The “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” trailer that released just prior to the writing of this article seems to have packed an emotional wallop in those who viewed it in a theater or online. One reason is because fans of this new rebooted “Apes” series will finally have a chance to hear Caesar the Ape talk for the first time. But as everyone saw in the trailer, he’ll still be talking in broken sentences, despite giving you that little chill of such a thing happening in real life.
With Caesar now talking, it’s still a far cry from what we heard in the original “Apes” movies made over 40 years ago. If you’ve ever seen the original films, you know that actor Roddy McDowall portrayed both Cornelius and his son Caesar in a way that showed apes evolved fairly fast in being able to talk literately. While it might have made more sense in the first “Planet of the Apes” considering the expanse of time between the flip-flop of primate dominance and human downfall, it might have seemed more implausible with Caesar.
The original Caesar was still brought up around humans, so the argument has always been that he had the DNA link to talk from the beginning. It’s in the new “Apes” franchise that’s avoided this time loop paradox problem where Caesar’s parents go back to the past to enact the scenarios that instigates all the future events. In fact, getting rid of this helped immensely because it provides more of an interesting sense of evolution to Caesar’s speech that we’ll likely see advance if the movie series continues.
Evolving Caesar’s Speech into More Literate Mode
I once wrote a satire piece here shortly after “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” released that postulated a President Caesar in the sequel. It’s clear now that won’t happen, even if he may be the unofficial Commander in Chief based on how Earth’s human population is nearly wiped out from a plague. Obviously, the sequel has advanced things a little further along that might make Caesar’s method of speech perhaps evolve more deliberately.
There may be a lot of good in that because the primal nature of his speech patterns gives a more haunting refrain to how primal the apes still think. They perhaps never should have been depicted as sounding comparable to literate professors. When we think of the apes in the original franchise, we think of them as maintaining a primal nature that should reflect through speech. In the case of “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”, there’s also a better differentiation between apes and humans to give a more pronounced sense of division between the races.
All you need to hear is that guttural and broken sentence of “Apes together strong” by Caesar in the trailer to show a little more insight into how an ape might slowly assimilate the English language.
Then there’s the intensity of his voice that might help improve the view of Caesar as a Julius Caesar of his age. If they ever do evolve Caesar into a more literate figure later, you have to wonder what kind of intimidating command he’d have if more human beings were living. Having that in mind, it’s a bit too bad we couldn’t see more of society still holding on and Caesar being handed the baton of the government.
Perhaps he’ll get there eventually if surrounded by ruins as so many other sci-fi films have ably shown. We’ll expect part of that to be Caesar climbing the Statue of Liberty as a throwback to the original “Planet of the Apes.”