6 Terrifying Lessons From The Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes Prequel Story
"Caesar is home."
With that final proclamation in Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, Caesar claimed his de facto title as the king of the apes. As he climbed up the tree with his compatriots, they reached the top and overlooked the city that once held them captive. The city they used to call home: San Francisco. It was the last city they knew, and the first city to fall; because at that very moment airline pilot Douglas Hunsiker started to show the symptoms of 113 retrovirus – also known as the Simian Flu.
This is exactly where Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes – Firestorm picks up. The tie in novel, written by Greg Keyes, tells the story of the events immediately following the ending of Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, and stays grounded in year one of the Simian Flu outbreak. While the book isn't required reading to enjoy Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, Firestorm has some deep ties that bind both films together. With that in mind, here are some important details and themes to keep in mind as you watch Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes.
The Main Theme Of The Prequel Is SupremacyIn the original Planet Of The Apes series (as well as the Tim Burton remake), the story's main thrust was an allegory for racial discrimination. The apes were the establishment and the humans were the repressed minorities, forced into a subservient position in the societal structure. The prequels, however, seem to focus more on the nature of control and leadership. We see this reflected in several of the storylines told in Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes – Firestorm. Caesar's leadership of the apes is not an absolute at this time, and is still somewhat tenuous. After all, the apes just gained sentience and this is right as they're starting to stake out a home in the jungle.
As if that wasn't enough of a strain on the apes, we're introduced to a pack of private military contractors trying to hunt them in the jungle. Why exactly will be left to discuss later, but suffice it to say humanity is trying to push back against the impending doomsday they see in the streets, and they'll hunt whomever they believe is responsible. Naturally, this also means that a good old fashioned riot is going to break out, as the general public partially blames the government for the outbreak of the Simian Flu. Which means a new leader must rise and try to unite the public against the real enemy: the disease itself. This is where Gary Oldman's Dreyfus comes in, and his background is well suited for the job.
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