The first full trailer for War for the Planet of the Apes has more than its fair share of stirring, visually poetic images, and was one of this year’s most exciting trailers released over the past few weeks. Similar to both Rise and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, its two predecessors, it seems to be an intensely personal story told within the context of an epic war story – as Caesar (Andy Serkis) fights to bring an end to the war with the last of the humans by taking on their leader, The Colonel (Woody Harrelson).
One of the trailer’s most memorable moments as well, is the opening shot of Caesar on a beach, looking over at the unknown little girl (Amiah Miller) riding with Maurice next to him. Nothing was really confirmed or made known about the moment itself, including who the girl was or how she came into contact with the two apes in the first place. However, it looks like she may not just be any little girl to those familiar with the original Planet of the Apes film.
EW is reporting that the little girl’s name is actually Nova, and that she is a young, mute girl that Caesar comes across in his journey. Apparently, the girl’s name won’t just be a nod to Linda Harrison’s character in the original Planet of the Apes film either, but will actually be the same character. Director Matt Reeves commented on Nova’s role in the film with the following:
“The battle is not just between the humans and the apes, but in Caesar’s soul. The girl is his pull back to his empathy and — for lack of a better word — his human side.”
Now, the previous two Planet of the Apes prequel films haven’t necessarily been shy about containing Easter eggs or nods back to the original films, but this is without a doubt the largest connection that has been featured yet. There are obviously, some big narrative and timeline questions that arise from this news also, if the little girl in the movie is, in fact, the same Nova that was played by Linda Harrison alongside Charlton Heston in the original 1968 film – including, how the film will explain the time jump between the events in War for the Planet of the Apes and the original Planet of the Apes, assuming it does at all.
Taking place just two years after the events of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the newest film picks back up with Caesar as a battle-hardened, cold war leader looking to find some way to finish the war between his people and what’s left of humanity. Already on the brink of losing all attachments to the human race, Caesar and his closest allies will take the biggest risk of the war yet when they look to take down humanity’s “Kurtz-esque” leader, played by Harrison, who looks to have quite a tumultuous relationship with Serkis’ ape leader in the film.
Being part of what is already one of the most critically-acclaimed and interesting blockbuster franchises currently active, the question of how the next Planet of the Apes installment either continues or finishes Caesar’s story makes it that much more exciting of a film. The matter of Nova is yet another intriguing piece to the puzzle that is War for the Planet of the Apes, too.