Logan brings the X-Men series full circle - perhaps it's time for a break?

After almost 17 years, Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart's characters are finally given the send-off they deserve. Perhaps Fox should retire the main series for now.

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The Independent Culture

Hugh Jackman has been living with Wolverine for almost seventeen years. Having first played the clawed mutant in 2000’s X-Men, the Australian actor has since appeared as the character nine times, in six main-series instalments and three solo outings. 

Thanks to Logan - the newly released, critically acclaimed superhero/western - Jackman has put the character to rest.  While many fans (including Ryan Reynolds) want the character to appear in future X-Men related films (primarily Deadpool 2), his return would no doubt muddy Logan’s fantastic conclusion.

** Major spoilers for Logan ahead **

As you - who have hopefully seen the film - know, two of the series' most iconic characters - Wolverine and Professor X (played by the ever-wonderful Sir Patrick Stewart) - are now dead. More importantly, though, Logan concludes an important theme from throughout the X-Men series: being part of a family.

Logan Clip - You Know The Drill

While X-Men was partly a social commentary on the civil rights movement, the film also explored the quasi father-daughter relationship between Rogue and Wolverine. Throughout the films, the two become closer, Logan showing his true colours as a personable and caring character despite the tough exterior. Meanwhile, Xavier takes in both mutants, looking after them and growing close to Wolverine as they explore his past (this narrative being central to X2). 

Logan brings both relationships to a final conclusion. For Xavier and Wolverine, there’s a role reversal, as Logan now takes care of Charles on the Mexican border. Their father-son story finishes in heartbreaking fashion as Charles tells 'Logan' how that final night at the family farm was 'perfect'.

What makes the scene terrifyingly tragic is, despite saying earlier in the film how he always recognises Logan, Charles fails to notice that it’s not Logan, but X-24, in his bedroom. Due to Alzheimer's, Charles still sees Logan as the young man from the first X-Men film, therefore not recognising the person walking towards him and leaving Logan rushing to tell Charles "it wasn't me".

Logan - Trailer

Then, of course, there’s Wolverine and Laura/X-23, who are a literal father-daughter duo. While Laura may be a new character, there’s a direct parallel to Rogue in the way Logan immediately distances himself from her but comes to care for her, saving both Laura and Rogue’s lives. This time, though, Logan gives everything; his last words - “So this is what it feels like” - act as a double entendre for dying and having a daughter to die for. 

There’s also a brief look at a comic-book - which was purposely made for the film - in which Rogue appears beside Wolverine as they reach Eden. When the sequence plays out, in reality, it’s Laura alongside Wolverine.

With Jackman and Stewart’s long-running characters having almost perfect send-offs that conclude their arcs, it’s debatable whether the main series should continue immediately. Do we need the events that led to Charles killing several mutants depicted on-screen? Would that not ruin Logan’s wonderful ambiguity? Are there really any other characters we care about that need another send-off? Surely, the main X-Men series should be retired until Laura actress Dafne Keen - AKA the new Millie Bobby Brown - can hold her own film and take over the Wolverine name? 

Considering the success of Deadpool, perhaps Fox could concentrate on spin-offs, carving a niche different to Marvel's cinematic universe. The New Mutants - which is currently being planned - could be an interesting instalment if Fox commits to exploring another angle in the same universe.  

As we know, though, filming begins on the unnecessary upcoming seventh main-series film will start later this year. The disastrous X-Men: Apocalypse hinted at another Dark Phoenix Saga adaptation, while the post-credits sequence pointed to Mr. Sinister and further Weapon X experiments. And so, despite coming full circle from the first X-Men film in many respects, the series will continue. And continue. And continue.

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