The fourth installment in the Planet of the Apes reboot franchise and the tenth film overall, Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is a highly anticipated continuation of the saga. Telling the story of highly intelligent apes and their fight for power in a post-apocalyptic world, this Wes Ball-directed feature catapults us much deeper into the science fiction lore, as each film seemingly gets more and more grand. Starring Owen Teague, Freya Allen and Peter Macon, Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes centers itself on the evolving dynamics between the ape society and its remaining human survivors. 

The eighth-highest-grossing film of 2024 with $237 million worldwide, old and new Planet of the Apes fans alike have met the latest film excitedly with positive feedback and an 81% on Rotten Tomatoes. Let’s break down the ending and its implications for the future of the franchise.

‘Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes’ Plot Recap

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is set generations after the events of the previous trilogy, roughly 300 years after War for the Planet of the Apes. The film follows Noa, a young chimpanzee from the eagle clan, who embarks on a journey to rescue his people from Proximus Caesar, a power-hungry chieftain who holds Noa’s family hostage. Along his journey, we meet Raka, a helpful orangutan who is a devout follower of Caesar’s teachings, and Mae, a human woman immune to the mute virus. Together, they confront Proximus, discovering ancient human weapons (including military-grade guns and combat vehicles) and ultimately overthrowing him to reclaim their freedom and rebuild their society.

‘Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes’ Ending Explained

In the final scene of “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes,” the tension between Noa and Mae reaches a critical point. While only their combined efforts could defeat Proximus Caesar and liberate Noa’s clan, the two characters are forced to confront a much larger question: can apes and humans truly coexist peacefully?

Noa, despite becoming a newfound believer of Caesar’s teachings, expresses skepticism about humanity’s intentions, stating that their greed would drive them to never stop until they reclaim everything for themselves once more. Mae responds ambiguously, holding a gun behind her back, symbolizing her mistrust. Noa, however, ultimately chooses peace, offering Mae a necklace that represents Caesar’s ideals. This lays important groundwork for the ongoing evolving dynamics between apes and humans.

Mae, having sabotaged Proximus’s plan by destroying an ancient human bunker, is then seen heading to a secret human base carrying a hard drive that, when activated, reconnects isolated human survivors via satellite communication. This is another crucial moment, hinting at humanity’s potential resurgence.

What’s Next For The Franchise?

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes concludes with a message of hope and reconciliation for humans, while noting significant advancement in the ape’s understanding of the world (Noa discovering the telescope) and a renewed perspective on Caesar’s teachings​. Fans of the franchise can look forward to seeing how the potential uprising of humans will evolve as they reclaim their power, and what new challenges and adventures await in the next chapter of this epic saga.