[Warning: Spoilers lurk within. Not huge, plot twist spoiling spoilers, rather an in depth discussion of small but crucial plot points. Continue at your own risk.]
Logan is a game changer in many ways — its R rating allows the movie to go all-out in vicious fight scenes that are quintessentially #Wolverine, and its grounded approach will no doubt change superhero movies forever. But for all Logan's impact in the real world, the events of the movie have even more world-shaking implications for the world of the #XMen franchise.
The ever rebooting X-Men timeline is very difficult to make sense of. Ever since Days Of Future Past changed the future, it's hard to say which events really happened and which didn't. And then there's #Logan, a movie which floats in ambiguity as to which timeline it can be slotted into. For argument's sake, let's assume that Logan takes place in the current X-Men timeline, lining up with Apocalypse and Deadpool. That being said, here's the dismal and disturbing future our mutant heroes can look forward to.
Beloved Heroes To Pariahs
At first, things don't seem so bad. Logan reveals that around present day, the X-Men were a beloved team of superheroes, so popular that they even merited #comicbook spinoffs and merchandise galore. As was revealed in the second trailer, Laura Kinney is a fan of these comics, idolizing heroes who are just like her. It's a nice sentiment, but one that is rather bittersweet — and Logan is only too happy to disillusion the young mutant.
"It didn't happen like that. Maybe 25% of this is true, but the rest is bullshit."
Yet as much the X-Men are misrepresented in their (presumably unlicensed) merchandise, the fact remains that around the time of #Deadpool the team — and mutants in general — were an accepted part of society. This lines up with the events of both #XMenApocalypse and Deadpool: At the end of Apocalypse, the team save the day and resolve to become heroes. The situation in Deadpool implies that they were successful in this venture and that helped human society to accept mutants.
However, Logan also reveals that this was rather shortlived. Around 2004, the US government (or just Weapon X, depending on where this military program got their funding) started a systematic and brutal sterlization process, eliminating the mutant gene through drug-infused food and drink.
As a result, by the time 2029 rolls around the mutants are almost extinct — aside from those created as part of the Weapon X program.
This, along with references to the Statue of Liberty in Logan, implies that the events of the first X-Men trilogy did occur, albeit slightly differently to how they played out in the original movies. And again, this lines up with the ending of Days Of Future Past, in which Wolverine finds himself in the X-Mansion with everything restored to how it was in the original movies.
Doom For The X-Men
But in 2029 Logan is alone, caring for an aging and ailing Charles Xavier with help from Caliban. The other X-Men are long gone, having perished in a terribly tragic accident caused by Xavier's psychic seizures. (Although admittedly, it's never confirmed if any of them survived.)
Distressingly, it seems that the general population just don't care about the loss of the X-Men — or the fact that mutants are going the way of the dodo. This doesn't really line up with either the fact that the X-Men were beloved enough to have comic books, or the relatively accepting society that Deadpool presented us with.
This seems to suggest that something happened to bias humans against mutants once again, returning society to a similarly tense state that the first X-Men movies explored. So what exactly was this event?
It's possible that subsequent X-Men movies will explain this, and the idea of the X-Men falling from grace is an interesting idea for any movie to explore. Specifically though, this would have to take place sometime after 2016, as the X-Men are a popular team in Deadpool. So #NewMutants (set to release in 2018) could reveal how the X-Men fell out of the public favor, but rumors seem to suggest that New Mutants will be set in the 1990s, thanks to it being shot back-to-back with #XMenSupernova — the Dark Phoenix-focused sequel to Apocalypse.
If any movie is going to explain this plot point from Logan, it's probably going to be #XForce — not much is known about this film, though it seems likely that it will be set around present day, allowing Deadpool to join the team as he did in the comics.
It's a tangled web to unravel, but although Logan doesn't feature any tie-ins to other movies, Wolverine's last stand does provide us with a wealth of hints that set up an interesting situation for future X-Men movies to explore — and I can't wait to find out what happened to turn the public against the superhero team.
Tell us in the comments: Do you have any unanswered questions from Logan?