"Koba... cannot save them. Apes all
Yes. Join me.'"
―Koba still haunts Caesar from beyond the grave

Koba was an evolved bonobo with a strong hatred for humans, stemming from years of abuse and neglect. He bears scars on his body as a reminder of his experience with humanity's dark side. Koba was liberated from captivity during the Ape Rebellion and eventually became a prominent member of the San Francisco Ape Colony, as well as a member of the Ape Council, and one of the commanders in the Ape Army.

Koba was initially a staunch ally of Caesar, but later became disillusioned with him after seeing his compassion and sympathy towards humans. This resentment leads to him overthrowing Caesar and leading the apes to war with humanity.


Early life

Koba was born and raised in a primate research facility. He was taught sign language and was very close to his caregiver Mary. Koba considered apes who didn't use sign language "big black caterpillars", and identified himself with humans. After his mother was beaten to death by their alcoholic handler Roger, funding for the program he was involved in was cut, and he was then sold to a TV studio under the care of the abusive Tommy. There, he lived with another ape who knew sign language named Milo. Tommy was the producer of a comedy show entitled Monkey of the House, and frequently made the two of them do tricks, electrocuting them if they failed.

The show was cancelled due to poor ratings and litigation sparked by Milo biting an unruly child visiting the set. Turning to drink, Tommy began to take his anger out on the two apes. He slashed Koba's face with a knife after the bonobo attempted to defend himself, then blinded his left eye with a lit cigarette. Tommy eventually killed himself and the two apes attempted to escape his home, only to be caught by animal control officers. Koba was subsequently separated from Milo and moved to various laboratories, where boredom and fear of physical abuse caused him to exhibit self-harming behaviors such as pulling his fur out and injuring his knuckles whilst trying to Sign with the walls and floors of his cage.

He was eventually discovered by Gen-Sys neuroscientist Amol, who knew sign language and used Koba in various experiments. Although Koba formed a bond with Amol, the neuroscientist's superior, Steven Jacobs, fired him, and confronted Koba in his cage, callously deriding him as nothing more than an animal. This proved to be the breaking point for Koba, who repudiated all affection he had for humans and focused on Jacobs as the source of all his pain.[1]

Rise of the Planet of Apes

In 2016, Koba, along with nine chimpanzees, was selected and taken to Gen-Sys Laboratories in part of testing the new ALZ-113 retrovirus developed by Will Rodman. On the day of resuming chimp testing, Koba saw Will and chimp handler Robert Franklin examining the chimpanzees. Making sure to get himself picked first, Koba held out his hand from the slot of his pen, catching Will's attention. As Will dropped a cookie in his hand, Koba quickly ate it and held his hand out to demand another, cementing Will's decision to pick Koba as the first test subject. As Will, Franklin and two assistants strapped him down, Koba noticed Jacobs knocking on the window and joined, satisfying the bonobo to start his revenge on the human. After Jacobs dressed up in lab testing gear, Koba lied still as Will placed a canister of the new ALZ-113 in an anesthetic machine and placed a breathing mask on Koba's mouth. Waiting for the right moment, Koba breathed in the virus and felt strange before he initiated his attack by bursting through the restraints, disconnecting his gas mask from the machine, and knocking off Franklin's mask before succumbing to the virus. Despite losing consciousness after Will reinserted the tube back in the machine, Koba kept breathing in the virus as Franklin rubbed his jaw, unaware that he breathed in the 113.

In a matter of hours, Koba felt his brain changed and was placed in a special room with a writing computer screen. Picking up Jacobs' scent as the human walked in, Koba wrote his name and turned to see an astonished Jacobs, displaying his new heightened intelligence as he conspires to kill him.


Koba was later freed by Caesar during the early stages of the Ape Rebellion and immediately admired him for liberating him along with the other experimented apes.[2] It would seem that he went off on his own as he walked in the opposite direction of the apes during his escape (most likely to find Jacobs) but he later met up with the other apes as they were causing mass chaos in the city. He and the other apes then set their sights on the Golden Gate Bridge as their next target before escaping to true freedom.

Ape Leader

At the Golden Gate Bridge, Koba was ordered by Caesar to lead the chimpanzees in an attack from above using the bridge's high-wire supports. His group narrowly avoided the helicopter after them, at the cost of Wolfie. Once Caesar gave his army the order to attack a large battle ensued. During the battle, Koba is shown holding his own against several officers and joins his new comrades in the celebration of the battle after the surviving police flee.

He is then forced to take cover after the police helicopter with (Steven Jacobs on board) appeared and starting wiping out many of the apes. But this threat is resolved when the ape army's fourth-in-command, Buck sacrifices himself to take down the helicopter to save Caesar. Steven Jacobs who been wounded by Buck's attack and the crashing of his helicopter had begged Caesar for help as his damaged helicopter dangled precariously over the water below. Caesar, angered over his friend's demise refused to help him and left Koba to do whatever he pleased with the human. Jacobs, recognizing Koba from the Gen-Sys Laboratories, got scared as the vengeful bonobo began to approach the helicopter and gently nudge it off balance with his foot. In defiance against Koba, Jacobs called him a "stupid monkey". With an angry snarl Koba pushed the helicopter plummeting into the bay, sending a screaming Jacobs to his death.

With his vengeance complete (at least for now), Koba left the area with the other apes who made their way to the redwoods of Muir Woods Park and embrace freedom.


Later, in the forest of Muir Woods Park, he attacked Dr. Will Rodman and was about to kill him before he was stopped by Caesar who pushed him away from Will. Koba attempted to attack Will again only to be threatened by Caesar although angered by this, he backed off and ran into the woods but soon acknowledged Caesar's leadership with the other apes.[2]

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: Firestorm

Koba's first days of freedom were problematic for him, as he had never seen the moon before, had difficulty sorting through his now more vivid memories, and integrating with the non-altered apes, whom he still considered beneath him. Nevertheless, he continued to look up to Caesar, and hoped to be given a greater role in maintaining the safety of the colony. When the colony was attacked by the forces of Anvil, Koba proved his trustworthiness by discovering tracking devices in fruit left as bait by Anvil mercenaries, then held off an assault amidst tear gas whilst Caesar and the other apes moved to a safer location. Upon returning to Caesar, Caesar embraced him and called him his brother.[1]

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Life of peace

Ten years after being freed from captivity, Koba has risen to great prominence in the newly created Ape Colony which has taken to live in a village residing on the mountains, capable of holding a capacity of thousands. He has grown much closer in friendship with his leader Caesar to the point of serving as an honorary brother and advisor to Caesar, despite his opposition to Caesar's fondness for humans. Koba along with the other adult apes is now a mentor to the younger apes and is also idolized by Caesar's son, Blue Eyes who sees the bonobo as an uncle. At some point, he met and befriended two chimpanzees Stone and Grey who would often be found following Koba's orders seeing him as their leader.

Hunting trip

One day, during a hunting trip in the woods Koba is with his fellow apes secretly observing a herd of deer awaiting Caesar's command which alerts the deer into a panic and have them flee in terror. As the deer run from Caesar's group they encounter Koba and his group who attempt to attack but are knocked aside despite their efforts. Koba then hears Caesar's call for help as he holds off a bear attacking his son. The bonobo immediately comes to his friend's aid and stabs the bear in the back with a spear, fatally injuring it and saving Caesar and Blue Eyes. Caesar thanks Koba for his assistance and they collect the body of the bear for food before heading back to their village. Arriving in the village, Koba talks to the maimed Blue Eyes and tells him not to feel bad about his scars as they show he is strong.

Hatred reborn

The next day, Koba would hear the sound of a gunshot and followed the other apes to it's origin. Koba and the other came across a shocking and horrifying sight Rocket's son Ash wounded and a group of humans armed with loaded guns staring at them. After the humans put their weapons down Koba and the other apes scream at them (in English) to leave the forest which they do out of fear. Under Caesar's orders Koba, Stone, and Grey follow the humans in their van back to the human settlement where they discover just how many humans survived the simian flu a decade ago. After this Koba and his group head back to the colony for a council meeting on discussing what should be done about the rediscovery of humans. Koba suggests wiping them out for what they did to Ash but he is denied by Rocket who agreeing with Ash that it was an accident. Koba chastised Rocket for this but the latter states he follows Caesar. Their argument is broken up by Caesar who states the apes have done so much and cannot afford to lose their homes because of war. Koba then speaks to Caesar talking about his past with humans and while saying he is devoted to him for freeing him states that something must be done about them to which Caesar says that he will do something about them.

March into the city

The Ape Army march into the city where Caesar addresses the humans (in English) telling them that they do not want war but will fight if they must. He tells them to stay out of Ape Territory while they will do the same with staying out of human territory with that the apes march out of the city. As they do so Koba (the last to leave) angrily glares at Malcolm and the other humans before leaving the city with his people.

Turning against Caesar

Malcolm, the co-founder of a human settlement, enters the Ape Village where he attempts to make peace with the apes to gain access to a hydroelectric generator at a dam in their territory, which could provide long-term power to the city. Koba encourages Caesar to let him kill Malcolm and to wipe the other humans out while they are still desperate. However, seeing prospects for peace, Caesar allows Malcolm and his group access to the dam provided they work unarmed. This angers Koba who begins to show signs of rebelling against his leader for being merciful to the race that caused so much pain and grief in the past. Koba claims that if the humans get more power they will become dangerous, but Caesar reasons that if the humans are left to do their work then they will leave. Feeling betrayed, Koba reminds Caesar of the abuse he suffered at the hands of humans, pointing to his multiple scars and finishing with his blind eye as; "Human work!". His defiance starts a sudden silence in the village as Caesar stands up above Koba, but Koba escapes the conflict by asking for his king for forgiveness, which Caesar accepts. Koba then leaves in shame and disappointment.


The following day at the river dam, Caesar and several apes accompany the humans to keep an eye on them as they work, all except for Koba. Caesar asks Maurice where the bonobo has gone, which the orangutan tells him; "Still angry… Said he was going hunting".

Meanwhile at San Francisco, Koba with Grey and Stone spies on the human armory and sees they have enough weapons to wipe out all of his people with that he quickly heads back to the village to warn Caesar. But Koba is caught in the act by two human guards who threaten him, yet he manages to catch them off guard by playing dumb and walking away, rolling his eyes in frustration.

Upon reaching the village and searching for Caesar, he speaks with Blue Eyes who tells him that Caesar is at the dam with the humans. Arriving at the dam he attacks Alexander and when the human boy remarks about this Koba moves to hurt Alexander more only for Maurice and Malcolm to stand between them with this action he angrily shouts for Caesar to come out to which he does. Koba confronts Caesar about his tolerance of the humans saying that they threatened his sons but he still lets them work on the dam. Koba goes onto rant about his leader's tolerance to humans saying Caesar loves them more than apes and even more than his own sons. Caesar then angrily beats Koba to near death for his insolence but stops himself after remembering the "Ape Not Kill Ape" law and Koba begs Caesar to forgives him which he does. This would be the breaking point between their relationship as this would cause Koba to secretly make plans to usurp Caesar and deal with the humans.

Grey asks a sulking Koba why he did not tell Caesar about the large collection of guns in the city under human guard, but then responds that they would keep it a secret. Koba then approaches Blue Eyes, the former seemingly broken after having lost Caesar's trust in him, and warns his nephew to protect his father, claiming to continue fearing for Caesar's safety as long as the humans remained within the ape territory. He later returns to the armory targeting range where he was caught before, managing to run into the same two humans again. Still playing dumb, Koba "plays" with the intoxicated men and steals an M4A1 assault rifle from them, waving it around like a plaything before suddenly opening fire and killing them both with it. He leaves the area with his new weapon and rushes back to the forest along with his followers.

The night power is restored to the city, the humans rejoice and Malcolm's team celebrates with the apes. Meanwhile, Koba ambushes Carver and beats him to death, taking his hat and lighter as trophies. Returning to the Ape Village, he has his two followers secretly set a part of the village alight. In hiding, Koba uses the assault rifle to shoot Caesar in the shoulder as the two lock eyes, presumably killing him as the latter falls off a ledge into the darkness below. Koba then leaves the rifle and Carver's hat at the scene of the shooting. The ape village is then set ablaze by his followers on Koba's orders as the ape colony enters a frenzy with the loss of their homes and Alpha Male, just as Blue Eyes appears with the gun and Carver's baseball hat and gives them to an arriving Koba who takes advantage of the confusion and blame humans for Caesar's death and the burning colony's home. Manipulating Blue Eyes and the apes as he takes up the mantle of alpha for himself and orders war with the humans as the only option to avenge Caesar.

Leading his people into madness

Assuming leadership, Koba orders the young and females into hiding and leads the male apes to war in San Francisco. The apes overwhelm the armory and charge the gates of the highrise peppering the unprepared humans with gunfire. During the battle, Koba's horse is quickly killed at the beginning of the battle, along with several other apes. The apes become worried by so many casualties and consider retreating, but Koba does not give up. He picks up a dead ape's gun, jumps onto another horse by pushing the ape and kid on the horse off it and after grabbing a second gun, he begins shooting at the humans, killing several of them. Blue Eyes, Luca and several other apes watch in shock as Koba shows colors and violence like no other ape had ever shown before. He was about to enter the human's main building, but a tank, supporting the humans appears and begins to frequently fire rockets and bullets at the apes and kids, killing many of them, including Stone and Trevor. Koba attacks and takes control of the tank, using it to enter the human's main hideout.

After heavy casualties, Koba and the remaining apes begin to capture all the surviving humans. Koba eventually corners two humans (who were attempting to resist the apes), disarming one of them and orders Ash to kill the unarmed man, but the chimpanzee refuses to do so, citing Caesar's teachings. Koba pats Ash's back as if to console him but then seizes him by the neck and roughly drags Ash up some stairs and kills him by throwing him off a balcony. He then tells the terrified apes that Caesar is gone and they follow him now. After this, he has the army round up any human survivor left in the city declaring they are the apes prisoners and will now know life inside a cage. He also places Caesar's remaining sympathizers as prisoners on a bus adjacent to the humans; these apes include Maurice, Rocket, Luca and several others. With this act, Koba essentially became the ruthless tyrant, that both humans and the other apes feared the most.

Battle with Caesar

Blue Eyes later learns his father is alive, and by himself, manages to free the humans and the apes loyal to Caesar. The freed apes join Caesar and travel to the summit of the high rise to confront Koba who is surprised to see Caesar still alive before jumping to confront him.

At first, it establishes a frenzied argument between the two apes as Koba stated that the apes now follow him but Caesar remarks that they follow him to war with the humans. Koba, however proudly states they will win the war with him leading them, saying "Apes together strong!" He mocks Caesar by saying "Caesar weak", but Caesar, unhurt and defiant, quietly retorts "Koba weaker". Enraged, Koba attacks his former friend and the two apes engage in a brutal fight. Both fighters use nearby objects and debris as melee weapons and shields, while the other apes can do nothing but watch.

As the fight goes the two apes trade words on what caused this with Caesar stating he had loved and trusted Koba like a brother while the latter remarks that Caesar was a brother to humans while Koba fights for apes to free them from tyranny. Caesar angrily rebuked Koba's claims stating "Koba kill ape", that he did this for himself and he belongs in a cage, which leads the bonobo to attack him more angrily. While Caesar and Koba battle to establish supremacy, C-4 explosives (implanted by Dreyfus) detonate underneath the tower, injuring and killing several apes. As Caesar and others assist the injured and trapped from the falling debris, Koba picks up Grey's (who was trapped under debris) assault rifle and leaves his former friend trapped. Koba shoots at Caesar, killing one of the apes Caesar rescued forcing the rest of the apes to run for cover. Koba then opens fire on the apes killing and injuring many apes in an attempt to kill Caesar who hides for cover. Blue Eyes throws some building debris at Koba, to which he angrily retaliates by firing at Blue Eyes and injuring Maurice in the process. After viewing what Koba has done to Maurice and the other apes, Caesar furiously dives at Koba, knocking him off guard and sending the two tumbling down a platform. Caesar falls to safety while Koba is left dangling on a ledge clinging for dear life.


Koba, hanging from the ledge, starts climbing and pleads with Caesar to save him, citing the "Ape not kill ape" law. Caesar, grabs Koba's hand and starts to pull him up, relieving Koba until he notices the look on Caesar's face as he looked upon the trauma Koba has caused and hears him say in a dark tone: "You are not ape".

Caesar then lets go of the surprised Koba's hand and lets the evil ape fall from the tower to his death, thus putting an end to the rogue ape's reign of terror. The remaining apes then cheer on Caesar while the latter mourns Koba's death, as he had previously been like a brother to him.

War for the Planet of the Apes

Despite Koba being dead at the time of the human-ape war, Caesar still lives under his shadow which affects Caesar and other apes including Maurice who compares Caesar to Koba at one point because of Caesar's lust for revenge against humans. Koba is mentioned when Caesar stated to the capture humans that he is not the one who started the war but Koba who he killed for his vile actions. Koba makes two cameo appearances as a hallucination of Caesar in War, where he continually haunts Caesar. His first appearance in a hallucination is after Caesar inadvertently kills Winter, reminding him that he just killed an ape and broke his rule.

Koba's second and final appearance was Caesar's hallucination during his torture, where he scolded Caesar saying that he cannot save the rest of the apes, and that he should join him in the afterlife.


Despite his death, Koba's actions still had a great effect on the other apes, as his hatred and attack on the humans made it impossible for the apes to have peace with them, and it has caused an impending war with humans to come. Therefore, even though Koba did not live to see it, he got exactly what he wanted in death; war with the humans.

Koba went down in history as a traitor and monster to the San Francisco Ape Colony, 11 apes also defected from Caesar's side due to being more loyal to Koba, the ape having become a De-facto martyr to apes like Red. These apes, minus Red as he redeemed himself by saving Caesar from the soldier Preacher, were later wiped out in the final conflict with the Alpha-Omega.

Caesar even made sure that it was known to all whether apes or humans, that he wasn't the one who started the war, but Koba and he revealed that he killed him but it didn't stop the progressing conflict, Caesar was also haunted by Koba's actions psychologically as well, consistently having dreams of Koba taunting him about his decision to kill him. Caesar himself would go on to feel he was gradually becoming like Koba as the war against the humans progressed.

When Caesar had the opportunity to kill J. Wesley McCullough, the very man responsible for the deaths of Cornelia and Blue Eyes respectively, he chose not to, instead he allowed the latter to kill himself, this proves that Caesar did not allow his hatred to completely consume him, something that Koba was incapable of doing.

Koba starting the war with the humans led to the deaths of Caesar, Cornelia, Blue Eyes and Luca respectively, indirectly making him responsible for Caesar, Cornelia, Blue Eyes, Luca and several of the colony's death.


Koba was the most dangerous enemy the apes and the humans had ever faced. He was highly intelligent, belittling, ruthless, violent, cruel, sadistic, unstable, manipulative, and vindictively vengeful. This traits stem from the fact that Koba was cruelly experimented on by human scientists, to the point where he was against humans to the point of total monomania.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Koba, traumatized and disordered by the years of experimentation, abuse, and neglect he had received, was psychologically unbalanced and extremely vengeful, with a bitter grudge against humans, most notably Steven Jacobs. Malakai Youmans noted that Koba's neutral expression was identical to those he had seen on the faces of child soldiers he had encountered in Central Africa. Highly intelligent and bitterly cynical, Koba enacted his revenge on Jacobs at the climax of the Battle on the Golden Gate Bridge, by ruthlessly pushing him to his death without saying a word and with a cruel, malevolent glare flashing in his eyes. He was also short-tempered, aggressive, ruthless, strong, vindictive, powerful and had a strong hatred for humans due to them treating him like a guinea pig and torturing him with their research. In fact, his hatred and vengeance was the cause of humanity's downfall due to him pulling off his gas mask and putting on the face of Robert Franklin and infecting him with the ALZ-113 that would later affect all of humanity.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: Firestorm

When he was younger, Koba believed that apes who didn't use sign language are "big black caterpillars", and he did not always hate humans as he was very close to his kind human handler/caregiver Mary.

Despite his past experiences, Koba did have a kinder side which was shown when he was under the care of human caretaker named Mary who was like a mother to him. Now after suffering under the foot of humans he only shows this side when he is in the company of his own kind who truly understand and can relate to what he went through. He served as a mentor to the younger generation of apes, especially his honorary nephews Blue Eyes and Ash, the sons of his close friends, Caesar and Rocket. He was also kind to the other adult apes, including Maurice of whom he offered fruit to during the early days before the Ape Village was established. On the other hand, his bad experiences at Gen-Sys Laboratories and with his cruel caregivers has blinded him (both literally and figuratively) to the point where he has forgotten or disregarded the fact that not all humans are bad.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Excluding the hatred of humans and internal suffering, he appears to be rather level headed in the battlefield, a good leader and offers compassion to the apes who are in pain. He shows this specifically when he constantly supported Blue Eyes and acted as another role model or second father in his life, whether it be saving his life, or telling him that his scars make him strong, Koba appeared to truly care for his fellow apes during the period of time in which they thought the humans had died away. Along with this, even though he was willing to sacrifice other apes, he still did not sink low enough to sacrifice the women and children apes, only bringing along the males and having the young stay with the females in the woods.

However, Koba's hatred for humans was eventually reborn when humans were rediscovered 10 years after the Battle on the Golden Gate Bridge and Simian Flu. His actions of getting rid of them went too far as it resulted in the destruction of his people's newly built home in the Muir Woods Park and the impending war against humans that also harmed his ape brethren. He maintained his extreme respect towards Caesar's benevolence, but that did not imply that he agreed with his leader. Despite Koba's tremendous respect for Caesar, this did not stop him from gunning down his old friend in the end; revealing a treacherous and power-hungry nature.

Because of his hatred towards humans, Koba showed no guilt or remorse in wanting to hurt or kill them, no matter their actions, such as with his scenes with Will Rodman, Alexander, and Malcolm. Koba sees all humans as nothing but pests and desires for all of them to suffer just as he did. Koba also showed no mercy when killing his fellow apes when they fail to obey him, as seen when he throws Ash to his death with Blue Eyes and other young apes watching on. During the course of Dawn, Koba begins to show alarming signs of chronic mental disorder, the main traits of this being extreme violence, egomania, and incapacity for guilt or remorse. This leads to Koba becoming a violent psychopath towards the end of the film.

Koba was also cunning; he manipulated Blue Eyes, Caesar's son, to fight by his side, and also staged Caesar's supposed death and the destruction of the colony home, whilst blaming the humans who would have been the most obvious threat to the colony. Koba was highly intelligent and astute, sharing the same cerebrality as Caesar, even if his path of thought was far more erratic than Caesar. Koba was maniacal and delusional, his bad experiences in Gen-Sys Laboratories inspiring him into violence against humans, to the point of being megalomaniacal and egocentric, not to mention immoral, cruel, sadistic and tyrannical against his fellow apes; he was not at all above murdering his own people if they displeased him. Koba's concept of being incredibly manipulative was piqued when he successfully made two human soldiers think he was stupid, shown by his faked playfulness with guns. However, he showed his true colors to the soldiers when, during one encounter, after entertaining them with his feigned stupidity, he shot them both with their own gun without a second thought.

Koba shares the same charisma as Caesar, but he wastes his oratory and leadership talents by resorting to violence, oppression and tyranny. He preferred to use force rather than diplomacy to settle differences with an opponent. Koba was also a person of excellent intelligence and cunning, shown by him destroying the colony home, as well as attempting to kill Caesar, whilst simultaneously framing the humans in the process. Also, he was also a meticulously powerful tactician, shown by his proficiency in leading the human holocaust at the climax of the film. However, in his belief that physical power solved everything, he was powerless when Caesar used psychological warfare shown in their fight.

Koba was also a "scleptomaniac", which was shown in his gleeful use of machine-guns during the Battle in San Francisco, the burning of the ape village, and when he opened fire on Caesar and the other apes on the human tower.

Koba was a selfish hypocrite, during his showdown with Caesar he screeched to his former friend that he fought for apes and the fact that he believes this only confirms his insanity as Koba shows a dangerous lack of concern for his fellow species, which is evidence in how he aforementioned murdered Ash without a second thought, when he did not kill two humans as he was asked to do and once again, when he took a final attempt to murder Caesar and in doing so left a wounded ape to die. He was also willing to push other apes out of the way or use the tools other apes were using, such as when he knocked an ape off of his horse when Koba wanted it, and when he took the guns of fellow apes whenever he wanted more.

Koba was extremely arrogant, as he believed that Caesar's compassion and sympathy for humans made him weak and believed he was unfit to rule as king, which was quite the opposite (out of arrogance) Koba believed he would be a far better leader then Caesar, unfortunately, he proved to be a tyrannical leader as well as the fact he was weaker then Caesar; in terms of intelligence, wisdom, strength and leadership, he was also extremely unreasonable, even when Caesar pointed out that starting a war with the humans would result in the loss of life from both sides, he still went through with his plan of overthrowing/apparently killing his former friend, Caesar and starting a war with the humans.

When pushed into a corner, he resorted to begging as seen when he pleaded to Caesar to save him despite his attempts to kill him and killing many apes. He tried to (ironically and unsuccessfully) use the "Ape not kill Ape law" to his advantage but was surprised that his actions hardened Caesar enough to both disregard the law and disown him as an ape.


  • Animal Strength: Koba was powerful and strong; this was displayed when he beat ape-hater Carver to death in the dead of night, and when he took over a man-driven infantry fighting vehicle, both times with just his bare hands and without any difficulty. However, Koba's strength was ultimately inferior to Caesar's but it was more a question of biology.
  • High-Level Intellect: Even before he was exposed to the ALZ-113, Koba had some level of intelligence, as he silently planned to kill Jacobs by acting docile with his handlers. After he was exposed to the ALZ-113 at Gen-Sys Laboratories by Will - and his team - who tested it on him, he became much more intelligent than before, though it was unknown how much his advanced intelligence and IQ had increased.
  • Expert Hand-To-Hand Combatant: Despite his advanced age, Koba was an exceptionally skilled hand-to-hand combatant; near the climax of the Battle on the Golden Gate Bridge, the scarred bonobo proved himself to be a capable close-range fighter, being able to grab and throw a police officer with great ease. He was also capable of holding his own against the much younger Caesar. While in their first brief, but brutal, brawl, Caesar defeated him easily, the second fight was a long, ferocious duel, which Koba initially dominated, putting up an extremely savage offensive against Caesar (who was still recovering from his wounds). However, despite being a highly skilled hand-to-hand combatant in his own right, Koba's combat skills were ultimately inferior to Caesar's; the bonobo was forced to resort to using an iron bar as a weapon against his former friend when he found that hand-to-hand combat was not enough to overpower him. Even then, he ultimately was outmatched, Caesar wounding him with a cut on his abdomen that he exploited to force Koba onto the defensive.
  • Skilled Marksman: Koba was surprisingly proficient in the use of firearms. During the assault on the human settlement in San Francisco, he used both an M4A1 with an ACOG scope and an M249-SAW.
  • Expert Horse Rider: Koba was able to ride a horse with incredible ease, even when carrying a spear or dual-wielding machine guns.
  • Sign Language: Like Caesar, Koba knew American Sign Language and used it as a means of communication. Koba was taught sign language by his human caregiver Mary, though it is unknown how skilled he was before being exposed to the ALZ-113. What is known is that he exceeded his handlers expectations, being recognized as one of the leading apes in the facility.
  • Speech: After being exposed to the ALZ-113, Koba had gained the ability to speak, shown when he yelled at the humans in the woods and verbally berated Caesar for his tolerance of humans. His speech (like Caesar's) was near complete, as he was able to tell the humans that he had captured they would be exposed to the torment he had faced and also spoke out against Caesar on numerous occasions.
  • Expert Leader: Like Caesar, Koba was a natural leader, as he was able to take control over the scared ape population in a matter of seconds and successfully lead them to victory; despite the many deaths of his army. He also rallied enough support that Apes (like Red) still followed his methods after his death.
  • Expert Tactician: Like Caesar, Koba was a brilliant tactician; he was a brilliant orator and could rally whole hordes of delusional and angry apes in a crisis that he (ironically) started. Combining oratory skills, brutality, and propaganda, Koba was a deadly enemy on the battlefield. He used such to temporarily become the alpha of the San Francisco Ape Colony, though he ultimately lost such when Caesar challenged him.



Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

  • "Don't feel bad Blue Eyes. Scars make you strong."(Signed) - Koba to Blue Eyes.
  • "Must attack them now! Before they attack us!" - (Signed) Koba during the Ape Council meeting.
  • "For years I was a prisoner in their lab. They cut me...Tortured me. You freed me, I would do anything you ask. But we must show strength!" - (Signed) Koba to Caesar.
  • "If they get power, they'll be more dangerous! Why help them?!" - (Signed) Koba to Caesar.
  • "(Chuckle) Human work? (Points to scar behind ear) Human work. (Points to scar on forearm) Human work. (Points to scar running down face) HUMAN WORK!" - Koba reacting angrily to Caesar's willingness to let humans work within the Ape Village (Spoken).
  • "Enough guns here to kill every ape. Must warn Caesar." - (Signed) Koba after discovering the humans' armory.
  • "Humans attack your sons, you let them stay?! Put apes in danger! Caesar love humans more than apes! More than your sons!" - Koba berating Caesar for his sympathy towards humans (Spoken).
  • "Forgive me." - Koba submitting after being beaten by Caesar (Spoken).
  • "Humans kill Caesar, burn ape home! Go get them! Apes must attack human city! Fight back! Come! Fight for Caesar!" - Koba rallying the apes after Caesar's alleged assassination at the hands of the humans (Spoken).
  • "We will avenge your father's death!" (Signed) - Koba to Blue Eyes.
  • (Grey) "Followed the humans here. Hiding everywhere!" (Signed) (Koba) "We must capture them all!" (Signed) - Koba orders Grey to capture all the humans.
  • "Go ahead Ash...Make humans pay". - Koba encouraging Ash to kill an unarmed human (Signed).
  • "Caesar gone. Apes follow Koba now." - Koba after murdering Ash for insubordination (Spoken).
  • "Humans, you ape prisoner! Now you will know life in cage! More humans out there! Go! Find them!" - Koba to human prisoners (Spoken).
  • (Koba) "Caesar has no place here, apes follow Koba now." (Caesar) "Follow Koba to war."(Koba) "Apes win war! Apes together strong! Caesar...Weak."(Caesar) "Koba...Weaker." - Exchange between Koba and Caesar prior to battle (Spoken).
  • "Caesar brother to human! Koba fight for ape! Free ape!" (Caesar) "Kill Ape. Koba fight for Koba. Koba... belong in cage." - Koba during battle with Caesar (Spoken).
  • (Koba) "Ape...not...kill...ape." (Caesar) "You...are...not ape." - Koba and Caesar prior to Koba's death (Spoken).
  • "No!" - Koba's last words as he plummets to his death (Spoken).

War for the Planet of the Apes

  • (Koba) "Sleep. You can not- save ape." (Caesar) "No." (Koba) "Yes..... join... me." - Koba speaks to Caesar in a hallucination while he is tied up and is slowly starving to death. (Spoken)


  • Koba was an anti-hero in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Firestorm novel, and Dawn comic books, and the main antagonist of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. He makes brief reappearances as a hallucination to Caesar in War for the Planet of the Apes.
  • Koba was named after Joseph Stalin, who used "Koba" as a nickname before the Russian Revolution.[3]
  • Perhaps coincidentally, the Niokolo Koba National Park is a Unesco World Heritage site and the only protected area in Senegal known to have wild chimpanzees.[4]
  • Koba is a bonobo, a species of ape found to the south of the Congo River in Africa. Once thought to be chimpanzees, they have been classified as a separate species.
  • Koba is partly responsible for the ALZ-113 pandemic because he exposed Robert Franklin who was not wearing a breathing mask while the 113's feed tube was loose. This make's Carver's statement somewhat true about apes having already "killed off half the planet".
  • Koba may be based on two real life apes: Kanzi, a bonobo who mastered keyboard communication at Georgia State University (and whose name also starts with the letter "K"); and a wild, aggressive chimpanzee named Saddam, who was known to have murdered a number of children near the Kibale National Park in Uganda before he was hunted down by an angry mob.
  • Asked about sequels, director Rupert Wyatt suggested one possible scenario in which Koba would take on the role as the main antagonist: "There's so much we can do. Whereas the story of the first film plays out as a fairy tale, the next film will play out as a Shakespearean sci-fi drama where you'll have Caesar as the leader of this revolution, but Koba would be the one leading his own troops wanting to wipe out humans in a genocide. But Caesar is more conflicted, and maybe Caesar needs Koba's assistance in terms of the conflict. And Maurice is his advisor and he's telling him to combine forces. Caesar needs the allegiance of the two, although he doesn't believe in what Koba believes in, which is complete genocide."[5] This portrayal of Koba might suggest similarities to Aldo, or to Stalin (also a significant influence on Animal Farm, a novel which Wyatt and Andy Serkis plan to film).
  • An earlier version of the script gave Koba's official Gen-Sys designation as "Nanotherapy, beta version: Male Test Subject #11". The same script emphasised Koba's sinister nature, with the lab assistants noting that "some are born rotten". Before their revolt, Caesar and Rocket escaped from their facility and broke into the lab in search of Caesar's mother. In return for a bracelet, Rocket freed Koba, who then killed Robert Franklin before returning to his cage, effectively framing Caesar. After the revolt, Koba lingered behind the ape army, infecting Steven Jacobs with the fatal virus and following across the bridge after the path had already been cleared. A deleted scene on the Blu-Ray disc of Rise of the Planet of the Apes showed Jacobs being given the ALZ-113 by the devious Koba.
  • In another deleted scene on the Blu-Ray and DVD version of the film, Koba finds a shotgun in the woods at the film's climax and learns how to use it by aiming at the screen and firing.
  • Bonobos are similar to chimpanzees, except they are darker, slightly smaller and tend to have longer limbs and longer hair on the tops of their heads. While Koba acts aggressively in the film, in reality this would ultimately be unlikely, as bonobos are far less violent than chimpanzees.
  • In one scene of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Koba may have spoke in which it sounded like he said "Amon".
  • Out of all the apes that play active parts in Rise, Koba is the only one that didn't inhale the ALZ-113 when Caesar released it on the other apes. He received the ALZ-113 at Gen-Sys Laboratories when Will and his team administered it to him.
  • At age 26, Koba is one of the oldest apes to appear in the reboot films. In Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Koba was the second oldest after Buck who was 19 years old and the bonobo was only 16 years old.
  • When Koba is left hanging from the ledge after being knocked down by Caesar, he attempted to use the "Ape not kill Ape" law to convince the latter to save him. Ironically, Koba himself has broken that rule on many occasions by killing Ash and several other apes during his attack on Caesar both of which led to his deserved end; this is most likely why Caesar declared he was not an ape.
  • Koba did not know it at the time, but the manner in which he killed Steven Jacobs was a reflection of his own future. This is further supported by the circumstances of their deaths as both were hanging from a ledge pleading for help from Caesar who let them fall to a deserved end.
  • Despite Koba's hatred for humans, his actions during Dawn of the Planet of the Apes have him appear more human-like than any of his fellow apes, even Caesar. For example, he speaks English the most fluently and coherently from exercising his vocal chords more often, he is the first of the Ape Colony to use a man-made weapon such as a gun when attempting to assassinate Caesar and going to war with the human survivors, and like the humans that once dominated the continents of the world, he is willing to kill members of his own kind in the pursuit of power and vengeance.
  • Koba starting the Human-Ape War indirectly led to the death of Caesar.
    • This is ironic as when Koba was alive he failed to kill Caesar twice and died himself.


  • Koba's relationship with Caesar, in Dawn, is a direct mirror of the relationship between "Caesar" from the original movie series and his leading military commander, General Aldo. In the fifth film, Battle for the Planet of the Apes, soon after the collapse of human civilization (through nuclear war) Caesar and Aldo become divided over how to treat surviving humans. Caesar wants to coexist with them, while Aldo wants to exterminate them. Coincidently, both Aldo and Koba fell to their deaths after their confrontations with their Caesars. Another thing between them is, while Koba is primary villain in Dawn, Aldo is a secondary villain in Battle.
  • Toby Kebbell replaced Christopher Gordon as Koba in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes for unknown reasons.
  • Koba makes two appearances in the first TV spot for Dawn. The first is him sitting on his horse at Caesar's side and the second is him on his horse, riding through the forest.
  • Koba shares some similarities to Scar from the Disney film The Lion King:
    • Both were uncles to their honorary nephews (Blue Eyes/Simba).
    • Both have a hatred to the leader of their clans (Caesar/Mufasa)
    • Both take major control of their clans, also starting a war in the process.
    • Both eventually try to kill their clan leader, however Scar actually succeeded, but was killed by his successor.
    • Both are Complete Monsters.
    • Both fall to their deaths after a climactic battle with their respective rival.
  • In the article by Collider, Toby Kebbell revealed a huge chunk of Koba's backstory revealing how Koba has come to despise humans and how he became blinded in one eye.
  • Koba is the first and only known bonobo to appear in the Planet of the Apes films. His first appearance was in Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
    • In spite of this, Koba looks little like a typical bonobo. Bonobos have longer legs, a less stocky body, and a darker face than chimpanzees. Koba however, appears only to have the darker face. His legs and body seem to be the same as that of the other chimpanzees who appear in the film.
  • Though bonobos are normally peaceful that never resort to violence, Koba is extremely aggressive; he is arguably the most violent ape in Caesar's kingdom.
    • This is probably due to his many years of imprisonment and torture.
  • Though Koba is supposedly killed when Caesar drops him into the pit, sounds of moving rubble and an ape breathing hardly suggests that Koba is alive and breathing. He may have survived the fall but succumbed afterwards.
  • Koba is the first and only known bonobo to be killed by Caesar.
  • In the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes - Official Movie Novelization, Koba is referred to as "One-Eye" in the humans' point of view.
  • He is the third villain in the whole franchise, who appeared in two movies. First villain: Dr. Zaius: Planet of the Apes and Beneath the Planet of the Apes Second villain: Kolp: Conquest of the Planet of the Apes and Battle for the Planet of the Apes Third villain: Koba: Rise and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
  • He is the first villain in the whole franchise, who appeared in three films.
  • Koba had three followers known : Grey, Stone and Red. Ironically, Stone is the only who doesn't try to kill Caesar to avenge Koba, who was redeemed himself and survive at the end.
  • Toby Kebbell stated interest in playing Koba again in War for the Planet of the Apes, greatly implying Koba has survived. If he does return, he will likely be a secondary antagonist, but producer Dylan Clark has confirmed that Koba is in fact dead. However, Koba does appear in War, where he only made two cameo appearances in Caesar's hallucinations.




Planet of the Apes - Chernin Entertainment Series
Planet of the Apes (CE) Movies
Rise of the Planet of the Apes | Dawn of the Planet of the Apes | War for the Planet of the Apes
Main Evolved Ape Characters
Caesar | Bright Eyes | Koba | Maurice | Rocket | Buck | Cornelia | Blue Eyes | Luca | Ash | Cornelius | Winter | Lake | Bad Ape | Red
Supporting Ape Characters
Alpha | Burke | Verdon | Tinker | Grey | Stone | Andy | Wolfie | Jeanpierre | Lucky | Koba's Mother | Sparrow | Pope | Fifer | Cora | Rex | Bon | Dallas | Milo | Herman | Spear | Ajax | Oak | Fox | Aghoo | Ursus | Percy | Beardface | Armando
Main Human Characters
Will Rodman | Charles Rodman | Caroline Aranha | Robert Franklin | Steven Jacobs | Dodge Landon | John Landon | Douglas Hunsiker | Malcolm | Ellie | Alexander | Dreyfus | Carver | Foster | Colonel McCullough | Nova
Supporting Human Characters
Rodney | John Hamil | Rita | Sarah | Maddy | John | Edward | Roger Mason | Werner | Kemp | Clancy Stoppard | Corbin | Daniel Nygun | David Flynn | Finney | Kuo | Malakai Youmans | Max (Firestorm) | McVeigh | Terry | Roger | Rod Wilson | Preacher | Boyle | Lang | Travis
Rodman Family | Caesar's Family | Malcolm's Family | Rocket's Family | Dreyfus' Family
Horse | Elk | Grizzly Bear
Items / Weapons
Simian Flu
Important Events / Battles
Ape Rebellion | Human-Ape War | Simian Flu Pandemic | Battle on the Golden Gate Bridge | Battle in San Francisco | Battle of the Muir Woods Park | Battle of the Border
Organizations / Colonies / Companies
Caesar's Ape Colony | Caesar's Council of Apes | Caesar's Ape Army | Gen-Sys Board | San Francisco's Human Colony | Dreyfus' Human Army | Malcolm's Group | Alpha-Omega | Donkeys
West African Jungle | San Francisco | San Francisco Zoo | Gen-Sys Laboratories | Rodman House | San Bruno Primate Shelter | Golden Gate Bridge | Muir Woods Park | Ape Mountain | Ape Gate | Ape Village | Caesar's Home | Warehouse | The Border
Rise of the Planet of the Apes (webcomic) | Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: Contagion | Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (BOOM! Studios) | Before the Dawn | War for the Planet of the Apes (BOOM! Studios) | Planet of the Apes: The Simian Age | Planet of the Apes: The Time of Man
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: Firestorm | Dawn of the Planet of the Apes - Official Movie Novelization | War for the Planet of the Apes: Revelations | War for the Planet of the Apes - Official Movie Novelization | Planet of the Apes: Caesar’s Story
Other Books
Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: The Art of the Films
Rise of the Planet of the Apes (Soundtrack Album) | Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (Soundtrack Album)
Video Games
Plague Inc: Simian Flu | Planet of the Apes: Last Frontier | Crisis on the Planet of the Apes
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.