Witnessing the Rise: A Chronological Look at the Planet of the Apes


The “Planet of the Apes” franchise has captivated audiences for decades, exploring themes of intelligence, dominance, and the blurred lines between humanity and animals. But with multiple films spanning different timelines, it can be confusing to know where to begin.

This guide delves into the “Rise” of the Apes in chronological order, focusing on the 2011 reboot series and its recent addition.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)

Spark of Evolution:

This film sets the stage for the ape uprising. Will Rodman (James Franco), a brilliant scientist, develops a treatment to cure Alzheimer’s. He tests it on chimpanzee Caesar (Andy Serkis through groundbreaking motion-capture), granting him superior intelligence. However, mistreatment by humans sparks a rage within Caesar, leading him to escape and liberate his fellow chimps.

Key Points:

  • Introduces Caesar, a chimpanzee who becomes the catalyst for the ape revolution.
  • Explores the ethical implications of animal testing and human intervention in evolution.
  • Showcases the emotional range and intelligence of apes through Caesar’s journey.

Burning Questions Answered:

  • Is Caesar a villain? Caesar’s actions are driven by a desire for freedom and protection of his kind. While he challenges human dominance, he doesn’t start out seeking revenge.
  • How did the apes get so smart? The film establishes the modified Alzheimer’s treatment as the trigger for Caesar’s and other apes’ enhanced intelligence.

 Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)

A Decade Later:

Ten years have passed since Caesar led the apes to a sanctuary in the Muir Woods. A fragile peace exists with a human colony struggling to survive a devastating simian flu outbreak. However, a conflict erupts when a group led by Malcolm (Jason Clarke) ventures into ape territory to restore power. Caesar grapples with the desire for peace and the simmering resentment towards humans.

Escalating Tensions:

This film delves deeper into the social structure of the ape society, showcasing their growing language skills and complex emotions. The conflict between Caesar and Malcolm becomes a battle for survival and a fight for dominance between two intelligent species.

Intriguing Aspects:

  • Introduction of Koba (Toby Kebbell), a vengeful ape seeking revenge for past mistreatment.
  • Caesar’s struggle to maintain control and prevent a war between humans and apes.
  • Stunning visuals depicting the transformed world after the simian flu.

Burning Questions Answered:

  • How did the simian flu impact humans? The film establishes the flu as a devastating virus that significantly reduced the human population.
  • Are there other intelligent apes besides Caesar? We see a growing ape society with various leaders and factions, each with their views on humans.

War for the Planet of the Apes (2017)

All-Out War:

Caesar, burdened by the events of Dawn, leads his apes on a migration north. However, they are relentlessly pursued by a ruthless Colonel (Woody Harrelson), leading a human militia determined to wipe out the apes. This film delivers a war story with high stakes and explores the themes of leadership, sacrifice, and the cost of vengeance.

Unveiling a New World:

War for the Planet of the Apes expands world-building, showcasing a desolate landscape ravaged by war. Caesar faces internal conflict as he grapples with Koba’s influence and the desire for revenge against the Colonel.

Memorable Moments:

  • The introduction of Bad Ape, a mute ape with surprising intelligence and loyalty.
  • Caesar’s final confrontation with the Colonel is marked by tragedy and sacrifice.
  • A glimpse into the future where a new generation of apes and humans begin to coexist.

Burning Questions Answered:

  • Does Caesar survive? This film delivers a powerful and emotional ending regarding Caesar’s fate.
  • Is there any hope for humans and apes? The film leaves a glimmer of hope with a young human girl encountering a new generation of peaceful apes.

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes (2024)

A New Dawn?

This recently released film, set many years after the events of War, explores the next chapter in the ape society. Caesar’s legacy continues to guide a new generation of apes led by Alpha (Owen Teague). However, their peaceful existence is threatened by a human drifter with a dark past (played by Freya Allan).

Unveiling the Future:

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes delves into the complexities of building a civilization and the challenges of maintaining peace.


Q. What is the order of the Rise of the Planet of the Apes movies?

The Rise of the Planet of the Apes reboot series follows a chronological order:

  1. Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011): This film sets the stage, introducing Caesar, a super-intelligent chimpanzee created through an experimental drug.
  2. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014): Ten years after the events of Rise, Caesar leads a growing ape civilization threatened by a dwindling human society.
  3. War for the Planet of the Apes (2017): Caesar and his apes face a brutal human colonel, leading to a war that will determine the fate of both species.
  4. Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes (2024): This most recent instalment explores a world decades after the war, with Caesar gone and a new generation of apes and humans navigating a complex co-existence.

Q. Should I watch the original Planet of the Apes movies first?

No, the reboot series is a separate story from the original 1968 film and its sequels. You can enjoy the reboot series without any prior knowledge of the originals.

Q. Is there a post-credits scene in any of the movies?

Yes, each film in the reboot series has a post-credits scene that teases future events.

Q. What is the difference between Caesar in rising and the later films?

In Rise, Caesar is a reluctant leader, thrust into a position of power. By Dawn and War, he becomes a more hardened and strategic leader, burdened by the weight of his responsibility.

Q. Are the apes in the movies real?

No. The apes in the films are created using a combination of motion-capture technology and CGI (Computer Generated Imagery).

Q. What is the critical reception of the reboot series?

The reboot series has been praised for its visual effects, compelling story, and performances, particularly Andy Serkis’ portrayal of Caesar.

Q. Is there going to be another Planet of the Apes movie?

There haven’t been any official announcements about a direct sequel to Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes. However, with the franchise’s continued popularity, a future film is always a possibility.

Q. Where can I watch the Rise of the Planet of the Apes movies?

Availability can vary depending on your location and streaming service. It’s recommended to check with your preferred streaming platforms or digital retailers.

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Jyoti Kumari

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