Back in the year 2000, the first and original installment of the X-Men franchise was released. Not only did it help shape the modern superhero film genre, it gave comic book fans what they had wanted for years: Sir Patrick Stewart as Charles Xavier.
The actor, known at the time for playing Captain Jean-Luc Picard on Star Trek: The Next Generation, was the absolute perfect choice for the role — and James McAvoy, as the younger version of Professor X, has done the character justice as well.
With Patrick Stewart retiring from the series — along with Hugh Jackman — after #Logan hits theaters later his week, it's safe to say that the film will feature their best performances yet. So for now, let's look back at 17 years of Professor X. Here are the greatest mutant films, based on the awesomeness of Xavier's appearances.
8. X-Men Origins: Wolverine
This is the least-liked film in the X-Men franchise, and Professor X only makes a brief cameo (with some pretty awkward CGI) to rescue a young Cyclops, who is likewise shoehorned in. I'm a huge Patrick Stewart fan — however, I don't believe there was any need to include him in the movie.
7. The Wolverine
Although Xavier's appearance in the post-credits scene of The Wolverine is another cameo, it's a much better one than in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The two-minute scene (which also featured Ian McKellen's Magneto) revealed that Professor X had survived the events of X-Men: The Last Stand, and got fans hyped up for the next film in the series, X-Men: Days of Future Past.
6. X-Men: The Last Stand
The third film in the franchise gave us some interesting scenes with Professor X, including a flashback with far more convincing de-aging CGI than in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The film itself was a letdown, but it gave us a great scene between Dark Phoenix and Professor X, leading to his fake-out death:
5. X-Men: Apocalypse
The latest film in the X-Men franchise finds Professor X in a one-on-one telepathic matchup against the ancient mutant Apocalypse. This film also provides us with the final stage of James McAvoy's transformation to Patrick Stewart's version — it's basically the origin story of his bald scalp.
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4. X2: X-Men United
One of the best films in the franchise, X2 is a heck of an action movie — and the scenes of Professor X getting his mind toyed with were pretty haunting. This film also delved deeper into Xavier and Lehnsherr's relationship. It's a great performance from Patrick Stewart.
3. X-Men: First Class
A "soft reboot" of the franchise, this film was our excellent introduction to James McAvoy in the role of Xavier, depicting him as less of a "sexless monk" (in McAvoy's words) and more of a groovy young telepath. We got to delve deeper into Charles and Eric's friendship — seeing how they met, worked together and then became rivals.
Bryan Singer's first installment of the franchise gave us the introduction of Professor X; along with Logan/Wolverine (Hugh Jackman). Also known as one of the best films of the franchise, this film delivers the first complications of Professor X and Magneto's beliefs and showing us that they were dear friends before taking on different paths.
1. X-Men: Days Of Future Past
Until I see Logan, I would have to say that this time-traveling film is my personal favorite in the series — and it delivered stunning performances from Patrick Stewart and James McAvoy, both phenomenal actors, who share the screen in one powerful scene. Charles Xavier's ability to hope in the face of adversity always defined the X-Men, and Days of Future Past put it to the test. I believe it's safe to say that the filmmakers couldn't have used Professor X any better.
Logan opens in theaters March 3, 2017. Which film do you enjoy Professor X in the most? Drop your comments down below!