Wolverine: 15 Unresolved Plotlines Left Hanging By Logan

Logan during his fight at the farmhouse with X-24

After playing the character for over seventeen years, Hugh Jackman has finally hung up his Wolverine claws. He’s wisely decided to walk away while fans still think fondly of his performance, and boy, did he go out with a bang. Both audiences and critics loved Logan's gritty deconstruction of the character, and director James Mangold’s R-rated take on the material went down as a true treat for fans everywhere. It was an emotional journey that still managed to pack in some great action, and it's hard to think of a better send-off for Jackman (or a better X-Men movie, for that matter).

Of course, the X-Men series is famously messy in terms of continuity, and trying to make all the movies connect is an easy path to madness. Wolverine himself has racked up a number of unresolved and abandoned plotlines over the course of Jackman’s stint, and Mangold – probably wisely – decided not to burden himself with untangling all of them.

It could be his relationship with certain characters, timeline errors, or even the canonicity of certain movies. Some of these unanswered questions are relatively minor, while others you could easily fly the X-Jet through. So while we salute Hugh Jackman’s deservingly dignified exit, let’s examine the 15 Unresolved Plotlines Left Hanging By Logan.

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15 Which Of The X-Men Were Killed In The Westchester Incident?

X2 X-Men United Cast

James Mangold made a concentrated effort to distance The Wolverine from the rest of the X-Men movies by separating Logan from the team and only having a handful of mutants appear in the story. He doubled down on this with Logan, setting it in a world where mutants are all but extinct, and the X-Men have been destroyed in an event dubbed The Westchester Incident.

The movie doesn’t explain exactly what happened, only that Professor X lost control of his powers, resulting in many deaths, including several of the X-Men. Logan’s heavy sedation of Xavier is his attempt to shield his mentor from the truth, knowing it would drive him to despair.

Keeping this event vague works for the story, since it puts the focus squarely on Logan and Xavier, but Mangold flirted with making The Westchester Incident the opening scene of Logan. It would have revealed which of the X-Men were killed, but the director ultimately decided it would cast too big a shadow, distracting audiences from the more personal story he wanted to tell.

14 How Did Logan Get His Adamantium Claws Back After The Events Of The Wolverine?

Wolverine Days Of Future Past

The Wolverine was a big improvement on X-Men: Origins because it focused on the character himself, instead of thinking up new ways to shoehorn mutants into the story. In fact, most fans agreed that when it breaks away from telling an intimate story and switches to blockbuster mode, it falters.

A big part of the story was a Japanese businessman trying to cheat death by sucking Wolverine’s immortality out of his body, which he does by hacking off his adamantium claws and drilling into the holes left behind. The science of this is suspect, but thankfully, Logan breaks free and uses his regrown bone claws to strike a killing blow.

It's somewhat odd then that his adamantium claws have returned in the post-apocalyptic scenes of Days Of Future Past, and just like Xavier's off-screen resurrection, no effort is made to explain it. The best theory is that Magneto had something to do with it, and since this plot point is unlikely to be explored again in future movies, this fan-concocted explanation will have to do.

13 Who Is Dr. Rice's Father?

Richard E. Grant didn’t get much of an opportunity to shine in Logan, but in a way, his character – Dr. Zander Rice - is the biggest villain of the entire series. He’s essentially responsible for wiping out mutantkind, and he unleashes X-24, a Wolverine clone responsible for killing Xavier and (ultimately) Logan himself.

Naturally, he and Logan aren’t best buds, and their confrontation during the finale reveals a little backstory between them. It turns out that Rice is the son of another Dr. Rice who experimented on Wolverine and was eventually killed by him when he escaped from the Weapon X facilities at Alkali Lake.

This namedrop caused many fans to think back, believing this Dr. Rice was a character who may have appeared before. This turns out not to be the case, since no character going by that name showed up in any previous movies. The namedrop is a bit distracting then, since it refers to a seemingly important character audiences have no awareness of. Maybe the reference was made to give the two enemies more of a connection, but it probably would have worked better without it.

12 How Could Logan Not Sense That Silverfox Had Faked Her Death in Origins?

X-Men Origins Silverfox faked death

It appears the production of X-Men Origins: Wolverine wasn’t necessarily a happy one, with director Gavin Hood repeatedly clashing with 20th Century Fox on set and being forced to shoot hastily written scenes. Hugh Jackman has also stated that he wasn’t happy with it, feeling it became an unofficial X-Men movie instead of a story exploring Wolverine’s past. Hell, he almost hung up his claws right then and there.

The movie’s narrative also feels stitched together, resulting in odd story problems and continuity errors with the other films. One area where logic fails hard is the scene where Wolverine discovers the body of his lover Silverfox, who appears to have been mauled to death by Sabretooth. He finds her covered in blood with no sign of a pulse, which understandably fills him with rage.

It’s revealed later that Silverfox faked it, having injected herself with a serum to appear dead. What’s odd is that Logan’s heightened animal senses failed to notice that she was still breathing faintly, that she had no actual wounds, or that her “blood” wasn’t fresh. The story glosses over this quick, and no explanation beyond Logan being really upset is offered.

11 Did Logan Still Kill Jean Grey In Logan's Timeline?

Jean Grey The Wolverine

While X-Men: The Last Stand is divisive amongst fans, there’s still some good stuff in there. Kelsey Grammer was pitch-perfect casting for an adult Beast, the action is a little slicker than what we saw in the first two movies, and the Mutant Cure added an interesting wrinkle to the plot.

The biggest tragedy of the movie was Wolverine being forced to kill Jean Grey, whose Dark Phoenix powers were raging out of control. His intense guilt over her death is what drives him in The Wolverine, and it’s only at the end that he learns to forgive himself for what he's done.

When Days Of Future Past hit the reset button and resurrected Jean, it seemed like he could finally move past it, yet he’s more haunted than ever in Logan. It seems the guilt still clings to him, and it’s been confirmed that Xavier revealed in a deleted scene that Logan killed her. This appears to conflict with the fresh start of Days Of Future Past, though, and just makes everything very confusing.

10 How Much Damage Do Adamantium Bullets Do?

Adamantium bullets and revolver, from X-Men Origins Wolverine

There’s no more derided element of the X-Men movies than the “Memory bullet” plot twist, where Colonel Stryker shoots Logan in the head with adamantium bullets, causing the memory loss that afflicted him in the original trilogy.

The existence of these bullets raises a bizarre plot hole in the movie itself, because surely if Stryker had given those bullets to the mutant marksman Agent Zero after Logan's initial escape, he could have solved his problems sooner. Ignoring the flawed logic of using those bullets to wipe Wolverine’s memory instead of killing him, Logan’s inclusion of adamantium bullets muddies the water even further.

The bullet is introduced early on in Wolvie's final adventure to establish that Logan is feeling suicidal, and it’s eventually used to blow the head off his clone, X-24. Again, this calls into question the power of these bullets, since in one movie they just cause memory loss, and in the other, they cause an instant kill.

9 Why Does Wolverine Remember Nothing From The Revised Timeline In Days Of Future Past?

X-Men Days Future Past Ending

Days Of Future Past gave Wolvie something of a happy ending after the darkness of The Wolverine and surviving the apocalypse caused by Bolivar Trask’s Sentinels. Jean Grey and Cyclops were brought back to life, and Logan is revealed to be a history teacher in the X-Mansion.

The issue is that Logan has absolutely no memory of this new timeline, and it appears this future Wolverine has wiped out his “revised” counterpart. In a way, this completes his arc with the X-Men, since in the original film, he arrived at the school with no memories, and now, things have come full circle.

Only it doesn’t really make sense that he remembers nothing at all of this revised future, and the implications are even worse. The relationships he’s forged in this unknown present will be wiped out, and future Wolverine will have to reconnect with these alternate versions of people he no longer knows. Maybe with Xavier’s help, these memories eventually came back, but the movie doesn’t reveal if this will be the case. Logan, meanwhile, skipped over the conundrum entirely.

8 Where Did Yukio Go After The Wolverine?

Wolverine Yukio Logan Death Scene

Rila Fukushima’s Yukio added a fun spark to The Wolverine, acting as a guide and bodyguard to Logan during his time in Japan. The two forged a close bond during the story, to the point that she accompanies him on the plane in the final scene, promising to stay on as his protector.

This appeared to set up a future reappearance by Yukio in later movies, but when Days Of Future Past came around, there was no sign of her. It’s entirely possible that she was killed or captured by Sentinels between movies, but no mention is made of her fate either way. Perhaps there was a thought of the character potentially returning, but if there wasn’t, it doesn’t a lot of sense to have Yukio accompany Logan on the plane, instead of just staying behind in Japan.

Her fate isn’t revealed in Logan either, which is a pity, though, given the apparent mutant extinction, her odds of survival don't appear great.

7 No Closure To Rogue Relationship

Hugh Jackman as Wolverine and Anna Paquin as Rogue in X-Men

The relative small-scale of the original X-Men flick is a world away from the epic destruction on display in Apocalypse, which in that movie’s case proved to distract from the characters. What the original lacked in action, it made up for in character building, and it brought audiences into the X-Men world primarily by focusing on the relationship between Wolverine and Rogue, two outsiders who form a close bond.

He leads the rescue mission to save her in the climax, and the two characters maintained a friendship in the subsequent movies, where he even encouraged her to make her own choice regarding the mutant cure.

Rogue was absent from the series for awhile following The Last Stand, and was all but cut from Days Of Future Past in the theatrical version. While The Rogue Cut sees her taking Kitty Pryde’s powers so that she can continue projecting Logan into the past, the two characters never share a conversation or meaningful exchange in the story.

It’s a disappointment that this was their last time together, considering the big brother/little sister bond they’d formed.

6 How Much Damage Can Wolverine Withstand?

Hugh Jackman in The Wolverine

Wolverine’s adamantium upgrade proved that he could take a kicking and quickly recover, but exactly how much damage he can withstand varies depending on the movie. During his Weapon X escape in Apocalypse, he’s seen taking point blank machine gun fire without breaking a sweat, and in The Last Stand, he’s practically flayed alive while making his approach to Jean Grey’s Phoenix, but he keeps pushing through.

In X-Men 2, however, he takes a pistol shot to the head, which is enough to put him down for a minute. It doesn’t even make much sense that the bullet enters his head, since it should have bounced off his skull due to his skeleton being coated in adamantium.

The damage his claws can deal also varies. He can chop up guns and metal no problem, but a samurai sword is apparently strong enough to withstand his attacks. There’s no real explanation for these inconsistencies, outside of the filmmakers needing to bend the rules for the sake of drama.

5 What Was Mystique Doing At The End Of Days Of Future Past?

Mystique as Stryker in XMen Days of Future Past

The ending of Days Of Future Past set a clean slate for future X-Men movies. By wiping out the events of the other movies, it gave the series' filmmakers a clean slate, a chance to go wherever they wanted with whomever they chose to roll with.

Days Of Future Past also set up a very intriguing cliffhanger, where Wolverine is fished out of the water by Stryker, setting up his placement in the Weapon X program a few years ahead of schedule. However, via a flashing set of yellow eyes, it’s revealed that Mystique has taken Stryker’s place instead, casting doubt on the intent of the scene.

This felt like a tease that would pay off in the next movie in some way, but cut to Apocalypse, and there’s no mention of it. Logan wound up in Stryker’s hands anyway, and whatever Mystique was up to back then isn’t brought up again. With Jackman – and likely Jennifer Lawrence – moving on from the series, it’s unlikely Supernova will broach this strange teaser, either. We're guessing that at this point, the minds behind the X-franchise are just hoping that we'll forget about those yellow eyes altogether.

4 Are The Events Of Origins Canon Or Not?

X-Men Origins: Wolverine Team X

While fans' personal favorite X-Men movie varies depending on taste, X-Men Origins is almost universally considered to be the worst. The sloppy storytelling, plotholes, and gross mishandling of certain characters -- *cough Deadpool cough* -- saw it get terrible reviews on release, and its reputation hasn’t improved much in the years since.

Which leads to the tricky question of canon, because while it provides key details of Wolverine’s origin, the movies that followed seem to overlook it. In DOFP, Logan has a flashback to Brian Cox’s X2 iteration of Stryker, instead of the Origins version played by Danny Huston. Of course, Logan’s memory loss would explain why he doesn’t remember characters like Sabretooth and Gambit, but since they haven’t reappeared, producers were probably waiting for Jackman’s run to end so those characters could be softly rebooted.

The reappearance of the adamantium bullet and a brief mention of Christopher Bradley – a member of Team X – in Logan indicates that at least part of the story is canon, but Origins will likely continue to be quietly shunned. It's probably for the best.

3 Did Logan Recover His Memory?

Wolverine burned in Nagasaki bombing

One of Wolverine’s defining traits is his memory loss, which makes up a key part of his arc in the first two movies. The audience eventually learns his memories were wiped when Stryker shot him point-blank with a couple of adamantium bullets, and he was seemingly destined to never recover them.

The Wolverine suggests this may not be the case, since he clearly recalls his time in World War II Japan, and shielding a young soldier from a nuclear blast. Since this event took place around three decades before his memory loss, it seems he recovered at least some of his memory. He also doesn’t seem confused when Xavier mentions their brief encounter in 1962 during DOFP, despite the fact he should have no memory of that either.

Since recovering his memory was a key part of what was driving him in the early movies, it would have been nice to have seen some resolution to this part of his journey. That said, if it means vividly recalling the events of Origins, maybe he’s better off forgetting.

2 Is Logan Set In The Original Or Revised Timeline?

Patrick Stewart as Charles Xavier and Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in Logan, 2017

At this stage, neatly tying the timeline of the X-Men movies together is nearly impossible, and the filmmakers involved have given up. There’s no way to explain multiple versions of the same character and the numerous timeline inconsistencies, and there’s only so much time travel can do to help.

The question of which timeline Logan is set in – the original or revised one established at the end of Days Of Future Past – is also confusing. The movie calls back to the Liberty Island finale of the original and the events of The Wolverine, which both took place in the original timeline. While the revised timeline seemingly wiped those events out of existence, there are also nods to Apocalypse, with a version of Caliban appearing and an older version of Dr. Rice, who was shown in the post-credit scene.

Logan does its best to keep things vague, and while it’s possibly remixed versions of events from the original timeline took place in-between movies, there’s no definitive answer in the movie itself.

1 Where Did Sabretooth Go?

Wolverine Sabretooth Hugh Jackman Liev Schreiber X-Men Origins

While there’s a lot about Origins that didn’t quite work, most agree that Liev Schrieber’s Sabretooth was one of the few things that did. His charismatic turn as Logan’s vicious half-brother made for a memorable villain, and the movie teased some kind of showdown between them in the future.

Of course, Wolverine kind of reunited with Sabretooth in the original movie (as played by Tyler Mane), where he was more animalistic and there was no mention of a family bond. There was also an early draft for Logan where Schrieber’s Sabretooth was due to reappear, with Wolverine turning to his estranged brother for some help while he’s on the run. No concrete reason has been stated for why this didn’t end up happening in the film, but it’s possible that Mangold felt the story was leaner without it.

This is a shame, since fans were itching for some kind of reunion between Jackman and Schrieber, and closure to the Wolverine/Sabretooth rivalry.


What other continuity/timeline questions left you scratching your head after you walked out of Logan? Was the movie too awesome for you to care about any of them? Let us know in the comments!

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