Caesar the Ape in 'War for the Planet of the Apes'.
(20th Century Studios)

What Happens to Caesar in ‘War For The Planet Of The Apes’?

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, which hits theaters on May 24, 2024, will kick off a new trilogy of Planet of the Apes films. But the simian franchise will be missing one of its most familiar faces.

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Andy Serkis’s Caesar, the highly intelligent ape who leads a revolution against mankind, will not appear in the new film. For one, Kingdom takes place 300 years after the events of 2017’s War for the Planet of the Apes. And as anyone who watched War for the Planet of the Apes knows, Caesar dies in the film’s climactic ending.

The new Apes trilogy begins with 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes, where we meet Caesar as a baby chimp adopted by James Franco’s scientist Will Rodman. Caesar displays enhanced intelligence via an  Alzheimer’s drug tested on his mother while she was pregnant. As Caesar grows up, he grows stronger and develops the ability to speak. He eventually doses his fellow primates with an enhanced version of the drug, raising their intelligence and leading them to escape into the redwoods. The drug also causes a viral pandemic that spreads across the globe.

2014’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes takes place ten years after the events of Rise, where humanity has been nearly destroyed by the viral Simian Flu pandemic. Caesar leads a community of advanced apes in the Bay Area who fight to defend themselves against a surviving militia. Caesar defeats the usurper Koda and leads the apes to find safe haven.

2017’s War for the Planet of the Apes ends Caesar’s trilogy in biblical fashion. The ape leader searches for a safer home for his colony, but experiences tragedy when the humans of the Alpha-Omega paramilitary faction murder his wife Cornelia and son Blue Eyes. Caesar is captured by the militia and tortured, but escapes as more military forces descend on the camp. While trying to take out the militia, Caesar is shot by Preacher, one of the militiamen he freed. Caesar blows up a fuel tank, causing an avalanche that buries the humans.

Upon arriving at the safe oasis, Caesar succumbs to his wounds and dies. And that’s how Caesar’s story ends.

(featured image: 20th Century Studios)


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Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.