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Well, folks, it's official. High Jackman won't be the only actor departing the X-Men franchise after Logan. While many fans might have suspected that this would be the last time we would see Patrick Stewart as Professor Charles Xavier, that was never confirmed. In fact, just last week Stewart implied that he would like to return, and it was up to the studios whether they wanted him back. However, in the time since giving that comment, Stewart has changed his mind, as today he confirmed to the public that his time as Professor X has come to an end.
While appearing at the SiriusXM Town Hall (via EW) alongside Hugh Jackman and Logan director James Mangold, Patrick Stewart announced he would be retiring as Professor X, explaining that he came to the decision at the end of the Logan premiere in Berlin last week. In his words:
A week ago, Friday night in Berlin, the three of us sat, watching the movie. And I was so moved by it, much more moved than I had been the first time of seeing it. Maybe it was the company of these two guys, but the movie ended and --- this is an admission --- but at one point [Hugh] reached out, and he took my hand in those last few minutes, and I saw him go [mimes wiping a tear from his eye] like this, and then I realized I had just done the same thing. Then, the movie ended... and we were going to be taken up on stage, but not until the credits were over. So, we had some time to sit there and, as I sat there I realized there will never be a better, a more perfect, a more sensitive, emotional, and beautiful way of saying au revoir to Charles Xavier than this movie. So, I told [Hugh] that same evening, 'I'm done too. It's all over.'
Like Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, Patrick Stewart has been playing Professor X since the X-Men movie series launched in 2000. Just like his comic book counterpart, he formed the X-Men and started the School for Gifted Youngsters, where mutants could go to control their powers and get a good education. Following 2006's X-Men: The Last Stand, Stewart took a break from the role, but he returned for 2014's X-Men: Days of Future Past. Three years later, he's back for Logan, where he unfortunately has become unstable, which is especially bad considering his mighty telepathic powers. While Logan has already had select screenings for press and other notable individuals, the public has another week to go until they learn what happens to Xavier in the third Wolverine movie.
While this is the end of the road for Patrick Stewart in the X-Men universe, it won't be the last time fans see Professor X. Since 2011's X-Men: First Class, James McAvoy has been playing a younger version of the mutant telepath, and he's expected to return for New Mutants and possibly the X-Men: Apocalypse sequel. Since McAvoy's Xavier officially embraced his role as leader of a superhero team at the end of X-Men: Apocalypse, expect him to act closer to Stewart's iteration in future appearances.
You can see Patrick Stewart one last time as Professor X when Logan is released on March 3.