Perhaps the most obvious manifestation of this trend was War for the Planet of the Apes. over the course of the trilogy, the Apes prequels have gradually shifted from a human perspective to an ape one. Rise introduced Caesar as an ape growing up in a human world; Dawnshowed us a Caesar who felt deeply ambivalent about the growing conflict between man and ape. By War, the two sides are permanently at odds. And since Caesar is #TeamApe, so are we.
Meanwhile, humankind is represented most prominently by two new characters: Nova, a mute girl taken in by the apes as one of their own; and the Colonel, a man so filled with hatred that – for all his monologuing about the measures he’ll take to save his people – he’s lost any claim he had to his own “humanity.”
The Colonel feels almost like a caricature, except that War never lets us forget he’s one of our own. It references human-on-human war films like Apocalypse Now, reminding us that this behavior is nothing new. Just in case we’re still not getting it, War also has the Colonel deliver his most sickening monologue in front of graffiti reading “history, history, history.”