The X-Men are hopeless as a team without a leader as proven by the opening scene of the film. The team would have been overwhelmed by the flood of mutants attacking them. Imagine then, all of a sudden, out of nowhere comes the familiar voice of Cyclops barking out orders, bringing the team back into line. It would have been the first time in the film series that we would see Cyclops for the awesome leader that he is.
It didn’t make sense that Dark Phoenix would have killed Cyclops. In the comics, Dark Phoenix was unable to kill Scott because of the feelings that Jean had for him. In X-Men 2, Logan said that Jean chose Scott over him. In the finale to The Last Stand, Dark Phoenix did not disintegrate Logan, even though she could have. It could be argued that Dark Phoenix couldn’t kill Wolverine because of his healing power, but it was shown in one of the alternate scenes from the forest that Dark Phoenix has the power to manipulate things on a molecular level. Interestingly too, Scott’s death was never shown.
Excluding all of the other points, Cyclops returning would have greatly improved The Last Stand. His return for the final fight would have allowed Wolverine to be front and centre for most of the film, but it would have also allowed Wolverine to stay true to character to the end. We would also have finally seen why Jean chose him, and why the Professor chose him to lead.
COLOSSUS vs. JUGGERNAUT
It almost defies belief that an X-Men film with Colossus and Juggernaut in it would not have them fighting one another. In the comics, Colossus and Juggernaut are fierce rivals and are often testing their strength against each other. I can imagine an epic battle between Colossus and Juggernaut, with each trading massive blows, cracking the ground and buildings around them.
At the young age Colossus is shown in the film, it is unlikely that he would be strong enough to defeat Juggernaut by himself. Maybe Kitty could help Colossus defeat him by using her brains to outsmart Juggernaut. The battle could also have been used to show the beginnings of a Colossus/Kitty Pryde relationship, with Kitty being suitably impressed by Colossus’ courage and strength in taking on Juggernaut.
ROGUE WITH POWERS
The story arch for Rogue in The Last Stand is one of the saddest things about the film. The first two films were all about Rogue coming to terms with who she is as a mutant, and that there is a place for her being the person that she is at Xavier’s. Understandably Rogue would struggle with the concept of a “cure”, but her eventual decision to take the “cure” sends a very poor message about needing to change who you are in order to fit in.
For three films fans waited for Rogue to embrace her powers, and personality, to become the woman that we know and love from the comics (WE DID in X2). What we got in The Last Stand was a terrible disappointment. Imagine instead that Rogue saw some mutants with powers, either on the battlefield or even in the queues when she went to get the “cure”, and decided she would take their powers and use them for good.
It is very understandable that if Rogue had some powers that could really help the team (like super strength and flight), she would be filled with confidence through a renewed sense of worth. Imagine Anna Paquin as Rogue flying into battle with a beautiful smile on her face.
Throughout the entire X-Men trilogy Magneto has been a force of nature, all powerful and unrelenting, right up until the final battle. Magneto is extremely underwhelming in this fight after having previously:
- Ripped apart a train
- Thrown Wolverine like a ragdoll (on multiple occasions)
- Turned the guns of the police force against them and stopped a bullet
- Escaped from his plastic cell in the most dramatic fashion
- Brought a crashing Blackbird to a complete stop in front of his hand
- Crushed and threw away some moving cars and flipped a semi-trailer truck
- Moved the Golden Gate Bridge to Alcatraz (hours before the fight)
Even Magneto’s battle strategy is pathetic as he lets many of the mutants get shot with the “cure” prior to telling Arclight to break the guns. He then throws some cars and plays with Wolverine.
Magneto rightly should have been the last to fight, but he should have been fighting all of the X-Men. Imagine Magneto pulling apart the cars and throwing pieces of shrapnel at breakneck speeds around at all of the X-Men at once. It would take the combined force of all of the X-Men to bring him down.
X-MEN vs. DARK PHOENIX
The conclusion to Dark Phoenix in The Last Stand was like Magneto, very underwhelming and disappointing given the greatness of the character. Admittedly, the scenes where Dark Phoenix is shown unleashing her powers are quite good, but she doesn’t seem to enjoy it as much as you would expect for a being of all desire, joy and rage.
Jean Grey still exists within Phoenix, as shown when she asks Logan to kill her, and in the deleted scene with the little girl on the bridge. Imagine the final fight when Dark Phoenix starts destroying everything, the X-Men fight back (with the exception of Logan who is paralysed like in the comics), trying to get through to Jean. Through the words of Scott and the X-Men, Jean manages to take control, say goodbye, and destroys herself.
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