***WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS BELOW***
Charles Xavier is one the most powerful mutants ever. With his telepathic abilities, he could pretty much read and control anyone's mind, shaping reality to suit his needs and desires. But he chooses not to misuse his powers. He would rather help guide people to making the right choices on their own. Much of his enjoyment in life comes from being able to shelter and train young mutants at his home/school. And his ultimate desire is to prove to the world that humans and mutants can co-exist peacefully.
That's why its incredibly heartbreaking to find out in Logan that Charles is now suffering from Alzheimer's, living inside a toppled-over water tank, and his mind is classified by the U.S. government as a W.M.D. (Weapon of Mass Destruction). How can that be? Why is Wolverine hiding him south of the border?
Along the way, we eventually find out that Charles was involved in a horrific incident in Westchester County — where his X-Mansion/School for Gifted Youngsters is located. It's alluded to that Charles suffered a seizure and accidentally unleashed a powerful psychic blast that left 600 people severely injured (with some of those probably being his young students) and accidentally killed seven of the remaining X-Men (except for Wolverine).
Since we are never shown the incident, we are left to imagine how that tragic event played out. However, early drafts of the script actually included flashback sequences of the incident. So why were they left out?
"It actually hits home a lot harder than the versions that really painted out specifically the flashback," co-screenwriter Michael Green told The Hollywood Reporter. "Of course there are versions we wrote that were never filmed with the actual flashback of what happened, but I’ve found the experience of watching it is far more poignant to just know that it was something really regrettable and it was bad and most likely, friends were lost. Or maybe it was people we didn't know."
Director James Mangold had a simpler reason for cutting the flashbacks: "I wanted to make a movie less about information and more about character."
By the way, The Westchester Incident is inspired by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven's Old Man Logan storyline. In that, Mysterio tricked Wolverine into killing his X-Men teammates — who he thought were a gang of supervillains invading the X-Mansion.
In 2029 the mutant population has shrunk significantly and the X-Men have disbanded. Logan, whose power to self-heal is dwindling, has surrendered himself to alcohol and now earns a living as a chauffeur. He takes care of the ailing old Professor X whom he keeps hidden away. One day, a female stranger asks Logan to drive a girl named Laura to the Canadian border. At first he refuses, but the Professor has been waiting for a long time for her to appear. Laura possesses an extraordinary fighting prowess and is in many ways like Wolverine. She is pursued by sinister figures working for a powerful corporation; this is because her DNA contains the secret that connects her to Logan. A relentless pursuit begins … In this third cinematic outing featuring the Marvel comic book character Wolverine we see the superheroes beset by everyday problems. They are ageing, ailing and struggling to survive financially. A decrepit Logan is forced to ask himself if he can or even wants to put his remaining powers to good use. It would appear that in the near-future, the times in which they were able put the world to rights with razor sharp claws and telepathic powers are now over.
Logan stars Hugh Jackman (Logan), Boyd Holbrook (Donald Pierce), Patrick Stewart (Charles Xavier), Dafne Keen (Laura Kinney/X-23), Doris Morgado (Maria), Stephen Merchant (Caliban), Elizabeth Rodriguez (Gabriela), and Richard E. Grant (Dr. Zander Rice). James Mangold (The Wolverine) directed and helped on the screenplay along with Scott Frank and Michael Green.
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