Spoilers will follow.
As anyone who has seen Days of Future Past knows, the end of the movie sees an erasing of basically every X-men movie events except for First Class. What does this mean for our viewing of the movies, the events we’ve come to know, and the future movies going forward.
The movie was very careful to reestablish that the characters we have known and loved through the movies still exist. When Logan woke up, we saw all of our favorite X-men (except Nightcrawler) still in the mansion, including a couple of which had died (thank God they didn’t forget Cyclops). This puts us at ease that the universe we know isn’t simply swept under the rug, but is “corrected”. To clarify, a rebooted universe could have been interpreted as “everything that you knew and loved about X-men doesn’t exist anymore”. What the reestablishment means is more of a “everything you love is still there in some way. But we fixed a few things.”
Events That Probably Didn’t Happen Anymore
X-men movies have made mistakes. There’s no pretending they haven’t. Now, with a “rebooted timeline”, we can say that these mistakes didn’t happen at all now. They were horrible events that were fixed by Wolverine as he traveled back in time. Three stick out in my mind:
DEADPOOL: The merc with a mouth keeps his mouth now. Somehow Trask’s involvement in DoFP will mean that he doesn’t end up gutting our beloved fourth-wall breaking mercenary. I don’t have any film evidence for the matter, but let’s be honest. A Deadpool movie will come and this will be the justification for still having Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool. He has said he is more than willing.
PHOENIX: Obviously, the events of X-men: Last Stand have no longer occured, as Cyclops and Jean are still alive. Thank God for that. It’s a nice close to the Wolverine-Jean love story, as Wolverine saved her life, but she has no idea. I doubt we’ll see the story again, so I call it a good close.
ADAMANTIUM: Okay, it’s hard to imagine Wolverine without his metal implants. But if the end of the movie showed Mystique taking Wolverine as opposed to Trask, does that mean that Wolverine is spared his pain and misery at the hands of Trask? Does Wolverine now live with only bone claws? It’s an interesting idea, but as we didn’t see his claws at all in the movies, it’s one that we can’t confirm. Hugh Jackman has expressed disinterest in continuing with the roll, so it’s possible we’ll never know.
Yes, some horrible things have been avoided. But this rebooted timeline does have its downsides. Most notably to me, it guarantees us a happy ending. Assuming no continuing time-travel, we have seen a long list of characters who survive. Although most of the characters in the future will probably not be featured in the upcoming movies, we know that Xavier and the school will survive. Whatever villains the X-men face, be it Apocalypse, Magneto, or any other, we know that the school and Professor X live. Not that we expected him to die again, but it does take away some suspense.
So yes, the timeline was rebooted. This is mostly a good thing, as some atrocities committed by Fox over the years are now gone. We have the guaruntee of a happy ending, so some suspense is no longer there, but I’ll take that trade off. I am interested to see the future of X-men, but only time will tell.