Over the last 15 years, moviegoers have seen a lot of weird things happen in the X-Men movies, from skeletons being covered with an indestructible metal, to the Golden Gate bridge being ripped from its hinges, to time travel. However, ‘weird’ is going to be taken to a new level in X-Men: Apocalypse if a new piece of concept art is any indication.
Director Bryan Singer posted this picture on his personal Instagram of what looks like an extraterrestrial vessel towering over a silhouetted figure. In case you’re wondering if the X-Men producers have gone insane and are throwing aliens into the mix just for the hell of it, there actually is a precedence of this. In the comics, a young En Sabah Nur (as Apocalypse was known in ancient Egypt) came across advanced alien technology left behind by the god-like Celestials. En Sabah Nur used this technology to take revenge on his enemies, and, in the process, his mutant abilities emerge.
One possibility is that the vessel in the picture is the A.I. Ship. Apocalypse came across Ship, another piece of Celestial technology, approximately 900 years ago, and enslaved it so that it would serve him. He also merged with some of the technology inside to enhance his abilities. For centuries, Ship acted as Apocalypse’s base, but eventually X-Factor was able to overwrite his programming and turn it into their headquarters. The teenage En Sabah Nur seen in the post-credits scene of X-Men: Days of Future Past seems to already have a good handle on his powers, but perhaps he stumbles upon this ship, and it transforms him into the more visually recognizable Apocalypse we know from the comics.
Up until this point, there hasn’t been any indication of life existing outside of Earth in the X-Men universe, but if Apocalypse has access to alien technology, this opens the doors for new filmstories previously thought unimaginable on film. Instead of being stuck on Earth, the X-Men could take to the stars in future adventures, which would allow the introduction of alien races owned by Fox - like the Shi’ar Empire.
However, if the franchise isn’t willing to delve into aliens, it could be that this ship hails from the future. As seen in X-Men: Days of Future Past, within the world of the franchise it’s possible to send someone consciousness back in time, so perhaps hundreds or thousands of years in the future, it’s become possible to send physical objects in a similar way. Maybe this vessel ends up in ancient Egypt, and En Sabah Nur comes across it, creating a cyclical timeline where a piece of future technology results in the most powerful mutant of all time coming to power.
We’ll find out what the deal is with this ship and the titular antagonist when X-Men: Apocalypse hits theaters on May 27, 2016.