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"Apes. Together. Strong!"

[Contains Spoilers for War for the Planet of the Apes]

After three films, Caesar’s arc has come to a close in War for the Planet of the Apes.

Caesar's Final Adventure [Credit: Planet of the Apes Wikia]
Caesar's Final Adventure [Credit: Planet of the Apes Wikia]

Suffering unspeakable losses, (Andy Serkis) sets out to redeem his soul. Joining him on his journey - much to his chagrin - are his three friends: (Terry Notary), (Karin Konoval) and (Michael Adamthwaite). Despite telling his friends not to follow him, Caesar is somewhat glad to have his friends with him.

The film is emotional and fun (thanks to Steve Zahn’s ). As promised, the film is the western adventure Reeves promised fans.

Meet Steve Zahn's Bad Ape [Credit: Planet of the Apes Wikia]
Meet Steve Zahn's Bad Ape [Credit: Planet of the Apes Wikia]

A fourth film is a possibility, according to Serkis to in 2014:

Caesar, Maurice, Rocket and Luca [Credit: Planet of the Apes Wikia]
Caesar, Maurice, Rocket and Luca [Credit: Planet of the Apes Wikia]

However, how would this adventure play out?

Let’s explore the factors.

Cornelius Carries On His Father’s Legacy

You have to feel for young . He started his life in the middle of a war. His brother and mother were both murdered and his father becomes fatally wounded.

Cornelius embraces his father [Credit: Planet of the Apes Wikia]
Cornelius embraces his father [Credit: Planet of the Apes Wikia]

Planet of the Apes fans will remember, the original Caesar didn’t have a great start to life either. His parents were murdered after his birth and Armando raises him under the name Caesar.

While McDowall’s Caesar bears a resemblance to the recent Caesar, he also resembles Cornelius. How? Here are the facts.

Cornelius, Zira and the future Caesar [Credit: Planet of the Apes Wikia]
Cornelius, Zira and the future Caesar [Credit: Planet of the Apes Wikia]

After the deaths of Zira and Cornelius, Armando raises their son as his own. Chernin Entertainment’s Caesar was raised by (James Franco) in a similar fashion.

With Cornelius, he isn’t alone. He has his unofficial sister-in-law (Sara Canning). He also has Bad Ape, , Maurice and Rocket to care for him. How does this affect Cornelius exactly?

Cornelius with his father before Caesar places him in Lake's care [Credit: Planet of the Apes Wikia]
Cornelius with his father before Caesar places him in Lake's care [Credit: Planet of the Apes Wikia]

Cornelius would grow up the way Caesar wanted him to with Maurice guiding him. Maurice would tell him stories of his father. Stories of how his father sacrificed so much for him, his mother and brother and their fellow apes.

Early on, Cornelius became Caesar’s only surviving heir after ’s murder. However, he is only young. Someone would need to lead the apes until Cornelius is old enough. One likely candidate is Rocket, given that Maurice and Lake aren’t leadership material. Lake rallied the apes to continue supporting Caesar at the labour camp. She is more the moral support, like .

Cornelius with his parents before their deaths [Credit: Planet of the Apes Wikia]
Cornelius with his parents before their deaths [Credit: Planet of the Apes Wikia]

Cornelius could likely become a leader similar to Caesar. He could lead the apes into a new age like McDowall’s Caesar did.

Bad Ape’s Introduction Could Lead To Other Apes

Matt Reeves has revealed that Bad Ape is a seed planted for potential future films. We learn in War that Bad Ape is from the Sierra Zoo. He tells Caesar that all the other apes from the zoo, he came from had died long ago. He was the only survivor.

A potential new protagonist, Bad Ape [Credit: Planet of the Apes Wikia]
A potential new protagonist, Bad Ape [Credit: Planet of the Apes Wikia]

If a fourth film is made, it doesn’t need to focus on Cornelius. It could fall upon Bad Ape or apes from other places. The apes wonder if there are other apes out there like them due to Bad Ape’s sudden appearance.

The Humans Become Mute

For three films, the human race has served as the catalyst for the apes to do what they have done.

This comes to a head during War. It is discovered by the apes that humans are starting to become mute. How could this happen?

Symptoms of the Simian Flu [Credit: Planet of the Apes Wikia]
Symptoms of the Simian Flu [Credit: Planet of the Apes Wikia]

Fans will be aware that the ALZ-113 virus was created by Will in Rise to cure Alzheimer’s. However, it did the polar opposite. It made the apes smart and the human race became a dying breed. However, survivors like Nova became infected. Though, some didn’t die. Instead, they lost the ability of speech, rendering them mute.

During War, McCullough tells Caesar that his own son had begun to lose his voice. In order to ‘stop’ the spread, McCullough had men, women and children executed. Their belongings were burned.

Colonel McCollough [Credit: Planet of the Apes Wikia]
Colonel McCollough [Credit: Planet of the Apes Wikia]

McCullough suffers a similar fate later, wanting to Caesar to kill him, so he doesn’t suffer like his son. Caesar is unable to do so, despite what McCullough did to him. As the alpha ape walks from the room, he hears the gun shot that ends McCullough’s life.

The key catalyst? A doll that Nova received from Maurice when he and the other apes found her. She gave the doll to Caesar as a way of gaining his trust when he was locked up. McCullough found the doll inside the cage that held Caesar. This alerted him that someone had visited them.

Nova and the doll that made her mute [Credit: Planet of the Apes Wikia]
Nova and the doll that made her mute [Credit: Planet of the Apes Wikia]

Rocket, Maurice, Bad Ape, Nova And Lake Play Crucial Roles

As stated previously, the next film doesn’t need to focus on Cornelius. The candidates are endless.

Rocket and Maurice are high up there. This is due to their relationships with Caesar and his family. They would honour their friend by raising his son as their own.

Caesar entrusts daughter-in-law Lake with Cornelius [Credit: Planet of the Apes]
Caesar entrusts daughter-in-law Lake with Cornelius [Credit: Planet of the Apes]

Another candidate is Nova. Even though she is human, Maurice adopted her as his daughter. She is an honorary ape in Maurice’s eyes. Despite the fact that the films are about apes, not humans, the film could focus on her adapting to her new life.

A possible protagonist, Nova [Credit: Planet of the Apes Wikia]
A possible protagonist, Nova [Credit: Planet of the Apes Wikia]

Reeves has suggested that Bad Ape is high up on the list as well, given the way he was introduced. The virus didn’t just spread through San Bruno and San Francisco. Hunsiker spread it across the world when he boarded the plane as a pilot.

Bad Ape could serve as a possible protagonist for future films [Credit: Planet of the Apes Wikia]
Bad Ape could serve as a possible protagonist for future films [Credit: Planet of the Apes Wikia]

Going back to Lake, we know she almost became the next queen of the colony. Blue Eyes might not have been the leader, had he not been killed, he would have one day replaced his father. If they bring back Caesar’s apes, Lake could play a role. She wouldn’t just play a role in Cornelius’s upbringing, but in the new age of the colony. While Cornelius is so young, it’s safe to assume that Lake could act as co-leader. Someone with experience like Rocket could act as a leader until Cornelius is ready.

Lake and brother-in-law and ward Cornelius [Credit: Planet of the Apes Wikia]
Lake and brother-in-law and ward Cornelius [Credit: Planet of the Apes Wikia]

Having lead apes before, Rocket knows how to lead. Before Caesar, Rocket was the alpha ape in the San Bruno ape facility. That is, until Caesar outsmarted him. In the beginning, Rocket started out as a bully until Caesar drummed into him that there was no need to be cruel. Rocket became one of Caesar’s loyal supporters alongside Maurice and Cornelia.

Caesar's former rival and longtime friend, Rocket [Credit: Planet of the Apes]
Caesar's former rival and longtime friend, Rocket [Credit: Planet of the Apes]

Time Jump

Which reboot film has had time jumps. In Rise there were two time jumps. One showing Caesar at 3 years of age, while the second showed him at 8 years of age.

Between Rise and Dawn, there was a massive time jump of 10 years. The final time jump that came with War was two years with the events of the film occurring after Dawn.

Should the next film jump, there could be a massive jump. This could happen if the film revolves around Cornelius. Seeing as Cornelius is only a couple of years of age, the equivalent to a human child of about 5 or 6. He would be taught the qualities of being a leader before he gains the alpha title.

A time jump could still happen if one of the other characters was used. Same applies for new characters, should there be a new protagonist.

Conclusion

There you have it! A few theories on how the planet of the apes films could continue without Caesar.

What do you think should happen should there be another film? Let us know in the comments below.

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