Ever since the first X-Men movie hit theaters, fans of the mutant series began asking when would those mutant-hunting robots known as the Sentinels show up?! The Sentinels were introduced back in 1965 in X-Men (Vol. 1) #14. Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the first wave of Sentinels were called Mark I and they were created by Boliver Trask and his creation, Master Mold (who appeared in issue #15.) Seeing the appearance of mutants as a “threat to humanity”, Trask built the huge “creator” Sentinel, Master Mold, who in turn created all of the smaller “soldier” Sentinels. If you are a X-Men fan, then you are more than familiar with the look of the standard Sentinel; and if you watched the cartoon in the 90’s then you are aware of the basic look. Throughout the years more and more “Marks” of Sentinels have been created, each being tweeked a little differently in order to make them more efficient mutant killers. If you are interested in a more in-depth history of the Sentinel head on over here, because I want to talk about their appearances in the X-Men films.
X-Men: The Last Stand is one of the most ridiculed comic book movies of all time, though there are aspects of it that I do like, overall I find the movie to be pretty forgettable and frustrating. But if you remember the beginning of that flick, you will recall the scene where the X-Men are training in the Danger Room (though you don’t know it at first) and suddenly in the distance, shrouded by fog is a Sentinel! The X-Men stand ready for assault and we even see the classic X-Men move from Colossus and Wolverine, “The Fastball Special”! Wolverine is thrown into the fog and after some slashing he emerges victorious as a severed Sentinel head falls to the ground! Then, we all find out its a simulation and that’s all we are going to see. For the time we are waiting for this character to show up, we get a watered down scene that is anti-climatic AND leads into the mess that is The Last Stand. Fox would continue to dish out the crap with X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but then something wonderful happened. X-Men: First Class.
Once Marvel Studios started kicking out the hits, Fox knew it had to take their CBMs seriously. The Wolverine, I loved it. But still no Sentinels. First Class took us back in time to the beginning, and The Wolverine took us to Japan, where they have Gundam instead. With the success of First Class, inevitably there would be a sequel. Then Fox announced that the sequel would adapt the classic Chris Claremont story, Days of Future Past, and that Bryan Singer would be returning to helm the franchise! AND THERE IS NO WAY YOU CAN DO DOFP WITHOUT THE SENTINELS!! But what would they look like?! At last year’s SDCC, fans were treated to a “first look” at the robots from the upcoming movie as FOX showed off the head!
Details from the film, like the NUMEROUS mutants that would be appearing, the casting of Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage as Boliver Trask, and an amazing Trask Industries viral site that introduces Trask’s vision to the world, only drove the excitement levels for this film to higher levels, and of course expectations always seem to correspond.
As usual, people had some criticisms of the look of the robot, but at least the designers stuck with the original purple color. A side-by-side comparison shows that the Sentinels featured in the film definitely take some cues from their original counterparts, yet made some modern more “techy” updates. Things seemed to be going ok. Then the Empire Magazine 25 cover spread hit the webs…
The future Sentinel, aka the Mark X, was revealed….
Fanboys went ballistic. The model was compared to Transformers, and every other Hollywood robot that has been on the screen over the past 5 years or so. Though, I am still trying to think of how many other robots have been featured in movies lately, I really don’t care either way. People, who gives a crap what they look like? We haven’t even seen them in action yet! I personally don’t care what they look like as long as they are a formidable foe for the X-Men and we get some crazy battles! The first footage of a fight between Magneto and a Sentinel will be enough to stop the complaints I’m sure! X-Men fans take a look at the face of the robot and tell me what do you see? I see a little Nimrod in there. Here’s what production designer John Mayhre had to say about the look of the Sentinel to Empire:
[box_light]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.”[/box_light]
Sounds pretty awesome to me! A little more believable than those hunkering robots which always seem to be easily defeated by Wolverine as he uses his mutant power of can-opening to take them down! You would definitely think that they would have some how evolved after all those years!
I’m also very hopeful that we get a reference to Master Mold, though I don’t think we are going to see the massive Sentinel from the comics; but probably a computer program or something associated with the creation of them. Whatever happens happens here, and I am very excited to see the Sentinels finally being FULLY featured in an X-Men film and Days of Future Past is going to the biggest one of them all!! I mean things could be worse, Brett Ratner could be directing this one…