Like all time-travel movies, X-Men: Days of Future Past was not the easiest to entirely understand for most people who don't remember much about the previous films. Shortly after its release, questions started popping up across the internet about it, such as "Why was JKF a mutant?", "How did Magneto get his powers back?", "Who was that Striker guy?", and "What are they going to do from here?". But the one question that has seemed to have everyone stumped is...
How is Professor X still alive?!
The opening timeline of [X-Men: Days Of Future Past](tag:203942) is supposed to follow the events of X-Men: The Last Stand. Many people hated the ending of The Last Stand, which is why Fox created the new timeline to fix their mistakes. Unfortunately, there are a couple key pieces that don't quite add up, specifically:
Magneto (along with a couple other mutants) lost their powers during The Last Stand but appear to still have them at the beginning of DoFP. And...
Professor X was incinerated during The Last Stand but somehow is still alive in DoFP?
But I have finally found the answer to this question. I believe I know how Professor X "survived". And it all starts with the ending of The Last Stand...
Re-watch the final clip from X-Men: The Last Stand below. It's actually very important to this theory. Prior to this clip, Magneto had lost his powers when the "cure" was forced into him. But in the closing shot, it shows that maybe the cure isn't all it's cracked up to be.
Magneto is still able to move metal again, even if it's just a small chess piece at the time. It shows that the "cure" is only a temporary cure. Much like the "cure" that young Professor X and Beast use during the past in DoFP. In other words, the "cure" will take away a mutant's abilities, but only for a short period of time before the abilities gradually start returning.
But what does this all have to do with Professor X?
Well, I'm just about to get to that. If Magneto's powers start returning, then that must mean the other mutants who received the "cure" will also see their powers coming back. We already know this about Rogue, who we will be seeing in the DoFP deleted scenes this month. She volunteered herself for the cure and lost her abilities, yet appears to have them in the deleted scenes of the next movie.
Hmmmm. I'm seeing a trend...
So, if Magneto's powers returned, and Rogue's powers returned, then what about....
If Rogue and Magneto regained their powers after being "cured", then why would Mystique not regain her powers as well after The Last Stand? Here is where my theory really kicks in. Let's look at some of our key factors that we have right now:
- Professor X died during X-Men: The Last Stand
- Mystique's abilities most likely returned after The Last Stand
- Mystique appears to be absent during the events of Days of Future Past, even though her abilities are back
- Professor X appears to be present during the events of Days of Future Past, even though he is dead
- Mystique has the ability to take the form of other people
Are you following me yet???
Here is what I am trying to imply:
Mystique disguises herself as Professor X after his death
But why would she do this? Well there are a couple of possibilities. Perhaps it is because she feels sorry for the loss of her old childhood friend and wants to carry on his legacy. Or perhaps it started out as her way of getting back at Magneto for betraying her after she lost her abilities, and then she just kept the identity from there? Or maybe it is just her way of trying to help the world once she sees the Sentinels appear because of what she had done.
But there's still more to it than that! Professor X is known for being very mentally spiritual and one with the world. Let's take a look at the end credits scene for X-Men: The Last Stand.
In this scene, it shows that though Professor X's body was destroyed...
....his consciousness is still very much alive.
He can still communicate with others telepathically and apparently can control the minds of others. In the above scene, he takes control of the mind of a man in a coma. This makes sense and fits his character well. Professor X is a very peaceful man and would most likely only take control of someone's mind if they could not control it themselves, at least if it was for long periods of time.
But how does this tie into the theory?
Think about it. When the Professor X in Days of Future Past communicates, he seems to know everything the Professor X from The Last Stand seemed to know. He also still has his same mind abilities. So here is what I am thinking...
Mystique serves as Professor X's body during Days of Future Past, but the real Professor X's consciousness is guiding Mystique with his abilities and his knowledge.
So from here, we have two theories. Either the Professor is just guiding Mystique by speaking to her telepathically while looking into the minds of other people in the world as a "spy", or the Professor took complete control of Mystique's body and uses her as a puppet of himself.
Though the "puppet" idea may make more sense, I do not see it in Professor X's character to completely rid Mystique of her control over her body. He cared for her more than that. So I believe that he is just guiding with his abilities, but either theory could be correct. That decision is a matter of opinion at this point.
Need Some More Proof?
Below I have the mid-credits scene from The Wolverine where Logan (Wolverine) is confronted by Magneto (with his powers back) and an apparently reborn Professor X. Go ahead and watch it through.
That last line. "You're not the only one with gifts." What does it mean??
Most people assumed that the Professor was just pointing out that he's super powerful. But does it mean more than that? Is the Professor referencing his own "gifts" or that of another mutant which helped "bring him back" (aka: Mystique)?
All of this data adds up into one simple conclusion:
Mystique is Professor X during Days of Future Past, while the real Professor communicates with her telepathically / controls her.
The real Professor's consciousness communicates with Mystique as she goes along, or the real Professor's consciousness is simply controlling Mystique. Both are plausible theories and I will leave that open because I have not yet found enough information to prove either one as the correct answer. But I do have enough information to show that Mystique "took over" as Professor X after the events of X-Men: The Last Stand.
It's a crazy theory, but it's (in my own opinion) the best one we have. There is no other possible reason to explain how Professor X suddenly came back to life even after his body was incinerated.