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"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 novel La Planète des singes (Planet of the Apes) by French author Pierre Boulle, that has generated nine movies with three separate continuities, a live-action series, an animated series and canon novels. The franchise, as an allegory of human evolution and hubris, centers on a role-reversal premise where humanity's fall leads the great apes to evolve into a dominant, thriving, highly-intelligent civilization, while humans are now the caged animals.

Primary inspiration for the roleplaying game Terra Primate, by the makers of All Flesh Must Be Eaten.

Now has a character page.

Works in this franchise:

Original novel:


TV Series:

Video Games:

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    Franchise in General 
  • Adam and Eve Plot:
    • This was actually the initial plan in the film Planet of the Apes. It was scrapped when the only female crew member was killed in the crash landing.
    • In Planet of the Apes (2001), all humans on Ashlar (the name of the planet is given in comics) are descended from the crew of the crashed Oberon, which happened over 3000 years before. The ship doesn't look big enough to contain enough humans to sustain a population for that long, especially on a world populated by hostile insectoids and dinosaurs that even the well-organized simians have trouble dealing with.
    • Downplayed in the novel and Pierre Boulle's draft for a sequel to the first film (Planet of the Men) which posited Nova's intelligence being awakened due to Taylor's influence and their children becoming a new race of intelligent humans, respectively.
  • Adaptational Heroism: While this is subject to change in future films, the apes under Caesar in the Continuity Reboot starting with Rise aren't as cruel as the apes in the original film series towards humanity, barring the moment where Koba seized power and riled the apes up into a war against the human colony in the false belief that they had killed Caesar. While the apes in the new continuity will fight against humans if necessary, their number one priority from Rise to War has always been to prioritize escaping and getting themselves to safety above all else and generally forego seeking revenge or enslaving humankind. Even Caesar himself ultimately chose to give up on seeking revenge in the end when it had been his motive for all of War and focus solely on getting his people to safety, unlike his previous incarnation in Conquest who, even when he was being merciful to the conquered humans, still chose to treat them unequally.
  • Adaptational Modesty: Only the most faithful comic adaptation keeps the devolved humans walking around naked like in the novel and not covered in animal skins.
  • Ambiguous Situation: The famous Planet of the Apes timeline - is it a Stable Time Loop, or has history been changed? The main problem is that the timeline for ape dominance given by Zira says the revolution came two centuries after when it was depicted in the latter three films. Zira also claims the first speaking ape was Aldo, yet the very next film depicts the revolution being led by her own son Caesar. Some support the theory that the whole series is a Stable Time Loop and ape mythology is simply slightly distorted. Others prefer the idea that history was changed, but simply led to the same events happening anyway, slightly differently. Some follow-up stories also patch the continuity by, for instance, making Aldo the first ape of non-speaking parents to speak, since Caesar was the child of speaking apes and conceived in the far future. Then there's the TV series - does it happen in an "unaltered" timeline preceding the first movie, or does it share continuity at all?
  • Animal Is the New Man: The entire series is about highly-intelligent apes taking over the human race.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Some of the movies get into this, playing the Evil Versus Evil version of the trope.
  • Condescending Compassion: In general, whenever humans live as slaves under ape society, even some of the more liberal, enlightened apes will view humans in this manner, as lowly creatures who ought to be treated with kindness because they're beneath apes.
  • Escaped Animal Rampage: Since the franchise is about talking animals, it was bound to happen.
    • A funny inversion in the first movie occurs when the human Taylor escapes from a medical lab where apes do experiments on humans and runs amok, scaring the innocent residents of Ape City.
    • Conquest climaxes with a cross between this trope and a Slave Revolt as the apes lead by Caesar rise up to overthrow humanity.
    • Rise of the Planet of the Apes: Apes escape from their own facility and release other apes from a zoo to create an army, before disappearing into the forests.
  • Formerly Sapient Species: In the ape-dominated future, humans have regressed into non-sapient creatures about as intelligent as chimps are today.
  • Humans Are Morons: The entire film series, naturally, is the rare example of this in Speculative Fiction where humanity is less civilized than the apes, as opposed to usually being the slightly more civilized ones.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: "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".
    • Luckily the later movies even this out, the apes are using Ape Shall Never Kill Ape as an excuse to do as bad to humans (if not worse than) what the humans did to them, and later prove they're just as bad as the humans.
      • Lampshaded when one ape crosses the Moral Event Horizon, and others find out about it. A human observes that they "just joined the human race."
    • The reboot trilogy is more even-handed somewhat in the conflict between human and ape characters, but still a lot of the plot is kicked off by the humans being dicks to the apes with very flimsy justification.
  • In Name Only: Both the first film and the remake share nothing in common with the novel that inspired them except the existence of a planet ruled by intelligent apes with humans as savage animals. Both movies, well, ape the Twist Ending of the novel (the narrator returns to Earth after his voyage only to find that it too has been dominated by intelligent apes) though in significantly different ways. Oddly, the third movie in the series, Escape from the Planet of the Apes, is similar to that of the original novel (loosely), but with the roles of humans and apes reversed.
  • Intelligent Primate: This entire franchise depicts evolved/mutated apes who intelligent enough to speak to each other in intelligible ASL or English, and are capable of running their own society. The original also depicts them having religious beliefs, science, and politics. The highly-intelligent apes have even taken over the human race.
  • Just Before the End: 3 times as a matter of fact.
    • Beneath: Let's just say it ends with a bang.
    • Conquest ends with the revolution of Ape against Man.
    • Rise ends the same way with Conquest, except it adds a worldwide virus that only affects humans.
  • Killer Gorilla: The films have General Ripper-type villains who happen to be gorillas - respectively, General Ursus and General Aldo. Ursus is shown to be a warmongering demagogue Blood Knight whose values are largely embraced by the society around him, while Aldo is a treasonous Dirty Coward who Would Hurt a Child and explicitly violates his society's most sacred law.
  • Killer Space Monkey: At first, one would think the setting is on another planet. The apes there are exactly as brutish and nasty as humans. The truth is though, they're not from space.
  • Memorial Statue: A recurring series motif is colossal statues looking down on the main characters, often (as per Noel Murray at the AV Club) being doomed to witness the ideal they memorialise fall apart. in the first film, Lady Liberty looks down on the unrecognisable remains of New York. In the second, the illusion of the Lawgiver statues cries tears of blood as the gorillas declare war on humankind. And in the last, Caesar's statue sheds an ambiguous tear that can be seen as joy that his actions changed the timeline, or despair that he didn't, depending on your interpretation. And then, of course, the Burton remake reworks the original's final reveal with the Ape statue in place of Lincoln's in Washington.
  • Men of Sherwood: The scores of chimpanzees and orangutans who rally around Caesar in Conquest of the Planet of the Apes and its sequel Battle for the Planet of the Apes are mostly unnamed and interchangeable, but they deliver Curb Stomp Battles against the humans and mutants without taking any casualties.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Firmly on the cynical side; in most versions of the story, Humans Are Bastards who destroy themselves and are replaced with intelligent apes...who aren't any better at all.

There have been multiple comics series set on the Planet of the Apes.

Gold Key Comics

  • Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970) - An adaptation of Beneath the Planet of the Apes.
Marvel Comics
  • Planet of the Apes (1974-1977) - A 24 issue-long black & white serial, this comic featured a mixture of both adaptations of the five films and original stories.
  • Adventures on the Planet of the Apes (1975-1976) - A colored comic adaptation of the first two movies.
Malibu PublishingMalibu Publishing, by way of a division called Adventure Comics, produced multiple Apes comics set after the time of Caesar.
  • Planet of the Apes (1990-1992) - A monthly issue series.
  • Ape City (1990)
  • Planet of the Apes: Urchak's Folly (1991)
  • Ape Nation (1991) - Crossover with Alien Nation.
  • Planet of the Apes: Blood of the Apes (1991-1992)
  • Planet of the Apes Annual (1991)
  • Planet of the Apes: Sins of the Father (1992)
  • Planet of the Apes: The Forbidden Zone (1992-1993)
Adventure also reprinted Marvel's adaptations of the first three films as well as a four-issue mini-series featuring installments from Marvel's Terror on the Planet of the Apes saga.Dark Horse Comics
  • Dark Horse Extra 36-38 (2001) - Three part comic.
  • Planet of the Apes: The Human War (2001)
  • Planet of the Apes: Collector's Comic! (2001) - Minicomic distributed through Toys 'R' Us stores.
  • Planet Of The Apes (2001) - Adaptation of the 2001 film.
  • Planet of the Apes (2001-2002)
Mr. ComicsBoom! StudiosThe largest continuing publisher of "Apes" comics remains Boom! Studios, which has published multiple serials set in both the original continuity and the 2011 reboot continuity.
  • Planet of the Apes (2011-2012) - A serial set in the continuity of the original five films, but taking place 1,300 years before the events of the 1968 film. The storyline from this serial was continued in:
    • Planet of the Apes Annual #1 (2012)
    • Planet of the Apes Special #1 (2013)
    • Planet of the Apes Spectacular #1 (2013)
    • Planet of the Apes Giant #1 (2013)
  • Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) - A prequel to 2011's Rise.
  • Betrayal Of The Planet Of The Apes (2011-2012) - Set 20 years before the 1968 film, the series was the first entry in a trilogy that tells the story of growing pro-human sentiment within the Ape community and other political upsets, providing a backstory for the protesters who make their doomed appearance in the second film.
    • Exile on the Planet of the Apes (2012) - Set two years after Betrayal.
    • Planet of the Apes: Cataclysm (2012-2013) - Set eight years prior to the 1968 film and blending characters from the film with those from Betrayal and Exile.
  • Before the Dawn (2013) - Prequel to 2014's Dawn.
  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: Contagion (2014) - A one shot that bridges the gap between the first two films of the Reboot continuity.
  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014-2015)
  • Star Trek/Planet of the Apes: The Primate Directive (2014-2015)
  • Tarzan on the Planet of the Apes (2016-2017) - Co-published with Dark Horse
  • Planet of the Apes/Green Lantern (2017)
  • Kong On The Planet Of The Apes (2017-2018)
  • War for the Planet of the Apes (2017) - Miniseries that bridges the gap between the films Dawn and War.
  • Planet Of The Ape: Ursus (2018)
  • Planet Of The Apes Visionaries (2018) - One shot based on the Rod Serling script for the original movie.
  • Planet of the Apes: The Time of Man (2018)
  • Planet Of The Apes: The Simian Age (2018) - An anthology with stories set in the continuity of both the original films and reboot series.
Marvel ComicsAfter Disney acquired Marvel and Fox, Marvel regained the license and established the 20th Century Studios imprint to publish series based on movie franchises.
  • Planet Of The Apes 2023 (2023-)
  • Planet of the Apes: Devolution (2023) - another miniseries that takes place between Rise and Dawn, focusing on different characters and showing how other world countries are affected by the pandemic.
  • Beware the Planet of the Apes (2024) - Prequel to the original 1968 film.

  • Adaptation Distillation: The Hungarian comic book adaptation.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The film adaptations do this sometimes, especially based on deleted scenes.
  • Arc Welding: The Boom comics answer a number of the inevitable questions about events between the movies.
    • It's a famous discrepancy that Taylor says the planet has no moon when they land in the first film. (In real life this was to avoid giving away the twist too early.) Cataclysm reveals that the moon was blown up by the mutants less than a decade before Taylor lands (and therefore all life on the planet was doomed anyway, though only Doctor Milo understood why).
    • Another well-known discrepancy is that the myth Zira and Cornelius relate in Escape from the Planet of the Apes, in which an ape named Aldo is the first ape to speak, contradicts the very next film, where that role goes to their son Milo/Caesar. In the Revolution comics, Aldo is instead the first contemporary ape to start speaking like a human, whereas Caesar was conceived in the far future by speaking apes.
    • Cataclysm also explains just how Professor Milo managed to salvage the spacecraft and take himself, Cornelius and Zira back in time, along with what happened to Zira's nephew Lucius. Milo was tipped off about the upcoming war by a sympathetic mutant, learned the location of Taylor's ship from Cornelius, and used parts from Brent's ship to repair Taylor's. Milo's mutant friend psychically told Cornelius, Zira and Lucius to flee into the Forbidden Zone to meet Milo, and Lucius was supposed to come with them, but was killed just before they took off.
  • Brain in a Jar: The Gestalt Mind, leader of the Inheritors, is made up of five brains, with one of them being the biggest.
  • Canon Welding:
    • The timeline in Marvel Comics' Planet of the Apes magazine #11, and the subsequent Timeline of the Planet of the Apes: The Definitive Chronology try to fit all the series of the franchise in one universe, with varying success.
  • Crossover: There have been multiple cases of this in the comics.
    • Malibu's 1990s series included "Ape Nation", an Alien Nation/Planet of the Apes crossover.
    • Tarzan on the Planet of the Apes, which functions as an alternate sequel to Beneath where Zira, Cornelius and Dr. Milo traveled back to the early 20th century instead of the 1970s, became the leaders of the Mangani and the adoptive parents of Tarzan. However, their time travel messed with the fabric of space-time enough that the Mahars of Pellucidar begin threatening multiple dimensions.
    • Kong on the Planet of the Apes, where a group of apes pursuing Taylor into the Forbidden Zone shortly after the events of the original film encounter a Kong washed up on the shore next to the Statue of Liberty, prompting an Ape expedition to Skull Island.
    • Planet of the Apes/Green Lantern is, well, Exactly What It Says on the Tin. In the DC Continuity, "Ape-Earth" is a closed off, temporally looped, parallel timeline in which superheroes never existed and man ultimately devolved himself, allowed apes to conquer, and then destroyed the planet. This made it useful to the Guardians of the Universe as a dumping zone for the Universal Ring, a Gone Horribly Right experimental ring that grants its bearer the ability to draw power from the entire emotional spectrum.
    • The Primate Directive is a crossover between the 2nd film and Star Trek: The Original Series, involving the crew of the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) trying to stop Kor, the Klingon captain, who has crossed into the Apesverse through a wormhole and seeks to conquer the apes as Klingon subordinates. In the end, the Enterprise gets their Klingon, but fails to prevent the destruction of the Planet of the Apes by the cobalt bomb, leading to them returning to their own universe.
  • Expanded Universe: Many of the stories expand upon different times within the classic or reboot continuities.
  • Expy: The Ape Supremacists are like the Dragoons from the TV series.
  • 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.
    • In an interquel comic which takes place between Dawn and War there is a scienist named Peter Burke (another reference to the live-action series), and his assistant is named after Rod Serling (though only by last name, since we never learn his first name).
  • Servant Race: Mutant Drones.
  • The Mole: A Wham Episode of Cataclysm reveals that no less than General Ursus himself is a spy for the mutants, and may actually be a mutant himself in disguise.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Planet of the Apes (Milton Bradley, 1974)
  • Planet of the Apes (Winning Moves, 2001)
  • Monopoly: Planet of The Apes (USAopoly, 2017)
  • Planet of the Apes (IDW, 2017)

All the films have received novelizations, minus the original 1968 film and Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

Bantam Books

  • Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970)

Award Books

  • Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1973)
  • Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973)
  • Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1974)

Four novels adapting eight episodes of the original TV series.

  • Planet of the Apes #1: Man the Fugitive (1974)
  • Planet of the Apes #2: Escape to Tomorrow (1974)
  • Planet of the Apes #3: Journey Into Terror (1974)
  • Planet of the Apes #4: Lord of the Apes (1974)

Ballantine BooksPublished three books adapting nine episodes of Return to the Planet of the Apes.

  • Return to the Planet of the Apes #1: Visions From Nowhere (1976)
  • Return to the Planet of the Apes #2: Escape From Terror Lagoon (1976)
  • Return to the Planet of the Apes #3: Man, The Hunted Animal (1976)

Harper CollinsThe 2001 film has four original tie-in novels, there were more planned, but they were canceled due to poor sales.

  • Planet of the Apes (2001) - Novelisation
  • Planet of the Apes (2001) - Junior Novelisation
  • Planet of the Apes: Force (2002)
    • Planet of the Apes: Resistance (2002)
  • Planet of the Apes: The Fall (2002)
    • Planet of the Apes: Colony (2003)

Archaia EntertainmentConspiracy 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 canon of the original movie series and fill in some gaps. The second novel, Death of the Planet of the Apes, was scheduled for release in 2013, but had been pushed back (seemingly indefinitely), eventually getting a release date of November 2018.

  • Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes - A novel centred 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 (2014) - A novel that takes place in the days following Rise of the Planet of the Apes and released to tie into the release of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: The Official Movie Novelization (2014)
  • Planet of the Apes: Tales from the Forbidden Zone (2017) - A collection of short stories taking place in the continuity of the original films.
  • War for the Planet of the Apes: Revelations (2017) - A novel taking place after Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and released to tie into the release of War for the Planet of the Apes.
  • War for the Planet of the Apes: Official Movie Novelization (2017)
  • Planet of the Apes: Caesar's Story (2018) - A novel where the character Maurice retells the events of Rise/Dawn/War and the events in-between.
  • Death of the Planet of the Apes (2018) - Conclusion of the storyline from the 2011 Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes.

Titan re-published original film series' four novelizations, the seven TV novelizations and the 2001 film's novelization in a series of four omnibus editions in 2017 and 2018.

  • Anthology: Tales from the Forbidden Zone
  • Interquel:
    • Conspiracy takes place during the events of the 1968 film.
    • Firestorm takes place after Rise and is billed as a prequel to Dawn.
    • Revelations takes place after Dawn and is billed as a prequel to War.
  • Framing Device: Caesar's Story is Maurice telling the story of Caesar to his son.
  • Mythology Gag
    • From Firestorm.
      • The Alpha-Omega group, which burns buildings and puts graffiti of the Alpha and Omega symbols together, is a reference to the Alpha-Omega bomb from Beneath 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.
  • Omnibus: From 2017-2018, the older film/television novelizations were reprinted in four omnibuses by Titan Books:
  • Primate Versus Reptile: The cover of Colony features a spear-wielding ape facing off against a scaled dinosaur.
  • Stable Time Loop: Death of the Planet of the Apes reveals that Taylor's Liberty 1 originally crashed because it collided with its own future self, piloted by Milo, heading back to 1973.

"I can't help thinking that somewhere in the universe there has to be something better than man. Has to be."

Alternative Title(s): Planet Of The Apes