How The Westchester Incident In 'Logan' Leaves The Door Open For Future X-Men Movies
Logan brings Wolverine's story to an end in the X-Men franchise, but that doesn't mean the movie is full of answers. In fact, if anything, Logan leaves viewers with more questions, not less. The main mystery fans of the series are left with at the end of the film is what happened to the mutants? Where are Rogue, Magneto, and the X-Men? The closest we get to an answer in Logan is this: the Westchester Incident. The Westchester Incident is never fully explained, but there are theories. Here is the main theory on the Westchester Incident in Logan and what it means for the future of the franchise. Spoilers ahead!
The Westchester Incident has been largely accepted by fans as the reason the X-Men no longer exist in Logan. Mentioned only a few times in the film, the Westchester Incident is mentioned on the radio relating to the chaos caused by Professor X's seizure in Las Vegas in Logan. In the film, Charles' seizure causes a sort of psychic blast that immediately paralyzes everyone within a certain radius (large enough to take down an entire hotel and casino). It's clear that, if left unchecked, his power would inevitably cause death to anyone affected. Logan turns off the radio before we can learn more about what happened in Westchester, but not before the broadcaster mentions the casualties.
Westchester, of course, is where Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters was located in the franchise prior to Logan. The most popular theory about the Westchester Incident is that Charles had a massive seizure that resulted in the deaths of the X-Men living at the X-Mansion. Logan, whose healing abilities make him slightly more immune to seizures, was able to stop him, but not in time to save his friends. Charles has no recollection of the incident, but after hearing it on the radio, he begins to remember, muttering agony to Logan late at night. This, coupled with the knowledge that Charles' brain has been classified as a nuclear weapon by the government, seems to point to Charles as being the culprit in the Westchester Incident.
Screenwriter Michael Green seemed to confirm as much in an interview with Heat Vision, where he revealed that they originally had a flashback scene in the film that would detail the Incident. "Of course there are versions we wrote that were never filmed with the actual flashback what happened," Green said, via The Hollywood Reporter, "But I've found the experience of watching it is far more poignant to just know that it was something really regrettable and it was bad and most likely, friends were lost." Patrick Stewart, who has played Professor X since the first X-Men film, was more direct, telling THR that he believed Charles was the catalyst for the Westchester Incident. "Was it Logan? Was it Charles? It was probably Charles, but he doesn't know," Stewart said. "He has an instinct, an impulse, that something happened and it was bad."
Assuming Charles really was the cause behind the Westchester Incident, that still leaves us with a lot of questions, and potential spinoff movie ideas. The radio report doesn't mention the exact number of mutants who died as a result of the incident, but taking Charles' immense power into account, the death toll could be massive. If, for example, he were in Cerebro at the time of his seizure, he could have affected mutants all over the world, unwittingly causing a mass genocide. It doesn't look like this actually happened, which means some mutants survived the Westchester Incident, but the real question for the X-Men franchise is, did any X-Men survive?
Assuming some members of the X-Men survived, the next question is, where are they and what does this mean for the future of the X-Men series? One possibility is that Logan took on the burden of caring for Charles himself, as he was the most protected against his seizures, and sent every other living X-Men away. If that were the case, then a spinoff about what happened to the remaining X-Men would definitely be worth discussing. (If we could get Storm her own movie, it would be very much appreciated.) Maybe some of the original X-Men escaped to Eden and are waiting to receive Laura and the other mutant children in Canada. (I would also very much pay to see that movie.)
By keeping the Westchester Incident a mystery, the X-Men franchise has left the door open for any number of spinoffs. We just have to wait and see if the powers that be take advantage of it.