Professor X’s seizure was the cause of this catastrophe, which led to the death of his beloved X-Men, but perhaps the seizure was a result of the Westchester Incident and not the cause of it.
An external source could have potentially attacked the X-Men, killing 7 mutants and injuring many humans in the process. Professor X’s loss of control due to grief would have then led him to his seizure. This would also explain why he feels so much regret in Logan: he regrets that he did not do more protect his own from the external attack. Perhaps if he had used lethal force, his team would still be alive.
13. WOLVERINE’S FEAR OF FLYING
In the final scene of The Wolverine, the titular hero exhibits a fear of flying. Why would a character who can instantaneously heal any wound fear flying? It’s not like he could get hurt during a plane crash or even if he fell out of the plane. He could always rely on his healing factor to protect him. So why fear flying? Perhaps it is because it reminds him of Jean Grey’s death at the end of X2: X-Men United.
Wolverine constantly dwells on the past. He is cursed by the fact that he will outlive all those he loves. He also regrets not being able to do more to save others. At the end of X2, Jean dies in the flood of water from the broken dam saving the X-Men while Wolverine escapes with the rest of the team on the X-Jet. His fear of flying might stem from this trauma, where he was unable to save the one he loved, who would later come back as the Dark Phoenix, completely out of control with power and no longer the person he loved.
12. X-MEN: THE LAST STAND’S CURE
In X-Men: The Last Stand, many mutants lost their powers due to the cure. However, in X-Men: Days Of Future Past, the sentinels are rounding up mutants and mutant sympathizers in order to kill them. Had the cure worked, there wouldn’t be a need to hunt down and exterminate all the mutants with sentinels, because the cure would do the job. Unless this is an alternate timeline, this means that the cure simply does not work.
During the epilogue of The Last Stand, Magneto is shown playing chess on a park bench, completely powerless after he had been given the cure. However at the very last second before the film fades to black, he is able to move a chess piece ever so slightly using his powers. Many presumed that he was getting his power back simply because he is one of the strongest mutants and the cure couldn’t stop him, but the events of Days Of Future Past indicate that the cure might have only worked temporarily, so the sentinels had to be brought in to bring an end to mutants.
11. DEADPOOL WROTE THE DEADPOOL MOVIE
Deadpool is a character known for breaking the 4th wall and interacting with his audience as well as his creators. In the case of the film, perhaps the narrative he spins is just a little too far fetched to be entirely accurate. Here are some of the indicators that prove that the events of the film might not have happened exactly the way Deadpool depicts them.
First, Deadpool’s fighting and shooting skills are beyond the realm of reality. Sure he is a mutant and has great fighting skills, but they are so over the top here. Furthermore, Colossus is massive compared to depictions in the other films. This could be Deadpool’s way of stroking his own ego, as Colossus’ exaggerated physique makes it more acceptable for Deadpool to lose against him in battle. Next, the idea that Colossus pleaded Deadpool to join the X-men could only happen in Deadpool’s wildest dream, because he is not the type of person the X-Men would want on their side because he is a wild card. Finally, the film ends in a neatly wrapped bow, with Deadpool getting the girl of his dreams.
10. WHO CAUSED THE TIMELINE SPLIT?
The theory stipulates that Sebastian Shaw was alive during the timeline of the original trilogy, that he found a mutant that is able to travel through time and travelled back to the 1940s with Emma Frost and Azezal, effectively creating an alternate timeline in the process. This would explain countless inconsistencies throughout the film series.
For example, Erik and Charles would have met under different circumstances were it not for Shaw, meaning that Charles wouldn’t have been paralyzed in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis and would still be walking in 1983, as shown in X-Men 3: The Last Stand. It also accounts for Professor X and Magneto’s long friendship in the original trilogy which didn’t really get to flourish in the prequel films, as their friendship was already soured by the end of X-Men: First Class. Finally, it explains why Wolverine encounters a younger version of Emma Frost in 1979 in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, as Shaw would have travelled back to the 1940s after the events of that film.
9. LINK BETWEEN APOCALYPSE AND ROGUE
In X-Men: Apocalypse, Apocalypse believes himself a God who is meant to destroy life on Earth, which has been corrupted by technology and war and rebuild it from the ground up. He has amassed countless mutant abilities over the years and escaped death by transferring his consciousness into the body of other mutants. Given all these abilities, it is no wonder than he became a narcissistic megalomaniac. Throughout the film, he transfers his consciousness, absorbs information about the world as he slept for centuries in seconds, self-heals, enhances other mutants’ powers and telepathy. But what was his first mutant ability? Perhaps he had one similar to Rogue, where he could temporarily steal the powers of another mutant.
He then could have stolen another mutant’s power or he could have had a secondary mutation which made his abilities permanent. This would have allowed him to accumulate countless other powers including the ones seen in the film.
8. YUKIO WAS RIGHT
In The Wolverine, Yukio predicts that Wolverine will die on his back, with blood everywhere and his heart in his hand. This prediction almost does come true in The Wolverine, as Wolverine does appear to die on the operation table after removing the robotic spider bug that impeded his healing factor. Of course, she believes her prophecy to be untrue when he survives the events of the movie. She also states that her visions are hazy and do not tell her the whole story, so it makes sense that she assumed he died if she envisioned him on the operation table before his healing factor kicks in. However, her exact prediction becomes a reality at the end of Logan. Logan dies as predicted: on his back, with blood splattered everywhere, and holding his metaphorical heart in his hand in the form of his daughter Laura’s hand.
The interesting part about this fan theory is that director James Mangold actually acknowledged it to be true on his Twitter.
7. THE END OF MUTANTS WAS INEVITABLE
In X-Men: Days Of Future Past, Hank McCoy discusses a theory in quantum physics which stipulates that time is immutable. In other words, whatever you do to change the course of history will correct itself in the long run. You will always have the same outcome no matter what you do to try to change things.
This theory rings true because although the X-Men were able to create an alternate timeline without sentinels, mutants were still eradicated in the future depicted in Logan, as mutants were wiped out through the invention of an additive in food that removed the possibility of the X-gene activating in younger generations. So in the end, there were no new mutants in both versions of the future. The means to get there were different, but the outcome remained the same. Interestingly enough, Both the future scenes in Days Of Future Past and Logan take place around the same time, which also adds credence to Hank’s theory. The former in 2023 and the latter in 2029.
6. MYSTIQUE’S APPEARANCE
In the prequel films, Mystique is played by Jennifer Lawrence, while in the original trilogy she is played by Rebecca Romijn. As such, her human form is different in the prequels. The argument could be made that she is younger, so the studio cast a younger actress, but Mystique has always been an ageless character that can take any form, thus leaving her true age a mystery.
In X-Men: First Class, when Charles welcomed her into his home and gave her shelter, they had to come up with a pretence for her being there. As such, they decided to make her his sister. The different look in the prequels could come down to the fact that Mystique wanted to look more like Charles Xavier’s sister, so she informed her look based on his mother. In the original trilogy, Mystique had already cast aside her allegiance to Charles, so it makes sense that she would revert back to her original form.
5. MAGNETO WAS RIGHT
The events in both Logan and X-Men: Days Of Future Past prove that Magneto was right all along about humans. Professor X and Magneto are always pitted against each other due to their value differences. The former is hopeful and wishes that one day they will live in a world where mutants and humans can coexist happily. The latter has a far more cynical take on the future of mutants and humans. He believes that humans will always see mutants as a threat and will one day try to get rid of mutants.
In Logan, people felt so threatened by mutants that they enhanced themselves with robotic prosthetics. Corporations also invested in and used gene therapy. They managed to introduce an additive that would eliminate the X-gene, meaning there would be no more mutants. In X-Men: Days Of Future Past, the sentinel program is designed for the sole purpose of protecting humankind from mutants and, as the film shows, they end up rounding up all of the mutants and killing them. Both of these futures prove that Magneto was right all along to worry about how humans will treat the mutants.
4. DEADPOOL IS ALSO A CLONE
Once again, this could be chalked up to the idea that X-Men: Days Of Future Past undid the events of X-Men Origins: Wolverine including Deadpool. But what if Wade Wilson was not the mutant who fights Wolverine and Sabretooth at the end of Origins? What if that mutant was a clone of Wade? The X-Men series has seen its share of cloning, as depicted in Logan, so this is not such a far fetched idea. Furthermore, this clone shows the same aggression as the X-24 clone in Logan which solidifies this theory even more.
Striker could have experimented on this clone, giving him an assortment of powers, while the real Wade Wilson quit the mercenary business and went on to live his life in New York. There might have also been some difficulties during the cloning process which caused him to speak incoherently, so they were forced to sew his mouth shut.
3. PROFESSOR X’S POWERS
In X-Men: The Last Stand, Professor X was murdered by Jean who was possessed by The Phoenix. However, as revealed in the end credits, Professor X managed to transfer his consciousness into a brain dead man who was being cared for on Muir Island. How could Professor X accomplish such a feat when his mutant powers do not include the ability to transfer his consciousness?
The answer lies in X-Men: Apocalypse, where Apocalypse attempts to transfer his consciousness into Professor X and obtain his psychic powers in the process. However, his plan was interrupted and Apocalypse was destroyed by the X-Men. It is still possible that some of that transfer did work. Perhaps Professor X was able to obtain Apocalypse’s power to transfer consciousness in the process. Apocalypse also transferred his physical attributes as well. This would perfectly explain how he was able to escape death in X-Men: The Last Stand and return for the sequels looking exactly the same rather than looking like the brain dead man from Muir Island.
2. DEADPOOL IS A COMIC BOOK?
Deadpool has an extremely different tone from the rest of the X-Men film series. This might be the case, because the Wade Wilson in this film could be based on one of the comic books present in Logan rather than the real person in the film series. As Wolverine points out in Logan, the events in the comics Laura owns depict a warped version of events that did not reflect reality, where the X-Men wore brightly coloured costumes, Rogue could fly, Gambit was a member of the team, and Colossus was massive looked nothing like his depiction in the other X-Men movies. However, this comic book Colossus looks exactly like the one depicted in Deadpool. This would indicate that Deadpool isn’t really real.
Another indicator of this is the presence of Negasonic Teenage Warhead. Within the context of Logan, where no mutant was born after the early 2000s due to the Transigen gene therapy, meaning that Negasonic Teenage Warhead couldn’t even be born with mutant powers within this universe. All these reasons lead to the conclusion that Deadpool is a movie based on the X-Men comics within the X-men film universe.
1. PROPAGANDA FILM?
X-Men Origins: Wolverine is the most critically panned and fan-hared entry in the X-Men universe. What can account for such a dud staring the character who has led so many of the cinematic adventures of the X-Men? Maybe it’s because it’s not an X-Men movie at all, but an in-universe propaganda film. The theory makes sense of the wonky timeline within this film, where many characters look vastly different from the other X-Men movies (examples include Sabretooth, Emma Frost and Stryker). It also resolves issues around Deadpool, since many fans were outraged with the way he was treated at the end of the movie. It also makes sense given that Wade Wilson has an X-Men Origins Deadpool action figure in the Deadpool movie.
Ultimately, this theory gives many fans the opportunity to disregard this movie within the X-Men continuity and perhaps forget that this movie ever happened, which is what they really want anyway.
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