Logan ending explained by Wolverine director James Mangold

The two meanings behind that last line

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The Independent Culture

Logan has finally reached cinemas around the world, offering a final and heartbreaking final chapter for Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine that has been rapturously received by critics.

Unlike many other superhero films, Logan focussed on the titular character saving Professor X and Laura, rather than the entire world.

** Spoilers for Logan ahead **

The ending, of course, was terrifically sad, seeing Logan die at the hands of X-24, a clone of himself filled with huge amounts of rage.

Speaking to Collider, director James Mangold spoke about the ending, and why Wolverine’s story ending this way was right for the character.

He begins by explaining how, thematically, dying by X-24’s claws acts as a ‘dark mirror’, that Logan is essentially fighting his worst self, a “younger, more capable, more savage, and without any sense of conscience or morality .”

Mangold continued: “There were several different interesting aspects to me, one is when that part of him, if you look at it for a moment from a psychological point of view, when that mirror image of him dies, it’s very interesting how that becomes in the last minute of the film that he’s alive, the moment where it’s almost like something’s been lifted from him.”

Logan - Trailer 2

“And of the many things I’m proud about the movie, I’m really proud about the way—I don’t expect you to intellectually engage that, but I expect you to feel it.

"I do think you feel that in the wake of that battle when he turns and Laura kneels beside him, that he is suddenly capable and something has gone away inside him and he’s capable of connecting with her and saying things that the guy who has run through the previous 121 minutes of this movie could not have said, until this point.”

Talking about Logan’s final line “So this is what it feels like”, Mangold credits his co-writer Scott Frank, going on to explain how it has two different meanings.

“One being for a man who has died 450 times in movies,” he told the publication, “and yet never dies because of his healing factor, he has no idea, it’s like a tunnel he goes into and never comes out the other side, so there was that very literal meaning in relation to death. 

“But there was also this moment of him holding his daughter’s hand and seeing utter emotion in her eyes and feeling the purest kind of love which is family love, and letting it in for the first time in his life.”

Meanwhile, we discussed how Logan brings the X-Men series full circle and why Fox should ease up on releasing superhero films for a few years.