It's easy to forget about the upcoming 20th Century Fox's [X-Men: Apocalypse](tag:1194267) at the moment, what with all the excitment around Marvel's Civil War, DC's Batman V Superman and Fox's other offering Deadpool all set to release in the first half of 2016; but it didn't stop fans from getting excited when the first trailer dropped last week and we got our first look at Oscar Issac's (thankfully less purple looking) Apocalypse / En Sabah Nur.
What Does Apocalypse Want With Charles?
Admittedly the X-Men: Apocalypse trailer was a little hard to follow at times, but it's safe to assume that (like most trailers) it's not exactly a linear narrative. And Entertainment Weekly, who were allowed to visit the set back in July for their cover story article, witnessed a scene that we see taking place in the trailer:
"The scene today takes place in 1983, a decade after the events of Days of Future Past, and Raven, Charles Xavier, Hank McCoy and Moira MacTaggert have gathered inside the halls of supercomputer Cerebro, unaware that they’re about to meet their most dangerous enemy yet. Apocalypse, a 5,000-year-old Egyptian mutant, suddenly teleports into Cerebro with his new recruits — Magneto, Psylocke, Storm, and Angel — to force another mutant to join him: Charles. After the professor is pulled across the corridor in his wheelchair by Magneto, Apocalypse sizes up the remaining heroes and declares in a booming bass, 'All will be revealed, my children.'"
So we've seen all this now, Apocalypse and his followers showing up and Magneto (Michael Fassbender) levitating a seemingly collapsed Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) - who Apocalypse earlier refers to as a "blind leader" - off the ground in a very kidnappy manner.
At another point in the trailer we see a giant-sized Apocalypse pinning Xavier to the ground, but just before that the Professor standing and throwing a punch at the villain. The giant-sized Apocalypse is actually a canonical power as in the comics he's show to have total control over his molecules, allowing him to manipulate his own form to whatever shape and size he wishes.
But though this works in the comics it's a bit of a stretch (literally) to translate this power into the slightly more grounded form of cinema. Add this to the fact that Xavier is shown standing out of his wheelchair and this scene has led to a lot of speculation that it is in fact a dream sequence - or rather - a mental battle of will between the two (which makes sense given Xavier's powers).
Mr. Sunday Movies on YouTube posits that Xavier getting incapacitated is a central facet of the X-Men film series because he has such strong powers that they cause an issue for the writers (same deal with Superman's kryptonite), so having him be kidnapped or otherwise removed from the picture for a while wouldn't be an unusual thing for the film to do. Charles' disappearance also explains why Jennifer Lawrence's Mystique ends up having to take over the team as the leader.
So why take Charles? Well his mental powers aside, one clip from the trailer suggests that Apocalypse might be after something he built.
Cerebro Compromised Again?
The trailer makes it fairly obvious that Apocalypse is seeking out mutants around to world to unite under his banner, rather than the "blind leaders" they've been following thus far. If only there was a machine built to do exactly that...
As Xavier's eyes turn dark at the end of the trailer and he says "I've never felt power like this before" it's safe to assume that he was using Cerebro to try and seek out Apocalypse. This scene could take place just before he's kidnapped, but it's hard to tell as he appears to be wearing different clothing in the two scenes (either that or he's just taken his jacket off before he gets levitated away).
Cerebro hasn't had the best track record in the films. In the original X-Men it was used by Mystique to poison Xavier and he ended up in a coma as a result. In X2: X-Men United Xavier is manipulated by William Stryker and his son Jason (Mastermind) into using a copy of Cerebro to find and kill all the mutants in the world (and further manipulated by Magento and Mystique to later target humans). It's not exactly an infallible device (at least install a pin code or something dude).
In the trailer there's a shot of Apocalypse which looks very similar to the shots we see each time Xavier uses Cerebro to seek out mutants throughout the films.
Yep, I'd bet that's taken from a scene of Apocalypse using Cerebro. And he'd likely learn about its existence from his Horseman Magneto, who helped build Cerebro in the comics and was present during [X-Men: First Class](tag:3567490) when it was first introduced chronologically.
Also, it's hard to make out, but in the very first shot in the trailer - as Jean Grey (Sophie Turner)'s voiceover says "I saw the end of the world." - we see a female figure walking through what appears to be the iconic X doors which form the entrance to Cerebro's chamber. In the background of the shot there's a structure which kinda looks like the machine itself, though it's impossible to tell with the backlighting.
This reinforces the idea that Cerebro has something to do with Apocalypse's scheme to cause, well, an apocalypse.
Baldy Professor X
Furthermore this could all be linked to the reasons behind Xavier's sudden hair loss. Thanks to James McAvoy we've known for a while now that his early onset baldness was caused by a trauma that he experiences during the events of X-Men: Apocalypse:
"[Charles Xavier] ends up going through something so horrible and physically painful that he literally half pulls his hair out/half it falls out."
What could be more traumatic for someone like Xavier than being kidnapped by a mutant god and forced to help him hunt down other mutants for what we presume to be a war on humanity?
Admittedly this is only the first trailer so there's still a lot to be revealed, but the existence of Cerebro is so useful and tempting that it would be impossible for Apocalypse not to want to use it for his own means.
But as for his full motivations? We won't get to discover those until May 27th 2016 when X-Men: Apocalypse releases in the US.