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Review and Plot Summary
|Brief Plot Summary:
A human astronaut, Leo pursues his chimpanzee trainee, Pericles who is lost after exploring a dangerous electromagnetic storm. The astronaut is pushed forward in time and arrives on a strange new world. The world is ruled by Apes, and humans are the slaves. Gathering strength from a human tribe the astronaut arrives at a showdown between the powerful ape armies and a meager human resistance force whose aim is to defeat the Apes that rule their world.
Extended Plot Summary
Onboard the Oberon space station an astronaut named Leo works closely with chimpanzees whom are trained to serve as guiena pigs for particularly dangerous exploration missions in space. His favorite chimpanzee is Pericles. Pericles learns from training simulators and is rewarded with treats when he achieves his objectives. Leo is summoned to the command deck of the space station where a new situation has emerged; a giant electromagnetic storm. The storm sends all of the radio and television broadcasts of Earth out toward the Oberon. The Oberon's commander decides to send out a chimp, Pericles to see if conditions are safe to send out manned vessels to explore the storm.
When the chimp is lost the space station commander writes off the chimp and prepares to forget the storm. Astronaut Leo however has other ideas and sneaks onboard an escape pod and travels in pursuit of his chimpanzee trainee into space. Leo loses contact with his space station and is pushed forward in time to a strange new world. Crashing in a jungle his people onboard the Oberon search for him.
Shortly after crashing Leo looks around to see rustling among the brush. Humans emerge fleeing in terror. After a short contemplation Leo takes off with them and runs. Out of the distance Apes emerge. With gorillas on horseback and chimpanzees running on all fours, the apes chase after humanity, the inferior race they hunt and have mastered. After the lot is rounded up they are tossed in bags and hauled back to Ape City where they are sold off as slaves.
In the city Leo meets Limbo an orangautan who trades humans for money. He earns profit on volume selling as his human specimens "smell like humans" and aren't considered luxury items to apes. To Apes humans aren't good for much other than to be used as pets or simple house servants. In Limbo's building a "human rights" advocate named Ari is off to her usual troublemaking mischief. Ari believes humans can be taught things and deserve to be treated more as equals to apes. To Limbo, a businessman whose trade is humans such thinking is ludicrous. When Ari gets close to Leo's cage, Leo pulls her close and threatens her life with a hot branding iron. Limbo worries that he may have to put down Leo. Leo then whispers to Ari that he needs help. Ari rewards the human that held her captive by agreeing to buy him and a female he his attracted to. Leo and the female Daena become house servants in the house of Ari's father.
During an event to entertain dinner guests, General Thad the leader of Ape military forces opens up Astronaut Leo's mouth and inquires if there is a soul in their. Ari leaves the dinner table and General Thad chases after her, and leaves angry that she has no affection for him at all. Astronaut Leo then picks the lock on his cage and escapes with a group of other humans. Ari spots them escaping and accompanies them with her protector Krull. Ari finds Leo is different and is eager to help him because she finds him fascinating.
General Thad convinces Ari's father than Ari was kidnapped by humans. General Thad uses this situation to gain absolute power as dictator of Ape City. Thad than marches Ape armies to the Forbidden Zone where Leo, Ari, and many humans have gathered. Inside the Forbidden City, Leo discovers the Oberon, his crashed space station. According to the computer's logs and the aging of the ship it has been there for thousands of years. Leo deduces that he was pushed forward in time, while the Oberon searching after him was not. Consequently it arrived on the Planet that Leo crashed on thousands of years before him. The Oberon's log reveals that the ape's onboard organized a mutiny and took control of the vessel after it crashed. The survivors of the struggle left the ship and their descendants are the apes and humans on the planet today that Leo witnesses. When ape forces charge humans encamped near the vessel, Leo ignites the fuel inside the ship which knocks back the first wave of ape warriors. General Thade is not impressed and orders everyone else to the front, and rides forward himself. As the Apes appear to have won without doubt, a vessel descends from the sky. Its Pericles the original chimp astronaut that Leo went out into space searching for. Apparently Pericles got pushed forward in time just like Leo and just now he found his way to the planet that Leo crashed on. When Pericles lands, the apes interprete his arrival as the arrival of Semos the first chimpanzee who is their god. They bow, and hostilities between humans and apes cease. General Thad chases Pericles into the Oberon and Leo follows. General Thad gets trapped in a small room unable to escape. In the room we see a small computer in the background.
Leo then goes to Pericles space vessel which is undamaged and uses it to travel back in time. Leo crashes on what appears to be Earth, in Washington DC. Leo looks up to see the Lincoln Memorial is now a monument in honor of General Thade. A swarm of Ape police officers and reporters descend on Leo, who wonders just what has happened to his world. The audience also is left wondering just what has happened. *See Comments on the Twist Ending
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