Friday, February 24, 2012


A little bit about Continuity: 

So there have been a ton of apes spin offs over the years- the TV series, the animated series - Marvel, Boom, and Adventure comics, etc. There have even been two attempts at a brand new continuity - the Burton FIlm (2001) and the newly minted Rise fo the Planet of the Apes (2011). 

Unfortunately, there has been little to no regulation to bring it all in under one line of continuity. My Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes novel was designed to make a lot of the pieces connect that did not fit previously, without contradicting anything that was established in the films. Conspiracy was a labor of love, and  something I went out of my way to make sure fit in the continuity of the original films - even subtly connecting plot points and discrepancies so that they now jelled together in a coherent universe. It was something I enjoyed doing, and something I will enjoy doing again in the upcoming sequel novel, Death of the Planet of the Apes. Unfortunately, when you add other media, such as the animated series, some of the comics, The Tim Burton affair and its spin offs, and Rise of the Planet of the Apes, there is just no way to cement them all within the same continuity without turning it into a hellish nightmare… or is there?

Ships that pass in the night: Liberty-1 v. Liberty-1.  What...what's that? How does a ship pass itself? 
Just who is flying that other Liberty-1? Pay no attention to the Archaia watermark, it will beguile you... 
PARADOX by Andrew Probert - a color plate from the illustrated novel Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes. 


In the Apes saga, time is likened to a highway - a metaphor that can help to resolve all Apes storylines into the same universe. As I see it, there is only ONE highway - but several different LANES. As said in the classic films, by changing lanes, one can change one's destiny. The future as Cornelius knew it in Escape was likely the original timeline - unaffected by the Liberty-1 making it's jaunt to the future. Liberty traveling to the future (Original film, Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes, Beneath the Planet of the Apes, and Death of the Planet of the Apes) affected things because Cornelius and Zira travelled back using that same craft, arriving in 1973 and started a new LANE (which they couldn't do if Taylor hadn't gone to the future in the first place). 

Confused yet?

In that original timeline, apes didn't take over until after 2503, which is why the Venturer crew, Ronald Brent (Apes cartoon), and Probe Six (Apes television series) astronauts leave earth in 1976, 2125 and 1980 respectively, without knowing about an ape future, despite Cornelius and Zira appearing in 1973 (Escape)  and saying as much publicly (this is also where the Burton LANE would spring from). The Probe Six astronauts crash land in the original future (TV series), while the Venturer and Ron Brent accelerate to a DIFFERENT LANE (animated series). Cornelius and Zira start a new lane (Escape) which causes the apes to take over MUCH sooner (1991), which leads to TWO LANES -the two different versions of Caesar's revolt (Conquest theatrical release and BluRay versions.) One of those lanes, the Theatrical version, leads to events we are familiar  with (Revolution, Battle, and the BOOM series). But the blu ray version is a result of something happening in the timeline, something which causes Caesar to become so enraged that night, that he doesn't stop the gorillas from pulping Breck. This leads to a darker, grittier duology of novels I have planned that tell the secrets of that night in Conquest, an altered version of Revolution, and a drastically different telling of the events in Battle, events which actually lead to the first film. Rise was started by some change in the Timeline before all this, leading to the Liberty -1 not being launched until 2010ish.

Phew! Does any of that make sense?

I hate temporal mechanics...