Given that Koba was one of the best elements of Dawn, it isn’t surprising that the creative team had conversations trying to figure out a plausible way for him to return. While it is sad that Koba has truly met his bitter end, his legacy will still be felt in War. After all, Koba was the one who incited the titular conflict when he attempted to assassinate Caesar, burned the ape village down, and blamed the humans. It should be very interesting to see the consequences of these actions take shape, especially since Caesar is a pacifist and preferred to avoid confrontation. But now he’s being looked upon to lead his species to victory against desperate people fighting for their own survival. Caesar should continue to evolve in fascinating ways as his role shifts, providing Serkis with meaty material to chew on.
Of course, Koba’s permanent absence creates a large void that War and any future installments will have to fill. Fortunately, it seems like Caesar will have a formidable opponent in the form of Woody Harrelson’s The Colonel. Harrelson is a multi-talented actor capable of playing a wide variety of roles, so he should have no issues delivering another strong performance. Hopefully the script allows the Colonel to become a three-dimensional, well-rounded character that keeps in line with others from this franchise. Planet of the Apes is riding a lot of forward momentum, and Fox undoubtedly wants that to continue.