- "Are there more like you? More apes from zoo?
Dead. All dead. Long time. Human get sick. Ape get smart. Then human kill ape. But not me. I run.
You learned to speak?
Listen. Human. "Bad ape!" Bad Ape."
- ―Bad Ape explains his origin to Caesar.
Bad Ape is an evolved chimpanzee who appears in War for the Planet of the Apes. Bad Ape lived in the Sierra Safari Zoo in Nevada before the Simian Flu outbreak and was one of the many apes that got more intelligent, due to the virus. Bad Ape encountered Caesar's Colony and joined them having found more of his kind and having nowhere else to go.
Not much is known about Bad Ape other than he came from and lived in the Sierra Safari Zoo in Reno, Nevada, United States. Over the years, Bad Ape repeatedly heard and listened to his human handlers call him "Bad Ape" and as such, over time he began to firmly believe that "Bad Ape" was indeed his name. According to him, he had a child that was taken from him by humans.
Some time later when the Simian Flu first broke out, Bad Ape became infected along with the rest of his fellow apes. As a result, he and the other apes evolved and became incredibly intelligent. With his new-found intelligence, Bad Ape immediately realized that the humans were quickly becoming sick while he and the other apes got smarter. However as the humans got sicker and the apes got smarter, the humans began killing the apes. Terrified; Bad Ape managed to escape the zoo and fled into the wilderness.
As time passed, Bad Ape learned to speak from remembering how he used to watch and listen to the humans speak to him. He also adapted to wearing clothing to better help him survive the weather changes.
War for the Planet of the Apes
Encounter With Caesar
Bad Ape mistakes Caesar's group for humans upon seeing a human girl with them and steals one of their horses forcing them to chase him as he opens fire on them. Caesar's group soon corner him in an abandoned building where both sides learn the other are both apes.
Bad Ape is excited to see more apes like him and has them stay over where he tells them of his origins as a zoo ape. He explains as the humans were getting sick, the apes were getting smarter and he learned how to speak by picking up from humans and he obtained the name Bad Ape due to being called that repeatedly.
Bad Ape then took Caesar and his friends to the Alpha-Omega base in the hope that he can find his sons. Bad Ape plays a huge part in rescuing Caesar and his colony from the humans because he is small and can fit through small places.
Bad ape mistakenly found the underground sewers that Maurice, Nova and Rocket could use to rescue the apes. Although he was reluctant to dig through to the surface until Maurice roared at him.
Bad Ape was worried when Nova wandered into the camp and watched as Rocket intentionally got captured to cover for the girl.
Helping the Apes escape
He later took part in the rescue, he was forced into climbing on Maurice's back and would meet the rest of the colony. Rocket pointed him out as a good ape, as the other apes thanked him for his help. Fascinated to meet more apes like him, Bad Ape introduced himself to the colony.
When Caesar and Rocket liberated the young apes, Bad Ape took part in making sure the young were tended to.
After the northern army attacked, Bad Ape was worried at the destruction caused by the warring humans. He quickly shielded several young apes from the flying projectiles and would get them to safety.
Once the avalanche took place, Bad Ape and the others would escape to the trees before watching as the soldiers were wiped out in the process. He was pleased to see Caesar had survived the damage and would cheer for this.
Living with his own kind
Afterwards, Bad Ape takes part and the other apes leave the devastated area and crossing the desert. The apes then find an Oasis, in which they make into their new home far away from humanity's grip. Bad Ape can be seen playing with Nova and Caesar's son Cornelius at the colony's new home.
Bad Ape witnesses Caesar's demise and is sad at the passing of his first friend.
Not much is known about Bad Ape's personality at this moment other than he is a congenial and anxious yet friendly ape; if not a little bit crazy from witnessing the deaths of his family and the constant years of isolation in the mountains.
Upon meeting Caesar and his allies, Bad Ape was overjoyed and ecstatic to finally meet apes who were evolved like himself; happily stating "new friends" and sharing his food rations with them. He was also fascinated to meet the rest of the colony, as seen when he helped in saving them from J. Wesley McCullough and was only able to give his name repeatedly. After the apes crossed over, he was happy at the chance to finally live in peace and be accepted by those like him.
Bad Ape often appears cowardly when faced with possible danger. However, when feeling intense emotions, he is willing to put aside his fear, showing when he emphasized with Nova over being alone and accept her, helped Caesar after learning of the death of his son Blue Eyes, revealing that he had his own child that was lost, as well as when Maurice growled at him to get him to climb up into the sewer drain. He also protected several young apes from flying projectiles by the warring humans.
- High-Level Intellect: Having been infected by the Simian Flu, Bad Ape was granted increased intelligence, understanding that clothes help keep one warm and was able to use such to attempts to get Caesar and his companions to like him. He also understood the danger of mortar launchers, protecting a group of ape children from them. He didn't understand sign language though, most likely because he hadn't been taught.
- Speech: From his infection, Bad Ape gained the ability of speech. He was taught how to speak by watching the humans, who gave him his self declared name; "Bad Ape". His fluency paralleled that of Caesar's, Bad Ape was able to speak much better than most of Caesar's own group.
- Expert Horse Rider: Bad Ape is able to ride a horse with ease, using one to escape from Caesar's group.
- Skilled Marksman: Bad Ape is able to fire a shotgun to ward off Caesar as he pursued him, though it ultimately had little impact.
- Fashion: Bad Ape wore clothes which were stylish and suited his body type, making him look very much like a human at times.
(Bad Ape looks through binoculars backwards) "Oh no! Why so small?"
"New friends! Special day!"
(Bad Ape) "After zoo, I go... look for food. Then find... human zoo! Zoo for sick. Big walls. Sick human climb. Bad human kill." (Caesar) "Bad humans? Soldiers?" (Bad Ape) "Soldiers."
(To Nova touching the Chevy Nova wordmark) "No. No touch! That- that's mine."
More to come...'
- Although the character's name is officially "Bad Ape", this not technically his name. "Bad Ape" is just the derogatory name that the humans gave him repeatedly thus over time he mistakenly began to believe that his name was actually indeed "Bad Ape".
- In interviews, director Matt Reeves explained that introducing Bad Ape was meant to start widening the fictional world for future sequels, by establishing that there are other apes across the world beyond Caesar's colony who were mentally uplifted by the Simian Flu:
- "Bad Ape is really...he’s critical to this story but he’s actually a seed that’s planted that sort of says that… that’s a widening up of the world. It’s not just Caesar’s apes, there are other apes elsewhere – and those apes haven’t had the benefit of Caesar’s leadership. And so who knows what they’re like, and they certainly wouldn’t necessarily have the level of empathy and integrity that he’s tried to instill in his family of apes. So future conflicts might not just be human and ape".
- Reeves also pointed out that the apes in Rise and Dawn don't wear clothing, but the end point of the future ape society seen in the original Planet of the Apes movie does wear clothing, and Bad Ape is also supposed to be the start of a progression in this direction; to survive in a harsh winter he's the first ape we see who shifted to wearing heavy winter coats he scavenged.
- This is primarily assisted by the fact that he is bald, similarly to Rocket. However, while Rocket likely has Alopecia, Bad Ape seems to have lost his hair from old age.
- See Bad Ape/Gallery.
- War for the Planet of the Apes (novelization)
- War for the Planet of the Apes (BOOM! Studios)