Colonel George Taylor
A 20th Century astronaut commanding an experimental space exploration project, Colonel Taylor was a cynical misfit who was happy to leave his life behind forever in the belief that he could find something more humane and civilized in another place or another time. He awakens in the 40th Century, completely unprepared for what awaits him.
- Ace Pilot: Was one during World War II and The Korean War.
- Anti-Hero: Taylor is a misanthropic, rather vicious Jerkass. 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).
- Captain's Log: Taylor records one at the beginning of the first film.Taylor: "And that completes my final report until we reach touchdown. We're now on full automatic, in the hands of the computers. I have tucked my crew in for the long sleep and I'll be joining them soon. In less than an hour, we'll finish our sixth month out of Cape Kennedy. Six months in deep space - by our time, that is. According to Dr. Hasslein's theory of time, in a vehicle travelling nearly the speed of light, the Earth has aged nearly 700 years since we left it, while we've aged hardly at all. Maybe so. This much is probably true - the men who sent us on this journey are long since dead and gone. You who are reading me now are a different breed - I hope a better one."
- Composite Character: Taylor is a sort of mixture of two characters from Pierre Boule's original novel: protagonist Ulysse Merou, who tries to prove to Zira that he's intelligent, and the misanthropic Professor Antelle who's grown contemptuous of humanity.
- Cynicism Catalyst: His wartime experiences are implied to be one.
- Deadpan Snarker: Even when he's temporarily lost his voice.
- Decoy Protagonist: From a certain perspective, he, possibly along with Brent in the second film, Nova and even Cornelius and Zira in the third film, is considered to be this of the entire franchise, while Caesar who appears in the fourth and fifth films is the true protagonist.
- Gone Swimming, Clothes Stolen: Happens to him and his fellow astronauts when they go skinnydipping.
- Heroic BSoD: At the end of the first film.
- Humiliation Conga: Spends the bulk of first film enduring one.
- Large Ham: "It's a madhouse!!! A MAAAAAAADHOOOOUSE!!!"
- Last-Name Basis: His first name is never used in the film, appearing only in the end credits and press materials.
- Mr. Fanservice: He goes Skinny Dipping along with the other astronauts during the above-mentioned Gone Swimming, Clothes Stolen scene, and his state of dress doesn't really change from there on out. We also get to see his naked ass on at least two separate occasions.
- Skyward Scream: "DAMN YOU ALL TO HELL!!!"
- Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Semi-averted. Taylor disappears at the beginning of the second film, before returning toward the end (and getting killed in the final scene thereof).
- Taking You with Me: In his dying breath, he chooses to blow up the Earth to kill the apes to avenge Nova's and Brent's deaths.
- Adaptational Modesty: Naked in the novel, Fur Bikini in the films.
- Age-Gap Romance: She is 22, while Taylor is in his 40s.
- Cute Mute: Like all devolved humans, she is incapable of speech.
- Eating the Eye Candy: Watches Brent change into a loincloth.
- I Owe You My Life: Taylor feels this way toward her after he learns of her role in the transfusion that saved his life.
- Line-of-Sight Name: Taylor picks the name at random.
- Morality Pet: Serves as this for Taylor and Brent.
- Nubile Savage: Unkempt hair aside, she could easily pass for a model.
- Say My Name: Eventually says Taylor's.
- She's Got Legs: Which her outfit highlights.
- Stuffed in the Fridge: The second film technically dropped a bridge on everybody (except Cornelius and Zira), but Nova gets unceremoniously bumped off just to give Taylor and Brent an extra level of angst for the finale.Taylor: Well, that tears it. Maybe we should just let the world blow up. The gorillas, every damned... what's it come to?Brent: Taylor, come on. Come on!
Major John Brent
- All There in the Script: Earlier drafts of the script provide a little more of his backstory; he was born in New York City, he was orphaned at an early age and subsequently raised by his grandmother.
- Deadpan Snarker: Not as much as Taylor, but has his moments.
- Due to the Dead: Takes time to bury his fallen crewmates before he continues on his mission.
- Ideal Hero: He's considerably less cynical than Taylor.
- "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: With Taylor.
- Mind Rape: Is on the receiving end of this from the Mutants.
- Mr. Fanservice: Like Taylor, he spends most of his screentime in a Tarzan style loincloth, even getting a Female Gaze from Nova at one point.
- Multiple Gunshot Death: He gets riddled with bullets by multiple Ape rifles at the climax in response at him shooting at the apes to try to prevent them from triggering the Alpha-Omega Bomb. Complete with being Blown Across the Room towards a nearby wall and Crucified Hero Shot.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: To Taylor, though his overall personality is considerably different.
- Wouldn't Hit a Girl: But the Mutants make him attack Nova anyway.
Doctor of Animal Psychology at Los Angeles Zoo, Lewis Dixon and Dr. Stephanie "Stevie" Branton were put in charge of the study of the ape astronauts, Cornelius, Zira, and Dr. Milo, who mysteriously appeared from space. Over time, he later becomes a close friend and ally of said apes. Horrified at the plot to wipe out the talking apes, he assisted their escape and arranged for circus owner Armando to look after their infant son in the event of their deaths.
- Nice Guy: On screen, he has shown nothing but kindness to both human and animals, especially the apes. He's so nice, Cornelius and Zira both expressed how they thought about him.Zira: "May I say something personal please? [smiles] I like you."Cornelius: "I have from the beginning."
- Expy: As Cornelius gets an arc similar to Ulysse Merou, Lewis essentially gets Cornelius' old job (with more influences from the novel worked in). He is also one of two prototypes for Will Rodman, the other being Armando.
Doctor Otto Hasslein
A prominent physicist and scientific adviser to the President of the United States, Dr. Otto Hasslein theorized the time dilation curve that sent Colonel Taylor and Major Brent to the 40th Century. When Cornelius and Zira arrived in the 20th Century in Taylor's shuttle, Hasslein became disturbed by their revelations about the future of humanity, and took it upon himself to prevent the bad end for his species.
- Alas, Poor Villain: Not as much as Colonel McCullough in his final moments, but the comics painted him, his goals in vain and his death in this light.
- A Nazi by Any Other Name: He is played by a German American actor, has a German name and the first thing he can think of to avert the Bad Future for humanity is to Kill Them All and even Would Hurt a Child against the apes, eerily similar to Adolf Hitler's Final Solution against the Jewish race to purify the Aryan race. This is a likely reason why his actor viewed this role as an Old Shame caricature as Hasslein is Not So Different from his past WWII Nazi television roles in The '60s that he tried to put behind.
- Anti-Villain: His goal is saving humanity, and he's painfully aware that it is perfectly capable of destroying itself without the apes.Soldier: "Don't worry. We'll catch them, sooner or later."Hasslein: "That's what I'm worried about. Later. Later we'll do something about pollution. Later we'll do something about the population explosion. Later we'll do something about the nuclear war. We think we've got all the time in the world, but how much time has the world got?! Somebody has to begin to care."
- Asshole Victim: While his intents were noble and understandable, especially what has been seen in the past two films that contributes to his fears, he was still a Dr. Jerk who is killed for killing a mother and her infant child.
- The Atoner: A dark example, as in the comics he believed he was the cause of the Bad Future (and by extension the deaths of Taylor and Brent and their space exploration teams due to having sent them into space in the first place) and attempts to redeem himself by killing the apes and their child to prevent it.
- Big Bad: Of Escape.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Hasslein is mentioned in passing in both of the earlier films. On the third we finally get to meet the man, who turns out to be the film's Big Bad which in turn makes him the earlier films' Greater-Scope Villain.
- Clash of Evolutionary Levels: If Cornelius and Zira were to have any offspring, their descendants will eventually replace humanity. Or so he believes.
- Dr. Jerk: Overly paranoid about the apes (his first line, when asked by a reporter what they should expect from the hearing? A very blunt "Fear") and looking to find out about their society (by making Zira drunk) and when the truth of the apes' history is known, the first thing he can think of is to Kill Them All (with killing a defenseless baby at his worst and neutering at his most benevolent — at the climactic confrontation, he even wastes all of his ammo shooting the poor baby rather than deal with his parents, one of whom has a gun of his own). It's because of these faults why his portrayer Eric Braeden in a recent interview had looked down at his role as Hasslein for being a typical one-dimensional caricature bad guy.
- Expy: He is essentially a human version of Dr. Zaius, and arguably an early prototype for Colonel McCullough. He could also be considered an Evil Counterpart of his actor's past role as Dr. Charles Forbin from Colossus: The Forbin Project, which could be why his portrayer disliked his character of Hasslein because he was a rehash of Forbin, but as the one-dimensional Big Bad.
- The Extremist Was Right: His fears of the apes replacing humans are ultimately correct.
- Faux Affably Evil: He was a polite gentleman towards the apes and initially appeared to them as their supporter for being interested in their Time Travel story in contrast to others' skepticism, even though underneath the facade is a paranoid and ruthless individual.
- Greater-Scope Villain: Of the original film and Beneath, due to the Time Travel worm hole Taylor and his team went through into the future was called the "Hasslein Time Curve" named after him and how the scientist himself was responsible for sending Taylor and the five other astronauts into the space mission in the first place.
- Hero Antagonist: From a certain perspective, he is the Inspector Javert kind towards Cornelius and Zira as he is trying to prevent the Bad Future that was shown in the previous two films when the apes ruled the Earth.
- In Vino Veritas: Obtains all of the information regarding the Planet of the Apes and how it came to be by making Zira drunk and talking to her while using a hidden tape recorder.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Dr. Jerk he may be, however, he was correct of humanity meeting its downfall at the hands of the apes in the future.
- Mad Scientist: He is a scientist and mad in a sense of deciding to just kill the apes and their baby to prevent the Bad Future.
- Misplaced Retribution: Next to trying to avert the Bad Future, Hasslein's bonus in trying to kill the apes is also to avenge the deaths of his astronaut associates Taylor and Brent and their teams at the hands of their ape kind. However, the apes targeted, Cornelius and Zira, had played no part in their deaths nor Taylor's teammates Dodge getting stuffed and mounted and Landon being lobotomized. In fact, Cornelius and Zira had actually tried to save Taylor and Brent from death and the other apes' wrath. Those atrocities were all Hasslein's ape counterpart Zaius' and the gorilla soldiers' doing.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Herod!: Hasslein's obsession with killing Zira's baby merely ensures that nobody notices Zira had switched babies with another chimp mother at Armando's circus.
- Openly referenced by the President, who refuses at first to sign off on aborting Zira's pregnancy, and directly cites Herod's murder of innocent children as a reason.Hasslein: "Mr. President, Herod lacked our facilities."
President: "He also became very unpopular. Historically unpopular."
- Openly referenced by the President, who refuses at first to sign off on aborting Zira's pregnancy, and directly cites Herod's murder of innocent children as a reason.
- Properly Paranoid: Sure he is paranoid about the apes, but it's justified due to Bad Future caused by them as shown in the previous two films.
- Revenge Before Reason: While his main goal is to prevent the Bad Future for humanity, as an inadvertent bonus he would also try avenge the deaths of his astronaut associates Taylor and Brent and their teams he had sent into space in the first place at the hands of the apes.
- Set Right What Once Went Wrong: 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.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: He believes the only way to prevent the fall of mankind (and by extension, the destruction of Earth) is to kill the apes and their child.
A kind circus owner, a human friend of Cornelius and Zira, and foster-father of Caesar.
- Friend to All Living Things: Doesn't have a bad bone in his body.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Commits Suicide by Cop to avoid an interrogation that he knows will eventually break him.
- Parental Substitute: Took care of Caesar after the latter's biological parents died.
- Properly Paranoid: After Cornelius and Zira's last stand, Armando was questioned about their child. While he talked his way out of immediate trouble, there was always lingering doubt among authorities that he was harboring their son.
- Real Men Love Jesus: A Latin Catholic, his Patron Saint was Francis of Assisi.
- Stuffed in the Fridge: His death is what triggers Caesar to go on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
- Too Good for This Sinful Earth: As one of the least corrupt characters in the series, his days were numbered once the world started to go crapsack.
Governor Harvey Breck III
The Governor of an unnamed city in a dystopian fascist United States of 1991. Breck's regime has Apes, previously pets after a mysterious virus killed several species of domestic animal, perform slave labor. When the chimpanzee Caesar mobilizes the enslaved Apes in revolution, Breck becomes determined to crush the rebellion and preserve the status quo.
- All There in the Script: The script gives his full name and a personal reason for hating the Apes, stating that his wife was killed during an earlier, less successful slave revolt.
- Antagonistic Governor: Runs a totalitarian police state. Early versions of the script give his official title as City Governor, and it's vague as to whether his role in the regime is a glorified Mayor or equlivalent to The President.
- Asshole Victim: He was a cruel dictator, so his Bus Crash in Battle comes without mourning.
- Big Bad: Of Conquest.
- Clash of Evolutionary Levels: His Motive Rant to Caesar during his Villainous BSoD in the climax has some shades of this.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: The Apes actually let him live, but Breck dies of radiation poisoning during World War III.
- Evil Wears Black: Breck and his officers evoke some Black Shirt imagery.
- Face Death with Dignity: After being pinned down and regains his composure after his Villainous Breakdown, he simply faces the apes who are prepared to beat him to death until Caesar's future wife talks Caesar out of it.
- Fascist, but Inefficient: His armored troops, outfitted in full riot gear, fail to defend their command post from Apes equipped with Molotov cocktails and other low tech weapons.
- Properly Paranoid: Of Caesar, but it doesn't help.
- Arch-Enemy: Considers himself one to Caesar.
- Asshole Victim: Aldo murders him in cold blood. But he was also a cruel enforcer for Governor Breck's regime, and as leader of The Remnant, he breaks the peace between Apes and Humans, and wanted his potential death avenged via planet-killing nuke. The Director's Cut of Battle makes it clear that his own subjects are glad to be rid of him.
- Ax-Crazy: After he becomes a mutant, he loses the rationality and self-restraint he had as an ordinary human.Mendez I: "If we shoot, we'll break twelve years of peace."Kolp: "Yes, it has been rather boring hasn't it?"
- Big Bad Wannabe: He's Caesar's most visible opponent in Battle, but Aldo usurps his position to become the Final Boss.
- Cool Shades: His Battle gear (no pun intended) includes motorcross goggles with red lenses.
- The Dragon: To Breck in Conquest.
- Dragon Ascendant: In Battle he has taken charge of the remaining humans after Breck's death.
- Evil Wears Black: Something he carries over from Breck's regime.
- High Collar of Doom: His duster in Battle has an elevated collar that creates this effect.
- Revolvers Are Just Better: His sidearm of choice is a revolver, which he uses in his final showdown with Caesar.
- Taking You with Me: Orders the Alpha-Omega Bomb to be used on Ape City in the event of his death. Fortunately for the rest of the world, his followers are sane enough to ignore this order.
- Torture Technician: Uses Electric Torture on Caesar to get him to speak.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Rediscovers the Alpha-Omega Bomb, which future generations will foolishly keep around until it blows up the planet.
- You Killed My Father: Is the most directly responsible for Armando's death, though Caesar targets his boss instead.
A chimpanzee psychologist and veterinarian who specialized in the study of humans. Zira treated Taylor's injuries when he was first captured by the Apes, and was impressed by his displays of intelligence. After numerous clashes with the Ministry of Science, she eventually helps Taylor escape from Ape City.
- Actual Pacifist: Despises war and militancy, and is mildly contemptuous of the gorillas' Blood Knight tendencies.
- Berserk Button: Don't call her a monkey.
- Can't Hold His Liquor: Has a particular weakness for "Grape juice plus."
- Does Not Like Spam: "I loathe bananas."
- Fantastic Racism: Implied to harbor some against gorillas:Zira: "Gorillas are cruel because they're stupid! All bone and no brain!"
- I Come in Peace: "We are peaceful creatures. We are happy to be here. May we be unchained?"
- Meaningful Appearance: Has hazel eyes, as opposed to the dark brown eyes seen in other apes.
- Motherly Scientist: She 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."
- Sympathy for the Devil: Protests when Taylor ties up Zaius as revenge for his mistreatment.Zira: "Taylor! Don't treat him that way!"Taylor: "Why not?"Zira: "It's humiliating."Taylor: "The way you humiliated me?"
- Together in Death: Her and Cornelius.
A chimpanzee scientist and fiance (later husband) of Dr. Zira. Though skeptical of Zira's views on humans, he reluctantly supports her and attempts to smooth over her confrontations with the Ministry of Science. When his own research comes under fire from the Ministry, he reluctantly helps Taylor escape from Ape City.
- Adventurer Archaeologist: Has made numerous expeditions into the Forbidden Zone, which is full of Everything Trying to Kill You.
- Composite Character: In the first film he's based on his namesake in the novel, but the third film incorporates elements of the novel's (human) protagonist Ulysse Merou into his character.
- Good Is Not Soft: Kills his wife's murderer without hesitation.
- Henpecked Husband: Discussed and Played for Laughs:Senator: Does the other one talk?Cornelius: Only when she lets me.
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Fishes Taylor's shuttle out of the lake, and gets it working again.
- The Spock: In contrast to the more hot-headed Taylor.
- Suicide by Cop: How he ultimately chooses to go out.
- Time Travel: How he and Zira survive Earth's destruction.
An orangutan politician who serves as the Minister of Science for the Ape Civilization, advancing the knowledge of Ape society while also maintaining the sacred traditions of the Ape religion. Secretly, he is aware of the true origins of simian society, and will stop at nothing to ensure that secret never gets out.
- Aliens of London: Speaks with Received Pronunciation.
- Anti-Villain: Can be ruthless when pressed though he has fundamentally good intentions as he seeks to prevent humanity from causing another apocalypse and is at least reasonable enough to try and talk Taylor into making a false confession in exchange for his safety. His refusal to go back on his word at the film's end implies it was sincere.
- Arch-Enemy: To Colonel Taylor, an intelligent human.
- Asshole Victim: Killed Off for Real when the Alpha-Omega Bomb detonates. But if he hadn't been such a dick to Taylor in his final moments, the destruction of the planet might have been avoided altogether.Zaius: You want me to help you? Man is EVIL! Capable of nothing but destruction!Taylor: You bloody bastard!
- Big Bad: Of the first film.
- Blue Blood: Ape society's caste system places orangutans at the top of the pecking order.
- Destroy the Evidence: Aside from his obviously frightened reaction at seeing Taylor's apparent intelligence, he is the first ape in the film to spot Taylor's writing, scratched in the dirt of his cage... and he destroys it with a swish of his walking stick, proving to the audience that he knows more than he lets on. Later, he applies the same logic to a thinking human, one of Taylor's crew members who was captured separately, lobotomizing him, and to the cave in which Cornelius found proof of a pre-ape civilization, with evidence it was human.
- Even Evil Has Standards: While overall he's also a vile asshole, he admits he takes no pleasure in destroying Cornelius's life's work and lets both he and Zira off the hook for their heresy conviction. Zaius also isn't that thrilled about Ursus' extremism in Beneath. He even has to remind Ursus to not kill other apes in a couple of scenes (although one is, strangely enough, Ursus suggesting giving some illusionary gorillas that have apparently been crucified and set on fire a Mercy Kill).
- Expy: Of The Grand Inquisitor; he doesn't really believe in the religion he's tasked with defending, but enforces it anyway, because he does believe society will fall apart without it.
- Fantastic Racism: In addition to his hatred of humans, he is also mentioned to "look down his nose at chimpanzees."
- Freudian Threat: His first reaction upon realizing Taylor can write is to try to have him castrated. During his Grand Inquisitor Scene with Taylor, he repeats the threat, and is obsessed with the idea of Taylor and other intelligent humans like himself breeding more of themselves.
- Humans Are Bastards: Firmly believes this:Dr. Zaius: "You are 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."
- In Your Nature to Destroy Yourselves: Dr. Zaius explains to Taylor that his bigotry against humans is because they ultimately destroy any environment they settle in. Towards the end Dr. Cornelius (who is actually sympathetic to Taylor) even reads from a religious scroll that warns of "that harbinger of doom — man". The ending reveals that Zaius was completely right, since it's really a post-apocalyptic future.Dr. Zaius: "The Forbidden Zone was once a paradise. Your breed made a desert of it, ages ago."
- Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: He routinely performs lethal experiments on those inferior humans, although he later explains why he's so wary of man.
- Pet the Dog: His final warning when Taylor sets off to find more about the planet. Even calling Taylor by name, acknowledging him as his equal.Taylor: 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.
- Shortly afterwards, when he has the opportunity to go back on his word with Taylor and destroy him, he lets him leave with a human female in tow, especially remarkable given his terrified obsession with the idea of Taylor breeding a race of other intelligent humans. The sequel reveals he has Zira and Cornelius convicted of heresy, but then pushes for clemency on their behalf.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Picks up the Idiot Ball with both hands in the second film, deciding that it's a good idea to berate the dying man standing next to the controls of a bomb capable of incinerating all life on Earth as belonging to a species that is "evil" and "capable of nothing but destruction." In fairness, Zaius didn't know about the bomb's destructive capabilities, but all life on the planet ends up paying the price for his Kick the Dog moment.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Dr. Zaius is not incorrect that the human civilization that predated his own destroyed itself. However, he is incorrect in believing that the faults of that civilization were uniquely human, and is blind to the ironically-very-human faults that exist within himself and the ape civilization that replaced theirs. At any rate, he is willing to do horrible things to other sapient creatures and suspend ape science with the aim of preventing his culture from advancing towards self-destruction.
- Asshole Victim: Nobody would mourn when the Earth was destroyed with him on it.
- Bond One-Liner: When Mendez reveals the instrument of his god, Ursus coldly guns him down and remarks "Your god didn't save you, did he?"
- Dragon-in-Chief: He's The Heavy of the second film, but Dr. Zaius is still his boss.
- Evil Sounds Deep: Hes a talking immoral gorilla, so it makes sense considering gorillas have deeper vocal chords.
- Fantastic Racism: Against humans.
- General Ripper: He wants to conquer something and probably isn't too picky about what it is.
- Hell-Bent for Leather: Leather armor with an ornate headdress.
- Hero Killer: Fatally wounds Taylor.
- Meaningful Name: "Ursus" is a composite of Ursa (Latin for bear) and Urus Khan (a Mongol chieftain that led a failed campaign against the Persians).
- Putting on the Reich: Delivers a Rousing Speech calling for an invasion of the Forbidden Zone, where he also reveals his genocidal hatred of humans.
- What Does This Button Do?: His literal reaction to seeing the control console for the Alpha-Omega Bomb.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: His decision to invade the Forbidden Zone is the ultimate catalyst for the events that lead to Earth's final destruction.
A chimpanzee scientist who traveled to 20th Century Earth with Cornelius and Zira. He briefly served as the tertiary protagonist of Escape from the Planet of the Apes.
- Adventurer Archaeologist: Accompanied Cornelius on a few of his expeditions in the Forbidden Zone.
- Decoy Protagonist: At first it appears that he is going to form a Power Trio with Cornelius and Zira, but he is killed off before Escape reaches its ten minute mark.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: A primitive gorilla strangles him to death.
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Helped Cornelius and Zira fish Taylor's ship out of the lake it sunk into, got it working again, and used it to escape the final destruction of the Earth.
- Remember the New Guy?: An old acquaintance of Cornelius and Zira, who is not mentioned in either of the first two films.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Dies mere minutes into Escape.
- Action Dad: In Battle.
- Anti-Hero: In Conquest. In Battle he's closer to an Ideal Hero.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Aldo learns this the hard way.
- Big "NO!": "YOU MURDERED MY SON! NO!"
- The Call Knows Where You Live: After twenty years of staying under the radar, circumstances force him to finally step up.
- Dead Guy Junior: Was originally named after Milo. He later names his own son Cornelius II.
- Happily Married: With Lisa.
- He Who Fights Monsters: Struggles with this twice. First during the Ape revolt, where he narrowly avoids the temptation to turn his victory into a Full-Circle Revolution. Again, when he has to choose between avenging his son's murder and breaking his society's most sacred law.
- I Was Named "My Name": While pretending to be unable to speak; his owner lets him "choose his own name" by opening a reference book and pointing to a random word. Caesar points to the word Caesar.Governor Breck: Caesar. A king.
- If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him: Played straight with Breck. Averted with Aldo.
- Morality Chain: Armando was the only human Caesar ever cared for. His death motivates him to rebel.
- Lisa develops into this, talking Caesar out of killing Governor Breck and proposing peace among the apes and the humans.
- Outliving One's Offspring: His son is murdered by Aldo.
- Raised by Humans: Armando, in particular.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Against Governor Breck's regime after they kill Armando.
- The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: Nearly falls into this, but he gets better with Lisa's help.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Caeser's belief that all apes have a superior morality than humans. Aldo proves this wrong.
- Ascended Extra: Was literally a background character in Conquest, part of this was because it took a while for them to decide what species of Ape he would be. He was originally going to be the chimpanzee protester being assaulted by the cops at the beginningnote , before being changed to the gorilla janitor who briefly looks at Caesar as if he is sizing him up, before following his lead. Either way, he's only in Conquest for about thirty seconds.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: Is a firm believer of this principle in Battle. He temporarily usurps Caesar and becomes a very violent leader.
- Asshole Victim: As he had already broken Ape society's most sacred law, his own death is seen as Laser-Guided Karma.
- Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: Massacres Kolp and his mutant followers near the end of Battle. In the original ending for Conquest, he would have bludgeoned Breck to death with the butt of his rifle.
- Being Tortured Makes You Evil: His treatment in human captivity is not given as much detail as his reboot continuity counterpart, but it is implied to have been bad. See Berserk Button below.
- Berserk Button: Being told "No!" by a human.
- Big-Bad Ensemble: With Kolp in Battle.
- Blood Knight: Disturbingly gleeful when he gets to shoot humans.Aldo: "No prisoners!"
- Book Dumb: Considers "book learning" to be a complete waste of time.
- Dirty Coward: Exposed as a murderer and shunned by Ape society, Aldo immediately attempts to flee. Caesar doesn't let him get very far.
- Evil Counterpart: To Caesar. He's more violent and loves killing humans and will not hesitate to murder his fellow apes.
- Evil Is Petty: A human schoolteacher calls Aldo out on his disruptive behavior, so he trashes the school. And since Caesar wouldn't let Aldo give the teacher a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown, he is too weak to lead the apes. The teacher is, naturally, one of the first thrown into the cages during Aldo's coup.
- Evil Sounds Deep: Once he learns how to talk, he takes full advantage of gorillas' deeper vocal cords.
- Expy: Of Napoleon from Animal Farm. He gets his own Expies in later Apes films: Thade in the 2001 remake and Koba in the New '10s reboot.
- Fantastic Racism: Against humans. To the point that seeing Ape children being educated by a human teacher pisses him off.
- Foil: To Caesar Caesar was lovingly raised by humans before being forced to see how some humans are monstrous, but there are good ones and he verges on being an All-Loving Hero, tries not to kill when he can, and cares for his kind; Aldo was mistreated by humans causing him to view all of them as scum, has a desire to kill anything and despite his claims, the only being he cares about is himself.
- General Ripper: Slaughters retreating attackers and attempts to overthrow a peaceful regime that is too softhearted for his tastes.
- Greater-Scope Villain: Of the first four films before his official debut in Battle, being mentioned to be the original leader of the Ape revolt that led to humanity's downfall that Taylor had to go through in its Bad Future until Caesar enters the picture.
- Kick the Dog: After seizing power, he immediately locks all the humans in cages.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Finishes off Kolp for good. Is on the receiving end of this himself when Caesar drops him to his death.
- Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: Claims to fight for apes, but his motives are petty and self-serving.
- Slouch of Villainy: When he assumes Caesar's throne.
- Token Evil Teammate: In Conquest.
- Villain Opening Scene: After the recap prologue, he is the first character in Battle to debut during the main titles, horseback riding his way to the village for school.
- Would Hurt a Child: Murders Caesar's son, and tries to frame humans for it.
Grand Inquisitor Mendez XXVI
The leader of a society of subterranean mutants living within the ruins of St. Patrick's Cathedral in 40th Century New York, Grand Inquisitor Mendez oversees the mutant communities religious services, and is also the caretaker of the Alpha-Omega Bomb, a prototype cobalt shielded nuclear warhead, which his people have come to revere as a god.
- Agony Beam: Mendez's telepathic powers enable him to generate a piercing sonic hum inside a target's mind.
- Big-Bad Ensemble: With Dr. Zaius and General Ursus in the second film.
- Body Horror: His "innmost self" which is only revealed at religious services, featuring scarred, discolored skin and distended veins.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Wears a purple robe, matching the color of his thought projection abilities, and also symbolizing his status as leader, as purple is frequently associated with royalty and nobility in many cultures.
- Faux Affably Evil: He attempts to convince Brent that he is a pacifist with honorable intentions, but this is betrayed by his annoyance and impatience at Brent not giving him what he wants. When Brent calls him out on his hypocrisy, he drops the pretense of civility.
- Latex Perfection: Like all the Mutants, he disguises his scarred visage in a lifelike mask.note
- Legacy Character: Comes from a long line of rulers who have all bore the name Mendez.
- Master of Illusion: His primary means of attack and defense.
- Properly Paranoid: Of the Apes.
- Sinister Minister: The leader of a bomb-worshipping cult and his motives are too extreme. For example, worshipping a nuke waiting to be detonated!
- Your Mind Makes It Real: His illusions, although Dr. Zaius is strong willed enough to resist.
The jailer and executioner for the Mutant society living in 40th Century New York, Ongaro is the cruelest and most sadistic of the Mutant Inquisitors, taking a perverse delight in using his telepathic powers to get his prisoners to kill each other with their bare hands. His projections were always filtered through a haze of yellow light, oftentimes overlapping psychic impressions created by his fellow mutants.
- Body Horror: His "inmost self."
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Wears a yellow ceremonial vest during Brent's trial, matching the color of his psychic impressions.
- Faux Affably Evil: Claims to be an ardent pacifist who would never physically harm anyone, but takes perverse delight in using his telepathy to get other people to kill themselves.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: How Taylor and Brent do him in.
- Latex Perfection: Like all the Mutants, he disguises his scarred visage in a lifelike mask.
- Let's You and Him Fight: Forces Taylor and Brent to fight to the death.
- Scary Black Man: Hes played by an African-American actor and he gives off a creepy vibe.
- Torture Technician: While the other Inquisitors were asking Brent questions about Ape City, Ongaro was only there to inflict pain.