Greatest Planet of the Apes Characters, Ranked

Despite being one of the most influential and important science fiction stories ever told, planet of monkeys is still somewhat underestimated. The original films never really broke through into the mainstream, and it was only through its prequels and soft reboots that the franchise was given the respect it deserved. Fortunately, there is renewed interest in the series.

The revived interest in planet of monkeys reminded fans old and new how compelling and complex the films’ characters were. Whether they were monkeys or humans, planet of monkeys had some of the most philosophically charged and politically relevant characters ever seen in the science fiction genre or social commentary as a whole.

planet of monkeys

planet of monkeys

Planet of the Apes is an American science fiction media franchise consisting of films, books, television series, comics, and other media about a world in which humans and intelligent apes fight for control.

Created by
Pierre Boulle

First film
Planet of the Apes (1968)

Last film
War for the Planet of the Apes

10 Colonel Wesley McCullough was the series’ darkest human villain

Portrayed by Woody Harrelson in War for the Planet of the Apes

Woody Harrelson as Colonel in Planet of the Apes

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Since the original, humans have always been their own worst enemies and the dark image of the apes planet of monkeys, and Col. Wesley McCullough showed perfectly why. The Colonel was a ruthless tyrant who wanted to maintain humanity’s place on the evolutionary tree at all costs, even if it meant killing all apes and even fellow humans.

The colonel summed up perfectly what that meant planet of monkeys Films that are considered humanity’s worst impulses. There was little in the Colonel except boundless, illogical hatred and an undeserved sense of superiority. The colonel claimed that he and his forces were the last bastion of civilization, but his cruelty proved that humanity would be better off if they were gone.

9 Doctor Zaius exposed the hypocrisy of the monkeys

Portrayed by Maurice Evans in planet of monkeys (1968) and Beneath the Planet of the Apes

Planet of monkeys’ The core theme and tragedy was that the apes were no better than humanity. Despite their supposed moral and intellectual superiority, the apes were just as prone to cruelty and evil as the humans they looked down on. No monkey embodied this sad hypocrisy than Doctor Zaius, the Minister of Science.

Although Doctor Zaius was not completely monstrous, he was still a narrow-minded scientist who would do anything (including lobotomy) to maintain the false supremacy of the apes at all costs. Doctor Zaius’s refusal to acknowledge humans’ capacity for anything more than cruelty, while engaging in it himself, made him a complex and vile antagonist.

8th Koba embodied the anger and folly of monkeys

presented by

Published in

Christopher Gordon

Planet of the Apes: Prevolution

Toby Kebbell

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes And War for the Planet of the Apes

Koba from Planet of the Apes: Dawn of the Apes

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Planet of monkeys’ The prequels maintained the themes of the original films through Koba, Caesar’s loyal supporter who gave in to rage. Koba’s hatred of humanity was fueled by the years of abuse and torture he endured as a test subject. Although Koba’s anger was entirely justified, he became just as bloodthirsty and violent as the people he despised.

After being little more than a background monkey Planet of the Apes: Prevolution, Koba became famous Dawn of the Planet of the Apes by revealing his simmering villainy. Koba became one of the series’ most dangerous and tragic villains as he showed how easy it is to fall victim to the hatred and temptations of power.

7 Doctor Cornelius and Doctor Zira were too pure for the world


presented by

Published in


Roddy McDowall

planet of monkeys (1968) and Escape from the Planet of the Apes


David Watson

Beneath the Planet of the Apes


Kim Hunter

planet of monkeys (1968)Under the Planet of the Apes, And Escape from the Planet of the Apes

Dr. Cornelius and Dr. Zira speaks in court in Escape from the Planet of the Apes

Notably, Doctors Cornelius and Zira were two of the only monkeys from the original planet of monkeys who were compassionate and kind to people. After being disgraced by Zaius, it was clear that Cornelius and Zira were too idealistic for the world. This became even clearer Escape from the Planet of the Apes, which ended in her death.

After traveling back to 1973, Cornelius and Zira did their best to appeal to the humans and avert the catastrophes that would destroy both humanity and the apes. Despite their imperfections and old prejudices, Cornelius and Zira were two of the nicest characters in the series. They showed that monkeys, like imperfect humans, are capable of real good.

6 Malcolm was one of the last humane voices in the reboot

Portrayed by Jason Clarke in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Malcolm Meets Caesar's Apes: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

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The planet of monkeys Prequels became increasingly darker with each entry, and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was one of his venue’s chances to change things. This was best embodied by Malcolm, a human survivor who still believed in humanity and apes’ capacity for good. He was undoubtedly one of the nicest characters in the series.

Despite the horrors he endured and saw, Malcolm stayed true to his morals and remained loyal to Caesar. Malcolm’s real attempts at peace were unfortunately unsuccessful, but through no fault of his own. Malcolm’s disappearance and death appear in a deleted scene War for the Planet of the Apes cemented the end of the idealism of the prequels.

5 Armando embodied people’s overlooked potential for good

Portrayed by Ricardo Montalban in Escape from the Planet of the Apes And Conquest of the Planet of the Apes

Armando from the movie “Conquest of the Planet of the Apes”.

As nihilistic as Planet of monkeys’ While that may be the view of humanity and modern civilization, the series wasn’t entirely hopeless. Every now and then a human character showed that humanity was still capable of love and compassion even in a cruel and chaotic world. No one embodied this optimism better than the circus owner Armando.

Despite the obvious shock of encountering talking and intelligent monkeys from the future, Armando did not hesitate to protect Cornelius and Zira when they were on the run. The increasing darkness of the world did not stop him from welcoming Caesar, and his death even drove Caesar mad. Armando was one of the film’s few reminders that all hope was not lost.

4 Bruce MacDonald was Caesar’s unshakable conscience and counterpart

Portrayed by Hari Rhodes in Conquest of the Planet of the Apes

Bruce McDonald from the movie Planet of the Apes

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Conquest of the Planet of the Apes was not subtle about its parallels to real-world racism and segregation, particularly those of America’s recent past. Bruce MacDonald, the compassionate assistant to the vile Governor Breck, made this clear by recalling black history and sympathizing with the apes, especially Caesar.

Bruce was an interesting and necessary contrast to Caesar. While Caesar wanted blood, Bruce warned him that if the apes gave in to hatred they would be no better than humans. Bruce only appeared in one film and was unable to stop Caesar’s violent rise, but he was arguably one of the most morally upright and influential characters in the series.

3 It all began with Colonel George Taylor’s descent into madness

Portrayed by Charlton Heston in planet of monkeys (1968) and Beneath the Planet of the Apes

The planet of monkeys Without astronaut George Taylor, who crashes on post-apocalyptic Earth and goes crazy, the series wouldn’t exist. Taylor wasn’t exactly the most ideal example of humanity, but he was a great representation of the best and worst that modern man had to offer.

Taylor was both a great (if deeply cynical) antihero and a vessel for introducing audiences to the world of apes. It was thanks to his innate distrust of everything and everyone that he (and his audience) gradually saw through the monkeys’ lies and hypocrisy. Taylor’s exaggerated quotes and reactions to the new world made him both likeable and iconic.

2 The original Caesar was a tragically flawed hero

Portrayed by Roddy McDowall in Conquest of the Planet of the Apes And Battle for the Planet of the Apes

Original Caesar from the film “Conquest of the Planet of the Apes”.

Thanks to the excellent prequels, it’s easy to forget that Caesar was a major character in the film planet of monkeys Movies. However, he was a completely different character. The original Caesar also led the revolt of the Apes and became their leader, but he was more fallible, fiery, and imperfect than his more ideal modern counterpart.

This Caesar lost himself in bloodlust and power Conquering the Planet of the Apes, but gradually he realized his serious mistakes Battle for the Planet of the Apes. These serious flaws made Caesar somewhat difficult to like, but also made him one of the most complex portrayals of a revolutionary figure in the science fiction genre.

1 The rebooted Caesar was the hero of the modern age

Portrayed by Andy Serkis in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, And War for the Planet of the Apes

It goes without saying that the planet of monkeys Without Caesar, prequels wouldn’t be as great as they are. The new Caesar lacked the righteous anger and raw power of his predecessor. Instead, he defined himself by being more compassionate and nuanced. This made the new Caesar an ambitious leader that his predecessor was not.

Caesar literally grew into the leader of a new civilization over the course of the trilogy. Despite some major shortcomings, Caesar did his best to set a good example for the apes. He even gave his life to ensure their future. Caesar wasn’t just that planet of monkeys The best character in the film, but also one of the best leading actors of modern science fiction heroes.

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes movie poster.

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is an upcoming American science fiction action film directed by Wes Ball from a screenplay by Josh Friedman, Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver and Patrick Aison and produced by Joe Hartwick Jr., Jaffa, Silver and Jason Reed.

Release date
May 24, 2024

Wes Ball

Owen Teague, Freya Allan, Eka Darville, Kevin Durand, Sara Wiseman, Neil Sandilands

War for the Planet of the Apes

Dustin Huang

Dustin Huang is a Nytimas U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Dustin Huang joined Nytimas in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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