8 Big Franchise Questions Planet Of The Apes’ New Movie Can Answer

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is the latest movie in the Planet of the Apes franchise and with its ambitious premise and time-jump, it can hopefully answer some burning franchise questions. Ever since the first-ever Planet of the Apes was released in 1968, the movie series has gone through changes in tone and story with several sequels and reboots. The original remains a cult sci-fi classic even as its four sequels have earned a more polarizing response. Then, Tim Burton tried to add his own visual flair with a 2001 reboot that failed to make a mark. It was only in 2011 that the reboot trilogy offered hope.

Starting with Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the trilogy was anchored by Andy Serkis’ standout performances as Caesar, the ape who leads a revolution among his peers forever changing their relations with humans. While the first installment took a more introspective approach, the two sequels turned the franchise into a full-fledged action saga of epic proportions. Based on the story details of Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, the new movie will start a new chapter covering the aftermath of Caesar’s death and the rise of his son Cornelius. Carrying a lot of future potential, the project can also address past concerns with the franchise.

RELATED: Planet of the Apes Gives Its Iconic Statue of Liberty Moment New Meaning

8 Was Caesar Remembered As A Hero After His Planet Of The Apes Death?

Caesar carries his son on his back in War for the Planet of the Apes.

Caesar has been a tumultuous figure in both the original series as well as the reboot trilogy. While his primary goal has always been to ensure peace among humans and apes, the turbulent sociological climate around him has prompted him to lead his fellow apes to war against humans. But by the final act of War for the Planet of the Apes, Caesar safely settles his community around an oasis. As a wounded Caesar breathes his last, it’s hinted that he has finally established a safe haven for the apes he led. But in the years after his death, it’s worth asking how he is revered in the ape society.

Fans feel that 1973’s Battle for the Planet of the Apes (that ended the original series) did a grave injustice to Caesar’s legacy, ending with a shot of Caesar’s statue that mysteriously sheds a tear. It’s highly possible that the apes of the reboot trilogy similarly revere Caesar as a leader worthy of statues and legends. However, if the apes face new problems in the new Planet of the Apes movie, it’s also possible for them to blame their miseries on their former leader. After all, Caesar’s military expeditions since Dawn of the Planet of the Apes also led to significant collateral damage and loss of ape lives.

7 Did Humans & Apes Coexist After War For The Planet Of The Apes?

Caesar and Malcolm looiking sideways in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Every installment of the Planet of the Apes reboot trilogy showed how some humans are empathetic to the miseries and revolutionary causes of the apes. But with ape extremists, like Koba, avenging the torture they faced under humans, an enmity between the two races was inevitable. With Caesar massacring the militia of Woody Harrelson’s antagonistic Colonel in War for the Planet of the Apes, it seems very plausible for this rivalry to continue. But did humans and apes ever achieve peace at all since then? Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes will probably clear the air around this question, delving deeper into human-ape relations after Caesar’s death.

RELATED: Why Planet Of The Apes 2 Recast Cornelius (& Why The Actor Came Back)

6 Is Planet Of The Apes’ Reboot Timeline Connected To The Original Series?

Caesar looking sideways with warpaint on his body and a scene from the original Planet of the Apes featuring two apes looking introspectively

While events of the original Planet of the Apes series are never explicitly mentioned in the reboots, their respective timelines do share some thematic similarities. This is particularly notable in the case of Caesar who has served as a protagonist in both eras. Because it seems to be set in an unspecified but relatively contemporary world, the reboot trilogy is a far cry from the original series that found human astronauts traveling from the 1970s to the year 3978. With even classic sci-fi franchises like Terminator and Alien retconning their timelines, there are chances of these alternate narratives also being vaguely connected. The new movie can perhaps solve this paradox.

5 Why Do The Apes Split After Caesar’s Death?

Apes uniting and fighting angrily in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Despite his heroism, Caesar could not unite the apes as one. As the synopsis of Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes reveals, the movie would also delve into the ideological factions among the apes. Some of them misinterpret Ceasar’s ideals to enslave others while another ape seeks to find freedom with a human girl. These differing viewpoints on human-ape relations are most likely to have emerged in the absence of a strong leader. Caesar’s death might have created a void as Cornelius was very young at the time. To fill the gaps between the Caesar-led reboots and the new installment, a backstory around this split must be offered.

4 What Human Technology Do The Apes Want To Find In Kingdom?

Caesar signaling other apes while looking into the camera in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The story details of Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes are vague but intriguing enough to build theories around. The synopsis mentions a rogue faction of the apes who not only pervert Caesar’s teachings, but also seek the final traces of “a secret human technology”. Now, the reboots have delved into more contemporary technology as compared to the hyper-futuristic originals. This creates more suspense around the true nature of this secret human technology. The technology might also be related to Planet of the Apes’ Simian Flu, which killed off humans but improved the apes’ intelligence. Or it might have totally different consequences that the previous reboots didn’t touch upon.

RELATED: Why Tim Burton’s Planet Of The Apes Never Got A Sequel

3 Is Time Travel Possible In The Rebooted Planet Of The Apes Timeline?

An ape stares intentity in the background with a shot of Statue of Liberty on the poster of Planet of the Apes

Be it the Charlton Heston-led Planet of the Apes or Tim Burton’s infamous remake, time travel has kicked off the events in both cases. The reason why the reboot trilogy felt so much more grounded in reality was because there were absolutely no traces of time travel involved. The plot progressed in a conventionally linear sense with human society dwindling into primordial chaos than embarking on a scientific Renaissance. But if the new reboots do play around with concepts of time travel (probably the “secret human technology” in the synopsis), the execution will hopefully not be as convoluted as the original Planet of the Apes timeline.

2 Did The Apes Stockpile Weapons After War For The Planet Of The Apes?

Caesar holding a gun in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

While the apes fought with the weapons they seized from humans, it’s unclear whether they stockpiled any ammunition for future safety. Caesar did ensure peace at the oasis, the apes are bound to have some backup options to secure this peace. Battle for the Planet of the Apes even painted a future where humans and apes live in harmony but with a weapon stockpile as a contingency plan lest any conflict between the two arises. If Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is set in a similar future, audiences can wonder if the apes would resort to modern weapons like guns or rudimentary ones like stones and spears.

RELATED: The 1 Character Planet Of The Apes 4 Needs Following Caesar’s Death

1 Will The New Ape Movies Shed Light On Will Rodman’s Death?

Andy Serkis, James Franco, and Frieda Pinto in Rise of The Planet of Apes

James Franco’s protagonist Will Rodman counts as one of the few humans who was genuinely compassionate toward Caesar in Rise of the Planet of the Apes. While the 2011 movie left his fate uncertain, its sequel Dawn of the Planet of the Apes confirmed Will’s fate, hinting that he was one of the victims of the Simian Flu outbreak. While Rise of the Planet of the Apes did reveal how the flu spread from a laboratory to the rest of humanity, maybe its after-effects and Will’s death can be fleshed out more in flashbacks. Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes can offer more context around the pandemic.

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