Whose planet is it anyway? Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Posted: August 5, 2011 by Emilio Garofalo Neto in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

In the week the last NASA space shuttle returned to Earth,  an idea for a practical joke appeared in the social networks: everyone should dress in an ape costume to receive the astronauts.  The joke was, of course, a reference to the movie Planet of the Apes, in which astronauts go to a planet to find it taken over by apes (you know what is actually going on, don’t you?).

If you want, check out a featurette showing the motion-capture in place. Or just keep on reading!

After a somewhat successful new entry in the series in 2001, this new movie will show , well, the “Rise of the Planet of the Apes.” It is yet unclear how this exactly ties in with the original movie and so on. The production looks fantastic, the realism of the creatures is without precedent, thanks to the wizards (in the good sense) of WETA digital. James Franco plays the leading human role in the feature and Andy Serkis plays the leading ape role. This will show us how scientific experiments give apes unprecedented intelligence and the rambunctiousness that results.  The movie promises some intense action, some serious inter-species warfare, some cool pseudo-science and fun 105 minutes. We will see gorillas, chimpanzees, orangutans and other apes rebelling against mankind’s dominion.  The MPAA (whom we do not trust) says there is some sexuality in the movie; I really hope it is intra-species. Remember all that when deciding whether to take the little guys or leave them home – this is not planet of the Muppets.

What is rather interesting is the whole idea of two species fighting and battling over who should own the planet. There is a lot of discussion about who owns the planet. Which species has the right to rule the world, if any? What should characterize such ruling? Biblically we must assert that God made man in his image and put him in charge of tending and caring for the planet (Gen 2:15).  God put all the animals under man’s dominion, and mankind had the right to govern and use the whole of creation. This dominion should be exercised in submission to God’s dominion and it involved caring rather than abusing the creation, tending and protecting rather than destroying and neglecting. Of course, we know that sin crept in the world and changed everything. One of the results of sin is the strife between man and animals. In Genesis 3 we can begin to see how the relationship that was to be natural and good changed into a struggle for power. Animals and man fear one another; man abuses animals and is careless about their situation. No wonder some of them would rebel if they had the chance and the intelligence to do so. Just watch a couple of episodes of the show “Animal Cops” to see what those who should care for the garden do to the animals and I think you may join me in cheering for the apes.

Redemption involves reconciliation and restoration. The promises of the restoration of all things goes way beyond the salvation of souls, it has to do with renewing creation and making New Heavens and New Earth. The prophecy of Isaiah 11:6-9 talks about astonishing things regarding the time of the rule of the lamb:

“The wolf shall dwell with the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat,
and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together;
and a little child shall lead them.

The cow and the bear shall graze;
their young shall lie down together;
and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra,
and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den.

They shall not hurt or destroy
in all my holy mountain;
for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.”

The promises of God are that we will not have to fight a simian  hostile takeover; rather, in the new creation we will in fact be finally reconciled.

Whose Earth is it anyway? “The Earth is the Lord’s and and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it” Psalm 24:1.

  1. Clay Walden says:

    I have not seen the movie yet, but have seen the original movie series. I appreciate the biblical perspective that you bring to analyze the story line. It is a worthwhile task to exercise dominion over the arts. Thank you!

  2. Clay Walden says:

    Thanks for the insight and the exercise of dominion in properly evaluating the story line through the lense of scripture.

  3. Clay, thank you for your visit. Many times Christians look at the issue of dominion merely from the point o view of what took place in Creatio, without giving much thought to how the Fall affects it and how Redemption changes it. Thanks a lot!

  4. Taylor says:

    this movie was amazing. i didn’t see anything wrong with any message it portrayed. just a different take on the genesis of a very old movie franchise.

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