After years of waiting, and months of speculation on how X-Men: Days of Future Past would fix X-Men movie universe continuity, Bryan Singer’s ambitious time travel team-up is now in theaters – complete with a post-credits button scene. As per usual, those outside of comic book fan circles may be confused by what they saw after sitting through all those end credits, but we’re here to help explain. Just as The Wolverine helped set the stage for what to expect in Days of Future Past with a buzz-worthy button clip, a post-credits tease in DoFP prepares the way for the next film, X-Men Apocalypse.
Our discussion is going to be full of SPOILERS from here on out – not just for Days of Future Past, but every X-Men movie that has come so far – along with select X-Men comic book story lines. READ NO FURTHER unless you’re all caught up. Even though most of our discussion will be speculation, a lot of it could be considered FUTURE SPOILERS for X-Men: Apocalypse. You have been warned.
MAJOR SPOILERS FOLLOW
Post-Credits Scene – Enter En Sabah Nur
Unlike a lot of post-credits scenes, which build-upon the aftermath of the current film in order to tease what is to come next, the X-Men: Days of Future Past button clip takes moviegoers nearly 5,000 years back in time to ancient Egypt. While casual filmgoers might lack the requisite context, comic book fans who have been following the development of X-Men: Days of Future Past and its upcoming sequel, X-Men: Apocalypse, should have a pretty clear idea of what is being depicted; however, before we dig into what the scene hints at, let’s start with the basics.
The scene opens on a desert environment, revealed to be ancient Egypt, where a hooded figure stands on a sandy hillside, arms outstretched. The camera aims down, where thousands of Egyptian men and women bow in reference, chanting “En Sabah Nur,” as the cloaked boy waves his arms and begins assembling the Great Pyramids by moving massive stone chunks into place through telekinesis. The camera then pans to his face – grey skin, blue lips, with red eyes – before circling around to four mysterious figures on horseback perched on a cliffside to the boy’s left.
Who is En Sabah Nur?
While this young and slender version of super villain Apocalypse, aka En Sabah Nur (a name which means “The First One”), might not be immediately recognizable to comic book readers that are only familiar with his augmented and armored form, the character’s backstory actually begins in ancient Egypt. As the first mutant, Nur was born and subsequently orphaned in Akkaba, an ancient settlement on the outskirts of the Egyptian Empire. After facing rejection by society and the destruction of his people at the hands of Pharaoh Rama-Tut (who was actually the 30th century time-traveler Kang the Conqueror), along with his warlord Ozymandias, Apocalypse used his powers to overthrow the Pharaoh, enslave Ozymandias, and take control of Egypt – where the people worshiped him as a God.
Through the ages, Apocalypse acquired alien tech (from a group of cosmic beings known as the Celestials) that enhanced his appearance and existing powers – providing him with a host of additional (and menacing) abilities. Beyond standard super villain characteristics like increased intelligence and strength, Apocalypse can control his body at the molecular level, allowing him to form weapons from his own limbs, suspend aging, as well as heal fatal wounds – while also controlling objects in the outside world through telekinesis, and networking with technology. He also is a master of genetic enhancement, able to radically alter mutant and human physiology.