Monday, July 29, 2013

Between a Viper & a Bear: The Wolverine & Issues Of Resurrection

Marvel Comics deserve applause for not only making big, entertaining films, but for making big, serious films taking on big, serious issues; The Wolverine is the most thorough examination to date of America's international identity in the atmosphere of economic instability: as Logan (Hugh Jackman) goes searching for his soul, so, too, do we as a nation; and where does that story begin? Where our story begins, the dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan, ending World War II and catapulting America from a "poor country cousin" into a world superpower. You are probably anxious about Viper (Svetlana Khodchenkova) announcing, "I am a capitalist," and her being a prime villain (actually, she's an amazing villain! Not only was I impressed with her performance, but the character development as well) but, never, fear, the film answers that issue for us. Let's start where the film starts: 1945.
The intro to the film in Japan is a dream, which actually carries us through another dream with Jean Gray (Famke Janssen) and then Logan awakens in the woods but Yukio (Rila Fukushima) tells Logan she knows he has nightmares, and it's possible, from a psychoanalytic standpoint, to interpret the entire film as a dream sequence Logan goes through to "exorcise" himself of his inner-demons, guilt from killing Jane and not being able to be with the other mutants. While the mutants are the "margins" of society (those pushed away from the core population) Logan is marginalized by the marginalized, seriously removing him from the very necessary human interaction everyone requires for their mental health; so it makes sense that Logan would spend a film in a dream sequence working out issues from his past (killing Jane and saving Yashida); for example, Logan's interior processings might be questioning, why was I able to save that unknown Japanese man, who had me a prisoner, from an atomic bomb, that I never saw again, when I couldn't save the woman I loved regardless of what I did or didn't do? That's a conflict, connecting why Logan would have the Nagasaki dream, then "wake up" to talk to Jean Gray, then wake up again in Canada. Films have been interpreted as being entire dream sequences before, such as Christopher Nolan's Inception, Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window, Seven with Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt, War Of the Worlds with Tom Cruise, Aaron Cross in The Bourne Legacy, Clark Kent in Man Of Steel, John McClane in A Good Day To Die Hard, and and the film noir Laura with Dana Andrews and Gene Tierney. All dreams, Sigmund Freud tells us, are fulfillments of wishes; so if The Wolverine is only a dream, what wish by Logan does it fulfill? The wish to live. If Logan didn't want to live, he wouldn't be fighting his demons, he wouldn't be engaging in an inner-struggle, he would just kill himself and die. Dreaming is a means of self-discovery and awareness, because it's in our dreams that we reveal our self to our self, the part we can't or won't consciously recognize or listen to in our waking hours, so our mind has to wait until we are vulnerable during our sleep (a common trait amongst schizophrenics is they don't dream). We construct our dreams by re-purposing people from our real life and re-assigning them new traits or qualities in our dream that actually reflect ourselves, not others. Through determining factors, however, we can see through this camouflage and discover what our deepest thoughts are really trying to tell us. So, using this, we can first, of all, see how the grizzly bear is a "projected" image of Logan's own identity: the way they both walk, and "mark" their territory, to Logan, the bear symbolizes himself, the animal that is a part of him; when the crude hunters have used illegal means to kill him, it foreshadows the illegal (or even "unfair") way Yashida and Viper will hunt him down (fulfilled when the ninjas have filled Logan with all the arrows). From the psychoanalytic perspective, which I an only scrapping the surface of here, that means the Silver Samurai Logan fights is,... himself. Because the Silver Samurai is built of adamantium like the indestructible metal grafted onto his own skeleton and his razor claws, when Logan fights the Silver Samurai, he fights his own indestructablity; why? As Logan says in the film, "What they did to me can't be undone," except by his death which doesn't seem possible on account of his mutant gift; Logan's crisis of lacking free will in determining what he would become (because he was a military experiment) is "solved" by the dream his unconscious creates so that he does use his free will to accept what he is and what he has, and to defeat the bad qualities within himself; even though his metal claws have been cut away from his body, his bones grow out of his hand to take their place, meaning that just as the metal was grafted onto his skeleton, so now his personality has been grafted onto the claws, and the two are now one, Logan knows who he is and accepts it and himself. If we pursue the psychoanalytic perspective, how does Viper play into being "part" of Wolverine? She spits deadly venom (she also uses her "claws" [fingernails] to attack people like Logan) and we have seen that in Prometheus with the alien who spits an acid that deforms people because that alien symbolized the guy who couldn't say anything nice to anyone else; Logan knows he has an attitude problem, and he realizes that things he says are like venom attacking people to whom he interacts. Letting Yukio come with him at the end of the film to be his "bodyguard" is a sign that he refuses to be Viper anymore, or the Silver Samurai, but has determined to be the best he can be (which he might be remembering was when he promised to protect Rogue and Yukio is taking her place). When Yukio wants to know where they will go and Logan just says, "Up," that's a sign (psychoanalytically) that he's coming out of the deep sleep where we dream and into a lighter, more restful sleep where he can be at peace; the post-credits scene taking place two years later, and us having no idea where Logan has been during that time, and Yukio not being there, suggests this very idea: Logan has been peacefully sleeping and resting all that time. His willingness to be "patted down" by airport security is an acceptance of the unpleasantness he must endure but he has chosen, with his free will to endure. There is more to all of this, and we will take a different approach in the post below, but these are just examples of another possible valid reading of The Wolverine
In the first film X-Men, it was the World War II Nazi concentration camp in Poland where Magneto first discovered he had the mutant power to control metal and now, at the Nagasaki bombing, we find Wolverine. Why? Why start out a major summer blockbuster about a powerful mutant having identity issues in Nagasaki seconds before its obliteration? Because that's exactly what's happening with the United States, and that's when our problems and our power began, when World War II ended. In the fight for our life as a country, and whether we should die (roll over and let the socialists destroy the country) or affirm our identity and destroy our inner-demons (rebuild capitalism and re-assert the power of the Constitution), taking control of our future once again, we struggle as Logan struggles, and if that isn't the case, then there was no reason for this film to be made, and certainly no reason for us to watch it. So what's going on?
An imperative reason to incorporate World War II into The Wolverine storyline is to make us remember who we are. That might not sound important, however, "memory loss" has come up consistently in films: there is Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) in Fast and Furious 6, Jack (Tom Cruise) has his memory wiped in Oblivion, in Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters, the siblings can't remember/don't know what happened to them and Peter doesn't remember his parents/know his parents in The Amazing Spider Man; in Wreck-It Ralph, the citizens of Sugar Rush has their memories wiped by King Candy, and memory wipes are typical protocol in Total Recall and Jack Frost doesn't remember who he is in Rise Of the Guardians. What's the purpose of this run-down? We know Logan has had memory problems in the past, so when Logan does remember something, we should be remembering it ourselves, like World War II. To destroy a person''s memory is to destroy the person, and to destroy a culture's memory is to destroy the culture. Whereas films like The Hunger Games and  Gangster Squad seek to "re-write" American history and convince us we were really supposed to become a socialist country after World War II, The Wolverine reminds us of what happened and why we made the choices we did (please see The Hunger Games: Hitler & America's Anti-Socialism and No More Business : Gangster Squad and the Police State for more). On a completely different note, the "well" where Logan is held by the Japanese Imperial troops is quite ironic because we know Logan isn't "well," and this word play alerts us to what Logan's up to, feeding a psychoanalytic perspective on the film. We only see his eyes peering out through a slit in the top of the well's cap, chained down to keep Logan in his subterranean cell, and this is an accurate description for Logan, because he's trapped "within himself," digging deep (the well) to discover where his demons are; we only see his eyes because one, he's searching to see within himself and, two, to emphasize that's what we ourselves should be doing, looking. We've seen this well before, in The Dark Knight Rises and the Pit where Bruce Wayne (Christina Bale) goes and has to escape, The Host, wherein the resistant fighters live and grow their wheat, and in GI Joe Retaliation when the Joes are attacked and three manage to get to the well and allude detection. Why is this important? It articulates a subtle yet definite point in the arguments capitalists wage against socialists: in capitalism, self-reflection and meditation is necessary, allowed and encouraged, whereas--in socialist states--meditation upon one's self and searching within one's self is not only discouraged (the State will think for you) but not allowed because that's personal freedom no one has a right to, everything has all ready been decided by the Party.
At this moment, seconds before the atomic bomb drops, Logan wants to live, telling Yashida that it's safer down in the well, so this moment conflicts with the moment when he wakes up in the wilderness (after he talks to Jean) and we hear part of Mozart's famed Requiem Mass playing on his radio. So Logan wants to live by avoiding the damage he knows the American Bombers are going to do, so what about Yashida? Although the three other generals, without a word to each other, know it's time to commit the ritual suicide of Seppuka (Hari Kari), Yashida isn't ready to die. Does Yashida do the honorable thing in not committing suicide, or the dishonorable thing in not committing suicide? (As a Christian, suicide is never honorable, it's always a mortal sin, however, the film wants to establish a dichotomy between Logan and Yashida [who holds Japanese principles, not Christian principles], between then and now, so that's the vein in which we are discussing this topic). Yashida fails to honor his country's military code which he pledged to uphold, so we can conclude, by his own standards, he does the dishonorable thing and we can be confident in this interpretation knowing he ends up robbing the company he starts to keep himself alive, so the dishonor he exhibits in 1945 continues within him to the present day, when he willingly robs Logan of his mutant gifts (and he does rob Logan because Logan--even though he doesn't really want to live anymore, knows better than to give his gift up to someone like Yashida). Why is this important?   
Logan shielding Yashida from the blast of the atomic bomb at the bottom of the well turned into a prison. Again, a well symbolizes a means of a person "drawing upon themselves" the way someone draws water from a well for life-sustaining water; similarly, self-knowledge and reflection is life-sustaining because we make terrible mistakes in life if we don't have wisdom, and only those who are fools don't value wisdom. So even though the well has been turned into a prison (Logan is being forced to reflect upon himself even though he might not want to at this point in his life) because he has done so, he's able to not only save himself (at least the full blast of the atomic fall-out that would be painful for him to regenerate from) but he's able to save Yashida, too. These are some of the fruits of wisdom. Throughout the narrative, others--and even Logan himself--compares him to a monster; why? At the end of World War II, the Japanese compared the US to a monster, to the king of the monsters, Godzilla, which we can easily find resurrected in the Silver Samurai in The Wolverine, and certainly in Gypsy Danger in Pacific Rim, in the father played by Bruce Willis in The Cold Light Of Day, the Lizard in The Amazing Spider Man (who is compared to Godzilla in the film) and the upcoming film to be released next year, Godzilla.  What happened then? Because of the US dropping the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Japanese invented Godzilla to symbolize for them the constant threat and danger the US had become to them (contrariwise, the US invented the terrible monster Jaws to symbolize the horror of the Japanese kamikazi soldier and the lives lost because of that). Has time went on, we see a change in Godzilla films: soon, there are monsters even worse than Godzilla, and the Japanese start calling upon Godzilla to save them from Mothra and Rodan; why? Because communism was invading all the Asian countries around Japan, and it was because of the US presence in Japan that Japan was spared falling to communism, symbolized by these later monsters (please see Jaws & the Cleansing Of America for more). In The Wolverine, Logan shielding Yashida from the atomic bomb seems ironic because we directly bombed them, however, we shielded them from the resulting wars continued post WWII by other socialists than Hitler. Hold this thought, please. In The Hunger Games, the first bit of information on the screen, and when Effie Trinket shows the video at the Reaping, reminding people of PanAm why they have the Hunger Games, there's an image of the atomic bomb going off and--because it's the 74th Hunger Games--74 years previously, the "Great Rebellion" was the US fighting to stop the spread of Hitler's socialism and, because of what the world saw socialism doing in China, Germany, Italy and the Soviet Union, the US--which could have become a socialist country under President Franklin D Roosevelt because of the Great Depression--under Dwight D Eisenhower became aggressively capitalist, which is what the Hunger Games tries to morph (the Games being for a socialist a metaphor of how violent capitalism and competition is; please see The Hunger Games: Hitler & America's Anti-Socialism for more). Back to The Wolverine and the scene above: being in a well, and shielding Yashida, Logan--as a metaphor for the US--asks himself, "Did I do the right thing at the end of World War II in shielding the Japanese from socialism and the US not becoming socialist?" We know the answer to this question is yes because, at the end, Mariko has successfully taken over Yashida Industries (instead of disbanding the company, or getting killed, or giving the company to someone else, or the company simply going bankrupt) and her new wealth is validated by Logan and Yukio using the jet Mariko loans them (a sign of her wealth socialists would despise). Even though dirty capitalism has to be cleaned up, as a system, it is validated, just as Logan validates his power, strength and gifts when his own bones grows to become claws to replace the metal claws cut-off by the Silver Samurai (we have seen something like this in Iron Man 3 and the desolation Tony Stark faced and his rising to the occasion of meeting his foe; more on this below).  
This is how intelligently the film is made, that the Japanese business owner is really a metaphor for the United States, just as Viper is a metaphor for Wolverine (and we have seen this done all ready in numerous films, most notably Fast and Furious 6 when they announced it to the audience that is what they were doing); what industries in America haven't "wanted to die" anymore than Yashida, and so stole something from someone to give them "life?" Any industry bailed out by the government, like the auto industry who took public funds--funds that didn't belong to them--or Wall Street, or the big green businesses that Obama started with tax payer dollars that then went bust,... Yashida's failure to do "the honorable thing" by his own cultural standards--ritual suicide--is employed by the film to demonstrate how companies that should have declared bankruptcy and dealt with their losses instead escaped death at the expense of their companies (like Yashida robbing his company) and tax payer dollars (the young Yahida not caring out justice upon himself for having failed his country and committing ritual suicide). But there is another important angle to this metaphor,...
It's terribly clever to cast a female Viper as a symbol of socialism for three reasons. One, it's women usually associated with socialism. As we have discussed previously, feminists are the first to support a socialist revolution in a society because they feel that only through the government taking away from white men their positions of power, wealth and influence (socially and financially castrating them, in other words) do women have a real chance at job and wage equality because they have faith in the government to enforce that, and they don't feel they can achieve that in a capitalist economy. Secondly, Viper dresses in green, which--like all colors--carries both a positive and negative connotation. Positively, green is the color of new life and hope, just like the new life and hope of spring when everything is being reborn, and socialism always sells itself as "hope" for those they persuade have been disenfranchised by a capitalist society; negatively, green is the color of envy, because one perverts hope and life in being jealous of what others have instead of what you yourself have (as we have seen in The Purge). Socialism employs class warfare to make the "under classes" jealous of the 1% so the 99% will want the 1% to suffer and, ultimately, die for having more than themselves so socialism intentionally inspires jealously in people, symbolized by the sickly green color Viper wears. Thirdly, just as we see Viper shedding her skin above to reveal a new, fresh face, so socialism does the same thing to each new generation it's ready to stalk as its prey: shed the old skin of failure and put on the new face of the new, and that's why young generations keep falling or it, socialism always manages to disassociate itself from its own failures so it's never linked to dictatorships, genocides like the Holocaust, or wars like World War II. So, if this is correct, and we know Viper dies in the film, how does her death by hanging reflect her as a symbol for socialism? Hanging is a death for horse thieves and traitors, and because socialism always removes the heads of government and destroys the sovereignty of a country, Viper hanging to death reveals how she herself sought to remove Mariko as the new, rightful head of Yashida to kill her instead. Further, Viper only gives the appearance of re-generation, whereas Logan actually regenerates; why? Socialism always appears like it can't be defeated because, like a snake shedding its skin, it always appears new and fresh, however, Logan--who symbolizes capitalism because, like Logan, capitalism genuinely regenerates itself and is constantly giving new life to new business and injecting new life into old business through innovation and change--actually regenerates his whole, entire system. (Note: men usually symbolize the active principle of the economy whereas women usually symbolize the passive principle of the motherland).
Yashida has to rob Logan of his regenerative powers, but he can do that only by putting the robotic parasite on Logan's heart to halt Logan's own regenerative powers; why is this important? When Viper comes to infect Logan with the parasite, she disguises herself as Jean; we have seen this done before in the 1981 film Excalibur, when Morgana disguised herself in Arthur's dream as Guenevere so Arthur would have sex with her; it's an interesting comparison, because, instead of Logan passing life in his seed into Viper as with normal sexual relations--as he does, for example, when he sleeps with Mariko--it's the female, Viper, passing something deadly into Logan in the parasite. 
The Unnatural and Natural Women of the film. Again, Viper has an "unnatural" sexual relationship with Logan in the she injects him with death (and, of course, the similarity to the Excalibur incest scene really wants us to understand how "unnatural" this is) but it's a traditional, natural relationship with Mariko. Why? The sex fantasy hotel where Logan and Mariko check into isn't a foreshadowing device of some kinky dimension of their relationship; rather, it comments upon history and what has naturally happened between the US and Japan (like the film Emperor with Tommy Lee Jones) and how the US could have dominated Japan, but didn't. Them choosing the Mars room, however, does foreshadow what might be someday: a joint US-Japanese mission to Mars. As two of the largest economic powers in the world (well, we were before 2008) it's natural the US and Japan would plan one of the greatest adventures humanity has ever embarked upon, an exploration of Mars, and the future of that possibility is partially what is at stake (before Star Trek Into Darkness came out, we discussed how similar space films and westerns are, and why there are so many more space films being made then westerns: westerns are looking back, either re-writing history--like The Lone Ranger tried to do--or validating and reminding us of history; space films point to the future and what will be and whether or not we will be there and what we need to do; including this little snippet in the film incorporates that whole idea of what the future will be like and who it will be there with us, the Japanese.  On a slightly different note, the vet has to remove the bullets because Logan is still mostly animal; what separates us from animals is our free will, and Logan--at this point in the film--still refuses to accept the decision made for him (that he would have this indestructible metal grafted onto his skeleton) with his free will, so in not putting his free will to good use, Logan is, in a serious way, denying he has free will at all. Mariko, as a symbol of the motherland (a female of child-bearing age) shows she can give life by knowing what Logan needs for his to continue and taking action to make sure he survives.  
The parasite Viper passes (rather like the one from The Matrix passed into Neo) is an artificial constrictor so he can't grow (re-grow, rather); nothing else in the world does this except socialism, when the government decides how big or how small a company will be (or putting restrictions and regulations on trade, for example, through taxes and tariffs). Now, the controversial point: Viper tells Logan she's a capitalist, so how do we reconcile that with what I have been writing, that she's actually a symbol for socialism? She also tells Logan she's a metaphysicist; when do we see her ever confronting any issues in metaphysics? She doesn't, because she's not. What she is, however, is a snake, and snakes are always metaphors for liars, just like the serpent in the Garden Of Eden lying to Eve (hence why serpents have forked tongues and, so, too, does Viper, because they always mean something other than what they say; please examine the last image of this post, where Viper's forked tongue is seen). There's one more, revealing way, however,...
Who is Yukio? She is a part of Logan, that's why we don't "see" Yukio with Logan in the post credits scene, he has "taken her into himself" and instead of being a separate part of him, she (what she symbolizes in Logan) is as much a part of him as Logan's natural, regenerated bone claws (and not the metal claws). Her hair is red, the most notable, distinguishing characteristic she has, and we know it has to be artificially dyed, so isn't that like the artificial parasite put in Logan's heart by Viper? No, because hair symbolizes our thoughts, so we "see" Yukio's thoughts in her red hair. Just as green has positive and negative connotations, so, too, does red: red can symbolize love because, when we love someone or some thing, we are willing to spill our red blood to preserve it; however, red can also refer to anger, because when we are angry with someone or some thing, we are willing to shed their red blood to appease our anger. Because Yukio cares for Logan so much, and wants to preserve his life, it's more consistent with the film to understand her as a part of Logan's love for himself he must experience. Genuine self-love, and self-care, are necessary components of wisdom; if we don't properly love ourselves (the way God loves us) we are apt to throw our lives away foolishly and not fulfill the purpose for which God created us. Yukio appears at a moment when Logan could be getting himself into serious trouble at the bar, maybe because he wants it, so, in effect, from the very start, she is acting as "his bodyguard," literally guarding over his body to keep him from killing himself. Her sword validates this: the sword separates, just as she herself is a "separate" part of Logan that has to be successfully re-integrated into himself so he can be whole again.
When Logan appears to Yashida, he tells Logan Viper is his oncologist, a specialist who deals with cancer, so that's how we know what Yashida is dying from. Viper doesn't heal Yashida's cancer, rather--just like socialism--she takes from the healthy (Logan) to sustain that which is dying (Yahsida). Socialism never heals or cures the cancer in society or a business, because it can't; that's what wealth re-distribution is all about, taking from the healthy to keep the sick or weak going. This is the fundamental formula of socialism and why there are no "greats" in a socialist society, only mediocrity, because anyone strong or wealthy has to be sacrificed for the masses and sick, just as Viper intends to sacrifice Logan for Yashida.  
Now that we have all that established, we can talk about Jane Grey. Logan only sees her in his dream, so it's his mind keeping her alive, artificially. Just like Viper willing to keep Yashida alive artificially with Logan's regenerative powers, so Logan keeps Jane alive, not with his love, but with his guilt, reflecting a very real phenomena of capitalism. Who didn't feel guilt and loss when it was announced Twinkies weren't going to be made anymore? Well, at least, I did. But the company did it the right way, they declared bankruptcy and then went about taking care of its own "cancer" (it seemed there was a problem with its union, imagine that) and restructured--regenerated its strength and healed its wounds--has now been bought by another company and is going to start production again. Hooray! Regardless of how difficult it is to allow a company to die, like GM or Chevy, if they have failed to heal themselves of their own induced cancer through bad practices or failing to keep up with the market demands, they have to be allowed to die (declare bankruptcy and re-organize), and Jane feeding off Logan's guilt, and the pain and weakness resulting in that, demonstrates to us the viewers the difficult choices in capitalism; difficult, but not impossible. Just as Logan's guilt over killing Jane drains him of strength and resolution to go on living, so, too, does a company that needs to just die drain the economy and resources. Logan's willingness to let Jane go off and "be there all alone" gives us the first glimpse that Xavier isn't there where she is, and why we can expect to see him again.
So what about the bear scene?
Going back to the beginning of the film, Logan living in the wilderness makes the bear a metaphor for what will happen to himself. It's almost like the bear is a part of his dream, because it mimics the way he walks and after Logan "marks" his territory with a swipe on the tree, so the bear "marks" his territory with his urine. The hunters using the illegal poison to kill the bear foreshadows Viper using the parasite on Logan to take him down (because Logan's being hunted for his abilities to regenerate). Why does Logan kill the bear with his claws? It foreshadows the choice Logan will have to make about his own life and whether or not it's more honorable for him to commit "ritual suicide" when he's on the operating table or try to save himself. 
Logan being in the wilderness is a counter to a trend taking shape in recent films, i.e., that we should abandon technology and go back to a primitive way of life. We see this advanced in Moonrise Kingdom (the two kids following the Indian path of migration and camping) and Oliver Stone's Savages, with the threesome living--not in a California utopia--but a primitive, third world country and that being advanced as a kind of perfect state for us to be in. The Wolverine, on the other hand, acknowledges that this isn't a plausible solution because there are hunters out there looking for easy prey (the hunters Logan sees who would happily kill him). So why do we first see Logan in this situation? Let's start with the long hair. It's not a sign of effeminacy for his hair to be long (we will be seeing Hercules with long hair according to the pictures tweeted by Dwayne Johnson for next summer). In the Bible, prophets--like Samson--had long hair because they would often go into the wilderness--away from civilized people--to purge themselves of sin and vice, so their outwardly state of uncleanliness (the long hair and beard) was actually a sign of their inwardly holiness (like John the Baptist). Logan has separated himself from society in an attempt to face his inner demons and purge himself of guilt and anger. The purging he undergoes in the wilderness strengthens him so he's strong enough to undergo the purge on the operating table when he cuts himself open and removes the parasite from within himself (I know, I know, we need to talk about The Purge, the Ethan Hawke film; in that sense, those film makers are mocking how capitalists believe in purging society of companies that are weak and struggling, rather than having the government save the all; we will discuss it more next week). We saw a similar situation with Tony Stark in the original Iron Man when he was "living the life" and then kidnapped and stranded in the desert and had to fight his way out; Logan has to make a choice. Going with Yukio is the first step of that choice even though he tells her, "That's not who I am anymore." When Logan agrees to the two old women bathing him to present him to Yashida, that's Logan agreeing to be presented as the world knows him, the Wolverine, in the way he has been. So renouncing the world is a fruitful step for a temporary purging of one's self, but it's not a permanent fix to abandoning life and the world.
When Logan is on the operating table (where Yashida had been) and sees the parasite on his heart, Logan has a choice: he can let the parasite kill him (the way the poison was killing the bear) or Logan can use his claws to open his own heart to remove the parasite and save himself; choosing to swallow the bitter medicine so he can get well is the capitalist's answer to recovery (like the blond girl cutting off her infected arm with the automatic knife in Evil Dead) that sometimes you have to get worse before you can get better, and Logan takes that path. This is the second of three resurrections Logan experiences in the film: the first being the bath the old women give him, then he removes the parasite instead of just dying, then he regenerates his claws to replace the grafted claws. These three resurrections counter the resurrections of Jane (in Logan's mind), Viper's shedding her skin and Yashida "resurrecting" from faking his death earlier.
The Silver Samurai. Man Of Steel's General Zod, with all his armor, is similar to this, as well as the virtues of the Japanese soldier discussed in Emperor. The difference between Logan and the Silver Samurai is that Logan rises to the challenge whereas the Samurai is avoiding death and has stolen what he has (not only from his company, but from Logan as well). The excess bulk of the Samurai is contrasted to the interiorized steel frame of Logan, just like the contrasts we see between Clark Kent and General Zod in Man Of Steel. It's clear, then, that the Silver Samurai is the "beast" the film has talked about, and not Logan, as we saw in Brave, with princess Merida thinking her mother was "a beast" but the real monster was Mordor.  
Now we can discuss what happens in the post credits scene. Two years after the "end" takes place (Yukio and Logan getting into Mariko's jet), we see Logan approaching the security station at an airport watching an ad for Trask Industries about their new technologies (perhaps like the new technology developed in Iron Man 3 allowing Tony Stark to get his natural heart back) and, dreading the alarms that will go off when he steps through because of the metal grafted onto his skeleton, he tells the attendant he wants the pat down. Metal objects start moving on their own and Logan turns to see Magneto standing behind him. Everyone in the airport completely freezes except them, and Magneto tells Logan there are dark forces building a weapon that will destroy "our kind." Logan asks Magneto, "Why would I trust you?" to which Magneto replies, "You wouldn't," and out zips Charles Xavier. Logan asks, "How is this possible?" to which Xavier replies, "I told you when we first met, you're not the only one with gifts."
 So, what does this mean?
Because we have seen three false resurrections (Jane's in the dream state, Viper's shedding skin and Yashida's faked death) and Logan's three genuine resurrections, when we see what happens in the post credits scene, we are not surprised. "Resurrection" has been a theme of the films this last year (for example, Captain Kirk being resurrected from radiation poisoning, Tony Stark being resurrected from his arc reactor heart, Pepper being resurrected from falling into the inferno, Lettie being resurrected in Fast and Furious 6, etc.). We know this scene sets up the premise for X-Men: Days Of Future Past coming out next year, and what and how that film will be is teased here.
Why do they have post credits scenes? Why not just have the scene at the end of the film instead of making you sit through the credits? For one, it undermines the ending and the closure it brings. That Logan arrives at the airport without Yukio (after two years of us not knowing where he has been) suggests that he has fully incorporated her "into his being," and is no longer separated, but whole and healthy, as he should be at this point in his life. If the scene with Magneto and Xavier were put right after the airplane scene, the "journey" Logan has been on wouldn't occur to us as we watch it. But here's what I think the real reason is: these stories are based on comic books, and to have a post credits scene, a scene taking place "outside" the film, is an act, basically, of self-awareness, that there are events going on "outside" the comic book world, outside the film world. When Logan walks into that airport, there is an entire world that has progressed without him knowing anything about it, the advances at Trask Industries, Magneto's powers being restored, Xavier being resurrected, a new weapon being developed; so even while some things have stayed the same (Logan not being able to go through a metal detector, for example) the rest of the world has gone on at a realistic pace. Okay, so why is that important? Because they want to assure us they are aware of what is going on outside of Hollywood. THEY, the film makers, know there is a world outside their movies and they want us to know that they know we are out there, in the dark theater, watching them, and they are watching the world and what is going on. What's the point of everything "having meaning" as the film tells us, if there is not a real world in which that meaning can be anchored?
Magneto has his powers back and is the first to "recruit" Logan for the next mission. Magneto is getting that "second chance" we see Gru getting in Despicable Me 2 and Loki in Thor the Dark World (because America is the land of second chances) and it's possible this will be Magneto's "conversion" will take place. The "dark force" Magneto warns Logan about is obviously an "evil more evil than evil" because even Magneto is afraid of it and knows he can't defeat it on his own, which is probably something to do with the advances in robotics in the Trask Industries commercial Logan briefly saw on the airport TV before his pat down.  
In this image, Yukio and Logan have gone to the funeral of Yashida after he has faked his death. Yukio tells Logan that Yashida found her going through a pile of garbage looking for food and adopted her to be a playmate for Mariko. Why is this important? When Logan gets into her rental car at the bar where she meets him, there are food wrappers all over the front seat and she says, "It's a rental." That doesn't really make sense, does it? Well, actually, it does. That pile of food has become a reminder to Yukio of the trash pile where she was looking for food; why? Food is necessary for our survival, and Yukio--as a "psychoanalytic double" for Logan--is still looking for food to survive because Logan doesn't want to love himself or go on living, so Yukio looks for what she (as a symbol of real self-love) can possibly live on to survive. That's why Yukio can see a person's death: as a bodyguard, she needs to know in what way a person is in danger so she can help them avoid it and preserve their life. Now we know why "A Japanese sword must be held with two hands": our hands symbolize our strength, and each person has two sources of strength, the physical and mental, the logical and emotional, the worldly and spiritual. To hold a sword with both hands means that your entire being has been united for that task at hand, there is no holding back, rather, you are focused and willing to do what must be done. Only when Logan is ready to "hold the sword with both hands" has he experienced his third resurrection; he hasn't completed his spiritual journey, but he's achieved the level he needs to achieve in order to complete it.
Why has Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) been resurrected? To answer that, we might consider another important person resurrected: Joe, the founder of the special ops force. In GI Joe: Retaliation, Joe (Bruce Willis) is resurrected and re-enlisted by the Joes when there is no one else they can turn to or trust to defeat the evil they are battling. Like Joe, Xavier is the founder of the X-Men, who need their "founding father" to give them direction in this new battle, which suggests a return by America to our own founding fathers; we won't know, however, until the first trailer is released!
It's regrettable that The Wolverine didn't score a bigger haul at the box office, however, we are in an economically devastated economy, and it's not that The Wolverine didn't do better, it's rather miraculous that so many amazing films have done as well as they have, given the limited amounts of expendable income most middle-class American households currently have. Again, I have only scrapped the surface of a film that's a theory-gold mine for those who enjoy interpreting films and art, so please don't judge the film based on this all-too-short post; instead, I hope it will tempt you to want to see the film for yourself, especially since Days Of Future Past appears to be so exciting (AFTER POSTING THIS, I FOUND THIS ARTICLE/INTERVIEW revealing a few more details about the next film at this link here!)!
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner
Character art work for Viper; please note the forked-tongue in red, denoting a liar.