Apocalypse is coming. And with the end of the world approaching it’s only natural that we should ask ourselves: how did we get here? As far as the end of the real world, that’s really anybody’s guess, but speaking about what brought about the newest X-Men villain, Apocalypse, all the answers you need are in X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Days of Future Past. Other than the who’s who of X-Men, there are a lot of complicated plot points (and not-so-complicated plot points) featured in First Class and Days of Future Past that will come into play in X-Men: Apocalypse.
The third film in the most recent X-Men movie reboot is about to hit theaters, and preparation is key. So, if you don’t have time to go back and marathon the first two films, here are the 12 Plot Points You Need To Know Before X-Men: Apocalypse.
12. Mystique And Hank Hooked Up
It’s easy to forget that Mystique and Hank/the Beast actually had a bit of a love story in X-Men: First Class. Both young mutants with a habit of turning blue, Mystique and Hank got quite close in the first film of the X-Men reboot.
Of course, by the end of the film, the two had gone their separate ways, with Mystique siding with Magneto and Hank landing on Team Charles. In X-Men: Days of Future Past, their relationship was barely acknowledged, sacrificed, it appears, due to pacing concerns. (The two actually shared a steamy scene that was left on the cutting room floor.) Could it reappear in Apocalypse? Only time will tell.
11. Moira MacTaggert
Moira MacTaggert, as played by Rose Byrne, first appeared in First Class as a non-mutant CIA Agent who was fascinated by mutants. Unlike the more nefarious government agents, MacTaggert never wanted to persecute the mutants. In fact, she even developed a bit of a romance with Charles.
Unfortunately, at the end of First Class, Charles decided it was best to erase her memory of him and his mutant buddies. MacTaggert failed to make an appearance in the jam-packed Days of Future Past, but she will be making her return in Apocalypse. Something tells us that reunion is going to be a little awkward.
10. Quicksilver Temporarily Joined The X-Men
Quicksilver, the speedy teenager with silver hair and a love of pop music — not to be confused with the silver-haired speedster seen in Avengers: Age of Ultron — temporarily joined the X-Men in Days of Future Past when he helped Wolverine and Charles break Magneto out of his plastic prison. Quicksilver’s action sequence, which showed how everything slows in his perspective when he’s speeding around, became one of the movie’s most memorable scenes, and earned rave reviews from fans.
With his success in Days of Future Past, was there ever any question that he would return in Apocalypse? He might not be one of the X-Men yet, but Quicksilver’s definitely not someone you want to forget.
9. Quicksilver Might Be Magneto’s Son
Another major aspect of Quicksilver’s character is that [minor spoiler alert] he might be Magneto’s son. In the comics, Quicksilver is, in fact, Magneto’s son — born Pietro Maximoff. When he was introduced in Days of Future Past, Quicksilver was established as a slacker who lived in his mother’s basement and never met his father. (Tellingly, his mother isn’t a mutant, but she believes his father was.)
During Magneto’s rescue, Quicksilver finds out that Magneto can manipulate all metal — the same power his mother had said she encountered before he was born. Could Magneto be Quicksilver’s dad? Magneto didn’t seem to recognize Quicksilver, so if the two are related, it will certainly come as a surprise to the forever-brooding mutant. If Quicksilver suspected anything, he didn’t say it, setting up the opportunity for a father-son reunion down the line.
8. Mystique Saved the President
In Days of Future Past it was revealed that Mystique’s plan to kill anti-mutant scientist Bolivar Trask in the ‘70s led to a future mutant genocide. Wolverine was sent back in time to prevent the assassination and attempt to bring Magneto and Charles back together again in the hopes of showing the public that mutants are not evil; they are allies.
Long story short, Days of Future Past ended with Mystique using her powers to save the President from Magneto, who wants to kill him. Mystique’s public act of heroism works, and when Wolverine returns to his present, the mutant genocide is no longer happening.
7. Magneto Abandoned His Evil Plots
If you’ve seen any X-Men movie, then you know that Magneto is always struggling with a society that refuses to accept him. Unlike Charles, who thinks that humans will eventually come to accept mutants, Magneto resents having to put up with the intolerance against mutants. It’s the fundamental difference that led to their bromantic breakup at the end of First Class.
In Days of Future Past, Magneto decided it was time for mutants to claim their place at the top of the food chain. And his plan to do that was simple: kill the president. In the end, with some help from Mystique and Charles, Magneto abandoned his evil plan, seemingly agreeing to try things Charles’ way. Instead of trying to fight his way to acceptance, Magneto retreated, but not before he could be painted as a villain in the press.
6. Hank McCoy’s Serum (that mutes his Beast stuff)
Hank McCoy, a.k.a. Beast, was never fully comfortable with the physical manifestations of his mutant powers. When we first meet him in First Class, Hank is working on a serum that would enable him to keep his powers while also fixing his mutant deformities. He isn’t afraid to embrace his powers, but he has an intense desire to be normal — it’s a desire he originally shares with Mystique.
Later, when he tests the serum, it triggers his mutation and enhances it, transforming him into a big, blue, furry beast. In Days of Future Past, however, Hank had managed to create a serum that hid his Beast-side and allowed him to keep his “human” appearance.
5. Charles Became Professor X
Ever since First Class, Charles has been moving towards becoming the Professor X we all know and love. And, at the end of Days of Future Past, it seemed as though Charles was finally ready to embrace his calling. The most recent X-Men film found Charles rejecting his mutant powers after Hank created a serum that could make Charles walk again, but only by silencing his powers.
Depressed and consumed by his desire to walk again, Charles had closed his school and stopped the X-Men altogether. By the end of the movie, however, Charles embraced his mutant abilities. And, though we didn’t get to see younger Charles re-open his school for the gifted and become Professor X in Days of Future Past, when Wolverine returned to his future, the school was very much still in tact.
4. Mutants Went Public
The events of Days of Future Past ensured that mutants would never again be living in the shadows, at least not really. Magneto’s very public assassination attempt on Richard Nixon, coupled with Mystique’s heroic thwarting of that assassination confirmed the existence of mutants and successfully outed them to the world.
Mutants can, of course, still live in hiding if they so choose, but they don’t have to. And, thanks to Mystique switching sides, non-mutants all over the world know that mutants aren’t just coming out of hiding to declare war on human kind. Now, whether or not the world is ready to live side-by-side with mutants is another story.
William Stryker is a villain every self-respecting X-Men fan will recognize, but his involvement in the new X-Men reboot is a bit confusing. William Stryker, Sr. appeared in First Class as a mutant-hating CIA agent, but it wasn’t until Days of Future Past that we met William Stryker, Jr., aka the William Stryker that grew up, created Wolverine and then proceeded to wage war against mutants in X2: X-Men United.
And, if you were wondering whether or not a young William Stryker is as mutant-phobic as older William Stryker, he is. In Days of Future Past, a young Major Stryker crossed paths with Mystique when he was rounding up mutants to experiment on.
2. The X-Men Reset The Future
In Days of Future Past, the Wolverine of the “present” went back in time to the ‘70s in order to stop Mystique from killing scientist Boliver Trask, inspiring a wave of anti-mutant sentiment that eventually leads to a super technologically advanced mutant genocide. And, in doing so, Wolverine essentially reset the future.
We’re not going to get into the details here, mostly because it’s not that relevant to X-Men: Apocalypse, but what is relevant is the fact that time travel has been established and that Magneto and Charles both have a greater appreciation for how their actions impact the future. For example, it’s probably best for mutants not to go on any big, irrational crusades against humans. It should also be noted that the events of the original X-Men films are no longer binding, and characters no longer have to follow the same paths that were originally set out for them.
1.Wolverine And Jean Are A Thing
Wolverine’s complicated relationship with Jean Grey goes back far beyond First Class and Days of Future Past, but really, the only thing you absolutely need to know going into Apocalypse is this: ever since Wolverine met Jean Grey in X-Men (2000), he’s been in love with her, despite the fact that she was married to Scott Summers.
In Days of Future Past, fans got a peek at this tangled love triangle during the very last scene, when Wolverine woke up in the “present” only to find Jean and Scott alive and well (the little time reset he apparently undid their deaths in X-Men: The Last Stand). Wolverine and Jean aren’t officially together in the films yet, but their connection is still strong.
Can you think of any other relevant plot points that fans might want to know before heading into X-Men: Apocalypse? Let us know in the comments!