Credits: Bryan Singer (Director), Simon Kinberg (Screenwriters), Jane Goldman, Simon Kinberg, Matthew Vaughn (Story), Lauren Shuler Donner, Bryan Singer, Simon Kinberg, Hutch Parker (Producers), Stan Lee, Todd Hallowell, Josh McLaglen (Executive Producers), John Ottman (Composer), Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Peter Dinklage, Josh Helman, Evan Peters, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Halle Berry, Elliot Page [as Ellen Page], Shawn Ashmore, Omar Sy, Daniel Cudmore, Fan Bingbing, Adan Canto, Booboo Stewart, Famke Janssen, James Marsden, Lucas Till, Mark Camacho (Main Actors)
In a dark, possible, future, mutants have been hunted down nearly to extinction by deadly shapeshifting robots called Sentinels. A group of young mutants, including Bishop, Colossus, Iceman and Kitty Pryde, is able to survive by pre-emptively projecting Bishop’s consciousness back in time to warn the team of impending Sentinel attacks before they happen. Charles Xavier (a.k.a. Professor X), Magneto, Storm and Logan/Wolverine join this group with the intention of projecting Wolverine’s mind back to 1973, when Raven Darkholme killed Dr. Bolivar Trask, the scientist who designed the original Sentinels. Raven had been captured and experimented on, her DNA giving Trask’s successors the key to designing the Sentinels of the future. Logan travels back in time into his younger body and meets up with the young Professor X and Hank McCoy in order to stop Raven from carrying out the assassination and fully becoming mutant activist/terrorist Mystique. To convince her that her chosen path leads only to destruction, they also enlist the help of young Erik Lenhsherr (Magneto). However, when he hears their story, Erik decides that Raven must be killed in order to prevent the grim future foretold for mutatkind, and he tries to eliminate her. As a result, the events of 1973 become even more dangerous for mutants, with the public discovering their existence too early and becoming panicked. The young Xavier is ready to give up, but Wolverine convinces him to telepathically contact his future self through Logan’s mind in order to receive some hope and guidance. The older Professor X convinces his younger counterpart that anyone who loses their way can be brought back to the path of kindness and compassion, and that the future is never truly set. Logan, Hank and Charles then confront Raven in front of the White House as she makes a second attempt to assassinate Trask, who has been responsible for the deaths of several of her friends. As the surviving mutants of the future face an onslaught of Sentinels, back in the past Magneto makes a show of force in order to convince humankind that mutants are their superiors. Wolverine tries to stop him but ends up getting thrown into the Potomac River and nearly drowns. Raven finally ambushes Erik and knocks him out, still determined to kill Trask. Charles tries to talk her out of it but leaves the final decision up to her. She finds herself unable to shoot the scientist and thus erases the grim timeline that Logan came from, leaving the future open-ended. The public receives the impression that Raven saved the US president from Magneto and decides to give mutants the benefit of the doubt. The young Professor X lets both Erik and Raven make their escape, as he is convinced that there is hope for them yet, and that they will someday re-join his dream of peaceful human/mutant coexistence. In the future, Wolverine awakens to a completely different timeline in which there are no Sentinels, the Xavier school is still running, and Jean Grey and Scott Summers (believed dead since X-Men: The Last Stand) are alive once more. Back in the past, Logan was apparently rescued from drowning by Raven, who was posing as Trask’s former helper Major William Stryker. It is left unclear whether the real Stryker will still get to experiment on Wolverine by lacing his skeleton with the metal alloy adamantium.
The future presents a dark, desolate world in which a war between mutants and humans has landed mutants and those who dared to help them in deadly concentration camps. One night, a young mutant scavenger comes across an X-Men uniform while searching a landfill, right before an unseen enemy finds him and obliterates him with some sort of energy beam. The tragic scene leaves humanity faced with a question: is it destined to destroy itself like so many species before? Is the future truly set?
Giant, airborne vessels float over a fog-covered cityscape. As they detect their targets, they open their hatches to release multiple large objects shaped like upside-down coffins, which proceed to float downwards. They contain sinister-looking darkly colored robots that are human-shaped but larger than regular human size. Below, in an underground warehouse currently used as a hideout, the young Native American mutant Warpath detects the incoming foes with his heightened senses. He immediately warns his pink-haired Chinese teammate Blink, who promptly creates a portal which teleports them both to the floor below. There, they warn more members of their crew--Kitty Pryde, Colossus, Sunspot and Bishop--that the Sentinels have found them. Sunspot creates flames which Bishop, sporting an “M” tattoo on his face from his former days as a captive, absorbs in order to power his futuristic weapon. Bishop then runs with Kitty towards a previously agreed upon part of the complex, while the others prepare to cover their teammates’ escape. As large drills pierce through the ceiling, Colossus morphs into his organic steel form, Sunspot’s body is engulfed in the fire he generates and Warpath draws his combat knives.
The large robots break into the complex and engage the group of mutants. Kitty, meanwhile, uses her powers to phase herself and Bishop through solid objects in order to get more quickly to where the two are headed. One robot manages to intercept them, but Blink teleports Warpath near enough to attack it, after which she teleports Kitty and Bishop away from danger. Blink then transports herself to yet another part of the warehouse, where she finds their final teammate, Bobby Drake aka Iceman, in order to send him to help the two runaways as well. To move quicker, Bobby (currently sporting a moustache and beard) creates an ice slide and glides along it, barely managing to exchange concerned looks with Kitty as he passes her and Bishop running in the opposite direction. Iceman morphs into his organic ice form as he engages a robot chasing after his two teammates, blasting it with cold air in order to freeze it in place.
The tide of battle quickly turns against the mutants. As Colossus sends a punch at one enemy, it catches his arm, breaking it and changes into a steel form much like his own. Another robot assumes an ice form to counter Sunspot’s flames, while the one Bobby has frozen escapes its imprisonment by generating fire from its body. The gruesome foes then kill the three mutants, with one even breaking off Iceman’s frozen head and crushing it under its foot. Blink barely manages to teleport Warpath away from a robot which has turned its arm into a spear, only to be immediately impaled by it herself. Furious, Warpath charges at the robot with his combat knife, but the enemy blasts him away with a beam of fiery energy emitted from its head, killing him.
Meanwhile Kitty and Bishop phase into a room with a vaulted door and a table in the center. Bishop lies on the table and Kitty places her hands on his temples, channeling some exotic form of energy through his head. One of the robots melts through the vaulted door and begins to fire its energy beam at the two remaining mutants, but Kitty scoffs that it has arrived too late. Just as the deadly beam is about to reach her, she suddenly vanishes, along with Bishop, the table, and the robot, while the vaulted door is now mysteriously intact. The entire warehouse is empty, as if none of the combatants have even been there at all.
In a high-tech, nuclear-powered X-Jet, Professor Charles Xavier is using a futuristic miniaturized version of his mutant-tracking device, Cerebro, to locate his former students. “So few of us left,” he whispers, as he scans a planet where even now surviving mutants are being violently rounded up. He telepathically hears Kitty Pryde’s voice and declares simply “I’ve found them” to the plane’s occupants, after which the craft speeds through the foggy night towards a seemingly abandoned monastery.
The X-Jet lands in front of the monastery and Bishop, who has been standing guard, cautiously approaches it, his weapon charged and ready. A staircase descends from the plane and its occupants emerge, one by one. Storm’s eyes turn white as she uses her powers to dispel the surrounding fog. Logan aka Wolverine, his temples now greying, lights one of his trademark cigars. Professor Xavier wears a stern look as he descends the stairs on a futuristic, levitating wheelchair. Finally, the X-Men’s oldest foe Erik Lehnsherr, also known as Magneto, walks out and follows his unlikely companions. The nervous Bishop is soon joined by Sunspot and Warpath, before Bobby Drake emerges from the monastery to let them know they are safe. Welcoming the Professor, Bobby hugs Storm and exchanges a curt greeting with Logan, after which he is joined by the rest of his group. He stands next to his current girlfriend Kitty Pryde, as Xavier looks proudly at his former students, now all grown up.
Later, the mutants have all taken shelter inside the monastery, and Kitty explains to the new arrivals how her team has stayed ahead of the prowling Sentinel robots. Whenever the Sentinels attack, Warpath spots them from afar and warns the others. Kitty then sends Bishop back in time to warn the group of the attack before it happens. Blink scouts the next site, and the mutants leave before the robots even know they were there. “Because,” Warpath chimes in, “we never were.” Logan still doesn’t understand, so Xavier clarifies: Kitty projects Bishop’s consciousness back in time, into his younger body, to warn the others of the coming attack. Wolverine, having been much more skeptical in earlier, more peaceful times, now simply accepts this information with a quiet “Wow.”
Magneto then interjects that Charles’ plan might just work, prompting the Professor to explain to his young hosts what he intends to do. Xavier recounts how the Sentinels were first built in the 1970s by Dr. Bolivar Trask, a leading weapons designer. Trask was secretly experimenting on mutants, using their gifts to fuel his own research. Mystique, a mutant who could transform into anyone, uncovered this and hunted him down. At the Paris Peace Accords in 1973 after the Vietnam war, she found Trask and shot him dead. “It was the first time she killed,” the Professor states. “Wasn’t her last,” Wolverine mutters grimly. However, Xavier explains that, instead of ending Trask’s work, Mystique’s act convinced the American government that his program was needed. She was captured, experimented on and her DNA revealed the secret to her powers of transformation. This eventually led to the creation of the Sentinels of the future that could adapt to any mutant power. But it had all started that day in 1973, when the girl named Raven first killed, the day she truly became “Mystique.”
Kitty suddenly realizes that the Professor intends to go back in time to prevent Trask’s assassination and Mystique’s capture. That would stop the Sentinels from being produced, ending the war before it ever begins. However, she tells Xavier that she can only send someone’s mind back in time a few weeks, maybe a month, whereas he’s talking about going back decades. The Professor has the most powerful brain in the world, but the mind can only stretch so far before it snaps. It would rip him apart. “What if someone's mind has a way of snapping back?” Logan interjects, referring to his own rapid healing power. “What if someone can heal as fast as they’re ripped apart?”
Later, while the others take positions around the monastery to guard it, Xavier, Magneto, Kitty and Bobby gather inside with Wolverine around a ritual table. Logan asks what he should do when he wakes up in his younger body. Charles replies that he will have to find the Professor’s own younger self and convince him of the future that awaits them. Wolverine asks why Charles shouldn’t just read his mind, but Xavier replies that he didn’t have his power in 1973. Logan will have to do for him what the Professor once did for Logan himself: lead him, guide him. “I was a very different man,” the Professor explains. “You’ll have to be patient with me.”
As Wolverine mutters that patience isn’t his strongest suit, Magneto adds that Logan will have to find Erik’s past self as well. Mystique grew up with Charles, but later joined Magneto instead, and he set her on a dangerous path… “A darker path,” Erik admits, for the first time looking ashamed. It would take both him and Xavier to change Raven’s mind, even though at the time they couldn’t have been further apart. A disgruntled Logan asks where he’ll find Magneto in the past, and Erik begins his reply by saying that it’s complicated.
Afterwards, Logan lies on the ritual table and Kitty explains to him that while his body is asleep and his mind is being channeled back in time, past and future will continue to coexist. But once he wakes up back in the future again, whatever he’s changed will become history, and for the rest of them it will be the only history they ever knew. Wolverine will be the only person to remember the undone timeline and the Sentinel war. Kitty then tells him to stay as calm as possible, or she won’t be able to hold on to his mind and it will start to slip between past and future. Logan asks how to avoid losing his calm if he runs into trouble, and she advises him to think peaceful thoughts, much to his chagrin. The only good news is that, since his powers reduce his aging, his younger body will pretty much look the same as he does now.
Bobby interjects to add that Wolverine won’t have much time in the past, because the Sentinels will find Kitty’s group as they always have done, and this time the mutants won’t be able to run. This is their last chance. Standing aside, Magneto silently asks Charles if he really thinks the plan will work. “I have faith in him,” the Professor responds. Erik tells him that he wasn’t worried about Logan, but about the two of them: “We were young, we didn’t know any better.” “We will now,” Xavier replies. As Kitty begins to send Wolverine’s mind years into the past, she warns that it might sting a little. Indeed, Logan quickly yells in pain, instinctively unsheathing his metal claws, before he whites out.
Wolverine wakes up facing what looks like the inside of a vat of greenish liquid but turns out to be a lava lamp placed on a nightstand in front of him. He is naked on a waterbed, with a sleeping young woman’s arm around him. He gently pushes her arm aside and rises, taking in his surroundings. Looking at a mirror, Logan notices that his temples are now longer grey. He peeks through the window blinds and is amazed to see a 1970s American cityscape. As he puts on his trousers, three tough-looking men burst into the room, waking the woman and ordering her to get dressed.
Confused, Wolverine asks what’s going on, to which one of the thugs replies that Logan was supposed to be guarding their boss’s daughter, not sleeping with her. Wolverine admits that he has slept with her many times but tries to explain that it was the old him; he himself has just arrived. The mobsters don’t believe Logan and are even less convinced when he claims to be from the future. They tell the girl to leave and then prepare to pull their guns on Wolverine. He warns that, if they don’t give him the keys to their car and let him go, they will wake up in the hospital. One of the thugs scornfully asks if he knows that because he’s from the future. “No,” Logan replies, “because of these.”
With that, he unsheathes his claws, and is momentarily surprised that right now they are still only bone and not covered with metal. The mobsters shoot him multiple times, which barely slows him down before he brutally dispatches them. “Peaceful thoughts,” Wolverine mutters as he grabs their car keys, already straining to follow Kitty’s advice.
While all this is happening, Dr. Bolivar Trask is at the White House, giving a briefing about mutants to President Nixon and other government officials. He is being told that budgetary cuts will not allow for the construction of weapons that target mutants, who for the moment appear to be living among their fellow citizens peacefully. Someone objects, mentioning the incident in Cuba ten years earlier, but another person points out that it has never been confirmed. The panel starts to agree that the country should not fund weapons to deal with a threat potentially posed by “a tenth of a tenth of a tenth” of its own population, especially as the US is currently in hostile relations with outside enemies such as Russia and China.
In reply, Dr. Trask reads from a dissertation acquired by the CIA, written by a mutant at Oxford University (Charles Xavier). A passage in the dissertation recalls how Neanderthals became immediately extinct upon the arrival of their mutated cousins, Homo sapiens. “Well, now we are the Neanderthals,” Trask concludes. “Speak for yourself, Dr. Trask,” a panelist jokes. The scientist then shifts gears, referencing the ongoing Vietnam War. The government sent its soldiers into that war without sufficient weapons, because it underestimated the enemy. If the same happens with this new enemy, the result will not be some border skirmish halfway around the world. “This time the war will be for our streets, our cities, our homes… And by the time you see the need for my program, it’ll be too late. And you will have lost two wars in one lifetime.” Despite his rhetoric however, Dr. Trask is informed that his Sentinel program is not going to be taking off.
At an American military camp, a determined-looking colonel approaches a guarded tent, overruling the guard’s insistence that the area is quarantined. He walks in to find a group of mutant soldiers being medically tested. One of the soldiers is Alex Summers, to whom the colonel surreptitiously winks as if he knows him already, much to the young man’s confusion. Another is the Toad, who eyes the newcomer suspiciously through a pair of oversized goggles. Upon questioning one of the medical personnel present, the colonel learns that both the tests and the soldiers themselves are about to be sent to a private facility called Trask Industries for yet more testing.
Meanwhile, a young major walks in to inform the mutants that they are departing, while the men accompanying him prepare to inject them with a sedative “to make the ride smoother.” The colonel approaches the major, noting that his men are not military. “Private outfit,” the major replies with a winning smile while handing him a document. “We’re authorized to remand these men.” The colonel begins to object that the exhausted soldiers should be going home, only to be told that he has no jurisdiction in the matter. “I’m afraid I do, son,” he responds. “I’m sorry, who are you?” the major asks, growing suspicious. “The question is, major… Who are you?” the colonel replies, looking at the younger man’s dog tag which identifies him as a certain William Stryker.
The colonel then suddenly transforms into the red-haired, blue-skinned Mystique and begins fighting Stryker’s men. Her fellow mutants soon join her, using their various powers to knock out her foes. As Major Stryker is about to shoot Mystique, she incapacitates him and starts to choke him. Alex tries to interrupt her, seeing that she’s about to kill the man, and finally blasts him away to stop her. She then proceeds to lead the mutants out of the tent. Alex asks her where Erik is, and she replies that she’s working on her own now. Assuming her earlier disguise, Mystiques smuggles the young mutants into a helicopter heading back for the US. When Alex realizes that she’s not coming with them, the “colonel” tells him that “his” war isn’t over. The enemy is still out there. As the helicopter takes off, Mystique changes her appearance to that of a female private, managing to avoid the now conscious Major Stryker, who runs out of the tent looking for the escaped mutants.
Wolverine arrives at Xavier’s school in the mobsters’ car, to find the sign at the entrance broken and the grounds unkempt. He knocks on the front door and a young, human-looking Hank McCoy, who has lately been taking care of the house, nervously peeks out. Logan asks him what happened to the school and is told that it has been shut for years. “Are you a parent?” Hank asks. “Sure as hell hope not,” Wolverine replies with a snort, before asking who the young man is. Upon hearing the name Hank McCoy, Logan calls him “Beast” and comments that he must be a late bloomer. Now even more nervous, Hank tries to make the intruder leave. Logan asks about the Professor but is told that there is no professor there. He finally forces his way in, knocking McCoy down with a punch to the nose while telling him that they’re going to be good friends. The young man just doesn’t know it yet.
Wolverine then proceeds up the stairs looking for the Professor, but the Beast quickly recovers, changing into his stronger, blue-furred form and giving chase. He catches up to Logan and violently throws him back down the stairs, then grabs hold of a chandelier above the intruder and growls down at him menacingly. The brief fight is abruptly stopped, however, when the youthful Charles Xavier walks down the stairs, demanding to know what is going on.
“Professor?” Wolverine cries out, prompting Charles to ask him not to call him that. Hank asks if Xavier knows “this guy,” and Charles responds that the intruder does look slightly familiar, then promptly sits down at the bottom of the stairs. The young Xavier has let his hair grow out, appears to have stopped shaving some time ago, and is carrying a glass of liquor even though it is the middle of the day. Logan exclaims that the Professor can walk, prompting Charles to sarcastically call him perceptive before explaining that this is private property, and that the newcomer will have to leave. Wolverine replies that he can’t do that, because he was sent for Xavier. “Well, tell whoever it was that sent you that I’m… busy,” Charles answers, even though he is obviously not. Logan replies that it would be tricky, as the person who sent him was Xavier himself--about 50 years in the future.
Both the Professor and Beast refuse to believe this incredible claim, and Wolverine tells Charles that if he had his powers, he could read his mind to ascertain the truth. “How do you know I don’t have my… Who are you?” Xavier demands, suspecting that Logan is from the CIA and has been watching him. Logan responds that he knows him, and that they have been friends for years. He then recalls how Xavier’s powers came at the age of nine, making Charles think he was going crazy with all the voices in his head, before he finally realized at twelve that the voices were from other people’s heads. The Professor exclaims that he has never told anyone that story, to which Wolverine responds that one day he will. “All right, you’ve piqued my interest. What do you want?” Charles asks quietly. Logan explains that they have to stop Raven: “I need your help. We need your help.” Walking away into his office, Xavier expresses a desire to wake up, while a pacified Hank wants to know what his former love interest has to do with any of this. Wolverine looks at him and is surprised to see the Beast smoothly transition back to his normal human appearance.
In the Professor’s office, Logan explains how Raven’s power is about to be weaponized, while Charles pours himself another drink. Wolverine says that in the future he comes from, Sentinels targeted only mutants at first. Then they began to identify the genetics in non-mutants who would eventually have mutant children or grandchildren. Many humans tried to help the Sentinels’ targets, but ended up slaughtered, leaving only the worst of humanity in charge. “I’ve been in a lotta wars. I’d never seen anything like this,” Logan concludes. “And it all starts with her.”
Xavier tells him that even if he chooses to believe Wolverine and to help him, Raven wouldn’t listen to Charles. Her heart and soul belong to someone else now. Logan replies that he knows, which is why they’re going to need Magneto as well. Xavier only laughs at this, while Hank reminds Wolverine how hard it would be to get to Erik, considering where the man is right now. “He’s where he belongs,” Charles says, suddenly becoming grim, before turning to exit the room. Logan asks Xavier if he intends to simply walk out. “Oh, top marks! Like I said, you are perceptive,” Charles replies jokingly, still walking away. Wolverine calls out after him that the professor he knows would never walk out on someone who had lost their path, especially someone he loved.
Hearing this, Xavier stops and turns around to face Logan. He has finally managed to remember their first meeting. “We came to you a long time ago, seeking your help… And I’m gonna say to you what you said to us then,” Charles tells him, before swearing at Wolverine dismissively. Hearing this, Logan grabs the professor and growls that he’s watched a lot of people die – good people, friends. If Xavier chooses to wallow in self-pity and do nothing, he’ll end up having to watch the same thing. Momentarily silent, Charles finally replies, “We all have to die sometime,” before continuing to walk away while taking another swig from his drink. “Told you there was no professor here,” Hank comments. Incredulous, Wolverine asks him what has happened to his former mentor.
“He lost everything,” Hank recalls. “Erik, Raven, his legs…” McCoy and the Professor then built the mutant school and its underground complex in the Xavier mansion, but after one semester the war in Vietnam got worse and many of the teachers and older students were drafted. It broke Charles, who retreated into himself. Wanting to help him, Hank designed a serum to treat his spine, derived from the same formula that helps the Beast control his own mutation. McCoy takes enough to keep himself balanced, but Xavier started taking too much, as he couldn’t bear the pain and the voices he would telepathically hear. The treatment gives him his legs back, but it’s not enough. “He’s just lost too much.”
As Hank explains all this, the Professor is in his bedroom, injecting himself with another dose of serum. He glances at Raven’s photograph on his untidy nightstand and remembers their first meeting as children. Charles promised her then that he would watch over her, so she would never have to steal again to feed herself. The memory drives him to finally make a decision.
“I’ll help you get her,” Xavier says to Logan, interrupting his conversation with Hank. The Professor clarifies that he will do it not for the sake of Wolverine’s future, but for Raven. “Fair enough,” Wolverine answers. Charles then warns him that Logan doesn’t know Erik. “That man is a monster… a murderer. You think you can convince Raven to change, to come home? That’s splendid. But what makes you think you can change him?” “Because you and Erik sent me back here together,” Wolverine replies confidently, taking Xavier by surprise.
Later, the three mutants are planning how to break Magneto out of prison. McCoy explains that Erik is in an underground room below the Pentagon which was constructed during World War II when there was a shortage of steel, so the foundation is pure concrete, no metal. A despondent Charles rephrases this to say that Magneto is held a hundred floors under the most heavily guarded building on the planet. Logan asks why he was put there, prompting Xavier to laugh that the older Erik has apparently withheld that information. “JFK,” Hank mutters. “He killed…,” Wolverine begins to ask incredulously, but Charles interrupts him to say that nothing else would explain a bullet miraculously curving through the air. “Erik’s always had a way with guns,” he comments, referring to his own spinal injury at the hands of his former friend.
The Professor then asks if Logan is sure he wants to set Magneto free, and Wolverine responds that it’s Xavier’s own plan, not his. McCoy points out that they have no resources to get into the prison--or out, Xavier adds. It’s just himself and Hank. “I know a guy,” Logan tells them. At this point in time, his acquaintance should be a young man growing up outside of D.C. “He could get into anywhere,” Wolverine smirks, but admits that he doesn’t know how to find the man. McCoy asks if Cerebro is out of the question, to which Charles doesn’t even reply. Hank then suggests trying the phonebook.
Mystique infiltrates Bolivar Trask’s office disguised as Trask himself, even complimenting his secretary on her scarf. She then discovers the entrance to the doctor’s secret lab, which is hidden behind a painting of him helping a disabled child. Inside, she examines his folders, taking a special interest in one with files on former test subjects. Inside, Raven is shocked to find autopsy reports on mutants that have been mutilated through experimentation, including her friends Azazel and Angel Salvadore. She is so distraught that she almost gives herself away when the secretary interrupts her to offer “Trask” a document of names added to the Paris meeting guest list. Quickly composing herself, Mystique maintains her disguise and, wiping a tell-tale tear off her face, accepts the document, also asking the secretary for a copy of the doctor’s itinerary. As the secretary turns around, “Trask’s” expression becomes vengeful as “his” eyes flash yellow.
Wolverine, Hank and Xavier drive up to the suburban house of a family named Maximoff. A single mother answers the door and, immediately assuming they’re cops, asks what her son has done this time, offering to just write a check for whatever he has taken. Logan reassures her that they only want to talk to him, and the three are invited in. They step over а very worn welcome mat that looks as if something has passed over it very quickly multiple times. In the house’s basement, they find the room of a young man named Peter, who is playing table tennis against himself using his superhuman speed. He quickly claims not to have done anything wrong, even though the room is full of multiple items that he has apparently shoplifted.
Wolverine tells him that they’re not cops, which Peter already knows since they have arrived in a rental car. He checked the registration while they were walking in and, as he had some more time to kill, he also looked at their rental agreement which revealed them to be from out of town. Peter then assumes that they’re FBI, but immediately changes his mind after he swipes Xavier’s wallet in the blink of an eye and finds an old card advertising the School for Gifted Youngsters. He then instantly moves to another part of the room, leaving the wallet on the floor for the Professor to pick up. Fascinated, Hank asks if the boy is a teleporter. Wolverine replies that he’s just fast, but when Logan knew him, he wasn’t so… young.
“Young? You’re just old,” Peter quips, now suddenly behind them. McCoy is surprised that the lad isn’t afraid to show his powers. Peter replies that they aren’t seeing anything that anyone would believe if they told about it. He then zips to an arcade game machine in the opposite end of the room and starts playing it at top speed as he asks them what they want. Wolverine explains that they need his help to break into a highly secured facility and get someone out. “Prison break? That’s illegal, you know,” Peter says casually, prompting Logan to look around at all the stolen merchandise and to respond, “Only if you get caught.” The young man asks what is in it for him. Calling him a kleptomaniac, Charles replies that he will get to break into the Pentagon. At this, Peter stops playing his game and looks at the three men suspiciously, asking why he should trust them. Wolverine answers that they are like him and demonstrates his own mutation by unsheathing his bone claws from beneath his skin, an ability which Peter promptly evaluates as cool but disgusting.
Later, Wolverine, McCoy and Xavier enter the Pentagon as part of a tour group. While Logan and Charles stray from the group, Hank operates a small device to scramble the security cameras’ reception. Meanwhile, Peter Maximoff uses his powers to get close to the guard bringing food to Erik Lensherr’s place of imprisonment. Peter quickly incapacitates the guard with a large amount of duct tape, then changes into his uniform to take his place. With this disguise, he makes his way past two rows of other guards equipped with plastic firearms before arriving above the prison cell’s glass ceiling. He delivers Lensherr’s meal through the designated slot, along with a note to “mind the glass.” Peter then begins tapping the cell’s ceiling from above at superspeed with his hands, eventually shattering it.
An alarm sounds outside as Magneto, clad in a white, prisoner’s uniform, climbs out from his cell and warns his rescuer that in seconds a door will open to let in twenty guards ready to shoot them. Already expecting that, Peter grabs hold of Erik, making sure to keep his head still so the man doesn’t get whiplash. Then, as soon as the door opens, the youngster speeds through the corridor with Lensherr in tow, causing the guards to be thrown into the air and fall to the ground from the burst of energy. He stops inside the elevator, where the original guard is still duct taped to the wall and gagged, and starts the elevator back towards the kitchen. Peter then instantly changes back to his Pink Floyd t-shirt and jacket, and reassures Magneto that the temporary nausea from the trip will soon pass.
While Erik is recovering his senses, the young man persistently inquires why he was imprisoned in such a high security facility in the first place. When Lensherr reveals that it was for killing the president, Peter is taken aback, but Magneto insists that he is only guilty of fighting for people like the two of them. When the lad asks if he knows karate, Erik calmly replies that he doesn’t, but he does know “ka-razy.”
Logan and Xavier rush into the kitchen, where Peter and Erik’s elevator is about to arrive, Hank having already turned on the room’s alarm and fire sprinklers. Charles announces to the staff that an emergency situation is at hand, which requires them all to be evacuated to another floor. The two guards standing at the elevator are unconvinced and, while Charles clumsily tries to fool them, an impatient Wolverine shortens the procedure by grabbing a nearby frying pan and violently knocking them out. “I’m sorry, were you finished?” he says sarcastically to Xavier.
In the elevator, Peter mentions having been told about Magneto’s ability to control metal. The lad reveals that his mother once knew someone with such a power. Before Erik can comment on this, the elevator arrives at the kitchen. Charles, who has just been telling Wolverine that he himself isn’t very good with violence, momentarily loses control upon seeing his friend-turned-enemy, and punches Lensherr in the face, knocking him to the ground. While Charles massages his now pained fist, Erik gets back up, maintaining his composure and calmly saying that it’s good to see his old friend, especially walking. “No thanks to you,” Xavier snaps back.
Magneto admits that he didn’t expect to see Charles involved with his rescue, and Xavier emphatically responds that he wouldn’t be there if he didn’t have to. He then demands that they make their escape without killing, prompting Magneto, who has spent much of his imprisonment meditating, to calmly note that he can’t disobey the Professor without his telepathy-blocking helmet. Charles angrily tells him that he doesn’t ever intend to get into “that head” again, and insists that Erik give him his word. Before Lensherr can respond, a number of guards with plastic firearms burst in from the opposite end of the room, ordering the mutants not to move and threatening to shoot. Finally growing nervous, Magneto tells Xavier to telepathically freeze the guards, but Charles admits that he can’t. Lensherr then uses his own powers, levitating various metal objects in the room to weaponize against their attackers. Wolverine unsheathes his claws and Xavier leaps at Magneto to stop him just as the guards begin firing.
Reacting instantly to the tense situation, Peter Maximoff puts on his goggles and headphones and runs around the room at superspeed, knocking out all the guards and then slightly shifting the direction of the fired bullets so that they miss their targets. During all this, he even has time to taste the soup from a pot that was thrown into the air. Realizing that they are now safe, the other mutants begin to make their escape, with Magneto glancing disconcertedly at Wolverine’s bone claws. As they exit the room, Logan briefly thanks Peter, patting him on the shoulder, while the young man looks proud of himself.
Later, Logan and Erik are climbing aboard Xavier’s small private plane while the Professor, accompanied by Hank, thanks Peter profoundly for his help. The young man, who has already checked the flight plan in the cockpit, replies by asking his new friends why they’re going to Paris. The answer is on the front page of the newspaper Wolverine has brought into the plane, which proclaims that peace talks are about to begin in Paris.
Passing by Logan’s seat, Erik reaches for the paper, but Wolverine holds it down in place with his claws. Lensherr relinquishes his claims on the paper while noting, “Imagine if they were metal.” Outside, before Hank and the Professor climb aboard, Xavier tosses the keys to the rental car to Peter, asking the lad to return it for him. He then offers his young friend the parting advice to “take it slow,” making Peter chuckle. Inside the plane, Magneto takes his seat and asks Wolverine where they dug him up, prompting Logan to once again begin telling his unbelievable tale of the future.
As the plane is being piloted towards its destination by Beast, the other mutants sit together in silence until Erik inquires how Xavier lost his powers. The Professor answers quietly that the treatment for his spine affects his DNA. An incredulous Magneto asks if Charles has really sacrificed his powers so he could walk. “I ‘sacrificed my powers’ so that I could sleep,” Xavier corrects him angrily, but trails off and looks away, muttering that Magneto wouldn’t know about it.
Lensherr responds that he knows about loss, but Charles laughs derisively at the statement. “Dry your eyes, Erik. Doesn’t justify what you’ve done.” “You’ve no idea what I’ve done,” Lensherr insists. In response, Xavier accuses him of taking the things that mean the most to Charles. Magneto snaps back that maybe the Professor should have fought harder for them. Enraged, Xavier stands up, threatening to give Erik a fight. Logan yells at Charles to calm down, but Lensherr coolly agrees to hear Xavier’s accusations. “You abandoned me!” Charles cries out, grabbing his former friend and shaking him. “You took her away, and you abandoned me!”
In response, Magneto lists mutants that both men have known: Angel, Azazel, Emma Frost and Banshee, who are now all dead. They and countless others have been experimented on, butchered, Lensherr declares, growing angry and beginning to destabilize the plane’s movement with his powers. “Where were you, Charles?! We were supposed to protect them! Where were you when your own people needed you? Hiding! You and Hank, pretending to be something you’re not!” Magneto yells in furious desperation, while from the cockpit Hank cries out to him as Xavier and various objects fall to the ground from the plane’s violent shaking. Erik finally regains control of himself and the plane’s motion returns to normal.
Upset, Charles walks away into the cockpit, leaving Lensherr alone with Logan, who moodily concludes that Magneto has always been “an a**hole.” “I take it we’re best buddies in the future?” Erik asks sarcastically, and Wolverine responds with a grim laugh while lighting a cigar. He tells Magneto that he has spent a lot of years trying to bring him down. When Lensherr asks how that worked out, Logan admits: “You’re like me… You’re a survivor,” before grumpily asking Erik if he intends to pick up all the things he has knocked over. Lensherr turns away from him in mute frustration.
The Vietnamese officials delegated to hold the peace talks are spending the night before the event partying at a nightclub in celebration of their victory. From another table, the Russian officials present toast them and receive a reciprocal toast. A Vietnamese captain suggests to his general that he should go easier with his drinking before the big day, but the youthful general defiantly tells him that it’s not every day they win a war against the American devils, and then rises from the table to get another bottle. As he makes his way through the dancing crowd, an elegant young blonde at the bar (actually Raven in her human-looking guise) catches his eye. To make her acquaintance, he pretends to accidentally bump into her, knocking over her drink and apologizing in French. She responds in Vietnamese, introducing herself as an interpreter, and flirtatiously proclaims that she knows many tongues. As soon as he learns that she is there on her own, he offers to buy her another drink, and promptly orders in French an entire bottle of American whisky.
Later that night, the Vietnamese general has taken the young woman to his hotel room and is pouring them drinks. Looking at the official invitation on his table, she notes that he is going to the peace summit. He is impressed to find she is both pretty and interested in politics, prompting a reply that looks can be deceiving. When he playfully attempts in broken English to get her to undress for him, she takes him aback by changing to her scaly blue form instead, derisively observing that he no longer finds her pretty. She then pins him to the wall with her leg, pressing against his neck with her foot and choking him to the point of unconsciousness. As he slumps down, she picks up his invitation to the summit.
Back on the plane, Magneto approaches Xavier and suggests a game of chess, noting that they haven’t played in a long while. Charles moodily replies that he’s not in the mood for games. Still trying to be friendly, Erik pours himself a drink and states that he hasn’t had a sip in ten years. When the Professor still refuses to look at him, Lensherr changes the subject and claims not to have killed the President. Xavier reminds him that the bullet curved, which Magneto explains by claiming that he was trying to deflect it, but that he was taken out before he could. Charles asks why Erik would try to save the President. “Because he was one of us,” Magneto responds.
The Professor appears stunned by this statement but doesn’t reveal if he believes it. Instead, he recalls how Magneto always claimed that people would come after the mutants. “I never imagined they’d use Raven’s DNA to do it,” Lensherr admits. Xavier inquires when he last saw her, and Erik answers that it was the day he left for Dallas. “How was she,” Charles asks, and Magneto describes her as strong, driven, and loyal. The Professor presses the question, but Lensherr appears unable to describe his relationship to Raven in words. “I could see why she meant so much to you,” he finally offers. Magneto then suggests that Charles should be proud of her, as she is out there fighting for their cause.
“Your cause,” Xavier corrects him, insisting that the girl he raised wasn’t capable of killing. Erik replies that Charles didn’t raise her; he grew up with her. She couldn’t stay a little girl forever, which is why she ended up leaving. “She left because you got inside her head,” Xavier claims, but Lensherr reminds him that’s not his power. Raven made her own choice. “But now we know where that choice leads, don’t we?” Charles responds darkly. “She is going to murder Trask, they are going to capture her… and then they’re going to wipe us out.” “Not if we get to her first,” Magneto quietly insists, “not if we change history tomorrow.” He then sincerely apologizes to Charles for what happened between the two of them.
Finally softening, Xavier finishes his own drink and accepts the earlier chess invitation. Erik jokingly offers to take it easy on him to make it a fair fight, but Charles replies curtly by allowing him the first move. Assuming a more serious and somewhat inscrutable expression, Lensherr magnetically moves a pawn forward.
In Paris, diplomats from all around the world are arriving at the Hotel Royale for the peace summit. An hour before it begins, however, Bolivar Trask has arranged a private meeting at the hotel with Vietnamese and other foreign officials. He congratulates them on winning the war and then gets straight to the point: there is a new enemy out there; an enemy that will render their weapons useless, their armies powerless, and their nations defenseless. Trask then proceeds to advertise his Sentinels, which can fly and are capable of firing more than two thousand rounds per minute of thermo-ceramic ammunition. But what makes them unique compared to any other weapon, he says, is the ability to target the mutant X gene. With their genetic guidance system, there will be no human collateral damage.
To prove his point, Trask produces a miniature device with the same guidance system and turns it on, claiming that it will not even activate… “Unless there’s a mutant,” he corrects himself as the machine starts beeping. He quickly identifies the individual that triggered it as the youthful Vietnamese general, who is secretly being impersonated by Mystique. The man protests that there must be some mistake, but Trask insists that his machines don’t make mistakes. “What are you?” he asks with interest, while ordering his assistant Major Stryker not to shoot “it.” As several men around the table rise to grab hold of the suspicious general, he changes back into Raven and begins fighting them off.
After knocking down most of them, Mystique disarms Stryker and immediately points his gun at Trask. Before she can fire however, she is startled by the arrival of Magneto, Xavier, Hank and Wolverine, who have just broken into the hotel to find her. Major Stryker then incapacitates her with the same electric device he would’ve used on her in the original timeline, only this time Magneto redirects it at Stryker himself. Trask looks on in amazement as his machine begins to indicate the presence of more mutants, while Charles reassures Raven that he and Erik have come for her… together. As Xavier recalls the promise he once made to protect her, Logan glances down at Stryker and is overwhelmed by a flashback of the agonizing experimental procedure he will someday undergo at the man’s hands.
Amidst the confusion, a determined-looking Erik magnetically draws Raven’s gun towards himself and then points it back at her. He explains to the incredulous Charles that he is securing their future, and asks Mystique to forgive him, declaring that as long as she’s out there they’ll never be safe. Raven asks Xavier to use his powers and stop Magneto, but quickly learns that he can’t. She then makes a run for it, leaping out of a window, while Hank tackles Erik to the ground, knocking his gun away. This does not deter Magneto, who launches a bullet from it remotely and directs that bullet towards Mystique, hitting her in the lower part of the leg. She falls to the ground outside, witnessed by multiple people and news cameras, then shapeshifts into an ordinary-looking black woman as she gets up. At the hotel, Erik struggles with Hank and Charles before chasing after her, during which Trask makes his escape.
In the future, Logan’s mind begins slipping back, and Kitty desperately tries to keep it anchored to the past. His body begins thrashing around from his painful flashback of William Stryker. He even ends up unsheathing his claws and injuring Kitty with them, before Magneto and the others are able to restrain him.
In 1973, Wolverine reverts to the mind of his younger self, no longer remembering who Charles is or where they are. Upon seeing Beast, who has morphed into his blue-furred form from the excitement, Logan begins to freak out. Xavier attempts to de-escalate the situation by telling Hank to go after Erik and then trying to calm Wolverine down. He ends up telling Logan that he’s hallucinating after taking some “really bad acid.” Meanwhile, Stryker recovers and escapes from the room, pausing only to cast an awestruck look at Wolverine.
Outside, Magneto locates Raven via the bullet that is still lodged in her leg. He then magnetically draws the bullet to himself, dragging her along with it, before he extracts it from her leg and, ignoring the girl’s pleas, prepares to redirect it at her. He is prevented from doing so by Beast, who wrestles him to the ground and throws him into a nearby fountain. A furious Hank then begins pounding Erik’s head against the floor of the fountain, drawing blood. Magneto starts moving around all nearby metal objects in an attempt to extricate himself, causing the already overstimulated crowd of onlookers to panic.
In the confusion, Mystique, now with a limp, escapes in disguise, this time as an elderly Caucasian man. Erik finally frees himself by using the metal pieces of sculpture inside the fountain to chain Beast’s arms, and walks off looking for Raven, while multiple journalists are photographing the scene. Several gendarmes try to stop him, but he magnetically pushes them away without even glancing in their direction. Hank looks with concern at the panicked onlookers before he is finally able to break free from his shackles and make his own escape.
In the future, Kitty regains a stable hold on Logan’s mind, even though she is badly wounded and bleeding. In the past, Wolverine regains his senses and explains to Charles that he lost control because he saw someone who would bring him a lot of pain one day. He then asks where Raven is, only for Xavier to tell him that they have failed and need to get out of there.
The next day, President Nixon and his aides are watching news footage of the strange visitors who appeared at the Paris conference. The anchor-man notes that no one currently knows who they were, and whether they’re friend or foe. Nixon asks his men for information on what they are dealing with here… “off the record,” he adds, prompting an aide to switch off a hidden recording device. The President is told that one of the mysterious assailants, Erik Lensherr, has recently escaped from a high security facility at the Pentagon. The blue-skinned woman is believed to be an associate of Lensherr’s, as they were together in Cuba at the day of the crisis in 1962. He was also implicated in Kennedy’s assassination. When Nixon asks about “that… thing,” referring to Beast, his men admit that they don’t know about him, and that they actually don’t know what any of them are.
“Yes. Yes, we do. They’re mutants,” a newly arrived Bolivar Trask announces. Pointing to footage of Lensherr, Trask explains that the man has the power to control metal, which (he reminds the President) is what most of the country’s weapons are made of. She, referring to Mystique, can transform into anyone – general, a secret serviceman, even the President himself. “She could walk into this office and order a nuclear strike, if she was in the mood… And that’s only two of them.” Nixon immediately asks if they have any countermeasures, which is just what Trask has been waiting for. He hands the President a folder, which an aide notes is related to an experimental project that is strictly off the books.
Nixon opens it to find Sentinel design schematics, and questions whether huge metal robots would actually be effective. Trask replies that the Sentinels can tell human-looking mutants apart, and that they’re built out of a space age polymer; not an ounce of metal on them. He has eight prototypes ready to go. The President decides to hold a public demonstration and let the world know that his government can protect them. He asks what it will take to make the robots operational. Trask explains that when he approached congress, they shut him down, and that it will cost “a bit more” to turn the Sentinels on now. Nixon offers him anything he needs. Trask also adds that he wants the blue shape-shifter alive for research purposes.
In a Paris hospital, a nurse is also glancing at news footage of the previous day’s events, while she bandages Raven’s leg. The nurse asks if she can imagine having to look in the mirror and see that staring back. Raven, currently in her blonde human-looking form, replies in French that she can. The nurse then asks if she thinks the strange woman has a family, to which Raven mutters in English: “Yes, she does.”
In a dimly lit hotel room, Erik Lensherr is also listening to the French news while he uses his powers on a surgical needle to stitch together the wounds inflicted by Beast. At the same time, he examines Sentinel designs on a device which he took from the Hotel Royale during the encounter with Trask. He glances at the television screen and notices footage of Mystique’s blood being scraped off the pavement after the fight.
Later, in a crowded Paris subway, Erik is intercepted by an elderly beggar who turns out to be Mystique in disguise and is quickly dragged into a small empty elevator. Raven presses a screwdriver to his neck and threatens to jam it into his throat if he begins to use his powers. Remaining calm, he asks how she found him, only to be told that he taught her well. Noting how long it has been since they were this close, he claims to have missed her. She reminds him that he tried to kill her, and he briefly explains about the warning from the future. He was doing what he thought necessary to ensure the safety of mutants.
Mystique threatens to kill him to ensure her own safety, but he reveals that it no longer matters; their enemies already have her DNA, as her blood was on the street. She angrily asks whose fault that was, and Erik admits that it was his. He then tries to recruit her for his assault on the Sentinels’ creators, but she has seen too many friends die and doesn’t want a war. She only wants the man who murdered them. This is war, Magneto insists, accusing her of still being influenced by Charles. She repeats that her only enemy is Trask. Killing one man isn’t enough, Lensherr claims, only to be told that it never was, for him. “Goodbye, Erik,” Raven finally says, exiting the elevator. Magneto tries to follow her, but she has already vanished among the large crowd.
Charles, Hank and Logan return to Xavier’s mansion, where the Professor promptly collapses as he no longer has the use of his legs. His telepathic mind is also flooded with voices, and McCoy rushes off to get his formula. Wolverine tells Charles to pull himself together; it’s not over yet. “You don’t believe that,” Xavier realizes, prompting Logan to ask how he knows. The Professor explains that as his legs go, his power comes back… “they all come back,” he adds with a pained expression, covering his ears in a vain attempt to keep the voices out. A pensive Wolverine suggests that, as he himself is still there, they haven’t failed yet; but they can’t find Raven without Xavier’s mutant abilities.
Just then, Hank returns with the Professor’s syringe, saying that he added a little extra to make up for the missed dose. Ignoring Logan, Charles puts the needle to his vein, but then hesitates and finally changes his mind, dropping it. He asks Hank to help him to his study. Leaving the syringe behind, Xavier limps away with Hank’s assistance to where his old wheelchair is stored. Asked by Hank if he is sure about doing this, he simply replies, “Absolutely not.”
Dr. Trask is studying cells from Mystique’s blood under a microscope. He declares the “creature” to be extraordinary, as her genes might hold the key to mutation itself. He tells Major Stryker that he needs more, though. More than just blood: brain tissue, spinal fluid, bone marrow. Trask is already imagining Sentinels that can transform and adapt to any target. This girl could help the program leap forward years, even decades into the future. Trask suddenly changes the subject, asking Major Stryker how old his son Jason currently is. Told that the boy is almost ten, he notes how that is only eight years from fighting age. “And how many of our sons and brothers did we just ship home in body bags? Maybe fifty, fifty-five thousand? And how many more on the other side?” For the first time in history, there is a cause that can unite humans as a species.
Hearing this, a somewhat amused Stryker states that the doctor must really hate mutants. “On the contrary, I rather admire them,” Trask replies, “the things they can do…” He sees mutants as humanity’s salvation – not so much a common enemy, as competitors in the common struggle against the ultimate enemy, extinction. Trask believes that mutants will help usher in a new era of genuine and long-lasting peace. As he says this, outside of his lab Sentinels are being prepared for transportation, while a disguised Erik Lensherr watches, waiting to make his move.
Back in Westchester, Hank, Logan and Charles (now in his wheelchair) are making their way through the underground complex beneath Xavier’s mansion towards Cerebro. When Wolverine asks when the other two were last down there, Beast tells him that it was when they last went looking for students, which the Professor says was a lifetime ago. As they reach the vaulted door, a machine scans Xavier’s irises and an artificial-sounding voice welcomes the Professor. The door opens to reveal the giant dome-shaped room, where Charles picks up Cerebro’s helmet and blows the accumulated dust off of it. Taking a deep breath, he puts on the helmet for the first time in a very long while.
Almost immediately something appears to be wrong, as the red and white lights representing mutants and humans that start to fill the room are shimmering and begin to spin around with great speed, while Charles is overwhelmed by voices of anguish and rage. Xavier finally yells out as the glass coverings of several dials begin to shatter one by one. The lights vanish and all the equipment shuts down as the Professor quickly removes his helmet.
Worried, Hank briefly checks if Charles is okay before running out of the room to look at the no longer functioning power generator. Left alone with Xavier, Logan suggests that the problem isn’t the machinery. The Professor replies that he can’t do this, as his mind won’t take it. Wolverine claims that Xavier is just a little rusty, only to be told that it's not a question of being rusty. “I can flip the switches, I can turn the knobs, but my power comes from here, it comes from…” Charles trails off, pointing first to his head, then to his heart, “…and it’s broken.” The Professor then begins to wheel out of the room, feeling like one of his students--helpless--and claims that this whole thing, including freeing Erik, was a mistake. “I’m sorry, Logan… but they sent back the wrong man.”
“You’re right, I am,” Wolverine admits, making Charles stop his exit. “Actually, it was supposed to be you,” he explains, “but I was the only one who could physically make the trip.” Logan adds that he doesn’t know how long he’s got left to be there, but he does know that a long time ago… actually, a long time from now, he was the Professor’s most helpless student. It was Xavier who unlocked his mind and showed him what he could be. “I don’t know how to do that for you,” Wolverine admits, “you’re right. I don’t. But I know someone who might.” He then invites Charles to look into his mind. Xavier protests that after what he did to Cerebro, Logan shouldn’t let him inside his head, but Wolverine assures him that there’s no damage he can do that hasn’t already been done.
Looking into Logan’s mind, Charles sees flashes from his difficult and painful life, including surviving the Nagasaki nuclear blast, having his bone claws broken in a fight with his brother, having his skeleton laced with adamantium, and being forced to kill the woman he loved, Jean Grey. Feeling sorry for him, Xavier doesn’t want to see any more of his suffering or his future. “Look past my future,” Wolverine insists. “Look for your future.” The Professor ventures into Logan’s mind once more, this time zeroing in on himself. His psychic form ends up on the table where Wolverine is being anchored to the past by Kitty Pryde and rises to have a look around. Charles sees the Chinese temple with the assembled mutants, including Magneto and his own older self. He approaches the latter, who detects him and calls him by name.
The two versions of Xavier then have a telepathic conversation from across the timestream. The younger Charles bitterly notes that Erik was apparently right, as humanity has wrought this terrible future upon mutants. “Not if we show them a better path,” the older Xavier insists. Charles is amazed that his older self still has the strength to believe that. “Just because someone stumbles, loses their way, it does not mean that they’re lost forever,” Xavier tells him. “Sometimes we all need a little help.” The younger Charles responds that he isn’t the man he used to be; when he opens his mind, he becomes overwhelmed. The Professor’s older self suggests that Charles is afraid, and that Cerebro knows it.
Charles admits that he can’t handle all those voices with all their pain. Xavier replies that it’s not their pain that young Charles is afraid of, but his own. “And as frightening as it may be, their pain will make you stronger. If you allow yourself to feel it, embrace it… it will make you more powerful than you’ve ever imagined. It’s the greatest gift we have: to bear their pain without breaking. And it’s born from the most human power… Hope.” As young Charles’ mind is flooded with images of his future students happily walking the hallways of the mansion, the older Xavier begs him to hope again, as they need him.
Once more in his own body in 1973, Charles finds himself back inside Cerebro, facing Logan, who calmly asks if he found what he was looking for. As Hank returns, announcing that the power is back on, a determined-looking Charles replies, his eyes still on Logan, that it certainly is.
A large cargo train is transporting Trask’s Sentinels through the night towards Washington. Erik Lensherr levitates himself onto the train and then absorbs metal from the tracks, which he redirects into the robots within the train. Having studied their blueprints, he knows how to distribute the thin metal wires he is creating, so that they reach into the Sentinels’ processing units.
In the future, Kitty is still holding on to Wolverine’s mind, but has lost a lot of blood. Bobby suggests they wake Logan up, but Xavier stops him. The Professor reveals that he has had a glimpse into the past and that, if they awaken Wolverine now, they may set their world on an even darker course. The mutants in the past need to be given more time.
Raven, in her blonde, human-looking form, is waiting at a French airport. Suddenly, an elderly woman sitting next to her speaks, telling her to stop running. Realizing that it’s Charles trying to communicate with her, Raven asks where he is. Through Cerebro, he explains that he is at the house and needs her to come home, but she disagrees and walks away from the woman. As Raven makes her way through the airport, Xavier talks to her through the mouths of various people she passes by. He tells her that, if she kills Trask, she’ll be creating countless others like him. “Then I’ll kill them too,” she responds simply. Charles insists that those are Erik’s words, not hers. Raven finally bumps into a young woman, dropping her tickets and stooping to pick them up. Through the young woman, Xavier tells her that the girl he grew up with wasn’t capable of killing--she was good, fair, full of compassion. Raven answers that she still has compassion, just not for Trask; he’s murdered too many of their kind.
Inside Cerebro, Wolverine tells Charles to get into Mystique’s head and shut her down, but the Professor isn’t strong enough yet to overcome her resistance. He tries once again to talk to Mystique, this time appearing as a telepathic projection in front of her. He tells her that he knows what Trask has done, but killing him will bring no one back and will only set her on a path from which there is no return. “An endless cycle of killing, us and them, until there’s nothing left. But we can stop it, right now, you and I. You just have to come home.” Resenting the phrase “have to,” Raven accuses Charles of not having changed at all, and once more says that she knows what it is she must do, before she finally walks away.
Back in Cerebro, Xavier feels like he’s failed, until he realizes that through the young woman’s eyes he at least saw Raven’s plane tickets, so he knows she’s about to board a plane for Washington DC. This prompts Hank to take him and Logan into a room where he has designed a technological system to record all news about Paris across all three television networks, as well as PBS. He has found out that the President is about to address the mutant menace in front of the White House with the aid of Dr. Bolivar Trask. Charles realizes that Raven intends to kill Trask at the event, and that she doesn’t grasp the consequences of doing that with the whole world watching. Wolverine feels like he came all the way from the future for nothing.
McCoy then imparts some more bad news: a sample of Mystique’s blood has been collected from the pavement in Paris. For all they know, their enemies already have her DNA, which is all they need to create the Sentinels of the future. Hank then refers to a theory in quantum physics, according to which time is immutable, like a river: a pebble thrown in can create a ripple, but the current will always correct itself. Maybe the war of the future is inevitable, and maybe Raven is meant to kill Trask because that is just who she is. Disagreeing, Xavier quotes his own older self: “Just because someone stumbles, loses their way, doesn’t mean they’re lost forever.” He tells Hank that he doesn’t believe that theory, and he certainly cannot believe that that is who she is. He then orders that the plane be made ready for a trip to Washington.
That night, Erik Lensherr infiltrates the Pentagon and breaks into a vault where objects from mutant-related incidents are stored, including Havok’s early uniform and one of Angel Salvadore’s wings. From there, he recovers his sinister-looking helmet that blocks telepathic intrusion.
Xavier’s plane is flying towards Washington. Awkwardly, Logan begins a conversation with the Professor. He tells him that Charles may have seen a lot of bad in Wolverine’s memories, but he saw that a lot of good is possible as well. The X-Men are going to need Xavier to find them and bring them together. Logan asks the Professor to promise him to guide and lead them. “Storm, Scott, Jean… remember those names. There’s so many of us. We will need you.” Hesitatingly, Charles promises to do his best. “Your best is enough,” Wolverine assures him, “trust me.”
In the future, Warpath detects incoming ships carrying Sentinels. The mutants have been found.
Back in 1973, numerous people gather on the White House lawn to witness history as the President is about to unveil his Sentinel program. Xavier (in his wheelchair), accompanied by Logan and Hank, psychically tricks the guard into believing that they have invitations. As Wolverine walks through the metal detector, he is briefly surprised that it’s not going off, before he remembers that his skeleton isn’t metal yet. Charles then begins psychically scanning the crowd, trying to find Raven.
Meanwhile, the President steps onto the stage. He delivers a brief speech, announcing that today, his fellow Americans face their greatest threat yet: mutants. They are however prepared for this threat. He then purports to quote Robert Oppenheimer, saying “Behold, the world will never be the same,” as the curtain behind him (an American flag under a prominent banner with the Trask Industries logo) falls away to reveal eight first-generation Sentinels. The three mutants present watch nervously, Trask looks proudly at his creations and a suspicious-looking secret service agent’s eyes briefly glow yellow as “he” starts making his way towards the stage.
At the nearby Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium, a man is peacefully mowing the lawn when Magneto, now in his dark red costume and helmet, suddenly descends from the sky and proceeds to lift the entire stadium above the ground. Fifty years in the future, a much older Erik Lensherr steps out of the Chinese temple to join his fellow mutants in their final battle against the Sentinels.
Disguised as a secret service agent, Mystique has gotten close to the stage and is pulling out her gun when Xavier finally detects and telepathically paralyzes her, pointing her out to Hank and Logan. Before they can get to her, however, a commotion ensues. The Sentinels behind the stage activate of their own accord, much to Trask’s confusion, while the RFK stadium slowly levitates above the lawn and then descends to entrap those present. Charles meanwhile telepathically begs Raven to change her mind and to use the second chance mutants have been given to show humanity who they are.
In the future, Bishop looks onto the incoming Sentinel carriers from the temple roof and exclaims that they cannot stop so many, to which Storm replies that at least they can slow them down. She then creates a hurricane, damaging some of the ships before they can deliver their cargo. Nonetheless, hundreds of Sentinels still emerge and proceed to fly towards the mutants’ stronghold.
In the past, the original Sentinels, controlled by Magneto thanks to the metal he implanted into them earlier, begin firing onto the crowd and police, causing a panic. Realizing that Eric must be behind this, Xavier yells out his name angrily. Trask, the President, and his military personnel are meanwhile taken into a protective bunker underneath the White House. The President is furious at Trask, as their failed demonstration must have left the world feeling that the US cannot protect them. Trask insists that he can fix it. Standing near them, Mystique, still disguised as the secret serviceman, surreptitiously draws her gun.
In the future, Storm channels lightning into Bishop, who absorbs the energy to charge his futuristic gun. Blink then opens portals for him to shoot through, giving him a clearer shot of the still distant Sentinels. Magneto meanwhile directs the X-Jet towards their foes and, at the right moment, Storm strikes it with a lightning bolt, detonating the nuclear-powered engine and causing a massive explosion. As multiple robots and ships are obliterated, many large pieces of debris fly back towards the temple from the force of the blast. Magneto stops them with a magnetic barrier before collapsing to the ground.
In the past, police cars are unable to breach the stadium walls with which Lensherr has surrounded the White House grounds. The stadium’s arrival and collapse has knocked Charles off his wheelchair and trapped him under a heavy floodlight tower.
In the future, the mutants guarding the temple notice with concern that a still conscious Magneto has been struck in the abdomen by a large piece of shrapnel, which he now gingerly pulls out. As his shocked teammates are watching this, a surviving Sentinel silently reaches the temple roof and uses its spear-like arm to impale Storm, then tosses her off the roof to the ground far below. More Sentinels encroach the remaining mutants and begin to fire on Bishop, overwhelming his energy absorbing power until he finally explodes in a burst of flame. Colossus, Sunspot and Warpath furiously charge at their foes, while Magneto uses the debris scattered around to barricade the entrance to the inner sanctum where Xavier, Bobby, Kitty and Wolverine still are. Blink then opens a portal for the wounded Lensherr to retreat inside.
In the past, Wolverine and Beast are about to engage the robots controlled by Magneto. Hank nervously asks Logan if he himself makes it in the future. “No,” Wolverine replies unceremoniously, before reminding him that they can still change that. Beast nods and morphs into his stronger, blue-furred form. Noticing them approaching, Magneto simply orders one of the Sentinels to do what it was made for. The robot opens fire on Hank and Wolverine, while Lensherr uses his powers to scan the White House, looking for the President. Beast climbs onto the Sentinel’s head, using his teeth and claws to disrupt its mechanics, and yells at Logan to go after Erik.
Seeing him coming, Lensherr begins sending various metal objects at Wolverine, who dodges them until a large piece of concrete with reinforcing bars in it knocks him down. Magneto then extracts the metal bars and begins stabbing the prone Wolverine’s body with them. This causes Logan’s body in the future to violently shake, unsheathing its claws. Future Xavier looks stunned towards it, muttering “Oh dear God, no” as their last hope appears to be dying away. Back in 1973, Magneto levitates Wolverine using the pieces of metal he is now impaled with, and flicks him away into the distance, quietly commenting: “So much for being a survivor.” Logan ends up falling into the Potomac River and, still trapped by the metal going through him, begins to drown. His body in the future also begins to choke and sputter.
Inside the White House bunker, Trask’s miniature mutant detection device begins to beep and he realizes that “one of them” is near, just as Mystique is about to shoot him. Her exposure allows several men to intercept her, while Trask shouts that he needs “it” alive. Before anything else can happen, the guns of all those present are levitated out of their hands and stick to the ceiling. Magneto has discovered the bunker and is extracting it from the ground. In the confusion, Mystique fights off the agents holding her down.
Erik pulls the bunker out from the ground and lands it onto the White House lawn. He rips it open, draws all the guns inside towards himself and turns them around, still levitating, towards the men in the bunker. Magneto then turns all the broadcasting cameras in the area towards himself and begins delivering a speech. The humans have built weapons to destroy his kind because, he claims, man has always feared that which is different. Erik tells the world that they are right to fear his kind, who are the future, the ones who will inherit the Earth. And anyone who stands in their way will suffer the same fate as the men in the bunker are about to.
At his home, protectively clutching his little sister, Peter Maximoff watches with his mother in horror at the televised actions of the man he helped set free. “Today was meant to be a display of your power,” Erik Lensherr exclaims in front of the cameras. “Instead, I will give you a glimpse of the devastation my race can unleash upon yours.”
In the future, Sentinels rip apart the body of Colossus, while another robot pulls Warpath in front of its fire beam to obliterate his head. One Sentinel then transforms its body into diamond, and another into magma rock, in order to fight the fiery Sunspot. They finally throw him onto the long claws that a third Sentinel has manifested on its arm.
Back in 1973, Magneto ends his speech by delivering a message to his fellow mutants. They no longer need to suffer, hiding in the shadows in fear and shame. The message resonates with the young mutants who had been exploited during their army draft and are now trying to hold down low-paid menial jobs, as they watch Lensherr’s televised address. He invites them to come out and join him in a Brotherhood fighting for their kind. “A new tomorrow… that starts today,” he concludes, turning towards the President and his men in order to assassinate them.
Fifty years later, Blink is evading the Sentinels by opening multiple portals to redirect their attacks, but they finally learn to target the portals that lead back to her and several long spears from different directions pierce her to death. Inside the temple, a dying Erik Lensherr mutters to Xavier: “All those years fighting each other, Charles. To have a precious few of them back…” He reaches out to hold the hand of his old friend one final time, and the Professor reaches back. As the Sentinels are about to breach the inner sanctum, Iceman heads towards the entrance to guard it, and an exhausted Kitty is able only to look at him while she keeps her desperate hold on Logan’s mind. Bobby changes into his ice form and begins firing a powerful ice beam at the door to freeze and barricade it.
In the past, a determined-looking Richard Nixon orders his men to stand down and walks out in front of them to face Magneto. “You wanna make a statement? Kill me, fine; but spare everyone else.” Trask and the others still inside the bunker look on in confusion as they realize that another Nixon is still in their midst, unseen by Magneto. “Very heroic, Mr. President,” Lensherr commends, “but you had no intention of sparing any of us. The future of our species begins now,” he announces, readying the guns he is still levitating to shoot the President as well as the remaining men.
Seeing this, Hank, who is currently trapped by Magneto’s Sentinel, makes a desperate move and injects himself with a cluster of syringes carrying his mutation-suppressing formula. The Sentinel no longer recognizes him as a mutant and turns away to scan its surroundings, detecting Magneto and the Nixon that he is about to shoot as mutants. It charges towards them, but Lensherr easily takes it apart. The distraction, however, is sufficient for “Nixon” to change back into Mystique and shoot Erik with a plastic gun that she had come prepared with. The bullet pierces clean through the side of Lensherr’s neck and he collapses to the ground, dropping the weapons he had been levitating. The Sentinels under his control also switch off. Not wounded fatally, Magneto mutters to Mystique that she used to be a better shot. “Trust me I still am,” she retorts, punching him in the head to knock him out, before turning with her plastic gun back towards the bunker, intent on shooting Trask.
As the men she faces recoil in fear, they suddenly stop moving, telepathically frozen by Xavier, whose projected image then appears in front of Mystique. She yells at him to get out of her head, while he calmly begs her to not make them the enemy that day. “Look around you, we already are,” she exclaims. “Not all of us,” Charles insists. He is still trapped under one of the stadium’s floodlight towers, his head bloodied, and Hank rushes to his aid as Xavier projects his message to Raven. All she has done so far is save the lives of these men, he tells her. She can still show them a better path. Hank urges him to shut down her mind, but Charles refuses. He says to her that he has been trying to control her since the day they met; “and look where that’s got us.” Everything that happens now is in her hands. He has faith in her, he tells her, and interrupts the communication, also releasing the President and his men from their frozen state.
In the future, Iceman is being assaulted by fire beams from several Sentinels and cries out in agony as he dies. Kitty Pryde looks on in horror, her face covered with tears, as she still tries to hold on to Logan’s mind. Xavier turns to face the approaching Sentinels and covers his eyes as they begin firing their energy beams towards him and the table with Wolverine on it.
In the past, Raven hesitates, then finally drops her gun.
In the future, as the fire beams approach the last surviving mutants, everyone present suddenly vanishes. The table is still there, but the temple now appears to be deserted.
In the past, Charles breathes a sigh of relief as Mystique gives Trask one final disdainful look and walks away, pausing only to pull off Magneto’s helmet and allow Xavier access to his mind. The Professor takes control of Erik, using his powers to free himself, after which Hank supports him so he can stand up. Regaining his senses and seeing his helmet on the ground, Magneto realizes the situation. He calmly reminds Charles that if he lets the government have him, the now publicly known terrorist will certainly end up dead. Xavier replies that he knows that and lets Lensherr go. “Goodbye, old friend,” Magneto bids him before flying off. “Goodbye, Erik,” Charles responds grimly.
Apparently touched by this demonstration of mercy, Mystique gives the Professor and Hank an emotional look before walking away herself, still with a slight limp. She briefly appears overcome by her thoughts, then disguises herself as a soldier to avoid detection. Beast asks Xavier if he really thinks they should let the two go, and Charles tells him that he has hope for them. He believes that one day they’ll all be together again. “What about Logan?” Hank wonders, as Wolverine is still trapped and drowning at the bottom of the Potomac River.
In the now altered future, Logan is awakened by a gentle song from a futuristic radio clock. He retains his memories of the original timeline but finds a very different world surrounding him. He is in Xavier’s mansion, and his bedroom features several bookshelves. He steps out to see students happily running around the hallways, including the young man who was apparently killed in the film’s opening scene. Rogue is also alive and well, and once more in a relationship with Iceman. Kitty Pryde and Colossus are teaching a class together, using futuristic holographic props. A very much alive Beast, wearing an old-fashioned plaid suit over his blue-furred form, greets Logan and jokes about him having apparently overslept.
Staggered, Logan descends the stairs to find the smiling Storm in another hallway giving encouragement to several students. The biggest surprise is yet to come however, as he notices a female figure clad in red leaning against the door to Professor Xavier’s office. He approaches her, disbelieving that Jean Grey is alive once more, and reaches out to touch her face. His hand is intercepted by Scott Summers, who gives him a friendly rebuke. “Guess some things never change,” Wolverine comments, before telling Scott that it’s good to see him. As the slightly confused Scott walks away, Jean asks Logan if everything’s okay. “Yeah, I think it is,” he replies, still struggling to believe the reality of this new world.
Wolverine then enters Xavier’s office, exclaiming “You did it.” Failing to understand, the Professor asks Logan if he doesn’t have a class to teach, which surprises Wolverine. Xavier reminds him that he teaches history. “History… Actually, I could use some help with that,” Logan admits. “Help with what?” the Professor asks. “Well, pretty much everything after 1973,” Wolverine says, leaving Xavier in stunned silence, “I think the history I know is a little different.” Realizing what has happened, the Professor welcomes Logan back with an awed expression. Wolverine tells him that it’s good to see him, as well as everyone else, and Xavier recalls that he did promise Logan to gather them. He then points out that the two now have a lot of catching up to do and asks Wolverine what the last thing he remembers is. “Drowning,” Logan replies with a frown.
Back in 1973, a police boat fishes Wolverine out of the Potomac River, rescuing him. A newspaper on board bears headlines which reveal that the Sentinel program has been cancelled, the White House and the RFK Stadium are beginning reconstruction, and Dr. Trask has been arrested for selling military secrets. Major Stryker is also on the boat, and the police ask him what to do with Logan. He says that he’ll take him from here but, unnoticed by them, the Major’s eyes briefly flash yellow, showing him to be Mystique in disguise. The past is now a new and uncertain world of endless possibilities and infinite outcomes. Countless choices define our fate, each of them a ripple in the river of time. Enough ripples, and you change the tide, for the future is never truly set.
Many centuries earlier, in ancient Egypt, countless worshippers are bowing to a robed figure and chanting “En Sabah Nur.” The figure is revealed to be a young, blue-skinned mutant, who is single-handedly constructing a giant pyramid by lifting enormous piles of stone blocks using telekinesis. Nearby, four other imposing figures sitting on horses look on.
Warpath, Blink, Bishop, Sunspot, Colossus, Kitty Pryde, Iceman (all mutant survivors)
Professor Charles Xavier, Wolverine, Storm, Magneto (all X-Men)
Ink and other mutant concentration camp prisoners
Logan / Wolverine
Professor Charles Xavier
Hank McCoy / Beast
Raven Darkholme / Mystique
Havok, Toad, Ink and others mutant soldiers
Dr. Bolivar Trask
Major William "Bill" Stryker
Ramone and other mobsters
Peter Maximoff's little sister
President Richard Nixon
US Secretary of Defense Laird
Vietnamese and Russian dignitaries
Wolverine, Beast, Iceman, Rogue, Colossus, Kitty Pryde, Storm, Jean Grey, Cyclops (all X-Men)
Professor Charles Xavier
In television recordings:
President Richard Nixon
Dr. Bolivar Trask
Colonel William Stryker
In post-credit scene:
En Sabah Nur
Ancient Egyptian worshippers
The future timeline shown in the film is based on several dystopian futures from the X-Men comics, including the original “Days of Future Past” Uncanny X-Men #141 and the X.S.E. future where Bishop is from X.S.E. #1-4. Both those futures have Sentinels and mutant concentration camps, but only the first was caused by an assassination committed by Mystique. The “M” tattoos branded on mutants’ faces are a feature of the X.S.E. timeline.
The mutant scavenger killed by a Sentinel at the beginning of the film (and revealed to be alive and well in the revamped timeline at the end) resembles Nate Grey, a character from yet another dystopian future in the comics, the Age of Apocalypse.
It is never explained how Kitty acquired the power to send people’s minds back through time. It could presumably be argued that, as she can phase bodies through space, and time and space are part of one continuum, she may have eventually learned to use her power to cross the boundaries of time as well. In the original DoFP comic book storyline, it was telepath Rachel Grey who sent Kitty’s mind back in time into her younger body, to warn the X-Men about the assassination that was to be carried out by Mystique.
The dissertation quoted by Bolivar Trask was written by Charles Xavier in X-Men: First Class. The passage about the Neanderthals being wiped out by more evolved humans reflects scientific consensus from the time of its writing. However, as already mentioned in X2, later research into modern humans’ DNA has shown that Homo sapiens more likely interbred with Neanderthals. This would suggest that both Trask and the young Charles were wrong, and that in fact two different species of humanity can indeed find ways to coexist.
Hank in his youth inventing a formula that suppresses mutations might explain why years later, in X-Men: The Last Stand, he has mixed feelings about a similar product with a permanent effect having been created. It would also explain why in his brief cameo in X2, where he is participating in a televised debate about mutant rights, he is human-looking. Presumably, he was using his own formula to disguise his unusual appearance.
The historical President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963 in Dallas, Texas. Since the event, the JFK assassination has become the center of multiple conspiracy theories.
The scene in which Mystique infiltrates Trask’s lab is a call-back to a similar scene in X2, where she assumed the disguise of William Stryker’s assistant to sneak into his lab and steal information on his activities. Peter breaking Erik out of a metal-free cell is also a reference to X2, in which Magneto broke out of a plastic prison. He did so with help from Mystique, who had seduced the guard to his prison at a bar, much like she does in this movie with the Vietnamese general.
The quote “I don’t know karate, but I do know ka-razy” is from the song “The Payback” by James Brown, an American artist particularly influential on funk and soul music. The song is from 1973, as is “Time in a Bottle” by folk and rock singer Jim Croce, which Peter Maximoff listens to on his headphones.
Director Bryan Singer makes a very brief cameo as one of the scared journalists filming Magneto when he publicly displays his powers in Paris.
President Nixon having installed a secret recording device in his own office is historical fact and led to his resignation following the Watergate scandal.
This movie shows William Stryker to have been influenced by Trask’s ideas in his own research on mutants; in fact, several lines spoken by Trask are echoed by Stryker in X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
The President’s misguided reference to Robert Oppenheimer is not only not an exact quote, but also appears deeply ironic, as Oppenheimer, one of the developers of the US nuclear weapons program, said it in an interview in which he famously warned the world of the tremendous danger and destructive potential of human beings having access to such weapons.
Magneto impaling Wolverine with metal bars is an homage to the Fatal Attractions comic arc, which culminates with Magneto extracting the metal from Wolverine’s skeleton, nearly killing him. In retaliation, Xavier shuts down his former friend’s mind, a decision which will later lead to unforeseen consequences that will endanger all of humanity. In this film, the Professor refuses to simply shut down anyone’s mind, and instead allows Raven and Erik the freedom to voluntarily change their behavior, which averts the catastrophic future.
The Sentinels fighting Sunspot during the final battle exhibit the powers of several mutant characters not featured in the film, including Emma Frost, Rockslide and Lady Deathstryke.
Beast using a cluster of syringes to block his own mutant power in order to stop Magneto is yet another nod to a previous film. In the final battle of X-Men: The Last Stand, Wolverine distracted Magneto so that Beast could charge at him with a cartridge of mutation-suppressing syringes.
The song that Logan hears on the radio when he first wakes up in the past, and then once more when he reawakens in the future, is the folk song “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face,” originally written by singer-songwriter Ewan MacColl for Peggy Seeger, whom he would later marry. Writing a love song was unusual for MacColl, most of whose lyrics were largely political.
An extended version of the film, which was deemed too long for the big screen, was later released for home viewing. Because it prominently features the character Rogue (played by Anna Paquin), it is known as “The Rogue Cut.” It includes several differences from the cinematic version, as well as a number of additional scenes:
- In the Chinese temple, Warpath lights candles for departed friends in front of an altar with their photographs attached to it and prays in his native tongue.
- When Xavier suggests sending Logan back into the past, Bishop replies that it would be a risk for all of them. If Wolverine goes back in time and changes history, some of the young mutants might be killed, or may even never be born in the first place. Blink suggests they just keep fighting. Storm responds that, sooner or later, they will be unable to evade the Sentinels. Whereas if they give up their current life and allow the alteration in the timestream, all their departed friends and everyone else who died in the war can have another chance at a future. Bishop suggests that his group should take a vote. Reading their minds, Xavier replies that they already have and that they’re in. (It is left unclear if he may have telepathically nudged them to agree with his plan. That would somewhat undermine Xavier’s saintly image, which is possibly why the scene was cut from the film’s original release.)
- Having agreed to Xavier’s plan, Kitty and Iceman step away from the others to share a final kiss before the attempt to undo their own past. Bobby tells Kitty that he hopes to see her “in the next life.”
- After Logan arrives in the past and fights the mobsters, he briefly talks to their boss’s daughter before taking their car, advising her to lay low for a while.
- When he wonders how to contact Peter Maximoff in the past, Logan expresses regret that Hank and Charles don’t have internet, which of course they’ve never heard of.
- Before meeting Peter, the three mutants pass by his little sister in the Maximoffs’ hallway. She is wearing a tiara and playing with a toy wand, claiming to be a princess. When she asks Logan who he is, he mock-seriously introduces himself as “the Wolverine.” Ms. Maximoff then sits down to have a drink and watch television, telling her daughter to go upstairs and bug her sister. “But she bugs me,” the little girl retorts. (All this is a reference to the comics, in which Magneto is the father of both Peter and Wanda Maximoff, the latter of whom would become the Scarlet Witch, as well as another daughter named Polaris, who has proven to be on the whole mentally unstable on several occasions.)
- When Kitty is injured by Wolverine’s claws, Bobby suggests replacing her with someone who can take her power and continue anchoring Logan’s mind to the past in Kitty’s place. He reminds Magneto how such a mutant took his powers once, and Erik realizes that Bobby is talking about Rogue. Xavier explains that Rogue must be dead, as he hasn’t been able to make a connection with her for years. Iceman reveals that she is being kept in the one place the Professor’s mind can’t reach from outside: Cerebro, in Xavier’s house. They’re experimenting on her, trying to tap into her power to absorb other mutant’s abilities. Magneto asks why Bobby’s team hasn’t gone after her. Iceman replies that they’ve tried, but it’s too heavily guarded. However, the Professor himself is now with them, and he knows a few secrets about that house that their enemies don’t.
- Before leaving with Xavier and Magneto to get Rogue, Bobby comforts the injured Kitty, telling her that he’s going to bring someone who can help. She begs him to please just bring himself back.
- Mentally guided by Xavier, who remains outside in the concealed X-Jet, Magneto and Iceman infiltrate the mansion, which is guarded by Sentinels, through the old secret underground tunnels. They make their way to the mansion’s lab complex and into what used to be Cerebro, where several scientists in lab coats and masks are examining Rogue with sinister-looking instruments. Having been in a similar situation, Lensherr decides to show them how it feels. (This is probably a hint as to how Magneto got his powers back, since both he and Rogue were depowered at the end of X-Men: The Last Stand. Apparently, these scientists found a way to restore them.) Lensherr then levitates the sharp instruments, pointing them threateningly at the scientists, but shows that his methods have changed when instead of killing them, he merely intimidates them and forces them to run from the room. Bobby rushes to Rogue, trying to wake her up, and finally touches her face with his bare hand, getting her to borrow some of his life energy. She regains consciousness and is scared to see Magneto, but Iceman reassures her that he’s on their side.
- On their way out of the mansion, Iceman, Rogue and Magneto are intercepted by Sentinels. Bobby tells Lensherr to escape with Rogue, while he himself holds the Sentinels off with a wall of ice similar to the one he made inside the same underground tunnel in X2. Magneto has to drag the screaming Rogue away as she watches the Sentinels overpower her former boyfriend and kill him with their fire beams. Xavier telepathically feels his former student’s death and struggles not to be overcome by grief. The robots then cause an explosion, from which Magneto and Rogue barely escape, finally making it to the X-Jet. The Professor pilots the jet out of there, but one Sentinel attaches itself to it and is about to fire its energy beam at them through the windshield. Xavier activates more of the X-Jet’s technology, giving it a burst of extreme speed which knocks their foe off the plane and out of the sky. However, one of the robot’s arms secretly remains attached to the plane and emits a signal which will lead to the later discovery of the mutants at the Chinese temple by the Sentinels.
- In the past, when Charles fails to stop Raven at the airport, he is also unable to learn her destination. Wolverine suggests they all get some sleep and try to track her with Cerebro once again in the morning. Later that night, Hank stops by Logan’s room and, finding him smoking a cigar, tries to warn him that, according to his research, they can cause cancer. Wolverine is unimpressed to hear this. Hank then gets to the point, asking if Logan can reveal whether in the future Beast survives. Wolverine unceremoniously answers that he doesn’t. But before the dejected Hank leaves, Logan adds that he’s only talking about the world he himself came from. (In the shortened version of the film, this conversation was held in the middle of an action scene, at the start of the final confrontation at the White House lawn.)
- While Charles and Wolverine are resting, Hank is monitoring news reports. He hears a noise and investigates, only to find that Raven has arrived at the mansion. She claims to have realized that she has nowhere else to go. He treats her wounded leg and advises against walking on it, but she resiliently replies that she’s had worse. Raven then asks if Hank has stayed at the mansion all these years. He answers that someone had to take care of Charles, who has missed Raven. She counters that Charles misses who she was; she’s no longer what he wants her to be. Hank replies that he himself also missed her. Raven inquires if he’s now in his human-looking form all the time, and he explains that to do so, he has to keep any animal urges under control. She suggests that they shouldn’t fight off the things that come naturally to them and begins kissing him. They end up passionately making out on the floor of the dimply lit room in front of the fireplace as Hank morphs into his rougher, blue-furred form and she changes back to her scaly blue appearance. Raven asks if he remembers how he once told her that she would never be considered beautiful looking like that. Does he still think so? He reminds her what people seemed to think of them in Paris. She asks what he himself thinks, and he admits that he finds her beautiful. When she asks about his views on himself, however, he gets up and suggests that she get some rest. Before he walks out of the room, she asks if he remembers the last thing she said to him. He does: “Mutant, and proud.”
- Later that night, Mystique infiltrates Cerebro by disguising herself as Xavier and then breaks the helmet while quietly apologizing to the absent Charles. Having completed her task, she then leaves the mansion. (This is yet another nod to the first X-Men film, in which an older Mystique infiltrates Cerebro in order to sabotage it, so that it will knock Xavier out.)
- In the future, Magneto and Xavier return to the temple hideout after their visit to the mansion, bringing Rogue. Kitty asks about Bobby and, realizing what has happened, bursts into tears in utter desperation. She isn’t given long to grieve however, as Rogue then touches her, taking her powers and immediately grabs hold of Wolverine’s mind to keep it tethered to the past. While Magneto gently moves Kitty out of the way, Rogue settles down in her place and says a quiet hello to Logan. In 1973, he suddenly wakes up, realizing the switch that has taken place. Before he can dwell on it, Hank bursts in to tell him about Mystique’s visit, blaming himself for the result.
- Looking at Cerebro’s damaged helmet in the early morning, the young Charles concludes that Raven has cut her ties. It is then that Hank reveals the news about the impending Washington demonstration, and Xavier realizes that Mystique is going there to target Trask.
- Before recovering his helmet from the Pentagon, Erik briefly contemplates another object kept there since the incident in Cuba: the Nazi-era German coin he used to kill his childhood tormentor, which is still stained with blood.
- Before scanning the crowd at the White House lawn to find Mystique, Charles positions himself in the audience among a group of veterans in wheelchairs. The one sitting next to him shares the details of how he was injured and asks about Charles. “Friendly fire,” he replies, prompting a sympathetic “Worst kind” in response.
- When in the future, Magneto is struck by shrapnel and returns to the temple’s inner sanctum, he is let in by Kitty using her phasing power rather than Blink using a teleportation portal, as Kitty is no longer in charge of Logan.
- After being saved from Magneto, President Nixon is informed by his staff that Dr. Trask has been trying to sell his technology to the enemy (during his meeting with the Vietnamese officials). Afterwards, in a mid-credit scene, we see a now heavily bearded Trask imprisoned in Magneto’s former cell with a grim look on his face, possibly planning his revenge.
In another scene cut from both versions of the film, it is revealed that in the original future timeline, Wolverine and Storm are a couple.
The post-credit scene set in ancient Egypt is an introduction to the next film in the X-Men franchise, X-Men: Apocalypse, in which the ancient mutant En Sabah Nur will awaken in the 1980s to wreak destruction on the modern world.