In X-Men 3:The Last Stand, we see that Professor Charles Xavier died and Jean Grey killed him, and his body turned into pieces.

But in X-Men: Days of Future Past he's alive and well.

I'm pretty surprised that nobody asked about this before. Maybe the answer is too obvious and I'm missing something in the previous movie. I'm not following the comic, so I don't know that maybe this movie is set in an alternate universe.

ADDITION: in the extra scene after the credits in X-Men 3: The Last Stand we see that Xavier has transferred his consciousness to the other body. But his own body already destroyed, so how can he regain his original body?

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    It is my fond hope that some young X-Person will ask old Xavier this in the forthcoming X-Men: Apocalypse, so that we can hear the rich, authoritative voice of Patrick Stewart utter the immortal words “wibbley-wobbley timey-wimey”. Commented Jun 2, 2014 at 9:54
  • @phantom42 I never saw the extra scene but it didn't say how he regain his body
    – Darjeeling
    Commented Jun 2, 2014 at 11:02
  • Well, your question was about how he survived - which the answers on the other question covered. If you want to focus on his recovery/return, you should edit your question.
    – phantom42
    Commented Jun 2, 2014 at 11:12
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    There was nothing stating that was his twin brother... Unless I missed something... We all know that Xavier is a psychic so he could be projecting his likeness to anybody's consciousness instead of looking like the original guy's body. Commented Jun 2, 2014 at 15:27
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    @DoctorWho22 I heard secondhand that the 'twin brother who Xavier has taken over' detail comes from a DVD commentary.
    – user1027
    Commented Jun 2, 2014 at 22:16

6 Answers 6


At the end of X-Men: The Last Stand, we see the comatosed, brain dead twin of Charles Xavier talking in Patrick Stewarts voice, implying that he somehow transferred his consciousness into his twins body, which is one theory. for how Charles Xavier is alive in the dark timeline of Days of Future Past.

However, I have a (currently unprovable, thanks to lack of further films to fill in the gaps) theory about the relationship between Days of Future Past and the original X-Men films, including the two Wolverine spin offs.

There is no implicit link between the dark future timeline in Days of Future Past and the original trilogy and Wolverine spin offs other than the characters and the actors who portray them. People are assuming that the events of the dark future timeline shown in Days of Future Past are part of the same universe as the original trilogy and the Wolverine spin offs, despite a massive amount of evidence in the form of plot inconsistencies and continuity issues that this is not true.

I would go so far as to state that First Class and Days Of Future Past are a part of one X Men Universe, and that the original trilogy and the Wolverine spin offs are part of a seperate, now redundant universe. This would explain why Mystique and Professor X never acknowedged one another in the original trilogy, or that Bolivar Trask is a large, alive black man in X-Men: The Last Stand but a small, dead white man in the dark timeline of Days of Future Past, which people are assuming is the sequel to X-Men: The Last Stand. It explains away how Magneto would have ever escaped from prison after seemingly assassinating JFK to go on to be the bad guy of the original trilogy without Wolverine having gone into the past to set him free in the first place, as in the original trilogy we can just assume that was never implicated in the assassination of JFK.

Personally, I find it easier to think of the orignal trilogy and the Wolverine spin offs as another, entirely seperate universe that has no canonical impact on the new universe that was created with First Class and continued with Days of Future Past.

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    how do we know that he is a dead twin of Xavier?
    – Darjeeling
    Commented Jun 2, 2014 at 11:40
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    I think there is some merit to this theory, similar to how both the original (or true depending on your level of fandom) timeline of Star Trek and the Abramsverse reboot.
    – Monty129
    Commented Jun 2, 2014 at 11:53
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    @student080705639 In the directors commentary for the X-Men: The Last Stand DVD it is revealed that the man that Charles transferred his consciousness to was really his identical twin brother, whose mind had been destroyed at birth when Charles power's manifested. (Although this itself is another continuity error, as previous films have established that powers develop at puberty, not birth.) Commented Jun 2, 2014 at 12:09
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    "There is no implicit link between the dark future timeline in Days of Future Past and the original trilogy" -- wrong. We see Wolverine flashback to events in the 200X trilogy, implying that Future-Wolverine is from the same timeline as the trilogy and thus all other Future characters, too, including Xavier. (The movie spawns a new timeline, obviously, but that's not of import here.)
    – Raphael
    Commented Jun 2, 2014 at 14:35
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    Not really considering that Wolverine in the movie has memories of the "other universe events"... If they were two completely different universes there would not be flashbacks in Days of Future Past of Wolverine remembering killing Jean in X-3... In which Xavier says "You poor poor man" Commented Jun 2, 2014 at 15:17

There are a few things to point out that are probably not going to be explained, but here goes.

First of all, all the movies up to this point prior to Days of Future Past are in one timeline. There is no "other universe" in my opinion, as the other person theorized. There are a few reasons for this. One thing that was explained was the fact that Trask was black in X-Men 3... When in fact I don't believe that his first name was ever mentioned. I read he was loosely based on Bolivar Trask. Another is, why would Xavier see Wolverine's memories of the original trilogy if Days of Future Past's dark future is not part of the original movies universe?

Anyway, back to the reason that Xavier is alive and my own theory.

At the end of X-Men 3, you see a comatose patient who Xavier transferred his consciousness to. It's unstated whether or not this person is related to Xavier. What we do know is that we see Xavier in a wheelchair and having his powers. Now, there's a few things that we can take from this, including information that we know from Days of Future Past.

  • Xavier's powers come from his mutant genes
  • Beast is shown as being able to manipulate DNA using the formula to make him look human. Perhaps when Xavier woke up in his new body he didn't have his powers, but with the help of Beast he was able to change his DNA so that he could use his powers again. This is evidenced by the fact that Xavier says in the dark future said that he didn't have his powers in 1973, since he took too much of the formula.
  • The reason that he could be in the wheelchair is because that body was always comatose, so perhaps his body is incapable of walking to begin with, which could be the reason he is in the wheelchair.

In fact, I believe the only reason he doesn't associate with Mystique during the original trilogy is because he felt most likely that he couldn't get Raven back and just treated her as Mystique.

As we can see evidenced from Wolverine's original memories, you can see the flashbacks of what happened in the original X-Men trilogy when Xavier looked into his mind after attempting to use Cerebro, and at the end where he says to Xavier that history would be different than he remembered starting from 1973. We can determine that all the movies were most likely all one canon universe. This movie serves as a way to retcon the entire series after 1973, which allows them to create new stories, much like a new Star Trek parallel universe was made when Nero traveled back in time and changed the events at a certain time in the Star Trek reboot.


I even found an image of the timelines. They are not two universes, it's like Back to the Future with the split timelines.

text version below

TLS: X-Men: The Last Stand (2003)
OW: X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
FC: X-Men: First Class (2011)
TW: The Wolverine (2013)
DFP: X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

    • Circa 3000 B.C.: Apocalypse (as En Sabah Nur) makes the pyramids in Ancient Egypt (DFP)
    • 1832 A.D.: Wolverine is born (OW)
    • 1962: Events of X-Men: First Class (FC)
    • 1973: Mystique stopped from killing Trask at summit (DFP)
    • 1973: Mystique spares Trask at White House (DFP)
    • 1973: Mystique kills Trask at White House (DFP)
    • 1980s: Events of X-Men: Apocalypse
    • 2023: X-Men are shown to be alive at Xavier School (DFP)
    • End of Timeline #1A.
    • 1973: Mystique kills Trask at summit (DFP)
    • 1985: Charles Xavier & Eric Lensherr meet Jean Grey (TLS)
    • 2005: Events of X-Men
    • 2006: Events of X2 and X-Men: The Last Stand
    • 2013: Events of The Wolverine
    • 2015: Professor X and Magneto meet Wolverine at an airport (DFP)
    • 2023: Sentinels kill X-Men. Kitty Pryde sends Bishop back in time. (DFP)
    • Timeline #3 ends.
    • 2023: Sentinels kill X-Men. Kitty Pryde sends Wolverine back in time. (DFP)
    • Timeline #3A ends.
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    If that is the case, then how can you explain Xavier walking in 1986 next to Magneto to go meet Jean Grey in X-Men: The Last Stand, when he was paralysed and fell out with Magneto in 1962? Or that in the original X-Men, Charles claims that Jean and Scott were some of his first students, even though they clearly weren't in First Class or Days of Future Past? Xavier says he and Magneto built Cerebro in X-Men, but in First Class we see that Hank McCoy built it. And that's just a few continuity errors that the original trilogy bring to the table, there are many more. Commented Jun 2, 2014 at 16:19
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    And how can you say that there's nothing linking the two and say that they are two different universes when Wolverine has memories of killing Jean in Days of Future Past... It's pretty much Occam's Razor even though there are inconsistencies the simplest answer aka that they are all one universe is usually the correct one. Yes there's always inconsistencies but it doesn't mean they are not in the same continuity. Commented Jun 2, 2014 at 16:44
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    It's also literally stated as a PREQUEL to X-Men, it's not stated as some other universe continuity. Commented Jun 2, 2014 at 16:45
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    Also a few points, Charles didn't start his "school" until after the events of First Class. He simply used Cerebro to fight against Shaw. Second walking Xavier in 1986 could be Charles still using Beast's formula, the only reason his powers didn't work was because he was taking TOO much of it as stated by Beast in Days of Future Past. Xavier might have also meant that Jean and Scott were the some of his first students after he reopened the school after the events in 1973 and the Vietnam war ended. Commented Jun 2, 2014 at 16:50
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    All this is a lot more probable then saying days of future past and first class were two completely different universes when first class was meant to be a prequel to the X-Men series and not set in a different continuity. It also explains why Wolverine remembers the events of the trilogy in Days of Future Past. It also explains why at the end of the movie Wolverine is so shocked to see Jean because she died in the X-Men Last Stand. Commented Jun 2, 2014 at 16:53

There's one scene after the credits in The Wolverine where Professor X and Magneto find wolverine in airport and ask for his help. Logan asked xavier how it was possible for him to be there and Xavier replied with "Like I said before Logan, you're not the only one with gifts"

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    This is a good start to an answer, but it needs to be expanded on about what these "gifts" are that X is referring to.
    – Moogle
    Commented Mar 7, 2016 at 9:10
  • Hah! I forgot about this scene. I think from this we're meant to understand that the filmmakers knew there would be forum posts just like this one with a bunch of fans geeking out about split timelines, gene therapy and whatnot and they're saying, "we will never give an explanation. Just, you know, enjoy the film".
    – Brian Risk
    Commented Jun 3, 2017 at 16:27

One thing that I have not seen mentioned is that Professor X has the ability to project his consciousness to the astral plane, the same as Dr. Strange. He also has the ability Mind Possession In which he can take over someone's mind and use their body as his own as well as mind transferal (Mind Transferal: able to transfer both his mind and powers into other host bodies if his own physical body could be somehow killed.) I have always believed this to be his greatest ability and greatest strength as a hero. See Professor X list of abilities here.


It is mentioned in Mutant/Human ethics class by Charles, "What if we could, say, transfer one person's consciousness into the body of another?" alluding to Charles's powers AND the fact that he transferred his mind into the body of his twin who in the comics was born with ZERO higher brain function but was nontheless fully alive. Charles's Gift that he developed was entering his twin's mind thus transferring his consciousness into his twin.


We know that Charles used his powers to transfer his consciousness into what amounts to an empty vessel - body on life support but without consciousness.

What I'm specifically addressing is how he's able to do that into a replica of himself. One offered answer was that it was a dead twin.

Given his powers to project into and control the minds of others, I'd suggest that it's not a given that the body looks anything like him. That could very well be what he makes everyone THINK they are seeing.

  • The first two paragraphs replicate the answer above. The last paragraph is pure supposition.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jul 6, 2016 at 17:21
  • Well, it's a work of science fiction where they don't explicitly go through the mechanics of the re-animation. That makes ANY answer supposition. I didn't "replicate" the previous answer, I REFERENCED them to show that I'm not ignoring those aspects of the question, just addressing another one, especially since the "previously unknown 'dead' twin" is such a absurdly unimaginative and weak cop-out. He's demonstrated the ability to project what he wants people to see, before. That's not "supposition." Commented Jul 6, 2016 at 17:55
  • I don't disagree, but do you have any evidence that that's what he's doing in this instance? Or is this just a fan-theory?
    – Valorum
    Commented Jul 6, 2016 at 18:19
  • I believe the wording of the question is "how can...?", not "How did..." - That's asking about possibilities. Commented Jul 6, 2016 at 18:50
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    While fan-theories are fun, that's not really what we're about. The fact that the wording of the question is slightly fluffy doesn't mean it's open-season on guesswork answers
    – Valorum
    Commented Jul 6, 2016 at 19:06

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