Given what a mess of things First Class made for the X-Men timeline, you wouldn’t be wrong to just assume that the series’ chronology is basically broken at this point. That is, if the X-Men creators didn’t seem so hell-bent on patching things together. Up until now, most fans just assumed (for their own sanity) that First Class was for all intents and purposes a reboot, featuring an alternate timeline completely separate from the original trilogy. Then Days of Future Past rolled around.
Spoilers for all of the X-Men movies (including Days of Future Past) follow.
Now, to be fair, I really loved Days of Future Past, it might be my favorite X-Men movie yet. However, considering how much trouble this movie went through to combine the original films with the events of First Class, I had trouble ignoring the glaring continuity problems that such an endeavor entailed.
There is definitely a clear progression of events from X3 to The Wolverine to Days of Future Past, and the time traveling mechanics of this latest film are an attempt to finally link them together with First Class. They even briefly loop in Origins for some reason (that was a mistake).
With that in mind, it’s really baffling how much of the established film canon Days of Future Past ignores (or just forgets). While I’m a big fan of the movie as a whole, and these issues really didn’t effect my overall enjoyment of the experience, it’s still puzzling why they would go through so much trouble to clean up the X-Men timeline, only to break it again.
These are my 10 biggest issues with the new combined timeline. For brevity’s sake, we’re going to leave off the many, many anomalies caused by all of the recasting and reusing of character names that the series is so fond of doing.
1. Why is Professor X still crippled?
In The Last Stand, Professor Xavier is killed by the Phoenix-possessed Jean Grey. However, a post-credits scene reveals that he’s managed to transplant his consciousness into a previously brain-dead coma patient. It’s a bit of a cheat, but director Brett Ratner explained in the DVD commentary that this patient is actually Xavier’s identical twin, which is why he looks the same in the subsequent movies.
However, that doesn’t explain why Xavier is in a wheel chair again. It seems like a hell of a coincidence that the coma patient had the exact same spinal condition, especially considering the injury had nothing to do with genetics.
2. When did Wolverine get new claws?
In The Wolverine, Logan’s claws are severed in the climactic final battle. In the film’s post-credits scene, we see that his bone claws have regrown though, presumably due to his healing powers. But in Days of Future Past, Wolverine has his trademark adamantium claws again. When did this happen?
Having adamantium fused to his skeleton was no walk in the park for Wolverine, and as we saw in Days of Future Past, it’s a moment that still haunts him. Even if he wanted it though, William Stryker (the guy who gave him the adamantium skeleton and wiped his memory) is dead by the time Days of Future Past rolls around, and his lab was destroyed decades ago. So it begs the question, when and how did he get his new claws?
3. What happened with Wolverine and Stryker?
Now that Origins is officially in the mix (I told you it was a mistake), we know that in the 1970s, Wolverine and Sabertooth were best bros fighting in Vietnam. In Days however, Wolverine is definitely not in the army, he’s a bodyguard in New York, and Sabertooth is nowhere to be found. Also, William Stryker is working for Bolivar Trask, not assembling the Weapon X program.
At the end of Days of Future Past, we also see that Mystique is impersonating Stryker, perhaps implying that Wolverine was rescued, and never underwent the Weapon X experiments. That’s not really a plot issue though, unless Wolverine shows up with adamantium claws in the next film.
4. Who figured out that Kitty Pryde could send people into the past?
I’m not saying that her power is unrealistic, it’s a superhero movie about mutants after all, it’s just weird that this aspect has only shown up now. It’s obviously a nod to the original comic, where Kitty was the one to travel back in time, but it doesn’t explain why she was never able to do something like this before.
Being able to send someone’s mind back in time would’ve saved the X-Men team a lot of headaches in the original trilogy.
5. What’s Pietro Maximoff been up to all this time?
Some of the best moments in Days of Future Past involve the mutant Quicksilver and his super-speed abilities. He’s one of the most powerful mutants we’ve ever seen, and he enables Xavier and Logan to break Magneto out of one of the most secure facilities in the world.
If he’s so awesome though, where was he during everything else? Logan mentions that they met as adults, but he definitely wasn’t around to help in any of the other movies. It’s probably for the best though considering his power could’ve basically solved every problem in every X-Men movie to date (including the future Sentinels).
6. Where have the Sentinels been?
The most mind-boggling revelation in Days of Future Past might just be the fact that the US government spent three X-Men movies trying to deal with Magneto, when fully functional Sentinels were built in the 70s! Sure they took 50 years to perfect, but they totally worked in a time when people were just starting to use personal computers (not to mention they were about 100 times more advanced than any weapons the military was using in that decade).
In the original trilogy, it took the government three movies just to come up with half-assed plastic “cure guns.” You’re telling me no one suggested checking up on how the Sentinel project was going?
7. Where was the mutant cure in the “future” timeline?
Speaking of which, what happened to that cure? They had firearms that could shoot injections of the cure pretty reliably in The Last Stand. That seems like something worth equipping those future timeline super-Sentinels with. If nothing else, it’d be a heck of a lot more efficient than all of the dismembering.
8. Also, what happened to the mutant detector?
Sentinels aside, Trask went ahead and developed foolproof mutant detectors before he died. It wasn’t exactly a secret either, he showed them to pretty much everyone and they were the keystone of his plans.
How was Mystique not the most useless mutant in the world by the time the first X-Men movie rolled around?
9. Where is Wolverine’s girlfriend?
In a surprising move, Days of Future Past roped in Origins (arguably the most canon-defacing entry in the franchise) with a brief glimpse of Lynn Collins as Kayla Silverfox in Wolverine’s flashbacks. Ignoring all of the issues that Origins brings to the table, why is she not around in the “happy future” timeline?
The events of Origins were presumably erased or changed, but Logan kept his memories of it all. Does that mean he never bothered to track down the woman he loved? He’s clearly haunted by her memory, he calls out her name in his sleep in The Wolverine, so why didn’t he try and find her again?
And while we’re on the topic of women in Logan’s life, what happened to Mariko and Yukio?
10. So what was Deadpool up to during all this?
The future timeline is re-established, so we know everything will turn out all right.
This is less of a continuity issue and more of a storytelling one. Director Bryan Singer has already stated that X-Men: Apocalypse, an upcoming film in the series and the story being teased in Days‘ post-credits scene, will follow the First Class cast.
That means it takes place after the White House shenanigans in Days, but before Logan wakes up in the “happy timeline.” So basically, all of the characters we see in those scenes make it out fine, and the world definitely doesn’t come to an end. In fact, it looks like it’s pretty much just rainbows and sunshine.
It’s not impossible, but Singer and crew are going to need to work pretty hard to fill that time gap with some real drama.