[WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS for Logan]
It was a day that had to come, no matter how much fans hoped it wouldn't: Hugh Jackman has hung up his claws as the Wolverine, with Logan bringing the wandering hero's movie trilogy to an end. And we really mean an end, since the final scenes depict Wolverine's death and burial at the hands of his last friend and genetic daughter. It's a fitting ending for Logan, but according to one detail-oriented fan, it's a conclusion that director James Mangold may have planted in the audience's minds in his previous film, The Wolverine.
There's no getting around the fact that the first film in Wolverine's solo trilogy was essentially erased from the X-Men timeline, but Mangold's two entries share a thematic and narrative link, following a tortured soul towards some kind of peace and resolution. That link has turned out to be more concrete than just thematic, though, since his former sidekick actually predicted the exact death scene of Logan years before fans knew what they were hearing.
The premonition comes courtesy of Yukio (Rila Fukushima) in The Wolverine, gifted with not only killer katana skills, but the ability to see the moment of a person's death, no matter how far into the future it might be. And in the case of Logan, it wasn't until they had formed a friendship, seen allies turn against them, and begin their final race to the finish that she let her secret slip. Since Logan was making this final mission without his healing factor, it seemed a good time to inform him that she had seen his death... and it could be sooner than later.
At the time, Logan was in no mood to hear her idea of what was about to take place (not all that surprising a reaction, given his distaste for anything resembling 'fate' or 'destiny'). But the exchange caught the attention of one fan who noted that metaphor might be at play... in which case, Yukio was right all along. And when the question was raised to Mangold directly, the director applauded the connection between the death Yukio saw - which Logan thought he had averted - and his passing in Logan:
@_moegonzales3_ Well done, Maurice.
— Mangold (@mang0ld) March 9, 2017
To get into specifics for those who haven't recently re-watched The Wolverine, Yukio's description of the scene of his death bears a striking similarity to a scene which takes place in that movie. Wolverine's heart stops, but not before his healing factor returns, and his mutation brings him back to life. Which means Yukio's vision of his "death" was accurate, but his immortality meant it was only the moment he came closest to dying:
"Logan, I saw you die... It's not like I get a complete picture. More like looking through a keyhole. But I'm always right. All I can see is one part of a person's life: their death. And I saw yours... I see you on your back, there's blood everywhere. You're holding your own heart in your hand."
The movie that followed that prediction included a scene in which Wolverine cut into his own chest cavity to dig out the tiny robots zapping (?) his heart, preventing him from healing - what most accepted as him "holding his heart." But it wasn't a perfect match, and there wasn't blood everywhere. Not until we get to Logan, when his final moments see him covered in blood - both his own and those of the soldiers he's killed - and collapsed on the ground... with the girl he's come to protect and love placing her hand in his.
Now that's what we call some heartbreaking metaphor performed years in advance, and unlikely to be noticed by most viewers. Even if Mangold hadn't planned out the exact scene in which Logan would take his last breath, or who would be at his side (art doesn't always work like that), the wording was open enough to allow for almost anything to play the role of Logan's "heart." But Mangold made sure to capitalize on the line in Logan, adding yet another poignant, and tragic detail to the hero's final chapter. Who knows how many other parallels are to be found... but considering how many fans will be re-watching Jackman's entire run in the X-Men film series, we may know before long.
What do you Wolverine fans think of this new connection? Does it make the ending a bit easier to swallow, knowing that - reset timelines aside - this was the ending Logan was fated to find? Or do you still long for Logan and Laura's happy ending?
Source: James Mangold