While I am not a fan of the anti-religious undertone of the original Planet of the Apes, there's no denying that it and it's 4 sequels, while varying in quality and the (in my opinion) superior Rupert Wyatt/Matt Reeves reboot trilogy, have been commentaries on racism, predjudice, fear, trust and revenge, hence why the franchise still has a following to this day and speaks to problems that are still relevant in our Western culture.
Background and Context
One consistent idea throughout the films presented is that racism is something that exists on both sides. There will be spoilers for the films themselves so watch before reading this article (unless you don't care for spoilers) and the time of writing, I have only seen reviews of the Tim Burton reimagining, not actually seen it properly.
In the first film, astronaut George Taylor with two of his co-workers (originally three but she died in stasis) are hunted by the apes with other humans after having their clothes stolen and seeing other humans, ones who cannot speak. Taylor, injured on his neck and rendered mute for a time, is then along with one of his co-workers captured while the other was shot dead. Taylor is recovered by Zira, one of the doctors and is amazed when Taylor understands what she is saying, much to her fiance Cornelius' surprise, with skepticism from Dr Zaius.
The humans in the film are forced to live in cages like cattle with Taylor eventually telling one of the apes to take their stinkin' paws him. This along with Taylor reading and writing is a threat to the religous establishment and to Dr Zaius who knows more than he is letting on and charges Cornelius and Zira with heresy.
Near the end of the film, an excavation site that Cornelius was involved in showed various aritifacts, including a doll that cried "Momma" much to their surprise, exposing Zaius' deception.
Taylor leaves the group but not before tying up Zaius against a rock, who warns Taylor "you may not like what you find", the excavation site is buried via explosions and thus one of the most famous plot twists in history is shown, Taylor was on Earth the whole time and he curses humanity for destorying the earth and we see The Statue of Liberty, decaying and buried in the sand.
It's sequel Beneath the Planet of the Apes, shows Brent, another astronaut who was sent to rescue Taylor, finds himself in a similiar situation to Taylor but escapes underground with Nova, a mute human given to Taylor in the first film as a mate and they find humans who not only have telepathic powers but speak English and hide their mutations with masks. Zaius eventually finds his way with an army behind him the hideout of the humans and a fight ensues, ending with Brent dying and Taylor destroying the world by igniting a nuclear bomb (which the mutant humans worshipped as God for some bizarre reason) but not before Zaius pointing how destructive humanity is.
Escape sees Dr Milo (who is killed early on), Cornelius and Zira use Taylor's ship to leave the earth and the blast from the bomb sends them back in time to 1973 where they are accepted by society and become celebrities but concerns about Zira correcting herself in court (she said disect but then changed her words.) leads Dr Otto Hasslein, the President and others to enquire what happens to the human race, learning of the ape uprising and seek to kill Zira's unborn baby and sterilise both apes.
The film ends with Cornelius and Zira dead as well as an infant that Zira swapped with another chimp, leaving her son alive in the care of circus master Senor Armando.
Conquest sees the apes being subject to slavery in response to the future the humans were told about in order to suppress it and a hunt for Caeser, the son of Cornelius and Zira. After nearly causing someone to find him, Armando and he seperate with Armando being captured and interrogated while Caesar goes into slavery, not revealing his true nature until the proper time and vows venegance after learning of Armando's death.
The uprising is successful and after persuasion by Malcolm MacDonald, himself a descendent of black slaves and the chief aide of Governor Breck and Lisa, Caesar spares Breck's life and declares it will be the Birth of the Planet of the Apes.
Battle sees the humans and the apes living together under Caeser's rule with tensions strained, especially since the humans are treated as lower class citizens. With his aide Virgil and assistant Bruce MacDonald, Caeser goes to a ruined city to learn the truth of his parents and what will happen in the future while Aldo, a gorilla general, rebels against Caeser and wants no peace between apes and humans, with his actions leading the humans to be imprisoned and Cornelius, the son of Caesar, dead.
A brief battle ensures between the humans of the forbidden city and the apes, with the apes winning the battle and a brief confrontation between Caesar and Aldo ends with Aldo's death and the humans and apes being allowed to live as equals and we cut to the Lawgiver, who is used as the framing device for the film, as he is regaling the tale of Caesar, with the future of both human and ape, being left ambiguous.
The reboot trilogy took cues from Conquest and Battle but made their own stories with similiar messages while new ones.
The reboot trilogy, from Rise to Dawn to War shows the story of Caeser, who in this continuity is an ape born of a test ape injected with ALZ-112, a virus designed to cure Alzheimers by repairing and creating cells in the brain. The original test ape is shot dead by mistake with Will Rodman, a scientist taking the young Caesar in and raising him, surprised by Caesar's remarkable intelligence from the virus, which compells him to give a dosage to his ailing father Charles, who suffers from Alzheimers himself.
The treatment works albeit temporarily due to the virus being destoryed by anti-bodies, leading to a stronger strain being created, ALZ-113, which Caesar steals after his escape from the sanctuary and uses it to increases the intelligence the other apes, after taking charge and earning the respect of his fellow apes.
Caesar is taken to a chimp sancturary after trying to protect Charles and starts resenting humans, including Will because of his misrtreatment in the sanctuary.
Caesar enables a rebellion, freeing apes as he and his army run to the Muir Woods, a forest that Caesar was taken to in his youth.
Caesar and Will reconcile and part ways but little does Caesar know that the ALZ-113 spread out of the Gen-Sys facility (thanks to a bonobo named Koba infecting one of the doctors by knocking his mask off while the virus was being administered.) and starts to kill the human population on the planet, leaving small groups of humans left, immune the effects of the virus.
10 years later, Caesar and the apes live alone in the forest and in the remains of San Francisco, humans are trying to survive. Malcolm and a team of humans from the San Francisco are spared by Caesar which compells Caesar to warn the humans to stay away from him and his family and try to live in peace with the humans, While Koba, due to his mistreatment by humans throughout his life, wants nothing more than the humans to be enslaved and destoryed.
Malcolm wins the trust of Caesar after the repair of the dam and after Caesar's wife Cornelia is given medical attention after suffering an infection.
Unfortunately, Koba killed three humans, shot Caesar and decieved the apes into following him, to lead them to kill and enslave the humans in San Francisco, imprisoning apes who refused to help him and Dreyfus, the leader of the humans in the area, called in the military to take out the apes.
With the help of his son Blue Eyes, Caeser recovers from his wounds and kills Koba for his rebellion and betrayal. Malcolm escapes with he and Caesar saying one last goodbye after Caesar tells him to escape while lamenting the loss of his once trusted friend and the fact that there is no chance of ape and humankind living in peace.
2 years later, Caesar and the apes are on the run and trying to survive facing against the renegade military division known as Alpha-Omega, let by Colonel Mccullough. The ALZ-113 virus, dubbed the Simian Flu since it's outbreak has evolved to render humans mute and reduce them to beasts. Caesar goes on a quest to find the Colonel after Blue Eyes and Cornelia are brutally murdered by him, with Maurice, Rocket and Luca accompanying Caesar on his quest, meeting Nova (this time a young girl infected with the Simian Flu and can't talk) and Bad Ape, a hermit ape who learned how to speak, along the way. Caesar's pursuit of revenge leads him down a dark path, killing a traitor called Winter by accident, with Maurice later comparing Caesar to Koba. Luca is killed and Caesar, Maurice and Rocket are kidnapped, while Big Ape and Nova escape.
Caesar to his horror while on his quest, finds his clan as well as his still living son, Cornelius, have been rounded up by the Colonel and is forced to watch his fellow apes in a concentration camp while he suffers being strung up in the cold, taunted by Koba in his dreams. The Colonel explains to Caesar why he does what he does, the Simian Flu is still afflicting the human race and he exterminated people, even his own son, who had even mild symptoms of the Simian Flu and believes he is doing it for the greater good.
Nova later finds Caesar in the facility giving him food, water and a rag doll that Maurice gave to her.
Once Caesar redeems himself in the eyes of his clan, the apes escape, the Colonel fails in his mission and is infected by Nova's doll which contained the virus, killing himself after Caesar refuses to kill him and while the military is successful in defeating Alpha-Omega, their victory is short lived when they are killed by an avalanche, leaving only the apes to survive the aftermath.
Caesar is mortally wounded in the battle and lives long enough to lead his clan to an oasis where they will be safe and Maurice to tell his friend that Cornelius, that he will be remembered for what he did, leaving Caesar to die in peace with the knowledge that his family will be, with or without him, together strong.
Myth of Reverse Racism?
One of the running themes through the Planet of the Apes. is the idea of racism and predjudice, a common problem that has existed for countless years. The movies, especially in the reboot films, don't present one side as good and one side as evil as there are both good and evil on both sides. There are ones who want peace and security on both sides and the two races to live in peace with each other while there are other individuals who do not desire reconcilation because of their circumstances.
Koba in particular hates humans because of his mistreatement at their hands and wants nothing more than to either kill or enslave whereas Caesar, having been raised by kind humans, sees the good in humanity and wants to give them a chance, as well as only killing humans who pose a threat to his family. Both are very similiar to Charles Xavier and Magneto from the X-Men Shared Universe, another franchise owned by 20th Century Fox (the film rights they possess, not the comic rights themselves.)
Dr Zaius has his own predjudice against humans, recognising their predisposition towards violence and that they will destory each other. He is a very cynical individual who refuses to see that man does have the capacity to seek peace and not be corrupt and destructive. Even in his final moments in Beneath the Planet of the Apes, he doesn't shift from this viewpoint. If Caesar was successful in uniting Apes in Battle for the Planet of the Apes, perhaps Dr Zaius would have a different view of humans, even welcoming them as fellow citizens, including Taylor and Brent, into his village, or Caesar may have failed, meaning that humanity and apes are doomed and the time loop in Escape from the Planet of the Apes really doesn't allow for possible change, meaning Zaius will remain the way he is.
Planet of the Apes, either intentionally or unintentionally destroys the leftist idea that all whites are inherently racist and that all ethnic minorities are oppressed. The franchise establishes there is hatred and love (or even indifference or tolerance) on both sides of the racial spectrum.
The films expose and bring light to the fact that no one race is inherently racist to another collectively, only individuals. Racism exists within all races, but not all of a particular race are racists. Racism can arise due to circumstances and what happens around us and sometimes can be something that a person develops without external forces or can be imbued subliminally.
The idea of being racist to white people and get away with it while if they are racist to those who are non-white, they are condemned, is an unjust balance, hypocritical and also unbiblical. See Proverbs 20:10
"10 Unequal[a] weights and unequal measures
are both alike an abomination to the Lord."
Being consistent is key, either you condemn ALL racism, including against white people, or you condemn NONE of it.
Why can a person who isn't white be as racist and as dehumanising as possible yet if the white man says anything like that they are demonised. Leslie Jones, a famous actress noted for being in the incredibly average Ghostbusters reboot, has been made racist comments on Twitter yet cries foul when others are racist to her. Racism goes both ways as does sexism.
I hear the term whitewashing a lot in recent years when it comes to white leads in a given context in the movie industry or in animation.
Isn't that label racist in and of itself, or so you love some make believe world where you can get away with being racist to white people without repercussions?
I'm sorry, if you are to be slammed for being racists to someone who is black, or asian or latino or whatever race, why can't others be slammed for racism to white people.
Racism is a two way street, stop being inconsistent.
When the Planet of the Apes franchise can be used as a means of showing how racism can exist anywhere, in Hollywood of all places, there is absolutely no excuse to allow for racist hate and bigotry, regardless of your melanin count and facial appearance.
The left calls for diversity and tolerance yet people who disagree with them are labelled with the classic buzzwords I have mentioned in a previous paper: http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/social-justice-warriors-destruction-of.html
Jesus is not a racist, his command in the Great Commision in Matthew 28:19-20 was to "make disciples of all nations" referring to all ethnic groups:
"19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”"
Paul stated in Galatians 3:27-29 the following with respect to salvation:
"27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave[g] nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise."
Let us no also forget the following verses in the Old Testament, namely Exodus 22:21, Leviticus 19:18 and 19:34, Numbers 10:32, Deuteronomy 10:19 and 23:7
Reverse Racism which the Bible makes clear, is not a biblical concept and when even a Hollywood franchise like Planet of the Apes recognises this, there is a serious problem. Let us abandon racism and flee to the one who can save us from it, Jesus Christ, who like the Father has no favourites as James tells us in his letter in chapter 2, verses 1-13:
"2 My brothers,[a] show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. 2 For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, 3 and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” 4 have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? 5 Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him? 6 But you have dishonored the poor man. Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who drag you into court? 7 Are they not the ones who blaspheme the honorable name by which you were called?
8 If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. 9 But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it. 11 For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. 12 So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty. 13 For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment."