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Headscratchers / X-Men Film Series

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For the comic book Headscratchers entries, see here.

Specific films:


     Xavier could do more with his mind than freezing people 
  • In most of the films, Xavier shows he has the ability to freeze people and even control their minds. Now, Magneto's helmet obviously blocks his telepathy and in at least X-Men 1-3, he gets taken out at some point but there are still several moments where his telepathy could have been useful in more offensive ways. In the first X-Men, he sends Cyclops and Storm to fight Sabertooth and recruit Rogue and Wolverine. Why not fly in the blackbird along with them so they wouldn't even have to fight? Taking control of Sabertooth and bringing him back to the institute would go along way in stopping the Brotherhood. In X3, he is with Storm and Wolverine as they fight the newly formed Brotherhood, which include the Jugernaut and Calisto. You'd think he would freeze them in place so that Wolveirne and Storm wouldn't get the crap kicked out of them and the three of them could try to talk Jean down. In First Class, he is there for most of the battles but mostly seems reluctant to get too aggressive. He doesn't try to fight White Queen and only briefly takes control of Shaw and a Russian naval officer in the climax. In Wolverine Origins, he shows up on the island to help the mutants escape. He had to have known the place was cralwign with bad guys since he was communicating with Scott. He could have frozen Deadpool, stopped Stryker from shooting Wolverine, etc. Granted, it was a cameo by Charles but it bugs me that he didn't do much in that scene when he could been a huge help.
    • Magneto asked this exact question at the beginning of "The Last Stand."
      Magneto: I still don't know why I'm here. Couldn't you just make them say yes?
      Xavier: Yes, I could, but it's not my way. And I would expect you, of all people, would understand my feelings on misuse of power.
      • There's a difference between that sort of use and stopping someone from killing the people you're trying to protect. Xavier took over Sabertooth in the first film, remember? And froze everyone in the science center during the field trip in the second.

     Magneto using different helmets 
  • Magneto's helmet looks different every time he appears. Is it still Shaw's helmet? I'm assuming the helmets in all the films are the same, but altered and repainted.
    • There's a few possibilities:
      • Magneto doesn't want to wear the helmet of the man who killed his mother. His helmet being re-shaped or re-painted is a result of him changing the design to deviate from Shaw's.
      • Magneto's helmet has gotten damaged in the past. Although Magneto can bend metal back into shape, over time a metal helmet might have been cracked or stressed to the point that re-casting it would make sense, and he simply chose a different design for the next helmet.
      • Magneto has periodically created new helmets for himself, either because the old ones have been lost or destroyed, or he is improving upon the design.

     Magneto's human name 
  • What is the correct spelling of Magneto's birth name? These images from X2: X-Men United show contrasting spellings of his last name, and given his Eastern European heritage, it would make sense that his first name would be spelled "Erik" rather than "Eric." The official Marvel website lists his real name as "Max Eisenhardt," but also lists "Erik Lehnsherr" as an alias.
    • "Max Eisenhardt" is the name of comic-continuity Magneto, not film-continuity Magneto (the website linked in this question points to comic-continuity Magneto). His true name is Erik Lehnsherr. As for why the computer screen in X2 calls him "Eric", it's possible that either Magneto's name was entered in Stryker's database incorrectly, or Erik changed the way his name was spelled legally at some point, as some people with difficult-to-spell names do.

     Cyclops' role reduced 
  • Meta-Headscratcher: Why is Cyclops' role increasingly sidelined in the original trilogy while expanding Wolverine's role at the same time?
    • Because James Marsden got cast in Superman Returns.
    • Talking about the original trilogy as a whole, as Cyclops' role was reduced through the second film.
      • Scott is the team's field leader and tactical expert, his presence reduces the threat level of any scenario. He was taken out of the story in the second movie for the same reason Xavier was, so the team could be fractured, desperate and forced to rely on Magneto's help. They probably didn't think too much about reducing his role in the second movie since they were clearly planning to do a Phoenix story next which would have given him a lot of focus if his actor hadn't jumped franchises.

     How to pronounce Xavier 
  • Why do a lot of people in the movies pronounce the last name of Charles Xavier as "ex-ay-vier", as if there was an "e" in front of the "x"? Is this how Americans normally pronounce the name?
    • This is indeed the typical American pronunciation (at least in the case of an American-born person bearing the name). If a person from a non-English-speaking country is named Xavier, it can sometimes be pronounced "zah-vee-ay," but it seems that the original creators of the character intend for his name to have the former pronunciation. It's easier to remember that "Professor X" is short for "Professor Ex-ay-vier", since you have the "X" sound at the beginning either way.

     What is the point of Cerebro? 
  • "That doesn't mean they can save everyone or nothing manages to avoid their attention. After all, it took years until they learned about Trask and years for them to learn about everything Stryker's done."...then what good is Cerebro for? Isn't the whole point of Cerebro to indeed be able to save every mutant in danger due to no mutant escaping their notice? If Cerebro isn't powerful enough to do that, how can the X-Men get any part of their "protecting good mutants from evil humans and from evil mutants" mission done?
    • The point of Cerebro is to locate mutants throughout the world, mostly so they can find new recruits. It can't be used all the time and the person using it can't scan everything at once, people have limits.
    • Cerebro's just a detecting machine, it's the mind powering that machine that gets most of the work done. Carebro can assist in focus, and expanding the range of Xavier's telepathy, but that's it.