Alpha was a wild chimpanzee who lived in the West African Jungle and was the leader of his troop. He was also the husband of the late Bright Eyes, the biological father of Caesar, the father-in-law of Cornelia, and the grandfather of Blue Eyes and Cornelius. He had a prominent white birthmark across his shoulder, like a shooting star.
He was attacked by a group of hunters including Karega, Nderu and "The Dutchman", all of whom were killed trying to capture the troops. Bright Eyes was captured and taken to Gen-Sys Laboratories in San Francisco for experimental research, where she was given the "ALZ-112" drug which increased her mental capabilities. After two months, Bright Eyes gave birth to their son at the lab and soon went on a rampage fearing for the safety of the infant. She was shot dead, while their son, Caesar, was raised by his human surrogate father and scientist Will Rodman. Caesar shared the same white shooting star birthmark on his shoulder. 
In 2016, eight years after Alpha's death, his son Caesar, became an alpha in his own right at the San Bruno Primate Shelter. Ten years later, Caesar would become the alpha of over 2000 apes in a Colony created by him and the apes from the San Bruno Primate Shelter, Gen-Sys Laboratories and the San Francisco Zoo.
- The name Alpha refers to his rank as the dominant male of his troop of chimpanzees. Alpha's son, Caesar eventually became an alpha himself hence the connection to the titles of both father and son.
- Alpha was not explicitly shown on-screen. However, actor Jay Caputo was credited with the part, and an earlier version of the script gave the character a more prominent role which was edited out of the theatrical cut of the film. A deleted scene on the Blu-ray release of the film reveals Alpha's possible fate, where he begins to chase the truck to try and rescue his mate but is shot by the hunters before he can get close. Bright-Eyes screams and looks on tearfully as Alpha lies dead.
- Alpha's trademark shooting star birthmark was passed down to his son, Caesar. The birthmark was not passed down to either one of Alpha's grandsons, Blue Eyes and Cornelius.
- In the original Planet of the Apes films, Caesar had a son with Lisa whom they named Cornelius after Caesar's father while in the reboot films Caesar had a son with Cornelia (who is named in reference to Cornelius) whom they named Blue Eyes (for his blue eyes). Like the original Cornelius, Alpha did not live to see his grandchildren.