- "Caesar wouldn't want this."
- ―Ash stands against Koba.
Born sometime within the ten year gap between Rise and Dawn, Ash was born as the son of Rocket and Tinker. Having grown up with Blue Eyes, Caesar's eldest son, Ash thought of Caesar and Cornelia as his uncle and aunt and Blue Eyes as his cousin and the two would become best friends being seen together often for many years. Ash in his adolescent years would become a soldier of the Ape Army and later join his father and friend as a member of the Ape Council.
During their fishing trip, Ash begins to tease Blue Eyes and playfully shoves him prompting the young prince to push him back in return. On the way home, Ash brags that he could have taken down the bear without injury, boasting that the bear wouldn't have gotten him because he's too quick. Blue Eyes takes his friend's teasing in stride and tells him to shut up. However, their teasing comes to a halt when they stumble across a human called Carver in the forest. Blue Eyes snarls and Ash steps up to protect Blue Eyes when Carver accidentally shoots Ash. Caesar and Rocket arrive on the scene with a panicked Rocket rushing to his injured son's side. Later, Ash is present at Caesar's council meeting and argues with Blue Eyes and Koba, saying that his shooting was a freak accident but this is put aside by Caesar who has his own decision. He would join his people in marching in the streets of the city where Caesar threatened.
Later on, Ash is seen at the Ape Village where he is shown participating in the celebration of power being restored to San Francisco. But he is forced out of his home when the village goes up in flames after Caesar had been shot by Koba, who took up the mantle of Alpha for himself and has them attack the human colony. Ash then accompanied Blue Eyes into battle with Koba and the army where they would put the city into utter chaos and forced the humans into fleeing or hiding. Blue Eyes stopped Ash in his tracks before they enter the city and they both looked in horror at the desolation and despair of war.
Standing against Koba
Later, Ash is with the apes who have attack a building and have forced the humans to run into. It is here where he corners a defenseless man. Koba handed Ash the stanchion post the man was using to ward them off and goads Ash into killing the humans, but Ash refused, citing Caesar's teachings to Koba: "Caesar would not want this". With that, he tossed the post to the floor in defiance of Koba's madness and began to mourn for Caesar.
Koba put his arm on Ash's shoulder, seemingly comforting him over his grief for Caesar. But then Koba angrily grabbed Ash by the neck and dragged him up the stairs to the highest level. Concerned, Blue Eyes and the other apes followed to see what Koba intended to do. The screaming Ash tried desperately to break free of Koba's grip, but the deranged bonobo lifted Ash up and threw him from the building's balcony to his death. Koba then informed Blue Eyes and the other terrified apes that they shall follow his command from then on, and end their loyalty to Caesar.
War for the Planet of the Apes: Revelations
Ash's actions alerted Koba that there were still other apes that had loyalty that remains only to Caesar. This would have Ash's father Rocket, Maurice, Luca and other apes imprisoned in a bus next to the human prisoners. After having been reunited with his father, Blue Eyes tearfully tells Caesar that Koba has killed Ash, which leaves Caesar just as devastated that Koba would kill his honorary nephew for defying him.
Ash's death also caused Blue Eyes to be disillusioned with Koba, recognizing how deeply corrupted he had become, whilst prompting Blue Eyes to side with his father against him. Ash's father Rocket would also turn against Koba, when he finds out that his former friend murdered his son.
During the final battle between Caesar and Koba, Koba says that he fights for the apes, but Caesar mentions that Koba killed Ash and that Koba only fights for himself. Ash was later avenged by Caesar when he drops Koba to his death.
Ash was indirectly referenced by his father when Rocket, Maurice and Luca catch up with Caesar as he leaves to confront McCullough as Rocket told Caesar that he needs him (Rocket) as he knows what it's like to lose a son.
As Rocket's son, Ash was the opposite of his father; he was kind and was not known to be violent. He believed in Caesar's policies, much to the annoyance of Blue Eyes, who was more committed to Koba's beliefs. Ash was also known to be overconfident and somewhat smug when it comes to outdoing Blue Eyes.
As a follower of Caesar, Ash did not believe that all humans were bad; as evident by the fact that he disobeyed Koba, refusing to kill an unarmed/innocent human, he showed just how loyal he was to Caesar, and how strong his opinion about not all humans being bad were; moments before he was killed by Koba.
- Animal Strength: Like all chimpanzees, Ash was very powerful and strong.
- Animal Speed: Like all chimpanzees, Ash was very fast; Ash once mentioned that he was faster than Blue Eyes, it was unknown if it was true or if he said this out of overconfidence.
- Animal Reflexes: Like all chimpanzees, Ash had good reflexes; Ash once mentioned that his reflexes were superior to Blue Eyes', it was unknown if it was true or if he said this out of overconfidence.
- High-Level Intellect: As the son of an altered chimpanzee, Ash was highly intelligent; because his father Rocket inhaled the ALZ-113 early in his life, Ash had a higher level of intelligence than his father.
- Speech: As the son of altered chimpanzees, Ash was born with the ability of speech, while his father learned to speak later in life, he never spoke in the film, so it was unknown how good his English was.
- Skilled Hand-To-Hand Combatant: As the son of Rocket, the second-in-command of the Ape Army, Ash was likely trained in combat by his father, Rocket or his honorary uncles, Caesar or Koba as he was seen to be capable of wielding a spear.
- Sign Language: Like his fellow apes Ash knows American Sign Language. He uses it as a way of communication, to talk to other apes who cannot or have limited ability of verbal speech. He was either taught by his father Rocket, or his honorary uncles Caesar or Maurice.
- Expert Horse Rider: Ash was able to ride a horse with ease.
- See Ash/Relationships.
- Ash received his name from the white skin pigments on his mouth and left shoulder, which resembles actual ashes.
- Ash appears to have inherited some or very little of his father's appearance. He appears to have very dark hair indicating that his mother may have dark hair while Rocket has lighter colored hair. One feature that he has inherited from Rocket is his similar shaped ears.
- Ash served a similar fate to that of Cornelius from the Battle for the Planet of the Apes but does not share the same role. Instead, Blue Eyes' role serves as a parallel to Cornelius' role.
- Ash gained a scar on his shoulder from the bullet he suffered from Carver, similar to Blue Eyes' bear attack scars.
- In the first issue of the prequel comic series set between Rise and Dawn, it is revealed Ash's mother is a chimpanzee named Tinker but is unknown whether she is alive or dead by the time the events of Dawn rolls around.
- Toby Kebbell revealed in an interview with Collider that Koba will interact with Ash.
- There is a picture from the film of a council meeting that is being used to promote the World Premiere and it appears Ash is a member of Caesar's council.
- Ash is the first known ape to have been killed by Koba. Counting Koba's other victims who were humans, Ash is his fifth victim as during Koba's assault on Caesar he would kill another wounded ape with his gun.
- Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: #1, pages 5-6
- See Ash/Gallery.
- Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (novelization)
- Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (BOOM! Studios)
- Planet of the Apes: Caesar’s Story