Hugh Jackman reprises the role of Wolverine for the last time in the recent release Logan. Hugh has now played the role of James Howlett AKA Logan AKA Wolverine. But some folks are still curious about its position in space and time, considering that the X-Men movies have created multiple timelines. So here’s a quick and easy guide to things.
There are a couple of inconsistencies here if you pay attention, but these movies were all meant to be part of the same timeline. Although the movie X-Men Origins: Wolverine begins in 1845 when Logan is a child, the main story begins towards the end of the Vietnam War. It is then said that Logan works with Col. Stryker’s covert action team for a few years before leaving, and then six years later is when he is brought to the Weapon X facility and is forced to have his skeleton laced with adamantium. According to X-Men and X2, he then wanders for about 15 year before meeting Rogue and the X-Men on the same day. There is no hint when The Wolverine takes place, so it’s just generally assumed to occur in 2013, the year the movie came out.
X-Men: Days of Future Past takes place in 2023 and then involves a time travel adventure to 1973. The idea is that this time travel adventure causes history after 1973 to alter. So technically, X-Men: First Class should be part of this timeline above too. However, several things in X-Men: First Class directly contradict information and canon in X-Men and X2. Therefore, some find it easier to just think of First Class and its subsequent films as an alternate timeline altogether. Or one could argue that changing events in history causes changes before before and after the fact, since time is not necessarily linear.
Either way, we have here a second timeline which begins with X-Men: First Class and follows through to X-Men: Apocalypse, by which point history is vastly different. In this second time line, Xavier’s school and the X-Men are known to the public in 1983, as opposed to being largely secret still in the 21st century as the original timeline had it.
This timeline will continue through the upcoming movies X-Men: Supernova and New Mutants. There is also a TV show in the works called X-Men: The Gifted which will take place in this second movie timeline.
The new FX TV show Legion is yet a third X-Men timeline and so far exist independently, with no other shows or films connecting to it.
The movie Logan takes place in 2029. It can therefore technically fit into any of these timelines. However, remarks made by Xavier about how he and Wolverine first met indicate that it is part of the original X-Men movie timeline, minus the whole dark future that we saw in Days of Future Past.
Confused? Don’t worry. That happens sometimes with time travel!