(WARNING: This article contains spoilers from Logan. Proceed with caution!)
This weekend, #Logan was released, marking the last #XMen film in which we will see #HughJackman and potentially #SirPatrickStewart. Theaters across the globe were packed with fans feeling a mix of excitement, anxiety and sadness. It has so far made $247 million globally, and with IMDb rating it 8.7/10 stars and the overly critical Rotten Tomatoes giving it a whopping 93 percent, the critical reception is off the charts. Both Jackman and Stewart have been praised by everyone who has seen this masterpiece, and deservedly so, but one cast member who we desperately need to talk about is Dafne Keen, who played Laura, also known as #X23.
A brilliant and at many times heartbreaking performance, it is only made more impressive by her young age. Instantly intriguing and likable, Keen brings X-23 to life beautifully. In many ways, Logan perfectly sets her up for a solo film. While it hasn't been confirmed, it is being talked about. It would be an incredibly smart decision for the studio to make, not to mention a fantastic step in the right direction for women in the superhero genre.
- James Mangold Wants To Direct An X-23 Solo Film
- Logan Just Slashed Multiple Box Office Records
- Logan Hints At Darker Times For Future X-Men Films
The Unequal Treatment Of Female Superheroes Must Stop
2016 was supposed to be a big year for the superhero franchise, particularly for women. Wonder Woman and Harley Quinn were two of the most hyped characters of the year, but DC, unfortunately, continued its habit of disappointing fans. Wonder Woman barely showed up in Batman v Superman, and Harley didn't have nearly as big of a speaking role as people were expecting in Suicide Squad. It felt as if the characters were there simply to bring fans to the theaters.
Even Marvel underplays female characters. Look at Natasha Romanov a.k.a. Black Widow. Her story in Age of Ultron heavily leaned on her potential relationship with Bruce Banner. As a powerful spy, managing to be in the Avengers without actually having superpowers, she can hold her on without a romantic relationship.
So why does this happen? Blatant sexism? Or does the excuse "old habits die hard" actually hold water? Whatever the case, the world is ready for change, which is why a solo X-23 film would be perfect. She can hold her own in a fight, protecting her male friends in the process, something that is so rarely depicted on screen. Not to mention that she's very young, which means that as she grows, so will her power. She knows how to carry the spotlight, peaking audiences' interest while keeping them emotionally invested. She defies every stereotype of female characters, and a solo film would continue pushing the superhero genre in the right direction.
The character does exactly what Logan asks of her with his dying breath: "Don't be what they made you." We've also never seen an X-Men film led by a female character before, which is surprising when you think about just how many powerful ones exist in the universe. Furthermore, Laura's connection and similarities to Logan makes the passing of the character less painful.
Laura Has Stolen Our Hearts, Even Without Words
The trick with superhero films is that they need to appeal to two groups of people. People who are loyal fans of the comics, and those who only know the Cinematic Universe. It isn't just the film itself that needs to achieve this, it's the characters as well. X-23 is a character comic book fans have been waiting to see brought to life cinematically for a long time, and Keen did not disappoint them. She is able to make the audience both fear and love her at once — no small feat. As for people who are meeting her for the first time in Logan? They can't help but love her, too.
She's a girl of few words for the majority of the film, but she still easily draws viewers in. When you see her fight, your first impression is that she is effortless, like a killing machine designed for nothing else. But when she gets in the car with Logan and Charles, she jumps in between Charles and the glass to protect him from being shot. She is wary of Logan in the beginning, but is quick to comfort him when he needs it. In fact, she is wary of almost everyone for the entire film, but the way she warms to Logan is something the audience can easily empathize with.
It's almost nostalgia, like the way we felt when we first met Wolverine. She shows an innocent and very human side in the end, crying and whispering, "Daddy," in pain because Logan's death is something she has no control over, something she cannot fix. She both breaks and warms our hearts, but more importantly, she's incredibly relatable — something that we need right now.
X-23 Will Bring More Girl Power To Hollywood
There's no question that there's inequality in film in many ways, and a lot of film and television is trying to change that. Shows like Game of Thrones and Westworld are showing ladies with immense strength, be it physical, emotional, mental, or all three. The #DCEU has also decided to jump on board with the announcement of Gotham City Sirens, a film that actress Margot Robbie will not only star in as Harley Quinn, but will help to produce. We're looking at the beginning of a new era for women in film, and Laura would really help lead the charge.
- Gotham City Sirens Could Change Superhero Films
- 5 Subtle Moments From 'Logan' That Prove It's Oscar-Worthy
The biggest trope we need to move past is the idea that women are weak. It's starting to change, but for a long time it was always the man saving the woman, that women needed to be saved. X-23 has definitely proved that she is more than capable of taking care of herself. In fact, she saved Charles and Logan a few times. What was really fantastic about this was they didn't make a big deal about it. They treated it as if it were a natural thing. She gets shot so Charles won't, and literally sucks and spits the bullet out. This is a tough girl, yet she isn't as apathetic as she may appear at first. The ending proves it. She's got this massive heart, and shows her compassion by crying. It's too often assumed that if someone cries, they're not as strong. No one thought that during the credits for Logan. No one thinks she is any weaker for it. Laura is still a complete bad ass — someone no one wants to mess with — but someone also capable of deep love. Just like her father.
This is the perfect time for an X-23 solo film, and Logan sets it up so beautifully, bringing us closer to the character we've known and loved for so long, while introducing us to this amazing young girl in the process. The loss of Logan leaves a hole in our hearts, but Laura may well be the one to fill it. In doing so she is propelling the superhero genre (mainly dominated by men) into the modern era. I have a strong hunch that we'll be seeing her again. And if we dare to hope, it'll only be the beginning.
Check out all of the Easter Eggs we spotted in Fox's Logan below and check out more cool content over at Movie Pilot Video.
What did you think of Logan? Would you like to see an X-23 solo film? Let us know down in the comments!