We don't have long to go until [X-Men: Apocalypse](tag:1194267) is released, and it's already shaping up to be one of the best films in the fifteen year old franchise. Bryan Singer has promised this will be something of a rebirth for the X-Men, bringing the team into a new age. As the plot of the movie concerns the end of the world itself, the story will be far from understated.
In true X-Men fashion, Singer is ready to challenge our notions of good and evil. Oscar Isaac has already given some insights into Apocalypse's motivations, and why we shouldn't immediately paint him as the bad guy. And now Storm's actress Alexandra Shipp has dropped some hints about why her heroic character would follow someone preaching the end of days...
Hero Gone Bad
Storm's inclusion in Apocalypse's bad guy team has surprised fans, as she has long been a core member of the X-Men.
Having the beloved Storm serve villain Apocalypse certainly is a twist, yet it may not be as unexpected as you'd think: when Xavier first meets Ororo Munroe in the comics, she is a lowly pickpocket in Cairo. Storm hasn't always been so heroic. Instead of Charles saving her from a life of crime, it seems as though Apocalypse's rhetoric persuades Storm that she should fight for mutant superiority. Alexandra Shipp explained to ScreenRant how Ororo's difficult life motivated her to join Apocalypse...
"She’s in survival mode, so when she meets Apocalypse, she’s hit this revelation where she’s been struggling to feel like she belongs somewhere. Then this extremely powerful being comes to her and says, “I’m what you’ve been waiting for, I will take care of you”… I don’t see her as a villain."
Shipp described Apocalypse's cult as being very loving, and this lines up with the idea that Apocalypse wants to help mutants... it's just that his method of help involves killing all humans.
"She admires him. She believes in him because for so long humans have treated her like crap. He is like, well in my day it was different. She’s like, let’s get back to there, let’s get back to that."
This kind of thinking has been the cornerstone of many X-Men movies already: it's getting back to the idea of the oppressed rising up against their oppressors. Put this persuasive notion along with the fact that Apocalypse can increase his followers' powers, and his offer seems difficult to resist.
Storm's Role As Horseman
So will Storm be partaking in the slaughter of innocents? Although she's one of Apocalypse's Horseman, it seems that her role is more like that of a bodyguard for Apocalypse, ensuring he doesn't get hurt.
This makes a lot of sense for Storm's character, and her role as protector might lead into her redemption: her protective nature could serve the X-Men well if she ever does join the team.
"His plan for her in the movie is to protect him. Protect him with fog. Protect him with lightening. Blow away a missile. Blow away a plane. There is so much that she can do, and what he’s looking for is protection because he just woke up after a couple thousands and thousand years. He’s weak and he’s alone, and he’s been betrayed, you know."
Aside from the nuance this would give Storm's character, Shipp's statement also contains an intriguing tidbit about Apocalypse's backstory. Who betrayed him? Did his followers rise up and revolt, or was this more personal?
Apocalypse is an epic, iconic character, larger than life in more ways than one. The challenge in portraying him is to make us care about him, X-Men has never been a franchise that goes along the lines of one-dimensional villains, and for all his preaching it looks as though Apocalypse will be no different.
Before he became a god, Apocalypse was a frightened kid just like Storm, who used his powers to stop being hating him, and get them to love him instead. This doesn't make him redeemable, but it adds an interesting element to his character. And personally, I can't wait for X-Men: Apocalypse to challenge my preconceptions once again.