The #XMen movie timelines are difficult enough to work out, after Days of Future Past reset everything and we were launched into a soft reboot of the franchise with fresh-faced actors who, let's face it, are probably completely the wrong ages. With the release of #Logan has come a new wave of continuity debates, as Wolverine's last stand has huge implications for the future of the X-Men movies.
As far as we can tell, Logan is set at the end of the current X-Men timeline, the same continuity in which Apocalypse and Deadpool are set. But if this is true, then there's a huge, spacetime-continuum shaking plot hole in Days of Future Past.
Before Logan was even released, it was revealed that in this bleak version of 2029, the mutants are all but extinct. The reason for this? A shady military program (possibly financed by the villainous Mr Sinister) disseminated a virus that repressed the mutant gene, meaning that by the time 2029 rolls around no mutants have been born in 25 years.
Except, there were clearly a bunch of mutant kids wandering the halls of Professor X's School for Gifted Youngsters just five years previously — as shown in the final scene of Days of Future Past.
So what does this mean? Despite references to the original X-Men trilogy in Logan, the official line is that the movie takes place in the rebooted timeline. The presence of these mutant children directly contradicts the mutant-extermination plot point in Logan, so we could take this as proof that Logan actually takes place in a different timeline altogether — or that #Wolverine's final solo movie is just one long dream sequence.
However, there is another option: That this is just another one of the X-Men franchise's many, many gaping plot holes.
A History Of X-Holes
Even before the multiple sequels and resets, the very first X-Men trilogy was riddled with so many plot holes that the narrative was practically transparent. This was a result of poor planning — Bryan Singer's desire to cram in references to every mutant imaginable turned out to be the franchise's Achilles heel, as a character who appeared in the background of one movie would appear in another looking totally different.
The majority of these plot holes are character duplications — my personal favorite is Kitty Pryde, who appeared in each of the original X-Men movies at different ages and played by different actresses. Here's a quick history of the franchise's most annoying plot holes — and believe me when I say that this list is far from complete.
- The Kitties Pryde: Kitty Pryde is around 20 years old in X1, around 12 in X2, then Ellen Page in Last Stand and Days of Future Past.
- Saberteeth: The feral and non-verbal mutant Sabertooth was one of Magneto's henchmen in X1, then revealed to be Logan's brother in Origins: Wolverine.
- Mystique is way too young: In Last Stand, Mystique loses her mutant abilities thanks to the "cure". She turns into the 30-year-old Rebecca Romlin — although her appearance in First Class means that she would be around 75. And before you ask, yes First Class is part of both X-Men timelines.
- Stryker's selective memory: In X2, William Stryker said he thought Wolverine's powers were unique and non-transferable — yet in Origins: Wolverine, set before X2, he gave Deadpool Logan's abilities.
- The two Trasks: A Bolivar Trask appears in Last Stand, looking starkly different (and far younger) than the Trask in Days of Future Past.
- Magneto did/didn't build Cerebro: A major plot point in X2 is that Magneto built Cerebro for Charles Xavier. In First Class he just kind of stands around and watches Hank build it.
- Adamantium regrows: Wolverine's metal claws are removed in The Wolverine, leaving him with his bone claws. 12 years later, in Days of Future Past, these metal claws have mysteriously grown back.
- Identical Emmas: Emma Frost is both Logan's girlfriend's younger sister in Origins: Wolverine, and a totally different person in First Class.
- More Moiras: Moira McTaggert first appears in Last Stand as a young woman in the Noughties, then again as a young woman in the Sixties in First Class.
- Xavier walks: A flashback scene to the 1970s shows Charles walking in Last Stand, but First Class revealed he was paralyzed in the 1960s.
- Xavier survives disintegration: Remember when Jean Grey totally murdered Professor X in Last Stand? Well, the writers don't. 20 years later — in the same timeline — Charles is alive and fighting the Sentinels in Days of Future Past.
As you've probably guessed, none of these plot holes were ever explained — and none of them were solved by the timeline reset. All of them could have been avoided with better planning and cohesive writing, and yet...
So while it would be easy to use the mutant children in Days of Future Past as proof that Logan takes place in a different timeline altogether, it seems far more likely that this is just another plot hole to add to the collection.
What do you think the mutant children mean?
[Poll image credit: Fox]