Hugh Jackman's Wolverine swan song is taking audiences by storm, and fans are still trying to wrap their heads around everything that happened in the movie. Not only was Logan gorgeous and heart-wrenching, but it was also deeply connected with the other films in the X-Men franchise.
We saw a reference to the Statue of Liberty fight at the end of X-Men, and the sword from The Wolverine in Logan's room; we even saw the prophecy from The Wolverine fulfilled during the climax of the film. These Easter Eggs and references helped establish a strong connection to the rest of the franchise, and also added moments of nostalgia to enhance the emotion.
There was another reference I recently spotted which connected Logan to X-Men: First Class. In First Class, we witness the young Charles Xavier as he assembles the first team of X-Men, including a young Magneto and young Mystique.
The primary conflict in the film is deciding whether or not mutants should hide themselves or if they should be open. Mystique plays a big part in this, as she is not confident in her blue form and instead reverts to a human form, hiding her gifts from the world.
Mystique eventually decides to use her natural blue form over her human form in order to truly express herself after a powerful moment with Erik (Magneto). In this scene, Erik tells Mystique that he wants to see "the real Raven," convincing her to no longer hide her blue self and to be proud of her mutant abilities. During this time, he says a rather deep line:
"You don't have to hide. Have you ever looked at a tiger and thought you ought to cover it up?"
This was a symbolic line, comparing mutants and their beautiful talents to a majestic tiger: both are gorgeous gifts of nature, and neither should have to hide, though they are both feared.
In Logan, tigers were brought up again by the character Donald Pierce when he first confronts Logan in his limousine. Pierce pokes fun at Logan's altercation at the beginning of the film, saying investigators thought that the men were either killed by Freddy Krueger or a tiger. He then clarified how ridiculous both theories were, with one being fictional (Freddy), and the other being extinct (tigers).
This is the only mention of the extinction of tigers in Logan, but it does make sense. Logan takes place in 2029. With tigers currently on the extinction list in 2017, it would not be surprising (though it would be terribly depressing) to learn that there will be no more 12 years from now.
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The extinction of tigers in Logan isn't just a comment on the tigers currently being on the endangered list. It symbolizes the extinction of mutants, and how humans hunted them down like animals until there were (almost) none left. Mutants were misunderstood, even 70 years after X-Men: First Class. Charles Xavier denied Magneto's accusations of humanity, but time proved him wrong. To humans, mutants would remain nothing more than animals, vicious animals that need to be feared.
This minor, yet deep, detail shows us yet again how beautifully complex of a film Logan is. I am still in awe over all the detail director James Mangold put into his film. The tiger connection really adds power and pathos for those who have watched both of these films in the franchise, and helps to show us the emotional pain that the remaining mutants are in.
What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments, and thanks for reading!