It's the end of humanity as we know it, at least for those unlucky souls living in the world of War for the Planet of the Apes. The third film in the supposed Planet of the Apes prequel trilogy concludes the journey of ape Caesar, the ape that started it all. As such, the War for the Planet of the Apes post-credits scene doesn't exist, but that doesn't mean the franchise is over. In fact, the absence of a post-credits scene should make fans excited for what might come next.
In many ways, War for the Planet of the Apes is a means to an inevitable end. This new Apes franchise has always been leading up to the events of Planet of the Apes, the classic sci-fi novel from Pierre Boulle about astronauts who land on a planet controlled by talking apes. And yet — spoiler alert — by the time the credits roll on War for the Planet of the Apes, the actual planet of the apes is nowhere near as established as it is in that future narrative, leaving the door open for many more movies to come. If there are more Planet of the Apes films in our future, then why no post-credits scene?
Well, first and foremost, not including a War for the Planet of the Apes post-credits scene allows for the next series of films to begin from anywhere and explore anything. Instead of teasing the next story, the movie ends with countless possibilities. “We wanted to complete this conflict in this particular trilogy, but we’ve got a world of stories left to tell, if the public is gracious enough to ask us to do so,” said producer Peter Chernin in an interview with Den Of Geek. By not including a post-credits scene to tease a possible sequel, the film allows for the next movie to follow its own path while also letting Caesar’s story come to a definitive end.
For director Matt Reeves, War for the Planet of the Apes is all about solidifying Caesar’s journey from baby ape (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) to ape leader (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) to mythological, Moses-like figure (War for the Planet of the Apes). Not having a post-credits scene helps establish that arc because it keeps the audience focused on the film itself, not on the action that might lie ahead. That said, Reeves did say that he wanted to ensure the ending of War for the Planet of the Apes “ implies a long future ahead,” in an interview with The Straits Times. Sentiments like that might have some audiences wondering why he decided against a post-credits scene. But, fans should be comforted by the fact that nothing hints at the future quite like the unknown.