It’s the end of the road for mutants in Logan, the final Wolverine movie starring Hugh Jackman. The superhero/Western noir from James Mangold closes out the first chapter of Fox’s X-Men series which began 17 years ago with Bryan Singer’s X-Men in 2000, and it does so with emotional devastation.
Major spoilers for Logan follow.
In Logan, which takes place in 2029, most mutants have been wiped out and new ones haven’t been born in a long time. Logan (Jackman), who no longer bears the name Wolverine, lives on the outskirts of the U.S./Mexico border with Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart). Looking at Xavier now is a pathetic sight, and he’s no longer the charismatic leader he once was. Both Wolverine and Professor X are slowly dying, their bodies decaying as the dust and dirt overwhelm them. For Logan, the adamantium metal in his bones — a result of his involuntary role in the Weapon X project — is now poisoning him, hurting him faster than his waning regenerative factor can heal.
But for Xavier, it’s a different story. Alzheimer’s, the very human neurodegenerative disease that affects six percent of people over the age of 65, is eroding Xavier and leaving his powerful telepathic and mind control abilities in flux. Without proper medicine — which they’re constantly low on — Xavier suffers from violent seizures that harm pretty much anyone within his vicinity. Not only is Xavier dying, but he can also kill people near him who are in the wrong place at the wrong time.
That’s likely what happened at “Westchester,” too. Spoken in whispers throughout the film, Logan reveals that Xavier, who can be mentally connected to a vast number of mutants (especially when using Cerebro), was the one who killed mutants in what is known as the “Westchester Incident,” where Xavier’s School was located in Westchester County, New York. Westchester is the flashpoint of mutants’ existence, and after fighting so long for equal rights, they’ve been horrifically wiped out by the one who fought so hard and so long for them.
Logan is the end for the vast majority of mutants in Fox’s X-Men franchise. But the saga isn’t over: Deadpool 2 starring Ryan Reynolds and New Mutants from director Josh Boone are on the way, maybe as soon as next year. In their continuity, they could take place before the events of Logan. But if they take place after, then there’s definitely hope for mutants in the future.
Logan released on March 3.