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Comparisons between Planet of the Apes and the Terminator saga Essay
Also see* The Science of the Terminator Saga essay
1 Protectors/Explorers are sent in time
In the first planet of the Apes movie, a lone astronaut Taylor survives to spread word of Man's dominance in the past to the Apes most notably Chimpanzees, Zira and Cornelius. In the second movie another astronaut Brent survives to try to save humanity and further its legacy. In the TV series another two astronauts arrive, and in the cartoon series yet more astronauts arrive. This may seem entirely different from the process of sending protectors to the past to protect the future human leader of the resistance against the machines in the Terminator movies. But looking abstractly, in the Terminator saga, protectors are sent to ensure man's legacy survives. In Planet of the Apes, protectors are sent to ensure man's legacy is not forgotten are sent instead. Not really so different. Also the illogical way in which two separate beings are sent to the past in Terminator and several humans are sent to the future in the Apes saga is strangely ironic.
2 The Leader of a great Revolution has a parent from another time
In Terminator, a soldier from the future Kyle Reese becomes the father of his leader in the future who sent him to protect his own mother's child namely himself. A person from the future can not father a child from the past can he? Even more ironic is to send one's father from the future to protect one's mother in the past. In Planet of the Apes parents from Earth's future, Cornelius, and Zira have a child in Earth's past. The child leads the apes in revolution which leads to Apes arising as the dominant force in the future. How can parents from the future give rise to a leader from the past? This paradox is similiar between both the Terminator and Apes sagas.
3 The Agent of Revolt can Disguise itself
In Terminator the agent of revolt was a trusty defense computer network that turns on its owners and then invents robots covered in human flesh to hunt down former human masters. In Planet of the Apes the agents of revolt were pets rather than a means of defense. But once revolution is lead, the Apes can hide themselves among docile or unsophisticated Apes merely by removing clothing and acting dumb. Leader Ceasar hides himself in this fashion and is purchased and lead into the headquarters of Ape management because of his ruse largely. Is this so different than flesh covered terminator's being let into human hideouts in the future where they then wreck havoc?
4 The Defender of Man has the face of his enemy
In the Terminator saga, Arnold plays a machine sent to kill the mother of a human resistance leader in the past in the first movie. But in the second Arnold plays a reprogrammed machine sent for the purpose of protecting the leader of the human resistance. In essence the machine terminator played both a killer and a protector. In Planet of the Apes, Roddy McDowall plays a chimapanzee, Cornelius eager to help human astronauts Brent, and Taylor escape death at the hands of the Apes. But by the 4th film Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, McDowall plays, Ceasar the son of his former character and leads a revolt aimed at dethroning man from power rather than protecting man.
5 The Future is not set
In Planet of the Apes and in the Terminator saga the message of the future not being set is presented. In Terminator 2 the saying "there is no fate but the fate we make" is made a slogan for Sarah Connor's decision to try to kill the man responsible for the birth of Skynet and save the future. In Battle for the Planet of the Apes, a storyteller sits before ape children and human children and tells them no one knows what the future may hold. Would that future be one of apes and men leaving in harmony or one of Ape dominance as the future was at the beginning of the first Planet of the Apes films.
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