|“||Apes alone weak. Apes together strong.||„|
|~ Caesar's most famous quote, in ASL.|
|“||I always think... ape better than human. I see now... how much like them we are.||„|
|~ Caesar to his eldest son, Blue Eyes.|
|“||Don't worry, Maurice. You are all home now. Apes are strong... with or without me.||„|
|~ Caesar's final words, consoling his oldest ape friend.|
Caesar is the main protagonist of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and its sequels Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and War for the Planet of the Apes. He is the reboot series' incarnation of the original franchise's Caesar.
He was portrayed by Andy Serkis through full motion capture performance. Serkis also played the villain Gollum of the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy and the anti-hero King Kong in the 2005 remake both through motion capture, and Captain Archibald Haddock in The Adventures of Tintin.
Caesar was an immensely intelligent chimpanzee who commands respect and loyalty from all those that encounter him. From his various ages, Caesar's personality changes.
As an infant, Caesar was very curious, his curiosity grows as he gets older and sometimes gets him into trouble.
As a young chimpanzee, Caesar was very playful, adventurous and carefree.
However, as a teenager, Caesar was much more mature, displaying human emotions, such as happiness, anger and independence. He also displays a resentment for most humans after he learns the truth about his origins and his mother's death. At the beginning, Caesar had a good relationship with humans due to being raised by Will and Caroline, but by the end, Caesar had grown to despise most humans mainly because of their behavior towards his fellow apes. His relationship with his people is much better. He is devoted and protective of his fellow apes. Caesar had proven on several occasions to be a great leader, displaying charisma during the battle on the Golden Gate Bridge, and willing to sacrifice himself for the sake of his army.
Caesar was also compassionate, these emotions, however, can cause him to attack anyone who dares to try and harm the people he loves, this was proven on several occasions usually involving humans and apes, on the first occasion, he viciously attacks Hunsiker who assaults a confused Charles, during the incident, Caesar bites off of Hunsiker's right index finger by accident, a trait that all apes share when it comes to humans, but becomes horrified by his actions and is consoled by Charles. On the second occasion, Caesar refuses to return to his cage and is confronted by Dodge, growing more and more furious at the man's insults, he shocks everyone by speaking for the first time and by unintentionally killing Dodge.
Although Caesar hated the man, he did not intend to cause his death. His death causes Caesar to experience survivor's guilt, but it also leads him to vow to kill only the humans that did wrong to him and his people, not those that did no wrong. He also begins to teach his people to do the same.
Although he loves and adores his adoptive father, Will. Their relationship eventually becomes strained to the point where Caesar starts to feel abandoned by Will and when Will attempts to reclaim him, Caesar refuses to go home with him, no longer wishing to be treated as a pet and preferring to stay with his fellow apes. During the battle on the Golden Gate Bridge, Caesar witnesses the deaths of many of his fellow apes, including his loyal friend, Buck, who sacrifices himself in order to protect Caesar. Caesar experiences sorrow and pain over Buck's death and also displays ruthlessness and cruelty when he refuses to save Jacobs who was, although indirectly, responsible for Buck's death. Instead of killing the man himself, Caesar chooses to allow Koba to kill Jacobs, which also displays that Caesar can be merciless but also vengeful. Although Caesar could have returned to the only home he has ever known, he ultimately chooses to live in the redwood forest with his fellow apes, choosing a life of freedom over a life of solitude. During the early days of the Ape Colony, initially, Caesar became slightly arrogant, impulsive and a control freak, however, by the time of the events of Dawn, he had become mature to the point where he was no longer the arrogant, impulsive and control freak chimpanzee he once was.
As a middle-age chimpanzee, Caesar was wise and well-respected by his people who see him as more of the all-father than the king. He was the ultimate leader. He combines intellect and ability, confidence and humility, strength and compassion. It's this unique mix of rare qualities that inspires others to follow. At the same time though, he was not afraid to assert dominance if another ape defies him, seeing it as a challenge to his authority (such as when he nearly strangled Koba after the latter accused Caesar of caring for humans more than apes and his own family, in front of his fellow apes including his son, Blue Eyes).
As a husband, he loved his wife, Cornelia, and shares an affectionate relationship with her. As a father, he loved both of his sons, Blue Eyes and Cornelius, sharing a strong bond with and sometimes having problems with his eldest son, but also becoming a counterbalance to Blue Eyes' recklessness. Caesar was fiercely protective of his family and will never hesitate to protect them when they are threatened, he will even go as far as to attempt to kill to protect his loved ones. This was proven when he almost kills Carver who threatened the lives of both of his sons.
As the king of a growing empire, Caesar had many responsibilities that can be very stressful since he had to try and juggle between being a husband, a father and a king. However, he had Cornelia's constant support; her presence also helps keep him grounded and calm in important situations. He had since developed a strong moral code and principle, apes do not kill apes. He was fiercely loyal to the moral code, proven when he almost kills Koba after the latter accuses him of loving humans more than his people and his family, but ultimately spares his life. Caesar was also very forgiving even if he had been deceived or disrespected, proven when he forgives Koba twice for his indolence. Despite his resentment for most humans, Caesar still possesses compassion and sympathy for the humans, proven by his friendship with Malcolm, but also because he was raised by the Rodman family who showered him with nothing but love and kindness.
Caesar was once naïve, believing that apes were better than humans, but after Koba's betrayal, Caesar realizes that there is no difference between the two species. Caesar still possesses some of the personality traits when he was a teenager, such as violent mood swings, although he had learned to control himself. He was a terrifying spectacle when he was enraged. Ultimately, Caesar still displays a dark side, as he can be vicious, cold, cruel, callous, brutal, ruthless, aggressive and stoic towards his enemies; evidenced by the fact when he chooses to let Koba fall to his death, after declaring that he was no longer an ape and because he has destroyed any chance for peace between the apes and the humans, forcing Caesar to have to prepare his people for war.
Over the next two years throughout the final human-ape war, Caesar preferred to use speech to communicate, and struggles to maintain his compassion and sympathy for humans as his fellow apes suffer. When his peace offer was met with the assassination of his own son, Caesar became full of vengeance, going on a vendetta to kill McCullough, even abandoning his apes to do so. He (apparently) became uncaring towards humans, killing one without a second thought and would have left Nova to die had Maurice not convinced him otherwise. Caesar eventually warmed towards Nova, but his hatred of McCullough kept him from getting closer to her. When his group found a dying soldier, Caesar showed some of his former compassion and sympathy, and upon learning the soldier wouldn't live, mercifully killed him. Still, Caesar admitted to Maurice and Rocket that he had grown to be like Koba, struggling to escape the darkness in his heart. This elevated further when Luca died protecting him, Caesar ordering Maurice and Rocket away to finish the mission alone. However, when it came down to it, he was unable to shoot McCullough, displaying he hadn't truly been consumed by utter hatred.
Caesar also maintained his love for his apes, defying Red's treatment of one, standing against him and McCullough, enough to inspire his group to do likewise. Caesar was also disturbed by McCullough's murder of his own fellow humans, believing the man was cruel and disturbed. Ultimately, Caesar still maintained his compassion and sympathy for humans while leading his apes to freedom.
Powers and Abilities
- Chimpanzee Physiology: As a chimpanzee, Caesar possesses several physical attributes common among other chimpanzees and apes.
- Superhuman Strength: Caesar possessed incredible feats of strength, even for a chimpanzee. He was capable of overpowering several police officers during the battle on the Golden Gate Bridge, he was also stronger than most chimpanzees, most gorillas and any human. He easily overpowered Koba during their first confrontation. Caesar was able to overpower and knock over adult humans effortlessly. He used it to successfully grapple and hold Winter down, an albino gorilla. He even (unknowingly) suffocate the treacherous gorilla to death. He also used his strength to hold back other apes who tried to harm others, even Rocket and Luca.
- Superhuman Speed: Caesar was incredibly fast even for a chimpanzee, escaping from and returning to the shelter without being seen. During the battle on the Golden Gate Bridge, he was able to speedily attack enemies without be seen. He was capable of dodging McCullough's shots at him from a distance and nearly caught up to the man as they fled, only losing him when he cut the rope. He also managed to climb a tree fast enough to avoid an avalanche and avoided mortar fire that engulfed his position.
- Superhuman Reflexes: Caesar possessed incredible reflexes, even for a chimpanzee, he was also an expert acrobat, possessing incredible climbing abilities, which were constantly displayed throughout his life and his countless battles with both apes and humans alike.
- Superhuman Stamina: Caesar possessed very high stamina, rarely ever growing exhausted from daily activities or the necessaries of survival. He survived not going without food or water for days and the beatings McCullough had him dealt as well. He had a high pain tolerance, able to be shot by an arrow and not succumb to the wound until days later.
- Superhuman Endurance: Caesar possessed incredible feats of endurance, capable of enduring powerful attacks from other apes or humans. He manages to survive a non-fatal gunshot wound and a dangerous, massive fall from his home until the next morning where he is found and treated by Malcolm's group. He was able to survive the destruction of the human camp until days later before succumbing to his mortal wounds.
- Speech: Due to his enhanced intelligence, Caesar had become the first apes in history to speak. In Rise, Caesar was shown to speak loudly his first word to Dodge and whispered to Will too. He later passed this on to his two sons, Blue Eyes and Cornelius. In Dawn, Caesar could speak partial sentences. By the events of War, Caesar was capable of fluently speaking English and could form complete sentences; something he was previously unable to do.
- Expert Leader: Caesar was a natural born leader, possessing great feats of charisma; he was capable of earning the respect and loyalty of every ape under his command, including Maurice, Buck, Rocket, Luca, Ash and even Koba. Nearly all of them remained loyal to Caesar during the battle of San Francisco. Caesar later displayed his leadership skills as he amassed an army of apes and lead them throughout the city, into the battle on the Golden Gate Bridge and to the redwood forest. He also stood against the Colonel's mistreatment of his companions, inspiring them to also resist the soldiers, leading them in an escape from entrapment.
- Expert Hand-to-Hand Combatant: Caesar was a highly skilled hand-to-hand combatant. He overpowered several police officers during the Battle on the Golden Gate Bridge and he severely beat Koba within seconds in their first fight. In their second fight, they were more evenly matched, Caesar using scrap metal as an effective melee weapon. However, ultimately, Caesar proved to be the superior combatant, defeating Koba and letting him fall to his death. He also (unknowingly) suffocated Winter to death, despite the albino gorilla weighing more than him.
- Expert Marksman: Over the next two years throughout the final human-ape war, Caesar became very proficient in the use of firearms. He shot on a soldier in seconds before he could fire. He also threw a grenade into an oil tank from a distance.
- Expert Tactician: Due to his enhanced intelligence, Caesar was a highly skilled tactician; this was proven during the battle on the Golden Gate Bridge, where he succeeded, leading the apes to defeat the police and to escape into the redwood forest. He also orchestrated their escape from McCullough's captivity in conjunction with Rocket and Maurice.
- Expert Horse Rider: During the battle on the Golden Gate Bridge, Caesar became the first ape to ever ride a horse and was a very skilled rider.
- Sharp Teeth: Like all chimpanzees, Caesar has sharp canine teeth that grant him a lethal bite. This was seen when he bites off Douglas Hunisker's finger while fighting him in defense of Will's father Charles.
- Genius-Level Intellect: Inheriting the ALZ-112 from his late mother, Caesar was highly intelligent and excels at everything; as he grew older, Caesar's intelligence further increased, far exceeding that of a human counterpart, his intelligence increased even further due to inhaling the ALZ-113 in the shelter; he was the most evolved ape in the colony, as his intellect is surpassed only by his two sons. Because of his advanced intelligence, he became the first ape to ever speak and later passed the gene onto his two sons, Blue Eyes and Cornelius. In War, Caesar also worked out why McCullough was really having them build a wall, causing the man to remark over how intelligent he was.
- Sign Language: Growing up alongside humans, Caesar was taught American Sign Language in order to communicate with others. It was his native language. By the events of War, Caesar rarely used sign language; as preferred to use speech to communicate with others, humans and apes alike.
- Psychological Warfare: Caesar was capable of using psychological warfare to his advantage; this was proven during the battle of San Francisco when he berated Koba for his treachery, leading an enraged Koba to attack Caesar more ferociously, but still ended with Caesar's victory and Koba's death. He also played similar mind games with Red, the gorilla eventually choosing to side with him due to such.
- He was named after Julius Caesar when Will's father, Charles, was mumbling quotes from William Shakespeare's titular play as he held the baby chimp.
- Caesar's ability to speak improves with each film. He begins with limited third-person language in Rise, an extension of dialogue in Dawn and full quotes in War.
Conquest of the Planet of the Apes
Battle for the Planet of the Apes