There’s a new “Planet of the Apes” movie coming out. Plenty of jewels in it, just like the last few. Remember how the film series started out? It was back in the day, when the writers wanted to address racism and social injustice of their time by casting whites as a subjugated race, treated as subhuman by their conquerors, the Apes.
The Apes, then, symbolized Black people. It was a great vehicle for exposing white audiences to a world where they weren’t the ruling class, and what it could feel like to be the “others” in society. What if the Apes considered themselves the superiors of these savage men? What if they somehow were?
In the first three movies, we realize these men have traveled into the future of their own world, a world where the white man has fallen entirely off the map.
In this current trilogy, we are watching how it all began. In these movies of race symbolism, its good to pay attention to certain thematic elements that always show up.
One is genetic engineering, or the “making” of a new race. We call it grafting. This is when they became a white people, 6,000 years ago. Another is genocide. Either the killing of babies, the unborn, the unwanted, or some other element of society. Another is captivity, behind large walls (like a fortress) or mountains (or a mountain fortress!). A cold place usually. This is symbolic of their 2,000 years in the Caucasus. You’ll see this in Game of Thrones and a ton of films. Youll see all that in this part of the current Apes trilogy. Because this one symbolizes the white man’s last stand against a rising “dark” empire, who are bound to “replace” them as we know from the last trilogy!
They’re working their own despair into these films, you know! These stories are symbolic of events that happened in the infancy of white folk’s collective consciousness (so they’re immortalized in the Greek epics like the Illiad, right down to modern fairy tales) as well as events that are transpiring right now. Right now, we’re looking at an end of empire. And yes, it will be televised. The question is, will you know what you’re watching when you’re watching it?