Cezar the Ape with an aggressive look on his face in "Planet of The Apes"
(20th Century Fox)

The Order of The Movies of The Planet of The Apes

Today is the dawn of the day of the rise of the desire of the answer of the question of the order of the movies of the Planet of the Apes.

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Just in time for the announcement of the Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes! In honor of the announcement of the new Planet of the Apes, I will now be providing an explanation of the the order of the old Planet of the Apes—which is more confusing than it sounds. Because if there’s anything thing that this planet needs, it’s more apes. Everyone loves apes.

1. Rise of the Planet of the Apes

An ape growling in "The Rise of the Planet of the Apes"
(20th Century Fox)

2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes is the beginning of the order of the Planet of the Apes, serving as a prequel to the 1968 Planet of the Apes. So, we’ve got them in story order rather than release order. The Rise of the Planet of the Apes tells the story of the ape named Cezar, whose intellect was enhanced by the power of science! But because of the abuse that Cezar and his ape compatriots face due to the scientific testing, they begin to wage a war against their human captors and usher in a new age of apes!

2. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

A human stands with a group of apes in "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes"
(20th Century Fox)

One would think that Dawn of the Planet of the Apes would come before Rise of the Planet of the Apes due to the title, but if there’s one rule about the naming habits for the series of the Planet of the Apes, it’s that the titles are always confusing. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes serves as a followup to the war effort waged by Cezar and his apes in Rise.

The apes were successful in their battle against humanity, and were able to establish a new nation state. Their victory was short lived, as humanity engineered and unleashed a deadly virus to wipe the apes out, and now Cezar and the rest of the apes have to pick up the pieces.

3. War for the Planet of the Apes

An ape stands angrily in the snow in "War for the Planet of the Apes"
(20th Century Fox)

The War for the Planet of the Apes is the dramatization of the last battle between humankind and the apes, following the events of Dawn. After suffering heavy losses, Cezar is forced to follow his darker instincts and wage total war against man. The film ends with a victory for the apes, which subsequently causes humans to have to leave the planet in the distant future. This event sets us up for …

4. Planet of the Apes

An ape talks to a man in shackles in "Planet of the Apes"
(20th Century Fox)

1968’s Planet of the Apes is the original of the series, and serves as the seed of the garden of the Planet of the Apes films. In the distant future, a human crash lands on a faraway planet. He finds that the planet is ruled by a society of highly intelligent apes, who keep a few nonspeaking humans as thralls. In a shocking twist ending, the astronaut discovers that the distant planet is not so distant at all, and is actually a future Earth! Viewers of the prequels of the series of the Planet of the Apes knew this already.

5. Beneath the Planet of the Apes

A mutant human in robes from "Beneath the Planet of the Apes"
(20th Century Fox)

Beneath the Planet of the Apes is the story of ANOTHER astronaut who crash lands on the Planet of the Apes in a search for the missing crew of the first film. Beneath the ground of the Planet of the Apes, he finds a city of primitive humans who are far removed from the humanity of old. They speak to each other telepathically and worship an old atomic bomb! Okay, I guess humanity has always done that second thing.

6. Escape From the Planet of the Apes

An ape looking incredulous from "Planet of the Apes"
(20th Century Fox)

While humankind Is fooling around on the Planet of the Apes, three leading ape scientists decide to Escape From the Planet of the Apes and travel back in time and visit the Earth in the swingin’ ’70s! The super-intelligent apes are an instant hit with the humans of yore, and become overnight celebrities. Public opinion quickly sours however when humans find out that the apes come from a future where humanity are the subjects of the rulers of the Planet of the Apes.

7. Conquest of the Planet of the Apes

Humans and apes stand together looking somber in "Conquest for the Planet of the Apes"
(20th Century Fox)

As if the plot of the story of the Planet of the Apes wasn’t confusing enough already, it’s about to get even more so. Conquest of the Planet of the Apes is essentially the same story as Rise of the Planet of the Apes with a few key differences.

Two of the ape scientists from Escape from the Planet of the Apes ended up having a baby named Caesar. By telling humanity about the future ape rulers of the Earth, the scientists inadvertently brought that future into reality. Fearful of ape rule, humankind preemptively subjugates the apes and keeps them as thralls and pets. Like in the reboot, Caesar ends up leading a revolution against humanity that will later solidify the dominance of ape kind.

So, like Escape, its events unfold before 1968’s Planet of the Apes, but as part of the classic series of films, it feels like it makes more sense to put in release order, in relation to the other films in that series, than in-universe order.

8. Battle for the Planet of the Apes

Three apes discussing something in "Battle for the Planet of the Apes"
(20th Century Fox)

Battle for the Planet of the Apes takes place after the ape uprising, with Caesar attempting diplomacy between the surviving humans and the apes. Like in Dawn for the Planet of the Apes, Caesar faces resistance from both humans and apes alike, leading to a devastating conflict for the future of the Planet of the Apes (and the humans, too).

9. Planet of the Apes (2001)

An official looking ape looking suspicious in Tim Burton's "Planet of the Apes"
(20th Century Fox)

On a completely unrelated tangent of the Planet of the Apes, Tim Burton decided to jump on the train of the Planet of the Apes and make his own Planet of the Apes film. The film is a retelling of the original Planet of the Apes film, except Burton tries to put ANOTHER twist on the already twisty ending. After leaving the Planet of the Apes, astronaut Leo Davidson returns to planet Earth only to find that IT TOO has become a Planet of the Apes. There are no prequels or sequels to this film; it’s just kinda hanging out in ape space. Where it belongs.

(featured image: 20th Century Fox)


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Jack Doyle
Jack Doyle (they/them) is actually nine choirs of biblically accurate angels crammed into one pair of $10 overalls. They have been writing articles for nerds on the internet for less than a year now. They really like anime. Like... REALLY like it. Like you know those annoying little kids that will only eat hotdogs and chicken fingers? They're like that... but with anime. It's starting to get sad.