Planet of the Apes Chronology

This timeline brings together the different stories based on the 2001 Tim Burton version of POTA. As with many of the Classic POTA timelines, this one takes into account the comics and books. The main references for this timeline are:

Films:

Planet of the Apes (Special Edition) (2001) - Tim Burton


Books:

Planet of the Apes Movie Novelisation - William T. Quick
Planet of the Apes: The Fall - William T. Quick
Planet of the Apes: Colony - William T. Quick
Planet of the Apes #1: Force - John Whitman
Planet of the Apes #2: Resistance - John Whitman
Planet of the Apes #3: Rule - J.E. Bright (Cancelled)
Planet of the Apes #4: Extinction - John Whitman (Cancelled)
Planet of the Apes: Leo's Logbook: A Captain's Days in Captivity - Benjamin Athens
"Planet of the Apes" Reimagined by Tim Burton - Mark Salisbury and Tim Burton


Comics:

Planet of the Apes: Movie Adaptation - Scott Allie et al
Planet of the Apes: The Human War - Ian Edginton, Paco Medina, and Juan Vlasc
Planet of the Apes: Old Gods - Ian Edginton et al
Planet of the Apes: Bloodlines - Ian Edginton, Dan Abnett et al
Planet of the Apes Sketchbook (Online) - by Paco Medina, J. Scott Campbell, and Davide Fabri.
Dark Horse Extra: Planet of the Apes Episodes 1, 2 and 3 (Online) - by Scott Allie, Eric Powell, and Dan Jackson.
Dark Horse Collector's Comic! Planet of the Apes - by Phil Amara, Pop Mhan and Dan Jackson.


Official websites:

Planet of the Apes film website (www.planetoftheapes.com)
Apes Insight official website (http://www.apesinsight.com/)


There are a number of issues arising from constructing such a chronology, though, mostly based around the ending of the film. There have been many discussions online about this and other issues. Some myths seem to have sprung up, though:

1) Davison lands on Earth in the far future - FALSE - according to his chronometer, it is 2675, some 646 years after he left. Not exactly enough time for all traces of man to be wiped off the face of the planet. Also, there are at least two moons in orbit around the planet, which is orbiting two stars. Finally, there is this quote from "Planet of the Apes" Reimagined by Tim Burton:

"Broyles had decided not to set his version of Planet of the Apes on Earth, as was the case in the original film, but on a different planet altogether, called Ashlar, because he 'wanted to remove the thought that this was a repetition of the first movie.'"


2) Limbo stole a manual/communicator/gun from Pericles' ship - FALSE - according to the script, the trader only got his paws on an Oberon Emblem, which Leo catches him doing. As such, Limbo is of no help to Thade in escaping from the planet, either.


3) Thade went back in time to the American civil war - POSSIBLE - depends how you see the time travel element and alternate universes. However, one thing goes against this and that is Davison communicating with what sounds like a human when he returns to Earth. Also, according to the last reading on his chronometer, he arrives back in 2155, some 126 years after he left. It is known that genetic experiments were being carried out on apes to increase their intelligence even at the time of the Oberon's disappearance. If Grace Alexander is able to alter the physical and intellectual make-up of the apes so drastically in the few years after the Oberon's crash (see William T Quick's novelisations), then parallel advances on Earth, with far more resources, would make even greater alterations. The most reasonable hypothesis then is that Thade gets to Earth at some point between 2029 and 2155 (using Davison's crashed pod, according to the official POTA website). As the temple inscription says, he saves the apes and the planet, although this does not mean the total destruction of mankind. On the contrary, something that could not be achieved on Ashlar may have been secured on Earth: peaceful co-existance between humans and apes. In a bizarre kind of way, this mirrors the orignal series of films if this is the case.

For more theories on the film's ending see this page, which has no less than 15 theories, or this page or even this page.


UPDATE: Seems the new POTA film will have nothing to do with the Burton Apes universe, so that theory has been removed from this page.

Most of the riddle has been solved now, with the aid of the official sites and the script. The Oberon's crash had presented some problems as to how old the civilisation on Ashlar is, but the script provides a digital date of 5021.946 (although the script does say this is counting away in milliseconds!). How to interpret the last three digits? Unknown. But the first four seem to be the year. If the Oberon left in 2029, and Davison finds the ruins in (according to the ship's clock) 5021, then the Oberon crashed 2992 years ago. The current year is 2675, placing the Oberon's crash at 317 BCE. This fits in with the comment by Ari that the Calima ruins are thousands of years old, and that in POTA: Force, ape records estimate their history goes back some 3000 years. Whether Ashlar years are exactly equal to Earth's is not known, but this could account for the slight anomaly in the different estimations of time since the crash.


Planet of the Apes is Copyright 20th Century Fox 2001. No attempt is made to supercede the rights of 20th Century Fox, Dark Horse Comics, Harper Collins or any other holder of this copyright.

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