With the X-Men Fox Franchise finally wrapped up due to Dark Phoenix we can now close the lid of the franchise and make sense of its rather messy timeline.
Throughout this, I’ll be making sense as simply as I can of the X-Men movies to let you know not only how to best watch the movies but also to explain how they work coherently.
This is full spoilers ahead so if you haven’t seen Dark Phoenix yet and don’t want major elements of that movie ruined for yourself then I highly recommend that you turn off now.
With that out the way I just wanna give a huge thank you for clicking this video, I hope you enjoy it, now sit back, relax and let’s get into my breakdown of the X-Men Movie Timeline.
Our timeline begins back in Ancient Egypt with Apocalypse being put into Hibernation after having his consciousness transferred to an immortal.
This is one of the only fixed points in the timeline that is unaffected by the time travel that takes place later and can be cited as the birth of mutants.
X-Men: Origins Wolverine
From here on out, I’ll be predominantly viewing the timeline from the perspective of Wolverine as he is the only way to really make sense of everything and he’s also by far the best character in the franchise, sorry Quicksilver.
Thus we travel to the 1800s for the next major event which is the birth of Wolverine and his stepbrother Sabertooth. Together they journey through many of the major wars throughout the past couple of centuries. This includes World War Two, most notably the Holocaust in which Magneto was created.
During this period Wolverine becomes a prisoner of war at a Japanese POW camp and he witnesses the bombing of Hiroshima and this ties into the timeline later.
X-Men: First Class
In the 1960s, Professor X and Magneto meet for the first time, attempt to recruit Wolverine and though they fail this they still create the X-Men.
Whilst Mystique is original Charles friend she eventually sided with Magneto which explains her allegiances later in the run.
After this in the 1970s, Wolverine becomes part of the Weapon X program and during this period Charles loses his way slightly, similar to what we saw in Days Of Future Past, however, Wolverine is not there to rehabilitate him and thus this takes slightly longer.
It’s also during this time that Mystique murders Bolivar Trask and sets in motion events that will have massive ramifications.
We then jump to our first film in the franchise, X-Men from the year 2000. In this, we follow Wolverine, who has amnesia as he discovers the group and decides to join them.
The events of X2 and X-Men The Last Stand play out and Wolverine ends up killing Jean Gray. Professor X is seemingly killed in the film, however, he manages to transfer his consciousness to another body and thus is able to live on.
Wolverine, racked with guilt, shuts himself off from the world but is eventually called to Japan for the events of the film.
At the end of that movie, he is recruited by Magneto and Professor X to stop the rise of the sentinels which ties into our next film.
X-Men Days Of Future Past
With mutant and mankind left on the brink of extinction due to the rise of the Sentinels, set in motion when Mystique murdered Bolivar Trask.
Wolverine travels back in time to the 1970s and stops this event from happening and thus a new timeline is created.
At the end of the film Mystique, disguised as William Striker pulls him from the river and whilst this stops the Weapon X procedure from happening in the 1970s, it merely delays it to the 1980s which is when our next movie takes place.
As things have been shifted slightly, Moira McTaggert now discovers Apocalypse and accidentally awakens him which sets in motion the chain of events in this movie.
This plays out like normal and Wolverine is set loose in the Weapon X compound thus allowing him to still join the X-Men in the early 2000s.
Dark Phoenix follows in the decade after this and as the titular event happens here and not at the same time as it did in The Last Stand, Jean is not killed by Wolverine.
A Phoenix impression can be seen in the sky which allows for her reappearance later in the new timeline, thus she is alive.
Mystique, however, does die in the film which is why she doesn’t appear later on which I’ll get into down the line.
From here the events happen pretty similarly to the original X-Men trilogy. Some events have been nudged slightly so it’s not all exactly the same but it continues roughly how it did until we get to the end scene of Days Of Future Past in which Wolverine wakes up in the altered timeline having saved the world.
This explains why when he walks through the mansion he sees Jean but not Mystique. This lines up with their fates in Dark Phoenix as Jean was not killed but Mystique was.
Deadpool 1 & 2
Deadpool 1 and 2 happen roughly around this time but the next major event doesn’t take place until Logan. During this period Professor X accidentally kills all of the mutants at his mansion and he, Caliban and Wolvie are some of the only few that remain due to the Genetic Extinction that was carried out by Dr. Rice.
Whilst Wolverine aka says in this movie when looking at X-Men comics that the events did not happen the way that they were portrayed in the comics, you have to remember that this is because he only has memories from the original timeline.
Thus when he changed things and nudged the events slightly, they would seemingly happen differently for him in the comic books and thus not line up with his memories.
Logan dies at the end of the film and we watch as a new group of mutants go out to carve out their own destiny, thus ending the timeline.
And that’s my view of how the X-Men movies happened and how the timeline makes sense. Obviously there are some unavoidable inconsistencies like Emma Frost but on the whole, I think this works and explains a lot of the plot holes.