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The previous references Clark discusses include a newspaper announcing a spaceflight similar to the one that took Charlton Heston to the future in the original; Caesar building a Statue of Liberty toy (a nod to the big twist); a coffee shop called Nova (Linda Harrison’s love interest); and lines such as “Take your stinking paw of me, you damn dirty ape!” Those all come from Rise, however, with the sequel Dawn of the Planet of the Apes being notably lighter on easter eggs and replicated story beats, something that appears to have been part of a concerted move away.
This would all seem to suggest that War will feature even less in the way of winks for fans (so no mutants worshipping doomsday bombs then). That’s a shame for easter egg hunters, although hardly shocking; as the new series has progressed, it’s become less reliant on the franchise’s legacy from a storytelling point, with Andy Serkis’ Caesar as striking a character than anything in the originals and able to stand on his own.
It is still interesting that Clark cites similarities to the originals as a fear given that the two films so far both have shades of the earlier movies – in seeding rebellion, Rise was similar to Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, while Dawn took elements from the finale Battle for the Planet of the Apes. Perhaps that’s due to intrinsic elements of the Apes world concept, but it definitely promises that War will be going in a different direction; when humanity finally falls and the apes rise/dawn, don’t expect the Statue of Liberty to be amongst the wreckage.