[WARNING: Major SPOILERS for the entire X-Men franchise in this Article!]
Despite being arguably one of the best X-Men films in the entire franchise, we’ll admit that X-Men: Days of Future Past has a few continuity problems. We’ve highlighted some of the film’s biggest errors in a prior post, but, rather than chastise the filmmakers for Days of Future Past‘s flaws, we have decided to be proactive and present some easy solutions to those problems. Read on for some simple fixes to X-Men: Days of Future Past‘s continuity errors.
1. Wolverine’s Adamantium Claws
Ever since the first trailer for X-Men: Days of Future Past, fans have been wondering how the film would explain the return of Wolverine’s adamantium claws. As viewers of The Wolverine know, Wolvie reverted back to his bone claws after Silver Samurai/Yashida drained the youth-giving ‘essence’ directly from his knuckles, and severing the metal claws in the process. Unfortunately, as it turns out, Days of Future Past didn’t have an explanation as to why Wolverine’s metal claws are back.
A quick fix in this situation is simply to remove the adamantium claws altogether, either by adding bone claws back to Hugh Jackman’s knuckles through CGI, or simply to cut around the few scenes where the claws do come out. There really is no point to Wolverine’s claws being metal in the future, as he doesn’t actually use them to fight anything.
2. Professor X Being Alive
Perhaps the most contentious of the Days of Future Past continuity errors is the fact that Professor Charles Xavier is alive in the future despite having been killed in X-Men: The Last Stand. While the end credits button scene for The Last Stand does suggest that Professor X, or at least his consciousness, is still alive, Days of Future Past never explains why the character looks exactly the same, or is still a paraplegic. Some will say that Xavier’s consciousness jumped into the mind of a twin brother, but, as we see it, there are two better options for solving this problem.
Option 1 is to have Professor X stay dead. Many films undermine their predecessor’s end credits scenes, and in this case the scene is vague at best. Our solution is to have it be Magneto who urges Wolverine to go back in time and save Mystique, rather than Charles. We suspect that Magneto, and likely all the mutants, are well aware that it is Mystique’s DNA that gives the future Sentinels their advantage, and so it’s easy to see Magneto realizing that the time travel solution is the only one. In turn, this choice would make the final scenes in Days of Future Past - where Wolverine discovers all of the X-Men crew alive and well – all the more poignant. Wolverine is relieved to see Jean and Cyclops alive, but the big reveal would then become Professor X, who then tells Logan all he missed in the mean time.
Option 2 is a little more complex, but easier to pull off with minimal changes to Days of Future Past. Essentially, what we propose is a solution where Professor X is actually projecting a vision of himself into the minds of the X-Men, but he’s really in another person’s body. We know that Xavier and other telepaths are capable of this – we saw such powers on display in a few scenes from First Class – so it’s possible Professor X is tricking the X-men into thinking they are talking to him. This would also keep in line with The Last Stand button scene, and The Wolverine end credits scene as well.
How we would find out that it’s not truly Professor X comes when young Charles (James McAvoy) communicates with elder Charles (Patrick Stewart) and sees through the visage. In that scene, Professor X could explain what happened and the ruse he has been pulling off for years. And again, the final scenes with Professor X could focus on how Wolverine saved the real Professor X from death.
3. Future Sentinels Origin
The entire crux of Days of Future Past‘s plot rests on preventing a specific event in the ’70s where Mystique kills Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage), is captured, and her DNA is used to create the future Sentinels adaptive ability. While Wolverine does stop Mystique from completing the act as it originally played out, Trask does determine that Mystique’s DNA will be useful, and he specifically asks for a wide array of samples, including brain tissue, spinal fluid, and bone marrow. So, if Trask Industries needs all of those materials to upgrade the Sentinels, the question them becomes: Why is Mystique alive in later X-Men movies?
Again, a quick fix could be a simple line of dialogue that says Trask only needs spinal fluid or bone marrow, not brain tissue. Anything that implies Mystique could have survived the ordeal would suffice, and then it could be implied that Magneto rescues her and brings her back into the Brotherhood. Even as it stands, it’s possible Mystique survived to live on to the original trilogy, but added clarity would have been nice.
4. Mystique’s Relationship with Charles
In X-Men: First Class, the filmmakers establish a bond between Raven/Mystique and Charles Xavier. At an early age, Charles meets Raven and the two are practically siblings until Mystique sides with Magneto at the conclusion of First Class. After that, the original timeline presents a situation where the two never see each other again until the events of the first three X-Men films. But if they were such close friends, why is there no acknowledgment on Xavier’s part during any of those films?
In this case it could be implied, likely through a bit of dialogue, that after Raven killed Trask she fully transformed into Mystique, and therefore the girl who Xavier knew ceased to exist. He no longer saw her as Raven, and therefore had no reason to acknowledge her presence any longer. Or conversely, it could be Mystique who ignores Xavier’s existence.
After being captured and experimented on, it’s possible that young Professor X could have saved her, but as we see in DoFP he is more concerned with restricting his powers than doing any good with them. Some dialogue from Professor X could explain that Mystique blames him for letting her fall into Trask Industries’ hands, and therefore he is “dead to her.”
In all reality, though, this is one that doesn’t need too much fixing, as Mystique barely crosses paths with Professor X in the original three X-Men films. It’s easy to imagine that Xavier is embarrassed by his past failures and therefore never acknowledges his prior relationship with Mystique to any member of his X-Men team. He simply avoids her and she him.
5. Stryker Continuity
This is a case where Bryan Singer and screenwriter Simon Kinberg chose to alter continuity simply to wink and nod at the audience. For all intents and purposes, Stryker’s only reason for being in Days of Future Past is to trigger Wolverine’s confusion in France. He’s not essential to the plot, and therefore is an unnecessary inclusion.
In this case, we’d prefer if Singer cut Major Stryker out altogether, since creating a continuity problem where there shouldn’t be one feels lazy. Not to mention the confusion that comes from the final scene, where Mystique, posing as Stryker, pulls Wolverine out of the water. And even if Singer kept Stryker in the film, removing Mystique’s yellow eye flash would have kept with the continuity of later X-Men films, and even X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Moving forward, we could have assumed that was the moment Stryker recruits Logan into his mutant team.
Honorable Mention: Xavier’s Wolverine Quote
It’s a small nitpick, but some people were bothered by Charles’ incorrect quoting of Wolverine when the Professor tells Logan to “F*** off” and not to “Go f*** yourself.” Had Wolverine simply said something to the effect of, “I actually remember telling you to go f*ck yourself,” then everything would be kosher, but as it stands there was some confusion.
As we mentioned, X-Men: Days of Future Past is still a great movie, and does well with the admittedly difficult time travel concept. Similarly, we acknowledge that hindsight is 20-20 and suggesting solutions after the fact doesn’t change anything. But perhaps if there is a Director’s or Expanded Cut of the film, Singer could take some of our ideas into account.
Either way, now that the events of Days of Future Past have created a new timeline, the filmmakers have a blank canvas to work with and any continuity problems are likely resolved.
X-Men: Days of Future Past is now playing in theaters.
Want to discuss SPOILERS? Head over to our Days of Future Past Spoilers Discussion. Confused about that scene at the end of the film? Read our Post-credit Scene Explained article or listen to our editors discussion on the XM:DoFP episode of the Screen Rant Underground Podcast.
Follow Anthony on Twitter @ANTaormina