Franchise: Planet of the Apes aka: Planetofthe Apes
"Beware the beast Man, for he is the Devil's pawn. Alone among God's primates, he kills for sport, or lust, or greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother's land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him; drive him back into his jungle lair, for he is the harbinger of death."
A media franchise based on the 1963 French novel La Plančte des singes by Pierre Boulle consisting of seven movies in three continuities, a live-action series, an animated series and canon novels. The franchise, being an allegory of human evolution and behavior, centers on a role-reversal premise were after humanity's fall, apes of all kinds have evolved into a dominant, thriving, highly-intelligent civilization and humans are now the animals in cages.Primary inspiration for the roleplaying game Terra Primate, by the makers of All Flesh Must Be Eaten.
Artistic Licence Biology: After living a few months among savage humans, the old scientific genius Professor Antelle loses his memory, his speech, and even his conscience, becoming totally animal-like like the others… that's a bit radical.
Put electrodes on a woman's head, stimulate specific areas of her brain, and she will awaken memories of what her ancestors said ten thousand years ago. No, really!
Creative Sterility: apes can mimic human civilization but haven't come up with any new inventions for ten thousand years.
Framing Device: The majority of the book is a manuscript which a couple of scientists find floating in space at the beginning.
Human Aliens/Humans Are the Real Monsters: Subverted. Soror's humans before being overwhelmed by the apes, aren't so much depicted as bastards (although they do nasty experiments on them, but so do the apes afterwards) than a decadent species no more fit to survive natural selection, with a "mental idleness" and a total incapacity to organize and resist against the rise of the apes. Ulysses lampshades that a race that submitted and resigned itself so pitifully easily might as well be replaced by a "more noble race".
Twist Ending: Completely different from the movies. Ulysse escapes from Soror and returns to the Earth, but during the time passed, Earth was taken over by apes as well. As a further twist, the scientists who are reading the human's diary turn out to be apes. After finishing their read, they scoff at the notion that a human would ever be that intelligent.
A team of astronauts flies into space at near light speed. They are influenced by time dilation: eighteen months for them is over two thousand years for the Earth. They crash onto a mysterious, seemingly desolate planet (losing the sole female on the crew in the process), specifically into a dead lake; this loses them their spacecraft and most of their supplies.On this planet, there is a mute race of human-like creatures, treated as animals by a race of sentient English-speaking apes. Caught in the middle of an ambush between Ape and Man, one of the astronauts is killed, another lobotomised and a third, George Taylor (Charlton Heston), is shot in the throat, which renders him mute like the other men. He is among the captured men, and taken back to the apes' mostly pre-industrial city. As the talking ape civilisation learn that Taylor, "Bright Eyes" to them, can (eventually) speak and write, they put him on trial for heresy against the ape civilisation's sacred scrolls.Notable for its famousEarth All Along ending: Taylor escapes from the apes, finding a new life with his love Nova, and eventually discovers the ruins of the Statue of Liberty. He realized that Man destroyed himself, sent society back to the Stone Age, and allowed the apes to conquer.
Anti-Hero: Taylor is a misanthropic, rather vicious Jerk Ass. However, he is not without sympathetic traits, such as his affection for Nova and his disgust with Landon's lobotomy. He also seems disappointed that the apes are no better than humans (or vice versa)
Anti-Villain: Doctor Zaius can be ruthless when pressed though he has fundamentally good intentions as he seeks to prevent humanity from causing another apocalpyse and is at least reasonable enough to try and talk Taylor into making a false confession in exchange for his safety.
Arc Words: "Somewhere in the universe, there must be something better than man..."
Artistic License - Biology: A major contributor to the stigma between the humans and the sentient apes is the idea that humans are not apes, and (to some) not animals. Both of those are false, and while the apes in the first film may be forgiven for it by not being advanced enough to be able to prove the former through genetic sciences, the humans in the modern day in later films have no excuse whatsoever.
Franchise Zombie: The sequels and TV shows. Both the second and third movie were intended to be the last in the series (5 were made).
Getting Crap Past the Radar: There were concerns that censors would object to Taylor's cry of "God damn you all to hell!" The problem was avoided when the producers and Heston explained that the phrase was not an expletive. Rather, Taylor was, literally, calling on God to damn the entire human race for destroying civilization.
Hollywood Science: Averted. This movie shows a great deal of respect and knowledge of science, far more than would be expected from Hollywood.
Nevertheless, the series still portrays gorillas as violent brutes and chimpanzees as pacifists (chimpanzees are probably the most violent of the non-human ape species, and gorillas are generally reclusive and peaceful unless forced to defend themselves), either because they didn't know better or because Primatology Marched On.
Perhaps this was why the Big Bad of Tim Burton's remake was a chimp, and The Dragon (a gorilla) ended up pulling a Heel-Face Turn. Apparently Thade was originally going to be an albino gorilla, but Rick Baker told Burton that chimps are meaner.
Humans Are the Real Monsters: Taylor feels this way at the beginning, but after meeting the apes, he changes his mind. Then comes the ending.
Humans Are Morons: Unlike other examples of this in Speculative Fiction, this is one example where humanity is less civilized than the apes, as opposed to usually being the slightly more civilized ones. This is because humanity managed to blow itself to damn near the brink of extinction, losing its civilized qualities in the process.
Humans Are Ugly: When Taylor wants to kiss Zira goodbye, she says he is damn ugly.
Humiliation Conga: Taylor spends the bulk of the film enduring this. Serves him right though, considering what a Jerk Ass he is.
Idiot Ball: Most characters hold it at one point or another. Especially Taylor trying to prove to the apes that he is an intelligent being takes ridiculously long due to one blunder after another. Had he just motioned for Dr. Zira's notepad right away and shown immediately that he could write, things would've been that much simpler.
He tried to do just that, they just didn't understand him.
Not very well, though. He could have done something like pretend to write on his hand so they knew what he meant.
Cornelius says 'human see! human do!' when Zira says he's trying to speak. They would have just assumed he was mindlessly copying the apes writing.
The only characters from the novel are Zaius, Zira, Cornelius, and Nova.
Pierre Boulle was apparently impressed enough with the adaptation that he submitted his own proposal for a sequel titled Planet of the Men, which would've ended with the humans taking over the planet and ultimately turning Dr. Zaius into a zoo exhibit.
Taylor starts off as a cynical misanthrope who couldn't wait to get away from the human race. By the halfway point of the movie, he's forced to become humanity's vocal proponent. And then the ending reveals he was right about humans being bastards all along.
Taylor emotionally breaking down and damning all humanity to Hell for "blowing it up" at the end of the original movie becomes Hilarious In Hindsight when he blows the planet up for real at the end of the sequel.
Jerkass: Most of Taylor's behaviour to the apes for most of the film.
Killer Space Monkey: The apes, and the gorillas in particular. Until the truth is revealed at the end.
Large Ham: Charlton Heston ("It's a MAAAAAAADHOOOOUSE!!!")
Laser-Guided Karma: The various humiliations Taylor suffers throughout the film could be considered this.
At the end of the film after being repeatedly attacked, beaten, caged, stripped and tied up by the apes, Taylor exacts a small measure of revenge by capturing Dr. Zaius, arguably the Apes' main spokesperson, and tying him to a log.
Legend Fades to Myth: The religious myth held by the apes in the first movie turns out to be a distorted version of Caesar's rebellion and the human war that allowed apes to come to power, as depicted in the sequels.
Lobotomy: One of the astronauts gets lobotomised by the apes.
Motherly Scientist: Chimpanzee Zira, notable psychologist and zoologist, calls Taylor "Bright Eyes", at least until he manages to write his own name, to her surprise. She ends up kissing him goodbye - even though, as she tells him, "You're so damned ugly."
Real Life Writes the Plot: The ape society was originally going to be more technologically advanced, akin to the book it was based on, but it proved too expensive and the ape society was made more primitive to cut costs.
Really 700 Years Old: When Taylor, Landon, and Dodge leave Earth, it is 1978. When they crash-land on the planet, about 2,000 years have passed (Taylor says that Landon is now 2,031 years old), and they still look like they're in their mid-30's/-40's. Given a rather snarkylampshade by Taylor.
The real reason behind this was that the production crew did not have the money to build the super-advanced civilization the apes had in the books.
Science Marches On: the film makes it clear that Ape society is composed of all (non-Human) apes: chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans. Back when the film was made, bonobos were thought to be chimpanzees, but nowadays they're known to be a separate species.
This leads to some Fridge Horror: if bonobos are not present at all, it means they all died at some point (How? By whom?); on the other hand, if they're still around, given that we don't see them in the movies and the most notorious aspect of their society, it's not unreasonable to assume they are sex slaves, imprisoned in the homes of the other apes.
Shout-Out: To Animal Farm. When asked if he knows why all apes were created equal, Taylor replies that "some apes seem to be more equal than others".
Sleeper Starship: The crew hibernate during the trip, though apparently the method doesn't stop them from aging.
The Smart Guy: Dodge, for the brief time we knew him. Landon says that he'd walk naked into a live volcano if it meant he could learn something that no one else knew.
Throw It In: Taylor's final rant at the end was thought up and written down by Charlton Heston on the day of shooting that scene. It adds much more power to that Wham Shot, even after repeat viewings.
Time Dilation: Taylor's crew ages 18 months while 2006 years have passed outside.
Twenty Minutes into the Future: When the movie starts out, the year on the ship's onboard calendar reads 1978. When they crash-land on the titular planet, it's 3972.
Viewers Are Geniuses: Viewers are expected to understand the subtleties, such as slowly making new discoveries and realizing that apes' cruelty towards humans represents our monstrous, self-destructive acts.
Dr. Zaius: All my life I've awaited your coming and dreaded it. Like death itself.
Taylor: Why? I've terrified you from the first, Doctor. I still do. You're afraid of me and you hate me. Why?
Dr. Zaius: Because you're a man! And you're right, I have always known about man. From the evidence, I believe his wisdom must walk hand and hand with his idiocy. His emotions must rule his brain. He must be a warlike creature who gives battle to everything around him, even himself.
Taylor: What evidence? There were no weapons in that cave.
Dr. Zaius: The Forbidden Zone was once a paradise. Your breed made a desert of it, ages ago.
Taylor: That still doesn't give me the why. A planet where apes evolved from men? There's got to be an answer.
Dr. Zaius: Don't look for it, Taylor. You may not like what you find.
Wham Line: "GET YOUR STINKING PAWS OFF OF ME, YOU DAMNED DIRTY APE!!!" Made all the more powerful when you realize that Charlton Heston was sick with the flu at the time, but the director felt that the hoarseness of his voice would add impact to that line. It did.
Wham Shot: The Statue of Liberty at the end. (At least, if you don't already know the ending.)
What Might Have Been: Scenes were scripted and filmed revealing, near the end, that Nova was pregnant with Taylor's child. The scenes were cut out of the final print, as it was felt that they changed the focus of the ending, leaving the door open to a sequel Heston didn't want (but got anyway).
Artistic License - Biology: the ship with the protagonist is sent into space to colonize a new planet. That's why it contains three males and one female. D'oh!
Also, portraying gorillas as warlike and violent, chimpanzees as reserved and rational, and orangutans as wise and social. Gorillas are very gentle and docile animals while chimps have been known to exterminate other tribes, including the infants, to take the females and food. Orangutans have a completely anti-social society; males leave upon puberty and live on their own, attacking anyone that comes into their territory. Again, probably a case of Primatology Marched On.
An astronaut, Leo (Mark Wahlberg), works in a space station where genetically enhanced apes have been trained to pilot space pods, to search and study a strange electromagnetic storm phenomenon. When it's found a chimpanzee flies into it and after his signal's cut, Leo chases it in another pod against orders, to save the chimp. The storm makes him travel in time, after which he crashes on the planet below, encounters some humans and is captured by highly evolved apes. He is enslaved with the rest of the humans. He is tortured by the apes until one (Helena Bonham Carter) takes pity on him and helps the humans escape. He goes to the apes' Forbidden Zone Calima to discover the crashed space station, which apparently has been there for thousands of years.There, the hero plays a recording made by the ship crew, which tells they decided to go after Leo, crashed, and the apes rebelled and killed most of them. An army of apes attacks and the astronaut responds by hitting them with the fuel from the station's tanks. When the ape army recovers, a large battle occurs until the original chimp returns in its space pod. It remembers Leo and shows affection towards him; the apes revere it as a God, thus they stop fighting and treat the humans fairly. Having achieved peace and become a hero, the astronaut decides to return home through the same electric spacestorm. He goes back to Earth... and discovers the civilization he used to know is now inhabited by talking apes.
The ending only makes sense if you read the explanation on the movie's website.
The novelization reveals that Leo Davidson entered the electromagnetic storm a week after a message for him was recorded on February 7, 2029.
When Leo reaches the Oberon, now the Temple of Calima, the date on the chronometer reads 5021.946.
In regards to the novelization, this trope is somewhat averted when you take into account that it ends with Leo leaving Ashlar and entering the electromagnetic storm, not detailing his return to Earth that happens afterward.
Cargo Cult: Leo's chimp is confused with the apes' God, Semos.
Continuity Nod: So, Zaius, you go from being Minister of Science, proclaiming that apes and humans have nothing in common biologically, declaring that the principles of science and theology work side-by-side, and those who go against it are instant heretics to a senator who constantly reminds those of humanity's destructive nature? No wonder Thade closely followed, and even amplified, your ideals.
Conveniently Close Planet: Leo flies to earth from wherever the space station was in that tiny little spaceship. It can't have been very far in that ship with no toilet or way to get up and move around - or that craft could really book it.
Subverted with Interspecies Romance: Leo and the female ape Ari are clearly attracted to each other, and he kisses her.
Kick the Dog: General Thade knocks the human-friendly (and unevolved) chimp Pericles against a wall, breaking the chimp's leg; thus cowed, Pericles crawls pathetically back into the safety of his cage.
The ending is almost directly taken from the end of Ulysse's journal in the original Pierre Boulee novel. Only the landing site has changed: from Paris (where Ulysse encounters sentient apes at the base of the Eiffel Tower) to Washington D.C. (where Leo encounters ape police at the foot of what appears to be the Lincoln Memorial, but is in fact a memorial to Thade).
Mythology Gag: Senator Nado's wife is named Nova, and Thade's father is named Zaius. Thade's father, (Charleton Heston in a cameo) repeats Taylor's famous "damn you all to hell..." line as he lies dying.
Attar: Take your stinkin' paws of me, you damn dirty HUMAN!note It's also the first line in the film spoken by an ape, where the original line was the first thing Taylor actually said to an ape in the original film.
Thade's father: Damn them. God Damn them all... to hell.note It's also the last line Charlton Heston speaks in the movie, where the original line was the last thing Taylor (who was played by Heston) says in the original film
Shown Their Work: The evolved apes certainly look more like real apes do than in the original, especially the orangutans.
The Cameo: Linda Harrison (Nova) as a human slave; Charlton Heston as Thade's father.
Villain Has a Point: Limbo (a slave trader dealing in humans) points out that while other apes look down on his distasteful work, he's doing a job that no one else wants to do and other apes benefit from his services. Thade also falls into this category, as the ape politicians send him to do the dirty work. It also established humans have attacked and stolen from apes on numerous occasions and his job is to protect other apes.
Artistic License - Biology: Done intentionally in the case of female apes. In order to make them seem more attractive, they were given eyebrows, something real apes do not have. And human-sized breasts, evident when the female ape is being "sexy" for the Senator Nado. Note that female apes do have breasts, just not as "perky" as human females.
Brains In Jars: The Gestalt Mind, leader of the Inheritors, is made up of five brains, with one of them being the biggest.
Canon Welding: The comics, the timeline in Marvel Comics' Planet of the Apes magazine #11, and the subsequent Timeline of the Planet of the Apes: The Definite Chronology try to fit all the series of the franchise in one universe. With varying success.
Expy: The Ape Supremacists are like the Dragoons from the TV series.
My God, What Have I Done?: In the comics, Hasslein realized the ape-ruled future was his fault. He created the space-drive for the mission led by Taylor in hopes of a better future, but it has created a Predestination Paradox which caused the end of human civilization, the rise of the apes, and the destruction of the world. He took it upon himself to prevent the dark future he caused, by killing Zira's baby and the apes themselves to prevent them from having another child.
Mythology Gag: In the Rise of the Planet of the Apes prequel comic, Caesar's father is referred to as Alpha. This is a reference to the Alpha-Omega bomb from Beneath the Planet of the Apes.
In the Rise of the Planet of the Apes prequel comic, there is a chimp named Chambers, who is named after the 1968 film's makeup artist John Chambers.
Two other chimps in the prequel comic include Verdon and Burke, who are named after human astronauts Alan Virdon and Peter Burke from the live-action TV series.
Aliens Speaking English: Strictly speaking, this goes for the humans. After a thousand years, linguistic drift should have made their English near-incomprehensible to the apes and other humans.
All There in the Manual: The only clue we have about how the series might have ended comes from a series of spots shot for the TV movies, "hosted" by Galen. Apparently, Burke and Virdon escaped, although we don't know if they made it back to 1980.Here's the final spot.
Downer Ending: At the end of "The Deception," the Dragoons have been dismantled and their leader taken away for trial. However, it seems clear that nobody else will be prosecuted, even though all of them are accessories to the murder of at least one human. Fauna goes on living with her uncle, who admits that he covered up the murder of his brother Lucian. And, unusually for this series, Fauna isn't cured of her prejudice against humans at the end. Though Virdon inspired her to be more open-minded.
YMMV on that; Sestus admits outright that his prejudices were wrong and Fauna doesn't seem to hate humans any more so much as be dumbstruck that she could have fallen for a human.
Dull Surprise: Most of the apes accept the idea of time-traveling humans with remarkable calm.
Edited for Syndication: Some of the hour long episodes were edited together for local tv reruns as two hour 'movies'.
Enemy Mine: "The Trap" and "The Tyrant" both have the characters try to do this with Urko. It doesn't really work that well.
Fantastic Caste System: Lampshaded in "The Tyrant." Gorillas do army and police work; chimpanzees are doctors and bureaucrats; and the orangutans control upper-level slots in government, education, and religion.
Fantastic Racism: All apes vs. humans, but also chimpanzees vs. gorillas vs. orangutans.
Hypocrite: Urko apparently hates corruption amongst his officers, as mentioned in "The Tyrant", but at the same time he's willing to force prefects into betting on blatantly unfair horse races and then cheating to win ("The Race"), while it's implied in "The Tyrant" that he cheated during exams in training academy — unlike his friend Aboro, though, he was never caught.
Hypocritical Humor: In "The Tyrant", Galen is aghast at the idea that an ape could use bribery to acquire political power, despite the fact he blatantly brings up the fact that his family and Dr. Zaius are old friends in the pilot as part of his efforts to secure a job working with him.
Joisey: In the pilot, Burke mentions he grew up in Jersey City, NJ, while he mentions it again in "The Surgeon".
Lost Technology: All of human civilization, basically. Zaius has some grenades in his office, which serve as mementos of the human capacity for destruction, as well as a number of human books, including a text book on surgical procedures and medicine.
Mighty Whitey: Invoked in that, as time-travellers from before whatever apocalypse left apes in charge of the Earth, Virdon and Pete have knowledge that the apes lack thanks to the Schizo Tech. This is actually a key part of three episodes. Firstly, "The Good Seeds", where they provide several bits of advanced agricultural lore to the ape tenant farmers currently hosting them (how to use a rope to more easily lift hay into a loft, the importance of ploughing around hills to prevent erosion, how to improve future crops by using the biggest corn seed, how to make a rail fence, building a windmill for aided irrigation). Then in "Tomorrow's Tide", they invent fishing nets for a fishing colony dependent upon spear-fishing. Finally, "The Cure" revolves around their efforts to combat an outbreak of malaria-carrying mosquitoes in a remote village.
Missing Episode: "The Liberator" didn't air in the United States during the original run. This is due to the controversy of its plot, which culminates in a man stockpiling chemical weapons (crude poison gas bombs) in hopes of using them to wipe out the apes who oppress his village.
Monkeys on a Typewriter: Comic inversion in "The Gladiators." Prefect Barlow suggests that if you give "fifty humans" enough paint, they'll ultimately manage to create the apes' own great works of art.
Nepotism: In the pilot, Galen tells Zaius point-blank that he deserves a job because of Zaius' previous connections with his family.
Pet the Dog: Prefect Barlow's behavior at the end of both "The Gladiators" and "The Race."
Plot Hole: The first episode has a dog chasing a man up a tree, while in Conquest Of The Planet of the Apes, it was stated that all dogs and cats were wiped out by a disease from space which necessitated the humans turning apes into a slave race.
Schizo Tech: As a result of orangutang meddling, most likely, the technology in the ape-controlled Earth is... all over the place. Particularly beyond the Capital City, residents live in a fundamentally Iron Age setting, but revolver pistols and repeater rifles out of the late 1800s are standard armaments for apes.
Science Is Bad: Why Zaius is working to keep knowledge about human technology secret. It's implied that the orangutangs all tend to support such beliefs.
Shout-Out: In the pilot, Burke and Virdon find a book showing a picture of New York City that was taken in A.D. 2500. 2500 was the year the astronauts in the novel first started their journey, and the film took place in New York.
What the Hell, Hero?: In "The Cure," instead of being deferential to Virdon as usual, Galen sharply dresses him down twice: first for opening up to a village girl about their real origins, then for having a guilt complex about a possible plague epidemic.
Return to the Planet of the Apes
Occupying its own continuity, yet clearly drawing aspects from the first two films, Return to the Planet of the Apes is an animated series that was produced in the 1970s. In the year 1979, a small space shuttle with a three man crew is launched as part of an experiment in relativity, achieving a speed where one hundred years and multiple days goes past in almost no time at all for them. But then their ship develops a malfunction and goes blasting towards an alien planet, hurtling rapidly through time to the point that, when they crash-land in a lake, over 2000 years have passed for them. Setting out in hopes of finding civilisation, they discover themselves on a strange world of caveman-like humans and advanced, intelligent apes... which are not too welcoming towards the intelligent humans.
Continuity Nod: The series is full of Shout Outs to the first two films and even one or two to the live-action series. Cornelius and Zira the Chimpanzees are scientists with respect for humans, Dr. Zaius the Orangutan is a lawkeeper hoping to kill the space travelers to avoid the destruction of the Ape society, Urko the Gorilla Chief of Security leads the hunt for the humans, Nova the savage woman, the mysterious earthquakes and walls of fire being created by the Underdwellers in the Forbidden Zone... Nova even has the dogtags of Brent, the main character from Beneath.
Everything Trying to Kill You: The Forbidden Zone, which is where the astronauts first land; partly because of the Underdwellers panicking and attacking them with their psychic powers.
Fantastic Racism: The apes look down on humans in general as being little better then animals, but General Urko was champing at the bit to exterminate all humans before the space travelers landed.
Conspiracy Of The Planet Of The Apes is the first in a planned series of six novels by Andrew E. C. Gaska intended to add to the movie canon and fill in some gaps. The second novel is currently scheduled for release in 2013, with a title of 'Death On The Planet Of The Apes' 'Conspiracy' centers on Landon and his ordeal while Taylor is with Zira and Cornelius in the first film. It also tells the story of Dr. Milo, and his endeavour to study and repair the damaged spacecraft.Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: Firestorm is a novel that takes place in the days following Rise of the Planet of the Apes and released in 2014 to tie into the release of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
It is said that people in France were among the first of many infected with the Simian Flu. This not only correlates with the end credit sequence of Rise but also reflects how the franchise itself originated in French, with Pierre Boulle's novel.
Koba's friend, a chimp named Milo, is named after Dr. Milo, a chimp from Escape From The Planet of the Apes.
Tommy calling Koba ugly is a reference to Zira calling Taylor ugly in the 1968 film.
"I can't help thinking that somewhere in the universe there has to be something better than man. Has to be."