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[Warning: this story contains spoilers for Logan]
Logan is the rarest of superhero movies, one that somehow manages to be a 10th installment in a film series that against all odds refuses to be bogged down by continuity. There’s no setting up the next film or post-credit scenes. There’s no trying to twist the narrative to awkwardly fit what’s come before.
Still, Logan does pick and choose from the best of the X-Men films (there’s a reference to X-Men‘s Statue of Liberty scene) and plays off the long relationship viewers have with both Logan and Patrick Stewart’s Prof. X.
After watching the film, these scenes in particular stand out as ones that are time to revisit.
Wolverine and Prof. X meet in X-Men (2000)
The central relationship in the X-Men franchise has always been Prof. X and Magneto, but as Days of Future Past suggested — and Logan drives home — the father-son dynamic between Logan and Charles is essential to the mythos. This scene is also a striking reminder to how far Xavier has fallen in Logan — going from a put-together man running a school to a fugitive hiding out in the desert.
Wolverine fights at the Statue of Liberty in X-Men (2000)
In Logan, Charles tells Logan he’s being waited for at the Statue of Liberty, to which Logan responds, that “was a long time ago.” (For the record, Charles was right: Laura and her nurse are waiting for her at the Liberty Motel). Logan thinks he’s confused and referring to their battle in the first X-Men movie. What’s so wonderful about this reference, is that while technically Days of Future Past rewrote history (and it seems unlikely the Statue of Liberty showdown would have happened in the new timeline) — Logan acknowledges Wolverine’s very first adventure with the X-Men without trying to explain it in confusing continuity terms.
Wolverine takes on Stryker’s soldiers at the X-Mansion in X2: X-Men United (2003)
Before Logan, this was considered the quintessential Wolverine action scene. And it’s still awesome. But after seeing limbs lobbed off and guts spilled by those claws in Logan, this scene is jarringly bloodless.
Prof. X dies (for the first time) in X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
This is one of the most controversial moments in an X-Men film to date, with Prof. X dying early on in the film (and later, more or less inexplicably showing up in The Wolverine). Still, looking back (and knowing we’ll get more great Stewart performances as the character after this), this is actually a pretty cool sequence. The Logan casino hotel scene even has hints of it, with Logan putting his claws in the wall to propel himself.
Prof. X returns in The Wolverine (2013)
Stewart, Jackman and Ian McKellen (Magneto) are so good together that what could have been a gimmick — the little-explained return of Prof. X — has gotten the rare pass from fanboys who usually cry foul at the slightest hint of a discrepancy. The scene, oddly enough, also makes Prof. X’s death in Logan all the more poignant. As Stewart told Heat Vision ahead of Logan‘s release: “Charles Xavier has already died twice in this series. I think, third time I’m lucky. He’s gone.”
James McAvoy meets Stewart in X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
Nothing quite sums up with Prof. X means to the world than this scene. He offers hope where others would despair, light where others see pain.
We have a lot more from Logan. For more, check out our interviews with director James Mangold, Patrick Stewart, screenwriter Scott Frank, and the Logan team about the tragic flashback they cut from the script.
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