The twist ending of "Planet Of The Apes" (2001) explained

Disclosure: I haven't seen this movie in yonks so I don't remember it very well. I am, however, a massive time travel nut. Here is the sentence which makes everything in the entire movie make perfect sense:

Time on Earth and time on the Planet of the Apes run in opposite directions.

  1. Pericles the ape leaves the ship Oberon first and travels through the storm.
  2. Leo follows Pericles through the storm.
  3. Eventually the Oberon follows Leo.

Because time on the other side of the storm is running in the opposite direction, the three travellers arrive in the opposite order to that in which they set out.

  1. The Oberon arrives first and crashes. Its ape cargo swarm out and populate the planet, creating the Planet Of The Apes. Thousands of years pass.
  2. Leo arrives next, eventually locates the ruins of the Oberon.
  3. During the climactic battle scene of the movie, Pericles finally arrives too.

Now we have everybody on the far side of the storm, and we move into hypothesis.

  1. Leo returns to Earth in his pod, through the storm.
  2. Hypothetically, some time later, the apes develop space travel and follow Leo through the storm.

Because time runs in opposite directions, again the travellers arrive in opposite order:

  1. The space-travelling apes land hundreds or thousands of years before Leo: in fact, hundreds or thousands of years in Earth's past. They conquer Earth and it becomes a new ape planet. HISTORY CHANGES.
  2. Leo arrives much later (but still in what is technically his own past because the movie starts out some time in the future). He discovers a regular Earth but it is now populated by apes.

Leo is back on Earth, but history has been changed and he has no way home.

Regardless of how good the rest of the movie is, this is a pretty cool and sophisticated model of time travel, and the final reveal makes complete sense, as well as being a mind-boggler in the best spirit of the original. I am led to believe that nobody involved in its production - even the director - actually understood the twist ending. I believe the only person who actually "got it" was the original script writer, and the twist was simply left in by everybody who looked at the script afterwards, each reader reasoning that the twist was still good even if they, personally, didn't understand it.

As a side note, there is no reason why the Planet Of The Apes can't still be Earth-in-the-distant-future, as it is in the original flick. In fact, this makes a great deal of sense: it would mean the storm simply connects two different periods in time rather than two distinct solar systems which both happen to have Earthlike planets.

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Discussion (65)

2009-11-03 21:37:05 by YarKramer:

For the record, the 2001 movie has approximately the same twist as the original novel, though there was only one instance of space-travel in that, so it doesn't have the time-travel explanation. (And it also has a framing device, with a fairly predictable "tomato surprise" at the end, which isn't present in either film ...)

2009-11-03 22:08:32 by dankuck:

I hadn't pondered the 2001 Planet of the Apes in a while. I was pretty much satisfied with it, being a time travel nut myself. Instead of opposite directions I assumed the cloud has some sort of "center point" in time such that the further you are from it, the further on the other side of it you'll come out. I supposed it works out the same, because relative to that point, time is moving in opposite directions (even though it's objectively the same direction). Have you needed to explain this to someone in particular?

Now do Primer.

2009-11-03 22:54:43 by Jake:

>there is no reason why the Planet Of The Apes can't still be Earth-in-the-distant-future, as it is in the original flick.

If the Planet of the Apes were the distant past, it would make even more sense. Instead of requiring a hypothetical ape to develop space flight and travel through the storm, the entire Planet of the Apes just sort of sits around and eventually turns into our own.

Seconded on Primer.

2009-11-04 01:37:04 by TJSomething:

He alread did Primer. http://qntm.org/?coffin

2009-11-04 02:02:36 by Vincent:

The script was actually sent to us in this way as a warning by the far future, but fell in the hands of the would-be first script editor.

2009-11-04 03:10:10 by dankuck:

Now I feel dumb, because I already read the post on Primer. Ok, do (...sound of Googling...) Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. If that's too easy, contemplate new ways of using time travel to drive a story while maintaining that paradox is strictly impossible (I hypothesize that there are few if any ways besides the comedic usage in Bill and Ted's).

2009-11-04 04:15:18 by Imbenarion:

The chances of a different species on essentially a different planet having exactly the same buildings, cities, monuments, culture etc. is pretty much zero though.

2009-11-10 04:23:31 by Alex:

Because time runs in opposite directions...
The Primer explanation was done because you suggested it.

2009-11-26 05:35:11 by Ryacko:

I thought the ape astronauts and the human astronauts simply switched places of their respective timelines.

2009-12-15 03:39:39 by Jeff:

Still doesn't make sense; the fact that the apes arrived hundreds of thousands of years in the past doesn't at all explain why they would recreate human society and architecture down to the finest details. Coming back to find Earth populated by the apes? That I'll buy. The idea that they've recreated Washington, D.C.? Not so much.

2010-05-22 08:15:10 by Jed:

"Still doesn't make sense; the fact that the apes arrived hundreds of thousands of years in the past doesn't at all explain why they would recreate human society and architecture down to the finest details. Coming back to find Earth populated by the apes? That I'll buy. The idea that they've recreated Washington, D.C.? Not so much."

- there could still be explanation about this matter. in the movie, if you can remember, the electromagnetic storm sends out all the earth's television and radio broadcast out to space which the space station Oberon eventually intercepted(which could have been all stored for log purposes).in the film, Oberon was shown to still be working despite of its very old age and its computers(and stored memories) are still accessible. we can conclude from these that the apes have studied and learned all the human cultures, architecture etc etc and have recreated it since they arrived hundreds of thousands of years in the past.

:]

2010-12-16 00:47:41 by Calum:

That is a very good twist but there is still one problem...

The statue at the end was dedicated to Thade...but when Leo left the 'Planet of the Apes' he left it in harmony with humans and apes living together and Thade was locked away with no way of getting out without Leo's hand. How could the statue be in memorium of a disgraced ape who would have died from thirst within a few days in his prison??

2011-01-03 13:52:10 by firstaidtogo:

I was thinking the same thing...also, why is he dressed and groomed like Lincoln? I was sitting there thinking...so apparently the apes went through the exact same timeline as humans...Roman empire...British Empire...American Revolution...American civil war..And yes, the apes could have very well seen the images transmitted in space, but the apes also loathe the humans, so one would think they would try to do things in complete contrast to them in the years to come.

2011-01-14 16:06:40 by Riggs:

"but the apes also loathe the humans, so one would think they would try to do things in complete contrast to them in the years to come"
That's pretty much the core of the movie: the behavior of apes towards humans. They loathe humans but they eventually make the very same mistakes that humans do: corruption, bad leadership, racism... it's irony working here.
I found this movie to be very enjoyable when not deeply compared to the original classic. When I watched the ending immediately knew it was Earth since the beginning, the Lincoln-esque statue of the ape-leader just depicts the rise of Thade after escaping from prison and the ignorance of apes for letting him take control again. It's genius here because compared to the original, Heston's upset about humans ignorance that led to human civilization destruction; here's we have Leo being surprised (and upset) about APES ignorance because they knew Thade was a soab and HUMANS as well because they couldn't keep their word and being in peace. Burton set apes and humans at the same level in this ending; in the original humans were the "stupid" since the beginning...
Does somebody notice Lincoln :slaves: Statue => Thade: apes: Statue analogy? Does this mean humans tried to enslave apes in this hypothetical past after their peace agreement? Looks like no one likes to yield and change...

Just my two cents...

2011-01-31 13:16:21 by Graham:

I watched it for the first time last night. The planet he left (Planet of the Apes) cannot be Earth, it has too many moons/satellites. They can clearly be seen as he flies away from the planet...

2011-03-06 01:57:25 by MonkeyHater:

Since the scrip was not understood by the director and writers of the 2001 remake of the movie, they placed more moons just for the fun and/or addition graphics. I just don't see it being a distant planet, but rather a distant time. If the apes invented space travel, why was the statue of thade in the new planet? Thade would had died during the time they spent inventing space travel. You might argue that thade was they're liberator, but still, why would thade be wearing Abraham lincon style clothes? (sorry english is not my original language)

2011-05-14 07:43:54 by lebowski:

Surely if Thade had gone back in time further back than Leo and reconstructed Human society he would of been slowly lost in the sands of time because the civilization would be so small when he was idolized. My theory behind this is that even now our statues and idolizing of heroes only dates back around 200 years at the most and I am British so please dont make some sort of statement about America only having been a country for 240 years haha.

Also i think your debate is very intelligent but i think you put too much faith in the screenplay/director/studio because to be honest i think it was a terribly written ending that was thrown together with little explanation.

It probably would of been better if you had written it :).

2011-06-14 13:48:24 by James:

Does everyone seem to think that time moves strictly linear? its a movie so we can put ANY idea into motion. the storm skews (not sure if spelled correctly) time correct? YES. therefor, it doesnt just mean "linear" like everyone here seems to think. the idea of each group appearing on "earth in the future" in reverse due to when they actually entered the storm is perfect. but at the end of the movie, the same does not apply. he entered the storm at a dif. location, angle, speed, time, everything was dif. not only that, but can we not assume that he was moving sideways in time? that instead of moving backwards or forwards in time, he was moving to another dimension where "society" took a dif. path than the one we live in today? "their" history obviously came out dif. than ours. this is how i view it even tho i hate the ending. there r so many loopholes in this movie its aggravating. yu can hate my idea if you want or yu can like it. but yu cant "deny" it because its 1. a movie.. and 2. their are talking apes. that pretty much leaves any idea open for possibility. :)

2011-08-03 03:47:56 by joe:

To address an earlier comment:

The whole movie may have been about how the apes loathed the humans, but at the very end, we see a transition in the character of Thade where he goes from sniffing the human weapon to attempting to use it to holding it just like a human, with a sinister look on his face.

In the end, Thade embraced the powerful weapons and ideals (destructive) of the humans (or so he thought), and this was his downfall.

Had he escaped, I have no doubt he would have fully embraced human history as he was taught that human inventions and culture brought unstoppable power.

And to address another earlier comment: to assume that the planet of the apes was an old earth and that the people who made the movie messed up and just added a few extra moons is no different than assuming that the people who made the movie messed up and made an ending that shouldn't have been there in the first place. You either accept what the producer's made, or you don't, but you can't accept half of it and twist (or discard) the rest to support your beliefs.

I'm shocked that no one thought of this, and now that the new movie is coming out, no one will believe me that I thought of this without regard to the new movie. When Leo goes through the old logs, they say that the apes were smarter than the humans thought, and they overtook the humans and destroyed them. Earlier, the female chimp (main character) said that maybe Leo's zoo chimps could speak but just chose not too due to the way humans treated them.

Why could there not be the same bloodline of the chimp that betrayed the humans on the ape planet that would also betray the humans on earth? And with genetics and such, I don't see it as too much of a stretch that the chimps would carry the family name Thade or something.

2011-08-03 04:18:18 by joe:

Btw, just to add, the whole movie is flawed. I mean, the old general ape talks about how monkeys are slightly above humans in the social order, and one of the councilor members looks like an orangutan.

But all apes came to the planet from the human spaceship. All of the primates on that ship were either humans or chimps. The ships video log even said the planet was barren didn't it? So where did all this stuff come from? There should only be 2 species on the planet: chimps and humans. Not orangutans and monkeys.

It's one of those movies that has a lot of errors and there's not really a good way to explain everything. But it is/was a good watch.

2011-08-05 02:22:40 by Foxx:

has anybody thought about this? its like the back to the future two movie when you think about it. first time he traveled through the storm he went into the future which would be his future, then the second time he went into the storm he went into the past which would be the apes past. doc brown explained what im talkin about in back to the future two after old biff took the sports almanac and went back to his past via the time machine. just food for thought.

2011-08-08 03:54:09 by Celcius:

I like Foxx(es?)(lol) idea. it would make sense but then again why would the apes have the same history as humans?

2011-08-08 04:11:29 by Celcius:

or matched the monuments of the humans for that matter like some of the posts above talk about

2011-08-09 05:07:54 by Luke:

Most are assuming that the General Thade went back in time hundreds and thousands of years. Why couldn't he have gone back in time much later, lets say 1900 - changing the statue of Abraham Lincoln to himself?

The person who suggested a link between the 2001 and 2011 planet of the ape films - The 2011 film is a reboot starting with a fresh continuity, based on the concept. So they wouldn't be linking the original series or the remake in this proposed film series.

2011-08-09 13:00:02 by fnw:

Please allow me to shed some light on this matter. The 2001 version of the planet of the apes was based exactly how the novel was written... Anyways at the end of the 2001 remake we see General Thade trapped in the ship, the same ship that carried the ancestral primates (such as Semos) that would soon populate this unknown planet and evolve into smarter beings, now Thade would learn much from what the humans left behind such as technology and human history and how to use time travel... all from what is stored on the computers which is located in the room he is trapped in,... he makes use of his time while being trapped learning as much as possible... when he is then set free by one of his close companions (i mean c'mon all his monkey pals just gonna turn on the guy) He is set free and somehow some way finds or builds a space ship and set his coordinates to planet earth to seek revenge.. NOW since we are dealing with time travel.. Leo leaving the planet doesn't mean he'll arrive first.. Thade arrives on earth before leo does, and upon his arrival in the 1900's he uses all his knowledge in history and technology to manipulate the next 100 years of history in favor of the apes and Concurs the planet... some time passes when Leo finally arrives back earth where he finds his planet concurred by those dam dirty apes. All thanks to Thade which is in-scripted on what is the Lincoln Memorial.

2011-08-14 21:42:11 by Monkey:

I just saw this movie again, and I've read a bunch of these theories but I think it could be much simpler.
Assuming this even HAS an explanation (it could have just been an entertaining ending), we can make one assumption about time:
Due to the order in which the ships arrived, the storm must bend time in a way that the order of what goes through it reverses.
Either that or whenever something passes through it, the next thing goes back further.
Either way, if Leo went back to his time first, then the apes, lets say 300 years later, used the technology left by the broken ships to go back in time through the stom, they would have been sent back even further in time.
Lets say Leo is from 2050. The Lincoln statue was built in 1920. That means the Apes could have gotten to Earth AFTER 1920, taken over the ALREADY EXISTING civilization (notice the police cars, guns, helicopters, etc. are all the same. If they were built for apes they would probably be bigger and whatnot) and just changed everything human to ape. For instance, changed the statue and the background of the statue to something ape-like. All statues and shrines, maybe even documents would be changed akin to what happens in the book 1984 by George Orwell. This makes the assumption that the General talked his way out of prison and brought his ideas back upon the apes.

What do you think?

2011-08-16 16:18:46 by shane:

Here guys check this out
http://pota.goatley.com/prophecy/timeline.htm

2011-08-19 01:52:14 by randomSpaniard:

Ok, after watching the film and reading all of your explanations for the ending I can conclude sometimes film makers screw it up.

There are two things we know for sure: the planet Leo arrives in at the beginning of the film is not earth, as it has several satellites; and the planet he arrives in at the end is indeed earth, since you can clearly see South and North America (and Saturn too, although that's upon reentering our solar system).

You talk about Thade going further back in time than Leo, conquering the planet and mimicing our technology and cities via the spaceship's log... I can buy that, although I think it is only too poor for someone who's paid for making films (if that was really mr. Burton's intended explanation, which I doubt). But let us stick to this possibility: the problem now is how he managed to get to earth. Some of you think he used the mothership (I will pretend I didn't read the thing about monkeys developing spacetravel during Thade's lifetime or fixing Leo's pod), and so you assume a monkey who is not able of pointing a gun properly, flew a wrecked spaceship which looked, by the way, like the head of Liberty's Statue (and a gruyere cheese too), through an electromagnetic storm and ended up in earth at some point in time during the Independence War, had sex with some apes, gathered an army out of his offspring and managed to conquer the earth only to be cut in stone wearing Washington's outfit...

No, this is just a bad ending for what had been a great film, and that's all. I have decided there is no plausible explanation because Burton himself couldn't explain his own shit if he tried.

By the way... in the planet which clearly was not Earth monkeys rode horses. Yes. Horses. Those animals, native to Earth, which some of you will say were in the spaceship for experiments on the effect of zero gravity on horse shit.

And the worst of this is that this shocking ending was unnecessary, because the paradox of the creation of this "planet of the apes" was already a shocking revelation in itself... although it is true that all of us could see that coming...

2011-08-22 19:55:03 by Antonio:

fuck i just sat up all night reading this it was a good read but fuck that last comment mad me giggle and proves that this movie is horse shit but i loved rise of the planet of the apes

2011-08-28 10:36:11 by Lienaj:

After watching the 2011 film its very hard not to revisit the 2001 movie. Firstly, visible the moons suggest that the Planet of the Apes could not have been earth. (Which is why the 2011 film makes no sense as the intelligent apes on POA originated from the space research and not from testing of some medicine). Everyone seems to forget that we are dealing with TIME and time travel. Look at it this way it only took humans a couple hundred years after leaving the medieval times to be able to develop space flight. The apes on the POA could take their merry time (a few hundred years perhaps) and develop their very own space and have no need for the research station , well maybe they took some data e.g. the coordinates of the ships home world. Then guess what happens when they go exploring. That very storm. ( I mean, why would the general go after Leo years late; that makes no sense. What would make more sense is after exterminating all the humans on their planet theyve decided that they should go take over Earth). BUT the problem I have with the movie is ...where did so many humans come from on PAO. Decendants of the researches is implausible as from the video logs onboard the Oberon it is highly suggested that the apes killed all the humans onboard shortly after crash landing. Oh did anyone realize that the MAYDAY distress they were picking up on the space station when Leo was trapped was actually their own distress call in the future. I think the ending was great... there will be continuity. They shouldnt have made a "prequel" which answered what no one asked. A sequel was what was needed that would answer: How did Thade and his ape friends reach Earth and what did they do to the humans... (deevolved them perhaps)

2011-09-09 08:34:41 by Guilherme:

Let's keep it in mind that Thade was the only ape that knew about the Delta Pod in which Leo arrived. During the time he spent imprisoned inside the ship he may have found data about the pods like how to operate them. After he was released, he might have gone after the pod and set it's course back to the storm, which caused him to crash-land on Earth before Leo and maybe lead a revolution that allowed apes to take over human technology and make our world theirs.

But even then there are mistakes. For example, the squad cars in which the ape police arrives are Crown Vics. I don't think the Thade took over the planet in less then 50 years, so that's something to think about lol.

2011-09-10 16:19:39 by PETER:

First of all, let me start by saying I don't believe one single person, besides the script's writer, involved in the production actually understood the ending. Second, your theory seems to fit very well, and I will stick to it. Now here is the fact on which I think the movie's ending did not made any sense: Thade was trapped in the ship, and their civilization was in the early beginning, meaning, even if he somehow guided the apes to earth, the years passed would never allow him to be such a important figure as LINCOLN,because the newest generations would be the ones that matter, meaning THADE would never be as important as he is portraited in the end.
THEREFORE, I think the movie is, most of all, a strong critic to our society (in paradox, they even open the possibility that JESUS was an alien). So my theory is, they never left earth, they just time traveled and changed the course of our planet, (where humans, with their capacity to fuck up things, made apes their slaves again, and somehow THADE got to earth in another ship and freed the slaves (due to the inscription). Other than that, I dont see another possibility.

2011-12-20 08:42:46 by Brandon:

Why can't everyone just accept the fact that the filmakers did not think it through properly and could not come up with a decent, logical ending.

2011-12-28 09:34:27 by Parker:

I think all they had to do was end it as Leo was entering the storm again. I watched the 2001 POA for the first time tonight, and said aloud, "I hope they end it here...I don't want to see what kind of corny B.S. they put as an ending."...and I was right. The movie was great and so much of it was interesting and thought provoking, but the end was...for lack of a better term, goofy. There's just no good explanation for it because I'm sure, as many of you said, it was thrown together and tacked on as an afterthought. Its probably one of the biggest reasons a sequel wasn't and hasn't been made...no one knew where to go with it. That's why the new movie took such a different approach. It didn't try to explain anything. It was simply a new idea based around an old story

2012-01-03 11:33:01 by Amanda:

Ok correct me if im wrong but i just watched the 2011 movie and a space shuttle had left earth and got lost in space (it showed a breif newspaper clipping and a tv news article saying so). Do you think that its possible that the space craft in the movie is the one that leo was in??? and maybe when he returned to earth at the end of the 2001 movie that it was over run by apes because all the humans died off in the 2011 movie due to the virus they created and all the apes took over as it did not affect them?? Its been a good few yrs since i saw the 2001 movie so i could be mistaken with what i believe is tieing the 2001 and the 2011 movies together..

2012-01-19 09:05:19 by William:

The 2001 Planet of the Apes has an amazing amount of holes in it. I mean, yeah, it was entertaining, but you will never be able to define the end. Even Tim Burton himself said that the end wasn't suppose to make sense. He set it up for a potential sequel that he would "rather jump out of a window" then to make.

2012-05-14 23:47:43 by Guywhowatchedit:

The ending was really something.

Whomever wrote the film was proclaiming they either do not believe in the grandfather paradox or time travel through stellar phenomena will cause you to enter a parallel reality.

2012-07-28 02:52:11 by c:

Listen future readers lets begin at the end Thade is trapped in the cell SOME1 let him out then they overthrew humanity on their planet then found the escape pod Leo used and crashed then used it to go back to the space storm they ended up in the 1800s and overthrew humanity on our world and used our techniques of building to make things hence the similar washington dc and the Lincon statue. It started when Leo went in the storm and went 2 a planet the mothership went after him but 200000 years early because of time travel the apes they had escaped evolved and became our masters then Leo arrived freed the humans and back 2 the end

2012-08-07 03:31:16 by Ag:

I've been reading all these comments and there are some real good theories in here. But c'mon guys whos to say that it's the same Thade that is on the Lincoln memorial(I guess it's the Thade memorial now) that is locked up In the crashed Oberon on the planet of the apes. Cos think about it the only way the apes would be able to open up that door would be with Marky Marks hand print, & Thade would only be able to survive in there for so long without food or water..

Here's what I think happened, remember at the end when Marky Mark locks Thade in the room & Thade tells Col. Attar(Michael Clark Duncan) "help me please, friend" ..& Col. Attar replies "No. Everything I believed in has been lies. For years your family have blinded us from the truth with your lies" ??? ...welp we all know that all the apes on the Planet of the apes originated from the crashed Oberon spaceship. So obviously Thade's ancestor/s was one of those apes the humans were doing tests on. & we all know that the Oberon, before crashing, came from our Earth. So who's to say that there wasn't more than one monkey from the "Thade" family(if u will) ? Maybe there were two Thade monkeys, maybe they were even brothers. One of them was taken on the Oberon, which ended up crashing on POA, which started the great Thade family, all of which ended in defeat for them with General Thade being locked in the room, & Marky Mark leading that revolution. & the OTHER Thade stayed on our Earth. & as soon as Mark Wahlberg left on the Oberon that's when Rise of the Planet of the Apes starts. & while Marky Mark was thinking that he was a bad ass leading that revolution in the 2001 Planet of the Apes, back on Earth the humans were being wiped out from the virus & the apes were taking control. & the other Thade monkey must have been one of the monkeys that was in the 2011 Rise film, & he obviously must have done something important to be placed on the Lincoln memorial like that. Maybe it just goes to show that the Thade family of monkeys have always been a bunch of no good, rebellious hooligans. & Col. Attar knew this, which is why he told Thade that his family is a bunch of liars & didn't help him at the end of the movie. But sadly, back on Earth things ended up differently.

The monkeys taking over back on Earth is one thing. But as for why they're dressed up so perfectly as ape paparazzis, ape cops, flying our helicopters, & perfectly imitate our society at the end when Marky Mark crashes back on Earth. That's a big question mark. I think the director & screenwriters just added that for shits n giggles. A way to shock the audience, in a sort of comedic way. Just another case of "monkey see, monkey do". The humans must have just all died on Earth & there were all those empty buildings, etc. so the apes just started using all our clothes & vehicles & just started imitating our way of living. As they saw us from inside cages.

2012-08-07 03:44:34 by Ag:

Amanda even posted up earlier that in the 2011 Rise film there's a spaceship that goes missing. They show a newspaper clipping & a news tv article too. That must be the Oberon spaceship & Marky Mark on his way to the 5021 Ashlar planet of the apes. & what ties both movies in together. Amanda gets what I'm trying to say (:

2012-09-02 01:10:44 by noah:

Very confusing plot. Enjoyable action

2012-09-04 02:40:30 by Amanda:

Ag i fully understand what ur saying, and totally believe ur theory of how the movies tie together, makes perfect sense to me :)

2012-09-04 03:34:38 by ogamfive:

I have a very different hypothesis as to how the Oberon arrived much earlier than either pod - Thade's capitalizing on its salvageable technology never was explained, of course, as no sequel was ever made - and it involves what I'm calling the 'paradox of surface area electrical potential within a vacuum'- gravitation has little or no value within such an environment, as has been well-established. So, if an object that is larger becomes caught in a magnetic storm such as the one which proves to be the crew's utter downfall, it will be carried much farther and faster in a timestream regardless of its temporal direction due to a MUCH greater surface area being exposed to the fields, created by the interface between denser energies (including matter) with the higher-vibrating elements, mirroring how Time may work on Earth and other planets - could also be viewed as a stargate, switchback or wormhole; one can also think of it as a more rapid energetic current within the larger, slower stream.....it's my belief Tesla's discovery that every object in the universe produces not just a signature electrical charge, but corresponding magnetic field, coupled with planetary (and solar, hence sunspots) differing centers of gravity, creates a basis supportive of sentient life.....

2012-09-04 03:54:57 by ogamfive:

.....neglected to point out also how the apes evolved so fast: exposure to the magnetic storm also altered their DNA; as David Wilcock details in his paradigm-shattering book The Source Field Investigations, pioneers such as Dr. Robert Becker discovered that certain strengths of magnetic stimuli and changes to other energetic environmental variables related to species evolution do indeed produce these kinds of expedited effects.....

2012-09-04 06:53:51 by IsaacD:

After reading all these comments, I think you need to take into account the significance of certain statements and scenes in the movie. 1) the inscription behind the Thade/Lincoln statue says Thade saved the apes (also note the comparison to Lincoln). 2) Leo's clock in his ship stopped sometime in the 22nd century, which is his future. 3) The female ape commented how maybe the apes on Earth just don't talk by choice. 4) When Leo discovered what happened with the Oberon, part of his explanation to the others was "they didn't find me because I made the time jump". 5) When Peracles originally went through the "storm" he was off course. 6) everything on Earth when Leo returned was the way Earth currently is. 7) when Leo left the Oberon in a pod, there were multiple pods remaining.
Now, let's put this all together: the different times that the different space-travelers appeared in has nothing to do with the storm itself. Peracles entered the storm off course and made the biggest time jump, Leo went in at a different angle and made a smaller time jump, and the Oberon presumably went in exactly on center, passing through the eye of the storm and making no time jump at all. Now, just as the apes on the Oberon were smarter than expected and took over the humans, at the same time (regular time in history) on Earth, all of the apes began a takeover. As the female chimp said, they were simply keeping quiet. Thade was released and because of the nuclear power in the Oberon, he was able to power one of the pods still on the Oberon and fly to Earth, landing sometime in the 21st century. He helped free the apes from the humans enslavement, leading their takeover. The apes took over everything anout the currently existing Earth, changing some things to make their own. For example, because Thade freed the apes from "slavery", they replaced the Lincoln memorial with Thade. Leo, meanwhile, went back into the storm at a bad angle and traveled back to Earth in the 22nd century, over 100 years after his time, the time when Thade led the takeover. He came to Earth to find the statue of Thade and the human-made Earth taken over by apes.

2012-09-04 11:58:33 by ogamfive:

.....there is some merit to what you say about angles being a determinant in when they arrived at the unidentified planet of the apes; don't know if you remember this, but Fox had created a website which linked from the movie's dedicated home page - since taken down, unfortunately - that had a detailed graphic pointing to just such a variable, but I still believe what wasn't adequately explained, if at all, COULD be by the storm itself being a catalyst for every temporal change that transpired as well as the accelerated evolution of simians on board the station, and I stand by my belief about the Oberon's surface area - and, alternatively, mass - being a huge factor in its more direct trajectory (heavier, denser object, caught by faster timestream, far less subject to any drift) as opposed to the vastly lighter pods which, as you point out, DID have very erratic trajectories.....

2012-09-04 12:09:33 by ogamfive:

.....a bit of clarification: the storm may have created conditions outside material or even conventional vacuum environments, which is why the Oberon, despite being caught in a stronger magnetic current, nevertheless arrived earlier to the planet than either pod; again, entirely SUBJECTIVE temporal values are determined by both density of objects and rate of their vibration in a material environment.....

2012-09-06 08:47:19 by Mark:

How about THIS: The writers screwed up...HUMONGOUS "my bad" as far as the ending...good movie, rather un-thoughtout ending...we can try to explain it all we want, but somehow, the ending scene made it through the editing department & "scientific consultants"...'nuf explaining...they screwed up.

2012-09-22 04:30:40 by McLovin:

Ok...all i have to say on this matter is...that if thade did get out (which i highly doubt cause everyone in oberon was against him) then he wouldn't have been dressed up as Lincoln. if he made it to earth before leo...wouldn't he be dressed in the army attire he was in...complete with the cone helmet?...and wouldn't the message behind him be different entirely??...i don't know but those are my ideas...thank you.

2012-10-09 17:24:19 by Daniel:

I agree with IsaacD, but the thing your forgetting is that the only way Thade could have escaped was with Marky Marks hand print... that door was indestructible. The pods were outside that door. If a glass door can last thousands of years and several gunshots there is no way to break down that door. But then again......

2012-10-10 15:52:18 by Doc:

What about the gun Thade's father has hidden in a vase, and his cryptic warning that he has fought this person/astronaut before. Maybe this is a parallel universe which is a theory I've heard before.

2012-10-26 21:59:02 by rob:

the Lincoln thing was from Kevin smiths chasing dogma(published 98/99) after jay went on a rant about super apes. doing his own version of the 68 movie. when jay and silent bob strike back came out (2001) the scene was included although jasbsb started production before apes 2001 and there is proof in print that smith did Lincoln first, the paranoid, "I'm a genius" that is Tim Burton was convinced it was stole from his movie even after evidence was brought to his attention.

2012-10-27 20:59:26 by Dave:

I came here to see if anyone had any good answers, and there are quite a lot. I think I needed to read this whole thread to come up with a plausible way of explaining how this film works, other than the obvious answer of it being a silly movie with no logic involved. Even if that's what it actually is, I think that thanks to sideways logic (and nerdy determination), *any* stupid movie can be explained.

Here's how we could explain this one.

First of all, you have to discount the events of "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," a film that wasn't even released until 10 years after this one. None of the ideas or premises of that film existed yet. So let's think of the 2001 film as a stand-alone story, since that's obviously what its film makers had to work with.

Ashlar is Earth in the far-flung future, several thousand years hence. Humankind was on the verge of being a Class II civilization, harnessing the ability to attract planetoids from the asteroid belt to close Earth orbits for resources and terraformed living space. Technology was advanced enough to become nano-scale, and humans regenerated Earth to be as close to its natural origins as possible. All traces of artificial interloping had vanished, and Earth had become a global nature preserve, with its only inhabitants volunteer caretakers and visitors. At some point the human apocalypse happened, probably owed to enormous weapons of mass usurpation (perhaps the very thing that causes the "space storm"), and our entire civilization was wiped off the face off all the inhabited planetoids. The remaining visitors on Earth had thus become the last of humanity. With no ties to anything technological, these humans evolved tribally and lived in peace with nature.

In 2039 the Oberon has a freak encounter with this storm which manifests at different points of the timeline. It travels to our presumed future and crashes on Earth. Native humans are freaked out and quarantine the crash site. After a few decades, the ship's crew age while their pilot apes, with all their genetic enhancements, become smarter with each (quickly) passing generation, eventually forging out and dominating their new territory over the indigenous, peaceful humans.

The movie plot ensues, with Leo arriving thousands of years later for a brief visit whilst aiding burgeoning ape-human peace by imprisoning the warmongering Thade. He then disappears in a spaceship, heading back to the storm in a hope to travel back to his own time. After he leaves, Thade escapes through some duct-work, finds a few more of those useful blasters, and once again takes over Earth. Work begins on the reconstruction of the Oberon while the humans are further enslaved, perhaps long after Thade's passing.

Documents & personal files, records, and films on the Oberon are digested and incorporated into the apes' own culture over decades and centuries, including clothing styles, music, entertainment, and everything else. The ship is rebuilt (at least in part), stuffed with a few hundred intrepid ape travelers, and navigated into the storm where it arbitrarily arrives back in the year 2001. These apes, armed with technology exponentially superior, once again dominate Earth (thousands of years before their previous rule!). Having had so much of humanity's design influence instilled so intimately with their own culture, the apes find Earth a dream-like utopia, filled with ready-made lifestyle they had come to learn about and lust after from the recordings on the Oberon. And now they were there among it all, able to drive the cars, make the films, wear the clothes, and live the lives of their dreams. In thanks to Thade who started this temporal exodus to utopia, the Lincoln Memorial was altered to honor him.

Then Leo showed up a few years later, crash-landed right at the foot of this statue, and faced the kind of terror only a really bored guy on the internet could possibly explain.

2012-11-30 17:18:31 by EagleEye:

Just as a side note to explain the multiple orbits around future desolate earth, our solar system is slowly coliding with our neighbor so could explain them being there in the future.

2013-02-23 06:52:02 by rgs:

that wasnt earth, with the oberon database they could have historical database of leo earth plus of scientific information. Leo just returned to the planet of the ape and no earth in another far distance future from the point he left from last scene. hade manage to escape some how and work out a new revolution where he erradicate all the humans and that is why you dont humans present here since they were all wipe out even as a pet. The real question was ow Thade manage to escape.

On another explanation, you could go with alternative timeline where Leo never landed the first place so thade was never captive in the oberon, learn the truth from his father before it died and start the revolution and wipe out all humans and the apes just start to evolve as human did in science and technology so Leo got caught in different time line loop by getting into the storm again which it sound more realistic explanation.

I think last explanation without any mambo jumbo and keeping realistic is the only explanation of what happen, Leo travel to a different timeline where he never landed in the planet of ape during Thade lifeline...

2013-04-14 02:14:29 by Erik:

I think that like they say i the movie, "maybe they just choose to dont talk" so yeah ledt say that they got morr civilized on the planets of apes and somehow thads beoke free and stole like a spaceship or somerhing traveled in time came back in like the 1900- centery and then like comunicated with the apes om earth and then they all like rebelled and thats ehy DC looks the same and they just changed the abraham lincoln statue?

2013-04-22 21:46:11 by ponch:

seriously none of these theories people are putting make any sense at all. if the thade had managed to escape to travel to a time before Leo arrived back on earth with nothing but apes Leo himself would not exist. all in all it was a good movied but the whoe time travel and shit screwed up the whole movie. the first comment makes no sense because of the first sentence i just posted. the whole movie is a paradox and i tried to make sense of it but nothing works. even if thade traveld back in time hed have to wipe out the entire human race and with what not even a thousand apes could do it. now i see why there was a reboot because the 2001 movie made NO SENSE AT ALL. why cant anyone comprehend that? i liked the movie but face the facts its storyline is a paradox just the way Looper the ending makes no sense.

2013-06-16 06:36:03 by Libre:

I'm still trying to figure out how Leo is supposed to be an expert pilot and yet seems to crash a ship every time he gets into one. A ship that a monkey can literally pilot and land with no problem.

2013-06-16 07:09:25 by libre:

Seriously though...

As for Gen. Thade... it is entirely possible that he was let loose of his cage following Leo's departure. Or, he just let himself out. No way that hand device was reading palm prints... not as dirty as it was. I think it was just a fancy door knob.

Once out he could easily take over. He had Seemos (spelling)... or what apes think is Seemos. And Gen. Thade was a descendent of Seemos. It would show that the legends were true and Gen. Thade should rule. Only a couple apes knew the truth and who was going to believe their crazy story over Gen. Thade?

From there he could rid the world of humans. He could also use the knowledge from the ship to advance their own civilization.

That said, I doubt he lived long enough to see it to fruition. He probably died hundreds of years before they mastered space travel, etc.

My guess is that they reached the equivalent of maybe our year 2000 in technology. Then, following their great Gen. Thade's doctrine, they launched a massive attack on earth via the storm. They land sometime around 2030 or so... shortly after Leo left earth the first time.

They conquer earth, possibly kill all the humans, and then take over the infrastructure. That would explain why the cars, buildings, etc, all seem the same as when he left. It would also explain why they have a reflecting pool. Not like apes, who fear water, would put one there themselves.

As for the statue... nothing a chisel wouldn't fix. Carve up the Lincoln statue in order to represent their own historical figure who lead them to this victory.

2013-07-05 04:25:36 by smiffy:

This film, though entertaining, had more holes than Swiss cheese. The amount of script, producer, director and just about any other changes over the 10 years of development, mixed with studio execs' interference,(One wanted our hero to land in a football stadium, realize there was some aspect of the game missing, correct it, and hey presto, the perfect football game!) It's no wonder so many films are ruined by this process. Because of the time travel motive, you can just about get away with with the general public. But not with time travel nerds;) If you lot can't explain the plot let alone the ending, how can Hollywood make a sequel? Where could you go from here? The Rise film has written off the Planet's plot for this reason and will hopefully rebuild the franchise for us nerds and there pockets.

All in all, the plot holes can be forgiven by the fine acting, directing, costume, scenery etc. Although I realize Marty couldn't have pushed his father out of the path of the car, I still loved the film.

Much Love

2013-07-10 09:27:46 by MisterNatMan:

Wow. I actually read this entire thread and found it very interesting. I was totally on board with the original theory here, although it didn't explain all the humans on POA when most or all of the Oberon crew was killed by the apes. Finally a very well written and sensible post won me over, one by Dave (on 2012-10-27 20:59:26). I really like this theory and it all works for me. Until ponch chimes in (on 2013-04-22 21:46:11) rendering ALL these theories useless because if the apes changed the world before Marky left on the Oberon, he wouldn't exist in the first place to do so. Forgot about this paradox. Damn that paradox. I thought it was unsolvable at this point, but then libre saves the day (on 2013-06-16 07:09:25) by stating that the apes came back a few years AFTER Marky initially left, and simply took over all the already existing infrastructure. I like it. Combine Dave and libre's theories and I think you have a theory that can make everything work. That said, I thought the movie would've been much much much better if it just ended when Marky heads back into the storm as also mentioned earlier.. I think it wasn't a very well thought out movie and the producers certainly never even began to think of the one we just came up with, but by golly it made for a very very interesting long discussion about it and I give it that. Good job internet. It's now 4:30am and I really need to get to sleep.

2013-07-10 16:04:28 by MisterNatMan:

In combining a few theories from this thread, I believe this is logical enough to accept. Thanks everyone on this page that contributed; you really made me ponder on this for far longer than I planned. Also the high majority of posts were well written and sometimes comical - thanks for straying away from the usual incompetent jargon of internet forums.
......................................................................................

Ashlar is Earth in the far-flung future, several thousand years hence. Humankind was on the verge of being a Class II civilization, harnessing the ability to attract planetoids from the asteroid belt to close Earth orbits for resources and terraformed living space. Technology was advanced enough to become nano-scale, and humans regenerated Earth to be as close to its natural origins as possible. All traces of artificial interloping had vanished, and Earth had become a global nature preserve, with its only inhabitants volunteer caretakers and visitors. At some point the human apocalypse happened, probably owed to enormous weapons of mass usurpation (perhaps the very thing that causes the "space storm"), and our entire civilization was wiped off the face of all the inhabited planetoids. The remaining visitors on Earth had thus become the last of humanity. With no ties to anything technological, these humans evolved tribally and lived in peace with nature. To explain the multiple moons of Ashlar, in the very distant future it can be assumed that Earth gained a new moon or two.

In 2039 the Oberon has a freak encounter with this storm which manifests at different points of the timeline. It travels to our presumed future and crashes on Earth. Native humans are freaked out and quarantine the crash site (as far as the distress call that stated the planet was uncharted.. well let's just say that guy was a nut that didn't know what he was talking about). After a few decades, the ship's crew age while their pilot apes, with all their genetic enhancements, become smarter with each (quickly) passing generation, eventually forging out and dominating their new territory over the indigenous, peaceful humans.

The movie plot ensues, with Leo arriving thousands of years later for a brief visit whilst aiding burgeoning ape-human peace by imprisoning the warmongering Thade. He then disappears in a spaceship, heading back to the storm in a hope to travel back to his own time. After he leaves, Thade escapes through some duct-work (or perhaps some faithful apes let him free), finds a few more of those useful blasters, and once again takes over Earth. Work begins on the reconstruction of the Oberon while the humans are further enslaved, perhaps long after Thade's passing.

Documents & personal files, records, and films on the Oberon (the scene showing that files from all of Earth's history were bounced into the ship as a result of the storm explains that this information is in fact on the Oberon) are digested and incorporated into the apes' own culture over decades and centuries, including clothing styles, music, entertainment, and everything else. The ship is rebuilt (at least in part), stuffed with a few hundred intrepid ape travelers, and navigated into the storm where it arrives around 2030, just years after the Oberon originally left (this would prevent the paradox of changing the Earth before Leo left and erasing his existence). These apes, armed with superior technology and strength, once again dominate Earth (thousands of years before their previous rule!). Having had so much of humanity's design influence instilled so intimately with their own culture, the apes find Earth a dream-like utopia, filled with ready-made lifestyle they had come to learn about and lust after from the recordings on the Oberon. And now they were there among it all, able to drive the cars, take over the existing infrastructure, wear the clothes, and live the lives of their dreams. In thanks to Thade who started this temporal exodus to utopia, the Lincoln Memorial was altered to honor him.

Then Leo showed up a few years later, crash-landed right at the foot of this statue, and faced the kind of terror only a really bored guy on the internet could possibly explain. (nice closing Dave, I like it! lol)

HOWEVER!!! The paradox is back. The only way for a time travel theory to truly work is to make a 'circle' in the timeline that continually loops - the "12 Monkeys" theory. With the apes in total control of the 2100 Earth (what I'm calling the Earth that Leo lands in), how can we connect it to a primitive Earth with only tribal humans alive, where this story started? Well, since there is an undetermined huge amount of time between 2100 Earth and Ashlar Earth, really anything can happen to bridge that gap. Perhaps Leo eventually persuaded the apes to live in peace and multiplied with what humans did remain, kicking off an era of peace between both apes and humans. Then eventually the humans defeated the apes and closed the 'loop', continuing from the beginning of this post. Or maybe apes and humans continued to live in peace and worked together throughout the story of the first paragraph of this post, but the only surviving organisms were humans after the apocalypse; the apes decided to venture out into new lands and never returned to Earth or were wiped out with the rest of the humans that didn't remain on Earth.

.....................................................................................
In any case, time travel stories are always perplexing and fun to think about the logic. In my opinion, it's not possible to have a theory that concludes in a paradox. i.e. if the apes returned to Earth before Leo left they'd change the world and prevent his departure in the first place. The only way for a time travel story to work logically would be through a continuous loop like in the "12 Monkeys" storyline. No one can go back in time and 'change the future'. For example, if I were to go back in time and change something, that action I did in the past actually already happened which ended in the result of me going back to the past again. Only continuous loops in the timeline are possible in a time travel story - no paradoxes.

As much as I didn't really like the movie too much (for me the ape dialogue and actions were far too cheesy and thought up by a 10 year old), I thoroughly enjoyed researching all the many opinions about this movie's ending.

Hit me up on youtube.com/MisterNatMan. Peace.

2013-07-10 16:32:44 by MisterNatMan:

..... Dang it (in regard to the theory above; mostly thought up by Dave previously, I'm not trying to take credit for it) I know someone's still thinking "well how did the horses make their way to the primitive Ashlar Earth?". Well, there's no real reason to believe animals were wiped out to begin with. In fact, horses could've been used widely by the primitive humans for their caretaking services, and remained existent throughout the story, of course being apprehended by the apes during the takeover. Boom.

I want to point out again that in no way did the producers think up of this theory for the movie; I believe it was poor filmmaking and they only included the ending for unexplainable shock value. I'm glad the Internet can come through for such situations :)

2013-10-09 19:45:21 by Cain:

The storm was an anomaly sort of like a black hole. The closer one is to the center, the longer the path is through space time and the longer it takes them to exit. So at T_C the chimp was sent into the anomaly. Marky mark was sent through at T_M and the ship went through last at T_S. Even though the ship entered last, it took the shortest path through space-time (perhaps the length of the path is inversely related to Mass) and so it made it through earlier. Mark left second and he also came out second and so he took the 2nd shortest path through space-time. Finally the chimp entered first took the longest path through space-time and came out last many years after the ship exited the anomaly and crashed.

Mark brokered peace between the apes and humans and left for Earth. Thade, escaped and exterminated the remaining humans (now that he knows what they are capable of) and started an ideology hell bent on exterminating the humans at their source. Hundreds of years passed and Thade is long dead but he is regarded as a hero among the apes. Using the abandoned human technology, the apes have mastered space travel and fly a conquering fleet with tens of thousands of apes through the anomaly. They take a shorter path through space-time and come out years before Marky mark does. They show up to Earth during the 80's and exterminate the human race (or enslave them elsewhere) and take over their cities. They live in their houses and buildings and they modify the statues to depict important figures from their own history. The reason they are forced to live in the dwellings of the primitive human race is that they did not bring enough resources through the anomaly to conquer Earth and allow them to live as the futuristic society that they had become on their own planet. Marky mark comes through the anomaly 30 years later to find apes living as humans in DC. He has arrived earlier than the time period he lived in but after the apes. Elsewhere on the planet the apes are slowly rebuilding their futuristic ape society but in the meantime they take advantage of the preexisting structures, buildings, technology, development programs, and hierarchical organization that the humans had established (just like non-fictional conquerors).

2013-10-10 22:38:32 by JJ:

Could this be a case of the magnetic storm actually taking marky mark to an alternate reality? But the storm also has the reverse time entry as the storm was going in the wrong direction? So marky mark always lands on earth but in a different reality!! So at the end of the 2001 movie it was still earth but different...

This discussion is closed.