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Patrick Stewart reveals the character he'll never play again

He'll boldly return to a place few men have before when Star Trek: Picard soars onto CBS All Access on January 23, but Sir Patrick Stewart has now made it clear there's one iconic character he has no intention of reprising on big screens or small. 

Unfortunately for fans of the X-Men cinematic universe, the character Stewart will no longer be playing is the one and only Charles Xavier, otherwise known as Professor X. 

Stewart broke the sad news in a recent interview with Digital Spy, during which he confirmed he'd met with Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige about playing X-Men leader Professor X in a future Marvel movie. 

"I met with Kevin Feige a couple of months ago and we had long, long conversations," said Stewart. "And there have been moves and suggestions, which include Charles Xavier."

Hearing that Stewart sat down for a few lengthy talks with Feige isn't surprising, given that fans have been anticipating the actor's potential return to the X-Men universe with Marvel since the Disney-Fox merger made such an event possible. It's even less shocking to find out that Feige was considering bringing Stewart back for Marvel's first X-Men feature, as Patrick Stewart has always been the actor best suited to the role of Professor X (all due respect to James McAvoy for trying). What may be surprising is that Stewart went on to claim he would have returned to the role for another mutant adventure, if not for the sanctity of his last big screen appearance as Professor X in 2017's Logan

"Here's the problem," Stewart said of a possible return to his X-Men character. "If we had not made Logan, then yes, I would probably be ready to get into that wheelchair one more time and be Charles Xavier. But Logan changed all that."

Why Logan will likely remain Patrick Stewart's final appearance as Professor X

Those who have experienced the bittersweet symphony that is 2017's Logan already know why the Wolverine-centric film would complicate Patrick Stewart's return to the role of Charles Xavier: he met a tragic demise in the film, getting killed by X-24, a clone of Hugh Jackman's Wolverine/Logan. Obvious difficulties aside, however, Marvel's creative team could find a reasonable way to resurrect Professor X for a new generation of X-Men fans — perhaps by conjuring a new mutant narrative that unfolds in the time before the events of Logan, or by exploring in an upcoming movie the mutant "extinction" that was teased in Logan as well.

While those may be narrative tracks Feige is considering, Stewart seems to have no intention jumping on board a future project involving Charles Xavier, and his reasoning behind that decision is hard to argue. Stewart is aware that Logan stands as a pitch-perfect goodbye to both Professor X and Wolverine for X-Men fans, as well as a teary swan song for the characters that changed his and Jackman's lives.

"We were moved by the story. We were moved by one another. We were moved by the movie. But we also both made the decision that we were saying goodbye to our characters as well," Stewart told Digital Spy. "In that sense, it was not just the deaths of those two men in the franchise, but it was also goodbye to our part in them as well."

There's still hope Patrick Stewart might play Professor X again

Though Patrick Stewart's farewell to Professor X appears to be of the forever sort, there's hope that the right story might one day lure the actor back into the mutant realm — and Stewart himself is the reason for that belief. After all, Stewart was quite vocal about how uninterested he was in returning to Star Trek – and then he signed up to reprise his role for the CBS All Access series Picard. The actor recently told Vulture that he initially passed on Star Trek: Picard, but Logan helped change his mind.

"I had determined long ago that my time with Jean-Luc and Star Trek was over. I had given everything I could to the character in the series. But when this also came through about two years ago, I agreed with my agent that we would go and attend the meeting with [producers] Alex Kurtzman and Akiva Goldsman, and because their inquiry of me had been so polite and enthusiastic, I wanted to explain to them face-to-face why I was going to pass. I did," Stewart said. "One of the points that I had made in the meeting was that the only possible way I could consider returning to that life would be if, for example — and this was only an example — we did something like Logan." 

That's exactly what Kurtzman and Goldman did, and that's how they convinced Patrick Stewart to return to Starfleet. Here's hoping Kevin Feige can perhaps find a way use Stewart's Picard experience to bring him back into the X-Men fold, because (like Picard) we really can't imagine another actor better suited for the part.