Three big X-Movies (Deadpool 2, New Mutants and X-Men: Dark Phoenix) all got release dates recently, and of the three, it's Dark Phoenix that has left fans with the most speculation and question. As one of the most iconic X-Men stories of all time, The Dark Phoenix saga is held to be something sacred - which is why fans were so upset when Brett Ratner's X-Men: The Last Stand outright butchered the story.
Thanks to a rebooted timeline (courtesy of X-Men: Days of Future Past), The X-Men movies now have an opportunity to do the Dark Phoenix Saga the right way - and in our opinion, that means doing it in full, with all of the Marvel cosmic connections that we saw in the comics!
Here's Why Dark Phoenix Should Open the X-Men Cosmic Movie Universe.
This is The Phoenix
We've already done a full breakdown on What The Phoenix Force is in Marvel lore - and a major part of that lore has to do with the Phoenix's origins as a primordial cosmic force, which has an all-important duty to carry out in the universe.
One of the biggest mistakes the original X-Men movie trilogy made was reducing the Phoenix Force to being the powers of an extraordinary mutant, rather than the cosmic force it always was in the comics. X-Men: Apocalypse already has us once again teetering on that precipice; so it's up to X-Men: Dark Phoenix and New Mutants to do the necessary course-correcting, so that the story is more in line with comic book canon the second time around.
It's something that X-Men movie makers have all been teasing since before X-Men: Apocalypse hit theaters; with franchise writer Simon Kinberg once saying:
“I feel like we have been, the X-Men franchise, has been growing a little bit more into science fiction... We felt like the movies were ready for something that was slightly more, let’s say, cosmic. Once we made the decision for Apocalypse to be the villain at the center of the movie, we wanted to be true to the comics, which are sort of, like you, say, not costume, but it’s not just a guy in a helmet. It is more cosmic.”
Now that Apocalypse and DoFP have opened the door, we fully expect X-Men cosmic trademarks like certain signature alien races or artifacts to be part of a new Dark Phoenix film. Including....
The Phoenix Saga and Dark Phoenix Saga in X-Men comics both come with some major cosmic/alien staples that fans know, and want to see in a proper movie adaptation.
The Shi'ar: The main players in the Phoenix Saga are no doubt The Shi'ar, an alien empire made up of many different worlds and species, centered around a race humanoid/avian beings (i.e., bird people). Their royal drama and technological advancements have been key factors in X-Men lore, as The Shi'ar were the reason the cosmic artifact known as The M'Kraan Crystal nearly consumed the multiverse (until Jean Grey's Phoenix repaired it); the Shi'ar queen, Lilandra, is also a lover of Charles Xavier's - the two were even married for a time. It was Shi'ar technology that, at one point, gave Xavier the use of his legs again. Lilandra's sister, Deathbird, and brother, D'Ken, have also been major X-Men characters.
The Shi'ar Imperial Guard: Basically an Avengers-style team of aliens, The Imperial Guard collects superpowered beings from all over the vast Shi'ar Empire to serve its rulers' whims. Those duties have put the Imperial Guard at odds with the X-Men on more than one occasion - epic cosmic superhero battles that fans definitely want to see onscreen.
The Starjammers - This team of space pirates are like X-Men's version of Guardians of the Galaxy. Since their leader is technically Cyclops' estranged father, Corsair, the appeal of introducing The Starjammers into the X-Men movie universe (possibly for a future spinoff) should have obvious potential.
The M'Kraan Crystal: As the nexus of all reality in the multiverse, The M'Kraan Crystal can allow a user to enter any dimension of reality. When damaged, the M'Kraan has threatened to wipe out of all reality, making one of the most dangerous objects in the universe.
...This is just the beginning, though. After the alien and cosmic elements related to The Phoenix Saga, there are so many other cosmic elements that X-Men fans would love to see:
- The Phalanx - this race of techno-organic beings are like The Borg in Star Trek, endlessly consuming and assimilating organic matter, adding it to The Phalanx hive-mind collective. The species is involved with New Mutants character Warlock, and has even been responsible for bringing old X-Men villains back from the dead, as techno-organic zombies.
- The Brood - This alien species is a cross between Invasion of the Body Snatchers and the Alien movies. The monstrous and ravenous insect-like race implants hosts with eggs that, when hatched, create new Brood that take over the host's body. They've long been a top pick for an X-Men alien invasion movie.