When Planets Collide: A Character from the Original Series Set for War for the Planet of the Apes

By  · Published on December 23rd, 2016

The future is closer than we thought.

There was a moment in the trailer for War for the Planet of the Apes in which we saw a small blonde human girl riding horseback with an orangutan – presumably Maurice. It’s a bold image that asks a lot of questions, but I guarantee you that you weren’t thinking this was going to be the answer.

First though, let’s take another look at the little girl via an exclusive image released to EW:

Now let’s take a look at the description that accompanies the image:

“The third film of the reboot series picks up two years after the conclusion of 2014’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, when the hyper-intelligent Caesar (Andy Serkis) and his simian tribe face an uncertain future with what remains of the military heading straight for them. Now years into the conflict, Caesar is a changed ape, battle-hardened and at risk of losing all sympathy for mankind. In a last-ditch effort to save his people, Caesar undertakes a desperate mission to find and kill the leader of the human forces, the fearsome and Kurtz-esque Colonel (Woody Harrelson).

It’s during this journey that Caesar and his companions happens upon a young, mute girl named Nova (Amiah Miller), the character seen in the exclusive concept art above with the gorilla Luca. ‘The battle is not just between the humans and the apes, but in Caesar’s soul,’ says director Matt Reeves. ‘The girl is his pull back to his empathy and – for lack of a better word – his human side.’”

Okay, there, did you catch it? The little girl’s name is Nova, which fans of the original series will remember as the lovely but primative human played by Linda Harrison in the original Planet of the Apes who becomes the gal pal of Charlton Heston’s Taylor. Coincidence, right? Of course not.

Reeves confirmed to EW that the Nova of his film is the same character from the original films, which means we just got a much clearer idea of the timeline between the two franchises. If Nova is, what? Seven or eight here, and she’s in her 20s in the Heston film, that puts us less than two on-screen decades from the events of the first film, in which apes rule the world. Give the decade-+ jumps between the newer films, the merging of these worlds could be just a film or two away. It’s not the first Easter Egg connecting the franchises – Rise had newscasts that make mention of a missing spaceship called Icarus, which was the ship Taylor and crew traveled on – but it is the most direct.

I don’t know about you, but if the final image of War is a streak of light shooting from the heavens to a crash landing in a body of water, I’m going to lose my freaking mind in the best possible way. We’ll find out for sure on July 14th, 2017, when War for the Planet of the Apes swings into theaters.

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