For all the amazing things about “X-Men: Days Of Future Past,” there is one major fault: if you have a problem keeping time travel story lines straight, you might be at a bit of a loss by the end.
But worry not, mutant fans, because we here at MTV News are experts in the fine art of diverging timelines. To that end, we put together a super spoilery rundown of how every “X-Men” movie (and major events therein) fit together to create the different branches of the “X-Men” movie time-tree.
And check back with us after the infographic for some further notes on how it all works:
3000 B.C. – This is one we’re not 100 percent sure about, as the time period isn’t specifically delineated in the movie. However, assuming En Sabah Nur (Apocalypse) isn’t building some random pyramids, and instead the Great Pyramids, archaeologists believe they were created around this time. Hence, 3000 B.C.
1832 – Yes, Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) actually is that old. His mutant healing factor ostensibly allows him to live nearly forever — though he is starting to show some grey by the time you get to 2023 in “Days of Future Past.”
1973 (Right Hand Timeline) – Let’s talk about 1973, the time period most of “Days of Future Past” takes place in, shall we? Because here, things get complicated. The first branching point is when Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) does — or does not — kill Trask (Peter Dinklage) at the international summit. When she does, everything that we’ve seen in every “X-Men” movie proceeds to occur as normal.
1973 (Left Hand Timeline) – If Mystique doesn’t kill Trask at the summit — which happens when Magneto (Michael Fassbender), Professor X (James McAvoy), Beast (Nicholas Hoult) and Wolverine stop her in the movie — we get a sort of temporary timeline. Things are in flux, basically, up until the fight at the White House, where we reach a second decision point.
In the movie, Mystique makes the choice not to kill Trask, which creates the new timeline on the left, a timeline that leads to “X-Men: Apocalypse” in 2016, and the new future glimpsed in 2023 towards the end.
However, though we don’t see this choice in the movie, if Mystique did kill Trask at the White House, the timeline would have re-merged with the one on the right. In fact, it’s entirely possible it could have been an even worse, third timeline. But we won’t open that can of worms.
2023 (Right Hand Timeline) – There’s two more mini-branches that happen here, created when Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page) uses her powers to send Bishop (Omar Sy) back in time a few days before the Sentinels kill all the X-Men. On the left, that’s it, no more X-Men, Sentinels win, end of humanity. On the right, Kitty sends Wolverine back in time to 1973, X-Men are killed… And then that timeline disappears forever, when Wolvie successfully changes time to the branch on the left.
So there you go! All your timeline questions answered. Now let’s all brace ourselves for “Terminator: Genesis.”