The X-Men Filmmakers Don't Even Care

How Inconsistencies, Paradoxes, and Continuity Errors Rule the X-Men Franchise

 The X-Men films are more popular (and profitable) than ever.  But the number of on-screen mistakes, and inconsistent plot points are starting to pile up to the point of being unavoidable.

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I really really hate this.

I mean, I'd be willing to do it really cheap, just as I suspect, would tens of thousands of other fans across the nation.  Which is to say, I'd be willing to maintain a story database of what has and has not occurred in the myriad histories displayed on-screen in the X-Men franchise films.

And, to be fair, over the course of five X-Men films and two Wolverine films, there's been a lot of history as multiple characters flashback to their past:  Professor X, Magneto, Wolverine.  But still, it's only seven films.  Not even a television season.

Yet the makers of X-Men, the Captains of this billion dollar franchise, are so careless that they've allowed - in just seven films - multiple time paradoxes to occur, inconsistencies, and mistakes to occur.  (As we go through them, you'll probably begin to believe, like I do, that they really don't even care.  I mean, hell, it's only one of the most profitable super-hero franchises and one of the most profitable action franchises of all time.

Dear reader, let me present to you a story...

(To see what happens when a continuity runs rampant, read this article on the demise of the Terminator franchise.)

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Once Upon a Time...

Way back in the era of 2000, there was the first X-Men film.  It established when Professor X and Magneto met each other, when Professor X made Cerebro (his nifty mutant hunting machine), and a few villains like Sabertooth and Mystique.

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Things Progressed Nicely...

First X2, and then, sadly, X-Men: Last Stand.  Fox, for reasons that don't make sense, decided this would be the last X-Men film, even though they were making decent money.  Of course, when this film, despite being the worst of the bunch, made tons of money, they decided they would make a new film.  But they didn't like the direction it was going, they wanted to re-brand it, make it hipper, younger...

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X-Men Was Ret-Conned...

Just 11 years after the first film, they made X-Men: First Class, where they got to see Magneto, Professor X, and Mystique while they were young, and they introduced a whole bunch of new hipper, younger X-Men, set in the 1960s!  A reboot?  Nope, Fox stated it was part of cannon, the same cannon as the previous films.  Yet consider the following:

  • In this film, Moira MacTaggert was a CIA agent when previously in the films she had been an older scientist, in the modern era.  
  • In this film, they re-write the entire history of Professor X,  Magneto, and Mystique - when they met, how they met.
  • Alex Summers, the brother of Scott (Cyclops) is a teenager in this film, his brother is in his young 20s in the regular trilogy...some 40 years later.  
  • The Beast is almost an entirely different character.
  • Cerebro is now created by the Beast.

None of this is explained.    

It's like they made a $200 million dollar movie without even bothering to spend $3.50 to rent the previous films and watch them before production. 

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Days of Future What?!

Of course, that movie was a hit, so then they made a sequel, X-Men: Days of Future Past.  But it was a sequel to both timelines.  The regular continuity X-Men flash forwarded to a desolate future, where they had to send Wolverine into the past, the 1970s, to ward off this future threat.  That allowed them to use young X-Men again.  Except now they have more stuff in the past, and more stuff from the past isn't lining up with the future!  

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Consider Boliviar Trask...

Often times it doesn't line up because they don't even bother trying!

Consider the character of Boliviar Trask.

The African-American man on the left played Boliviar Trask in X-Men: The Last Stand.  The man on the right played Boliviar Trask in X-Men: Days of Future Past.  Now, I know actors are often replaced...but here I get the feeling they just didn't care.

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Wolverine is a Mess...

The real problems occur when we get to Wolverine.  Wolverine's cinematic history is first explained to us, in detail, in X2, where we learn about his past with the Weapon X program.  Most of this though is contradicted in X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

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Two Deadpools

Or how about having two Deadpools and not caring about it?  (Both are played by Ryan Reynolds!)  Deadpool first appeared in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, facing off against Wolverine in the film's finale on top of a nuclear plant.  It should be said that Deadpool wasn't the Deadpool that we know and love, but a B-movie version of Deadpool.  Now we have the real Deadpool being released soon into cinemas.  This Deadpool exists in the X-Men Universe, with Colossus even guest-starring in his film.  These are supposed to be the same character, but they are treated as different characters (even though they have the same name, and are, in fact, the same character!)

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Two Sabretooths

The age Wolverine got his powers, how long he's had claws, how long he was with Weapon X, the films are inconsistent, each film offering different explanations.

How about Sabertooth?  In the first film he's a screeching yelling thug, but later in the franchise, he's a smooth talking psychopath.  (And being that he's Wolverine's brother, wouldn't Wolverine have noted that in the first film when they met?  Just a question...)

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Back to the Claws...

Or how about in the second stand-alone Wolverine film where his claws are shattered by the Silver Samurai?  Then, in the next film chronologically, X-Men: Days of Future Past, his metal claws are back...what gives?

How does Professor X show up at the end of the second Wolverine film, when he was killed in the previous chronological film X-Men: Last Stand?


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Back to the Past...

Despite X-Men: Days of Future Past returning the franchise to where it was before it started to go off the timeline rails, returning it to the ending of X-Men: Last Stand, the upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse will take place back in the past...again.


Sadly, the X-Men is quickly collapsing in on itself, just like the Terminator franchise did!  But please Hollywood, don't destroy this franchise as you have so many others!  (Or is it too late?)

Perhaps it's already time for a franchise reboot?