What the...?I went to see the new Planet of the Apes movie this past weekend. The "surprise" ending was a little confusing, to say the least. Some would argue that it makes no sense. I would agree. However, I have put some thought into this and have concocted a theory about how the ending could come to be.
Don't keep reading unless you've seen the movie, or else the totally bizarre and very weird ending will be ruined for you. You've been warned.
Just to recap the ending, Marky-Marc travels back to present day earth, only to discover that there are a bunch of monkeys (er...apes) running Washington (I will allow you to make your own politician joke here. That was very clever; you are a freakin' genius. I am sure no one else thought of something that brilliant. Keep up the good work.) The Lincoln Memorial is actually a temple devoted to the memory of General Thade and how he saved the planet. Police monkeys draw their guns and the movie ends with Marky-Marc bustin' a move...err...or something. Actually, he just raises his hands and the movie is done.
"But wait," everyone in the entire audience says at once, "how would the past be affected by monkeys(err...apes) from the future?" If you haven't yet seen the movie, the strange, borg-like collective speech from the audience after the movie finishes alone makes it worth while. So we are all left scratching our heads like monkeys.
One thought is based on the rumor that the movie had several endings filmed with the hope that the real ending wouldn't be leaked. Perhaps the wrong ending was placed at the end?
Director: *whew* That was a job well done. I am glad we are finally finished. I am glad that we filmed the real ending first and spliced it before we did the rest of these extremely silly endings. These were a nice, fun way to relax, huh?
Director's Lackey:Uh...you mean the second ending, right?
D: What?! How could you have possibly confused the real ending with any of the strange fake endings?!
DL: Well, you are Tim Burton after all; all of the endings were pretty strange.
Or, maybe they were nearing the completion of the film, decided that they really didn't like the current ending and just wanted to put monkeys on earth, without regard for rhyme or reason.
Studio Executive:(after watching original ending) You know what? I think a better ending would be if Marky-Marc lands on earth and is surrounded by monkeys in modern day Washington D.C! What do you think? Am I brilliant or what?
Tim Burton:Uh...all of the monkeys exist only in the distant future...it doesn't make any sense that they would somehow be on present day earth...it would confuse (and possibly anger) the audience.
SE:Exactly! I knew we were thinking along the same wave length.
Or, assuming that it really was no mistake (apparently, there is a rumor that everything will be explained in the sequel,) I have come up with a theory to explain what the hell happened.
Andy's TheoryWhen Marky-Marc leaves the Planet of the Apes, he leaves it at the beginning of what would seem to be a peaceful coexistence between man and ape. Living together, man and ape forge a new society with brilliant technological advances. But, man betrays ape, or ape betrays man, or man's advances intimidate the ape, or the advances are destroying the planet (like the ozone or nuclear power or some environmental crap like that.) At any rate, with only the Funky Bunch left to resist him, General Thade mercilessly destroys the remainder of human life on the planet. Then, over the course of the next thousand years (or more...or less...it doesn't matter) the apes develop space travel (or they pull out the pod that Marc crashed in and reverse engineer the technology, similar to what happened in Escape from the Planet of the Apes) and decide to explore outer space. So, they build the biggest, baddest space ship of all time and climb aboard. As they lift off, they encounter the bizarre space-time anomaly that started the whole thing and are sent back into the past, around 1960AD. They then fly to earth, conquer the measly humans, deface the Lincoln Memorial and change it into a temple to Thade. Thus, when our spaceman hero reaches earth, it has already been altered by monkeys from the future.
But, if Marky goes into the past first, wouldn't he be able to stop the monkeys from even existing simply by stopping the Oberon (the space station) from trying to follow him into the anomaly? No. The anomaly seems to be a LIFO stack, or Last In, First Out. In the movie, the monkey Percales enters the anomaly first, then Marky, then the Oberon. But, we find that the order they come out is the Oberon first, then Marky, then Percales. Thus, if the same order is followed, Marky leaves the Planet of the Apes and enters the anomaly first, but since the monkeys enter after him, they arrive further back in the past, allowing them to change history before he arrives.
There you have it. For some additional discussion, take a look at this post or additional conversations about the movie here.