|Appeared in|| X-Men|
X2: X-Men United
X-Men: The Last Stand
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
X-Men: First Class
|Actor|| Patrick Stewart|
- "Since the dawn of existence, there have always been moments when the course of history shifted. Such a turning point is upon us now. The conflict between the better and worst angels of our very nature, whose outcome will change our world so greatly, there will be no going back. I do not know if victory is possible. I only know that great sacrifice will be required. And because the fate of many will depend on a few, we must make the last stand."
- ―Charles Xavier [src]
Charles Francis Xavier was a mutant who possessed strong telepathy and arguably the most powerful mind on Earth. His abilities allowed him to read the thoughts of others, impose his own will to take over other people's minds or erase their memories and appear as an image in the mind of others. Xavier dedicated his life to fighting for peaceful co-existence between man and mutantkind. To aid in this crusade, he founded a school for gifted youngsters to secretly train young mutants to control their amazing powers. Xavier now uses his special abilities to lead his clandestine team of "X-Men" into battle against Eric Lehnsherr and his brotherhood of evil mutants.
- "There's so much more to you than you know, not just pain and anger. There's good in you too, and you can harness all that. You have a power that no one can match, not even me."
- ―Charles Xavier [src]
As a child, Charles met a shape-shifting girl named Raven, who had broken into his family's mansion posing as his mother and was scrounging for food. Overjoyed to meet someone else "different" like him, he invited her to live with his family. A natural genius, Charles completed high school at sixteen. He attended Oxford University (accompanied by Raven, now his foster sister), earning Ph.D.s in Genetics, Biophysics, and Psychology. After completing his thesis on genetic mutation, he was approached by Agent Moira MacTaggert of the CIA for his help to stop a mutant named Sebastian Shaw, who was working with the Soviet Union. MacTaggert introduced him and Raven to the CIA, where they proved to her chief that mutants exist and Shaw was a threat. The chief refused to employ the help of the mutants, but the "Man in Black" offered to sponsor them.
Charles accompanied MacTaggert, MiB and a US Coast Guard assault team to arrest Shaw on his yacht. During the attack, his telepathy was blocked by Emma Frost. They also encountered Erik Lehnsherr, who was launching his own solo attack on Shaw at the time. When Shaw escaped in a submarine, Xavier prevented Lensherr from killing himself in an attempt to stop it and brought him to the CIA's secret "Division X" facility. There they met young scientist Hank McCoy, a prehensile-footed mutant with enhanced intelligence, whom Xavier identified as a mutant. He then used a mutant-locating device designed by McCoy called Cerebro to find and recruit mutants for training to stop Shaw. Refusing CIA help, he and Lensherr travelled the world, discovering various mutants: exotic dancer Angel Salvadore; taxi driver Armando Muñoz; Army prisoner Alex Summers; and the young Sean Cassidy. They also approached Canadian mercenary James Howlett, but he immediately rebuffed them.
Lensherr and Xavier left with the CIA to find and capture Shaw, who was supposed to be meeting with a Soviet general. Soon after arrival they discovered that Frost had attended the meeting in his place, and Xavier and Lensherr captured her instead. Interrogating her led to the revelation that Shaw intended to spark a third world war to wipe out humanity, leaving mutants as the dominant species. Meanwhile, the other Hellfire Club mutants attacked Division X, turning Angel to their cause and killing Armando in the process. With the facility destroyed, Xavier relocated the mutants to train at his family mansion. During their stay there, Xavier applied his telepathy to help Lensherr reach new heights of his magnetic ability.
After Pres. Kennedy's adress announcing the presence of Soviet missles in Cuba, Xavier's new team were soon called to action when Shaw engineered a stand-off between amasse United States and Soviet navel forces, that saw a soviet freighter forcibly commandeered by the Hellfire Club attempting to run the American blockade. Xavier telepathically searched the Soviet fleet in an attempt to locate Shaw, but found himself unable to thanks to a helmet that Shaw had devised to block all telepathic contact. Xavier then took mental control of a Soviet officer and had the man destroy the freighter, thus averting a nuclear catastrophe.
When Sean Cassidy volunteered to employ his sound generation power to act as a sonar, Xavier telepathically monitored the boy's progress and was able to then guide the X-Jet to Shaw's submarine where Lensherr could pull it clear of the water. The submarine and the X-Jet both crashed shortly after, bringing both teams into direct conflict with each other. Xavier stayed with the jet and continued his search for Shaw by linking with Lensherr who ventured into the stricken submarine alone. After Lensherr found and killed Shaw, Xavier found his attention turned to the new threat of the two navel fleets with crews who were rapidly becoming fearful of the mutants. The ships launched a combined missile strike against the mutants, which Lensherr quickly turned back on them. Xavier kept him from destroying the ships, but when MacTaggert fired a gun at Lensherr, a deflected bullet hit Xavier in the spine. A remorseful Erik left with Mystique, Angel, and Shaw's enforcers Riptide and Azazel.
Later, a wheelchair-bound Xavier returned to the mansion where MacTaggert promised never to reveal his location. They kissed, whereupon Xavier wiped her memory of the events. He soon after founded Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters and ran from his family's Westchester mansion, which had been converted into a base of operations at which he trained mutants for his personal strike force known as the X-Men. The base included subterranean medical labs, a training facility called "The Danger Room," an aircraft hanger, and Cerebro.
20 Years before X-Men: The Last Stand
Xavier and Magneto travel together to a young Jean Grey's house and invite her to join Xavier's school.
Xavier guided a group of young mutants including a young Scott Summers from the Weapon X facility at Three Mile Island after being freed by James Howlett. Xavier gave Summers directions telepathically, which led the mutants outside where Xavier waited. He then escorted the mutants back to his school in a helicopter.
- "Mutation: it is the key to our evolution. It has enabled us to evolve from a single-celled organism into the dominant species on the planet. This process is slow, and normally taking thousands and thousands of years. But every few hundred millennia, evolution leaps forward."
- ―Charles Xavier [src]
Years later Xavier succesfully created the X-Men. He sent Ororo Munroe and Scott Summers to rescue Wolverine and Rogue from Sabretooth. Xavier believed that the attack had been ordered by Magneto and that Wolverine had been the intended target.
Xavier uses Cerebro to locate Rogue when she runs away, but is poisoned when he uses it later (as Mystique had tampered with it) putting Xavier in an unconcious state.
Magneto attacks a train station along with his Brotherhood and comes after Rogue. When Rogue is captured by Magneto, police come out and point guns at him. He lifts up the police cars and points all their guns at each of them at the same time. He is able to control both Sabretooth and Toad at the same time and speak through them, in an attempt to talk Magneto out of his plans against humans. Mystique arrives in a helicopter and they escape along with the girl.
He is then seen visiting Magneto in his plastic prison after he is captured playing chess. Magneto tells him there is a war coming and he intends to fight it. Charles tells him he will always be there.
- "Mutants. Since the discovery of their existence they have been regarded with fear, suspicion, often hatred. Across the planet, debate rages. Are mutants the next link in the evolutionary chain or simply a new species of humanity fighting for their share of the world? Either way it is a historical fact: Sharing the world has never been humanity's defining attribute."
- ―Charles Xavier [src]
Upon learning that the mutant Nightcrawler attacked the President of the United States, Xavier sends Storm and Jean to bring the mutant for questioning. He and Scott leave to visit Magneto (as he is suspected behind the attack), leaving Wolverine in charge of the school.
In Magneto's cell, Xavier learns that Magneto was brainwashed by William Stryker and forced to tell Stryker all about the institute and Cerebro. Before he can escape, Xavier is knocked out.
He wakes up in Stryker's underground test facility known in Alkali Lake, tied to a chair and fixed to a device that restricts his mental powers. He is left in the room with Jason Stryker, William's son and a powerful illusionist who Xavier previously taught. Now brainwashed by his father, Jason traps Xavier into various illusions, keeping him in one where Xavier is back in the institute (which is empty) and Jason is portrayed as a scared little girl. To comfort the "girl" and find his students, Xavier goes to use Cerebro. It is discovered that Xavier was captured to power a makeshift Cerebro Stryker created. When his powers are magnified by Cerebro, he can locate any mutant in the world. If he concentrates hard enough, he can kill all mutants or humans and possibly everyone in the world.
Under Jason's illusion, Xavier is tricked into concentrating on all of the world's mutants, nearly killing them. He then switches to attacking all of the world's humans after Magneto- immune to the assault thanks to his helmet- confronts and threatens Jason. Nightcrawler and Storm rescue Xavier from the illusion and he has them all fly to Washington, to warn the president against the possibility of a mutant/human war.
Xavier expresses worry over Scott's grief over Jean's death and tells Storm that should anything happen to him, she was to replace him as head of the school.
When Jean is discovered alive, Xavier sedates her and tells Wolverine that he had kept her powers in check with mental barriers since she was a child, resulting in her developing a second personality known as "The Phoenix". When Jean awakens as The Phoenix and escapes, Xavier tracks her down to her old home and tries to convince her to return.
Rather than starting a fight outside her house, Xavier lets Magneto come with him. Xavier tries to calmly talk Jean into returning to the mansion, but Magneto turns the unstable Jean against the Professor. This causes Xavier to panic and speak to Jean in a less calm manner, now flatly telling her that she's a danger to everyone, including herself. He uses the fact that Jean killed Scott Summers to try to bring her back to herself, but it has the exact opposite effect he was hoping for, further angering the Phoenix instead of stunning her into realizing her evil potential. After much argument, the Phoenix manifests its great powers as she tries to keep Xavier from re-establishing the psychic blocks to imprison it again. Infuriated both by Xavier's meddling in her head and Magneto (who insinuates that Xavier wishes to restain her and "give her the cure"), she uses her mind to first lift her house into the air and then cause Xavier to explode into ash. His death causes a great impact on the residents of the institute and it is nearly closed until Storm decides to honor Xavier's wishes and act as its head following the arrival of Warren.
In an after-credits scene, Xavier speaks to Moira McTaggert through the body of a comatose man, implying that his consciousness survived by transferring itself into the body (An action that Xavier had discussed at the beginning of the film as part of an ethics class, the question being if it would be ethically right for a mutant like himself to attempt such a transference). In the directors commentary for the DVD, it is revealed that the man that Charles transferred his consciousness to was really his identical twin brother, whose mind had been destroyed at birth when Charles power's manifested.
- Jean Grey: Jean was one of Xavier's first students, coming under his tutelage when she was a child. He and Erik Lehnsherr found out about her incredible telepathic and telekinetic abilities, and went to meet her, only to discover that her powers possessed her in rage rather than the other way around. Xavier took Jean to his newly-formed school, teaching her to control this dark side of her personality, which he called Phoenix. He looks on Jean as a daughter, and is crushed by her loss.
- Scott Summers: Scott was a teenager when Xavier met him, having been taken prisoner by William Stryker and Sabretooth. Xavier rescued the kidnapped mutants and took them to his school. He noticed a kindred spirit in Scott, full of hope and fiery determination. Over the years, he groomed Scott into a leader, placing him in command of a group of his former students that came to be affectionately called the X-Men.
- Moira MacTaggert: Though not detailed in the movies, Xavier has a personal relationship with Dr. MacTaggart, stemming from their work together.
- Erik Lehnsherr: Erik is Xavier's oldest friend, a pioneer in his work with mutants. The two met while in college, each realizing the other's special gifts. Together, they built Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, the high-tech base beneath its foundation, and the supercomputer Cerebro. Later in life, Lehnsherr became angry at normal humans for their treatment of mutants, anger eventually descending into vengeful rage. It was then that he took his leave of Xavier and created the Brotherhood of Mutants, populated by mutants of similar mind as he, desiring the destruction of mankind. Both Lehnsherr and Xavier dream of turning their friend away from their "misguided" path, believing it will lead to destruction.
- Unnamed Twin Brother: Upon his desintigration at the hands of Jean Grey, Charles transfered his concioussness into the body of his brain dead twin brother, who was in the care of his former love Moira MacTaggert.
Behind the scenes
- Digital processing was used to make Patrick Stewart look younger in X-Men: The Last Stand when he visits a young Jean Grey and again when he appears in X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
- Patrick Stewart's name was uncredited in X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
- James McAvoy never read the comics, but loved the X-Men cartoons.
- A Behind-the-scenes clip shows him with a fire sprayer put against the camera, joking.
- Canon (5 films)
- In the comics, Xavier is on a wheel chair because he had his legs crippled by Lucifer, while in the movie he is paralysed by a bullet deflected by Magneto.
- X-Men Origins: Wolverine and X-Men: The Last Stand show Charles being able to walk in the 1970s, but X-Men: First Class shows that he lost his ability to walk in the 1960s. It is possible he found a way to walk again at some point between the 1960s and 1970s but this is yet to be explored although it could have been a projection much like Emma Frost's telepathic projections seen in First Class.
- In X-Men: First Class Henry McCoy asks Xavier if he can shave him, in order to better use Cerebro, but Xavier replies "Don't touch my hair", thus making a joke about his elder appearance. He does it again at the end of the movie, complaining about getting old and saying to Moira that he'll soon become bald.