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Oh Sentinels. Those giant purple bastards that haunted the X-Men throughout years of comics. For years, fans campaigned for Bryan Singer’s relatively grounded vision of the X-Men to include the giant robot program that the government would employ to basically declare war against the mutants in the most auspicious manner possible. Singer resisted, largely because it was expensive (they were reportedly cut from the earlier X-Men films) but also because it just didn’t make sense for the relatively normal tension between mutants and human to suddenly escalate to the level of giant purple death bots. A bargain basement tease in Brett Ratner’s X-Men: The Last Stand only increased the intensity of fan demand for the mutant-hunting killers, despite providing a weird logistic paradox simply by being a part of the Danger Room programming. Regardless, Singer has acquiesced.
Empire debuted a stunning 25 new covers spotlighting characters from X-Men: Days Of Future Past, and one of the more perplexing ones was a look at a future Sentinel. Completely removed from the familiar purple-and-grey look of the original (which the film will also replicate), these are newer models built to adapt and destroy any way possible. Empire took a closer look at this flashy killer and came away with some new insight on the futuristic mutant mash-up.
Though more details are forthcoming in the issue, hitting the stands on January 30th, Empire did reveal a part of their interview with production designer John Myhre. He reveals this intriguing nugget:
They're biomechanical weapons. We had to come up with what would be the ultimate version that could actually, in principle, stop the X-Men. We started with this idea that they were almost made up of magnetic plates slapped over one another, imagining that the plates could contract or grow, so the Sentinel can be skinny to get through a small space or the plates can open up to become a bigger shape. So they have become virtually unstoppable.
For the hardcore fans, a bit of theorizing: this version of the Sentinels seems derived from the model in the comics known as Nimrod. The character, an evolved and indestructible Sentinel, originated in the Days Of Future Past comics, and has similar functions and ability. The creation in the comics develops sentience and is able to control entire computer systems and even teleport from one place to another. The appearance of the new Sentinel is different, but the fluctuating size and skill level certainly seems reminiscent of the Biblically-named baddie. Think of it like a mutant-hunting Terminator, but with flight capabilities. Okay, yeah, we’re glad you held out on us for so long, Singer.