Hidden Meanings Behind
"War for the Planet of the Apes" Movie

Reviewed by Joy Davis

Synopsis: "War for the Planet of the Apes" is a sci-fi, action and adventure drama.  As a close to the film's trilogy, the ape clan agree make the move to relocate in the desert for their safety.  Without their brave leader, they were attacked and enslaved.  Caesar left them to exact vengeance on Colonel, the military leader of a faction called Alpha-Omega.  When Caesar and his loyal followers meet a young girl named Nova, she was proof that the Simian Flu Pandemic had mutated for humans to become mute like her and regress to a primitive state.  As a group, they head for the border facility.  They must find a way to free all the apes while Colonel's compound is under attack by a rival military that is against the Alpha-Omegas.

Warning: Spoilers within Presentation

Attack on Caesar's Home and Family

Welcome to "Conscious Movie Reviews." I'm your host Joy Davis and here to review the "War for the Planet of the Apes," a sci-fi, action and adventure drama.

When a paramilitary group called Alpha-Omega was captured after making a surprise attack on the ape clan, they were given mercy and sent back to their base as a peaceful gesture by Caesar.  He left them with a parting message by saying, "I did not start this war.  The ape who did was Koba.  I killed him.  I fight only to protect apes."

Continuing their raid at night, Caesar's wife and eldest son were killed by Colonel, leader of Alpha-Omega.  His youngest son Cornelius was the sole survivor within the family, leaving him devastated from all the loss.  

Reluctant Leaders: 
Caesar of the Apes and Moses of the Bible

For the clan's security, Caesar gathered the group so they can make a winter's trek through the woods to safer grounds within the desert.  All the apes committed to the plan, trusting in Caesar because he has always had their well-being in mind.  He bid them, including his son, farewell to enact vengeance on Colonel, but was accompanied by Maurice the orangutan, Luca the gorilla, and Rocket the chimpanzee.      

Similar to Moses of the Bible, Caesar was a reluctant leader.  Placed in dire circumstances, he followed his conscience to expand his personal identity, beyond himself and family, to act selflessly for the highest good of all concerned.  

As a reluctant leader, you may be self-divided like Caesar to make decisions you'd rather not do, like being forced into a war against humans.  He was, after all, cared for by them and not by his own kind, mirroring Moses' upbringing to become an Egyptian Prince, even though he was born a Hebrew.    

The ape clan's show of loyalty towards Caesar was a classic example of paternal transference by the group.  They projected an idealized image of a wise and protective father onto him.  Their obedience to take on great risks for Caesar was more of an exchange, because children know that getting father's approval is often dependent upon their performance.   

The Simian Flu Pandemic Mutates

Along the way, they discover that the Simian Flu Pandemic had mutated within humans to cause them to go mute and regress back to a primitive state.  Nova, the little blond girl from the abandoned village, was proof of this. She was appropriately named that by Maurice, the orangutan, because in Latin, Nova means "new" and "young."

The Simian Flu Pandemic can be likened to the tenth plague unleashed by God as punishment for the Egyptians' long abuse of the Israelites.  Moses warned his people that the "Angel of Death" would strike down every firstborn son of both people and animals.   

Colonel eliminated anyone who was infected to prevent its spread, including his own son. Rival military forces opposed to his ways wanted him stopped.

Caesar's Shadow Consciousness

By following the path of vengeance, Caesar regretted abandoning his ape clan because it lead to their capture and enslavement.  He worried about becoming vengeful in a murderous way like Koba because it clashed with his more peaceful nature.  

Caesar's dark visions of Koba served as a reminder to own his shadow consciousness - the lower emotions that drove his vengeance. You become whatever you resist.  Any unclaimed parts can become a demonic force lurking within.  By integrating his shadow self with unconditional acceptance, Caesar can move towards becoming whole again.  

Taking the Punishment

Caesar was imprisoned at Colonel's border facility, along with the other apes.  They were made to build a stone fortress with little food and water. Caesar's confrontations with Colonel about his mistreatment was met with a harsh whipping by Donkey, the gorilla overseer.  

Like Caesar, Moses spoke to the pharaoh on behalf of the Hebrew slaves to ensure they get adequate grain and water.  He was whipped, just like Caesar, for being humanitarian.  

Reaching the Promised Land

Caesar planned an escape from above, while Maurice, Nova, and Bad Ape did the same within the tunnel below.  They freed the adult apes and children during the air raid attacks by the rival militants.  Many of them quietly left the compound to cross train tracks.  The scene was reminiscent of how Harriet Tubman, also known as "Black Moses," was made famous for taking many black slaves to America's free states, Canada and Mexico, by way of an underground railroad that's a network of secret routes and safe houses during the 19th century. 

In a battle with the Alpha-Omegas, Caesar was shot with a crossbow by Preacher.  He managed to escape the compound badly injured.

Like the Hebrews, the apes were the "chosen ones" to make the mass exodus.  They survived the avalanche that provided a safe passage to the Promised Land - similar to how God parted the waters in Egypt.

It was a bittersweet moment for the apes to reach their final destination, then see their leader pass away upon arrival.  Unlike Caesar, Moses was made by God to die alone on a mountaintop and be buried outside of the Promised Land. 

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