Major spoilers ahead for Logan. You know the drill.
Watching #Logan, you may have found yourself wondering exactly where all the X-Men were — sure, we're told that there haven't been any new mutant births in around 25 years (a result of Dr. Zander Rice's Transigen using an ostensibly-innocent additive in food and drink to isolate and wipe out the X-gene), but one big reveal during the latter half of the movie makes clear that a fast-deteriorating Professor X was himself responsible for several deaths in the "Westchester Incident."
Exactly what that incident entailed is left deliberately vague (a radio reports mentions 600 people left paralyzed and numerous lives lost), but Westchester is, obviously, the location of Charles Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, so it's not much of a stretch to imagine that Charles himself killed or paralyzed several of his own students and staff one year prior to the events of Logan.
The exact moment Charles realizes the torture his own mind inflicted on mutantkind is pretty heartbreaking:
"I did something ... something unspeakable. I remembered what happened in Westchester. This is not the first time that I’ve hurt people. Until today, I didn’t know. You didn’t tell me, so we kept on running away from it. I think ... I finally understand you."
That's pretty heartbreaking in itself, but the original Logan script planned to use a flashback scene to show the audience exactly who Xavier killed and how back in Westchester. Michael Green, who co-wrote the screenplay, explains why that scene ultimately wasn't filmed:
"[The final version] actually hits home a lot harder than the versions that really painted out specifically the flashback. [We] never filmed the actual flashback of what happened, but I’ve found the experience of watching it is far more poignant to just know that it was something really regrettable and it was bad and most likely, friends were lost [than to show it]."
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So, while we'll most likely never find out the specifics of what happened at Xavier's School that awful day in 2028, what we saw on screen was ultimately more powerful. It's enough to know that Charles was betrayed by his own, brilliant mind in a tragic twist of fate, and that, in a weird way, he pays the price for that during the events of Logan.
The brilliant header illustration was created by the talented The Sonnyfive.
How do you feel about the brutally dark end to Charles Xavier's story?