[SPOILERS for Logan ahead!]
Hugh Jackman has said for years that he was ready to leave the character of Wolverine behind, but each time he signed on for one more project. It’s likely that, given the varying reception for the X-Men franchise over the years, he was waiting to do the character justice and provide Wolverine with a fitting send-off. Logan proves to be just that, bringing the story of Jackman’s character and Patrick Stewart’s Professor X full circle. In between all of that emotional heavy-lifting, the movie also manages to introduce us to a version of X-23 who may return in the future.
So far, Logan has received near-universal praise from critics and audiences alike. Thanks to its somber and poignant tone, mixed with plenty of Easter eggs and violent action, the movie has already earned over $200 million worldwide in its first weekend. Still, many moviegoers will likely leave the film a bit confused by the methodical character study, wondering where all the flashy superheroics are. In truth, it’s a wonderful adaptation of many of the best Wolverine stories, and is everything Jackman and director James Mangold wanted it to be.
While speaking with CBR, Mangold attempted to explain the lack of conclusiveness to the film, especially in its ending:
“I think we watch movies too literally. I think we want answers, contractual answers. Life never gives us these answers, and I think that — people could ask questions about what happened to the X-Men or why do this or why. The comic books never answered every question. Somehow the movies are expected to. When you do, and there are many movies that try to answer every question, you end up with these endless scenes with people explaining stuff, ad infinitum. It may satisfy some people, but in life, I hardly understand what’s going on one moment to the next. I like movies where there are mysteries.”
On the one hand, the vague nature of the ending allows audiences to ruminate on the tragic and bittersweet moments in the film’s climax and denouement. It also offers us a chance to fill in what we think happened, something many of the best works of fiction often do. Then again, many fans will be curious what happened to Laura and the other children following Logan’s death. For one, the fabled Eden seemed to merely be the rendezvous point in North Dakota, not any sort of sanctuary. But given the call Rictor made, it’s clear someone is waiting somewhere for the mutants.
Of course, the simpler argument is that this film was about Logan, and not a group of young mutants. Though the future of mutantkind plays into the film, it would hardly have been a gratifying experience to see Wolverine’s death before spending another twenty minutes seeing where Laura and her new friends ended up. As a swan song, the movie accomplished its goals perfectly, while also providing a path forward should the producers wish to pursue this fork in the X-Men film timeline. Considering how overstuffed many of the past X-Men films have been, we’d say Logan‘s quieter ending is pitch-perfect.