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It's been building for six years, and now the Planet of the Apes reboot series has established war between the apes and humans. The last time we saw Caesar on the big screen, he was preparing for the coming conflict, and two years later, he's still fighting for his people to ensure their survival, though he's now at a point where he's wrestling with his darker instincts. The outcome of this war will determine who will be Earth's superior race, though given the title of this franchise, we can reasonably assume which side will emerge victorious.
In case you weren't able to re-watch Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes in time for War for the Planet of the Apes' release, we've gathered together the most important pieces of information you need to remember before going to see the third entry of this popular Hollywood franchise this weekend. First, let's talk about how this all started.
Gen-Sys Is Responsible For All This
We have man to thank for the rise of the planet of the apes. One of its employees, Will Rodman, was developing a cure for Alzheimer's, and as it usually done in these kinds of laboratories, animals were used to test the drugs first, specifically chimpanzees. Bright Eyes was the first to be injected with the ALZ-112, and she soon showed signs of intellectual enhancement, but when she escaped her cell and went on a rampage in the Gen-Sys headquarters, she was fatally shot. However, before that happened, Bright Eyes had secretly given birth while in captivity, and Rodman agreed to take the baby ape, whom he named Caesar, home rather than let him be euthanized like the other test subjects. Caesar inherited his mother's intellect, thus setting him on his legendary path.
The ALZ-113 Enhanced All Apes
Years after the ALZ-112 research was terminated, Will Rodman convinced his boss, Steve Jacobs, to let him start working on the drug again, as Rodman believed he could permanently cure Alzheimer's this time, unlike the ALZ-112, which was only a temporary solution. He didn't accomplish that goal (more on that in the next section), but the ALZ-113 proved to be the salvation for apes everywhere. Koba was the first ape to receive the ALZ-113, and he showed faster intellectual improvement compared to Bright Eyes. Later, Caesar broke into Rodman's house and stole his ALZ-113 samples so that he could release the gas at the San Francisco primate shelter. Once the ALZ-113 virus started spreading across the world, other apes started growing smarter, too, although the first two Planet of the Apes reboot movies only followed along with Caesar's tribe. We'll get a sense of how the enhanced apes who haven't benefitted from Caesar's leadership have fared in this new world when we meet Bad Ape in War for the Planet of the Apes.
The ALZ-113 Was Deadly To Most Humans
Will Rodman should have stopped his Alzheimer's cure research after the ALZ-112. It may have only treated his father for five years, but least it wouldn't have killed most humans exposed to it. Unfortunately, while Rodman and his team were trying to dose Koba with the ALZ-113, Will's assistant, Robert Franklin, accidentally inhaled some of the ALZ-113, and he died a few days later. Had Franklin immediately told someone what happened, mass death could have been avoided, but he didn't. Even worse, he passed along the virus to Rodman's neighbor, Douglas Hunsiker, who was an airline pilot. Because he headed to work the next day, that accelerated the spread of the Simian Flu, and within a few years, most of humanity was either dead from infection or perished during the mass chaos that erupted after the outbreak. There are still pockets of humanity across the world struggling to survive, but society has completely collapsed.
Caesar Has A Family
Not only did Caesar enhance the apes at his shelter, he also led the effort to break out all the primates at Gen-Sys and the San Francisco zoo to lead them to freedom in the Muir Woods. It's no wonder then that he was chosen to lead that tribe of apes. In the ten years between Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Caesar mated with Cornelia, and they had a son named Blue Eyes, At the start of Dawn, Cornelia gave birth to another son, who we now know is named Cornelius. Blue Eyes role in Dawn revolved around his skepticism of his father's leadership, to the point that when he believed that humans had killed Caesar, he aided Koba in attacking the human settlement in San Francisco. However, discovering that his father was alive, being sickened by the slaughter and watching Koba kill his friend Ash convinced Blue Eyes to return to his father's side, where he remains in War for the Planet of the Apes.
Koba Betrayed Caesar
Koba became one of Caesar's closest allies in the time between Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, but his hatred of humans outweighed his loyalty to Caesar. It's understandable why he didn't like our kind given all the experiments he suffered through in laboratories, but when Caesar started crafting an alliance with Malcolm in Dawn, Koba went too far. Through deception and manipulation, Koba led a rebellion within the ape tribe and led an attack on the humans in San Francisco with most of the apes. Caesar later faced Koba in combat at the top of the tower and defeated his former friend. Because Koba fractured the peace with the humans and tried to kill Caesar to quench his thirst for vengeance, Caesar let Koba fall to his death, declaring that he was not an ape and setting up a loophole for the cardinal ape law. But the damage was already done, and Koba's legacy will live on in War for the Planet of the Apes through Red, a gorilla who has allied with The Colonel to defeat Caesar.
The Military Was Headed To San Francisco
Dreyfus, the head of the San Francisco human settlement, was already hesitant to trust Caesar and his tribe at the start of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, but when Koba and his forces attacked, that pushed him over the edge. Escaping imprisonment, Dreyfus and two of his men helped set up C4 around the base of the tower, and rather than listen to Malcolm and wait for Caesar to resolve the mess, he decided to detonate the explosives while he and his men were still near them, believing that his decision would save the human race. But before he died, Dreyfus and his men had successfully make contact with a military base up north, and those soldiers were headed to San Francisco as the chaos with Koba erupted. War between the humans and the apes was now inevitable, and presumably these military forces are the same ones The Colonel is leading in War for the Planet of the Apes, or at least closely associated with them.