Planet of the Apes

Plot hole: The "video history" of the crashed USAF ship makes it very clear that the planet is uninhabited when they "landed". I can understand how a race of apes develops - they had a bunch of them on board. I can understand how a race of humans develops - they are descendants of the original crew. What I don't understand is...where the heck did all the horses come from?

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Suggested correction: According to the backstory, the space station Oberon was dedicated to genetic modification sciences. They were actually experimenting with animal genes in the safety of space (which kind of makes sense). Given that the Oberon was a truly gigantic space station, it's not too much of a speculation that they were experimenting on many different types of animals (not just apes). When the Oberon crashed on Ashlar, half its crew was killed, but half survived with a number of ship's systems still functional, and they continued their genetic research, possibly producing a number of Earthly species on the otherwise uninhabited planet.

Charles Austin Miller

I think this should've been posted as a question, rather than a plot hole.

Charles Austin Miller

That's just a wild guess. There hasn't been a single mention of horses on board the Oberon. Even if there were, why only horses?

lionhead

Wild guess? The Oberon was experimenting in genetic modification, which implies a broad range of research...and not just on great apes. The Oberon was gigantic enough to be an Ark.

Charles Austin Miller

So where are all the other animals?

lionhead

Suggested correction: Humans refer to parts of their own planet as uninhabited even though even though they are crawling with animals - vast areas of the Arctic are "uninhabited" even though polar bears and seals are found there. Were we to find a planet with nothing but primitive horses on it, we would label it as uninhabited. Apes and humans came from the crashed spaceship, horses were always there.

Which still makes no sense whatsoever.

Charles Austin Miller

Plot hole: At the very end, when Leo Davidson crash-lands in Washington, DC, on the very steps of the Lincoln Memorial, the modified Lincoln statue depicts General Thade (the founder of the ape civilization on Earth) as wearing mid-19th Century clothing. This suggests that Thade escaped from his home planet Ashlar (aboard the recovered single-passenger Delta Pod, no doubt), entered the time-rift, and arrived on Earth in the early-to-mid 19th Century to begin taking over the human population. So, Thade by himself (with no advanced scientific knowledge) completely conquered human civilization on Earth in only about 150 years, which is absurd even for space fantasy.

Charles Austin Miller
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Suggested correction: This is based on a lot of assumptions. Firstly, it's a perfect duplicate of the Lincoln memorial even though it's a different past, where humanity isn't the dominant species so it's obviously fantastical. Secondly, nobody says it's an historical accurate sculpture, in the middle ages and Renaissance they often depicted historical figures with modern clothes on. Just the sculpture doesn't give you the story behind it.

lionhead

Judging from the closing shots of Washington, DC, Thade's ape civilization is a virtual duplicate of human civilization, right down to the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, The Mall, the city itself, the makes and models of automobiles, and even the police uniforms. It's identical social evolution, except with apes in charge. The real Lincoln Memorial was constructed decades after Lincoln died (when fashions had dramatically changed) to memorialize a fallen president, realistically depicting him wearing his own 19th-Century clothing. If the apes followed an exact duplicate of human development (which is obviously the case in this film), then the Thade Memorial was constructed to realistically memorialize Thade, wearing his own 19th-Century clothing. This attempted correction makes no sense at all.

Charles Austin Miller

The idea alone that the apes evolved and build a society identical to our own makes it clear that the fact that they have a memorial of General Thade in 19th century clothes completely irrelevant to anything about any historical accuracy you might be referring to, as it isn't there. You can make an entire list of all the hundreds of things that don't make any sense in that scene, if that pleases you. But the clothing on a spoof of the Lincoln memorial doesn't make it a plot hole that Thade couldn't have taken power over such a short period. It's not supposed to make sense. Hell, Leo could be having a nightmare for all we know.

lionhead

It's called a "plot hole," a poorly-reasoned concept with equally bad writing and production that does nothing to bring the plot full circle.

Charles Austin Miller

Additionally, the original mistake is making the assumption that the statue is of Thade. It could very well be (more likely in fact) that Thade made it to Earth in the distant past, causing the switch from human to ape evolution, and the statue is simply an ape who resembles Thade, possibly a descendant.

Jason Hoffman

Nah, the text behind the statue specifically refer to the figure as General Thade.

lionhead

It's called a "plot hole," a poorly-reasoned concept with equally bad writing and production that does nothing to bring the plot full circle.

Charles Austin Miller

It could very well be that after General Thade arrived in the 19th century he took a Simian virus with him that wiped humanity out like in the newer planet of the apes movies.

lionhead

Plot hole: We know that Pericles the chimp (in Alpha Pod), then Leo Davidson (in Delta Pod), and then the entire Oberon space station are all pulled into the time rift and end up on planet Ashlar, each arriving at (drastically) different times. Apparently, just before the Oberon crashed on Ashlar, Commander Vasich sent a mayday transmission ("We're going down!") which is actually received by the Oberon itself before it entered the time rift. Commander Vasich and the Oberon crew are startled to see a very elderly Commander Vasich in the mayday transmission. This implies that Vasich and the Oberon crew instantly aged by decades while going through the time rift; yet, Leo Davidson and Pericles the chimp didn't age at all.

Charles Austin Miller
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Suggested correction: The mayday was broadcast years after Leo and Pericles had disappeared into the future, whilst still orbiting the planet, Vasich isn't as old as the later video recording Leo watches at the end of the movie, possibly a decade older. Eventually, after years of orbiting they crashed onto the planet, probably because they attempted to get closer. Then decades pass after the crash until finally the apes on the crashed ship take control. It's possible the Oberon never went into the time portal itself. It crashed in the past after all.

lionhead

According to the backstory, Alpha Pod, Delta Pod and the Oberon were pulled into the time-rift in quick succession, and they almost instantly arrived at their respective destinations in time (in the case of the Oberon, it travelled back thousands of years to a time when Ashlar was uninhabited). If the Oberon then orbited Ashlar for decades before crashing, then the Oberon crew and Commander Vasich certainly knew that there was nobody to respond to their radio transmissions. but after decades of silence, the elderly Vasich suddenly transmits a mayday signal just before "going down"? No, this is a plot hole, just like the ending in which General Thade (the founder of the ape civilization on Earth) is depicted in statuary as wearing mid-19th Century clothing.

Charles Austin Miller

No, they didn't broadcast, they made a video log. They decided to record what happened.

lionhead

Or, the went through the time-rift, stayed in orbit for as long as they could and got a signal from the rift coming from the past station and send a distress signal to them. Not knowing they were sending a signal to themselves.

lionhead

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More for Planet of the Apes

Quotes

Colonel Attar: Take your stinkin' hands off me, you damn dirty human.

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Mistakes

The "video history" of the crashed USAF ship makes it very clear that the planet is uninhabited when they "landed". I can understand how a race of apes develops - they had a bunch of them on board. I can understand how a race of humans develops - they are descendants of the original crew. What I don't understand is...where the heck did all the horses come from?

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Trivia

Linda Harrison, who portrayed Nova in the original Planet of the Apes and its sequel Beneath the Planet of the Apes, has a cameo appearance in this movie as one of the people inside the rolling cage as it's being taken into the city. She is seen standing next to Mark Wahlberg, shaking her head when he asks her a question.

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