Warning: Contains SPOILERS for Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes!


  • Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes
    ‘ ending is shrouded in mystery as the audience never discovers what exists beyond the telescope.
  • Director Wes Ball intentionally kept it a mystery to preserve audience imaginations.
  • Ball implied that the characters may be looking to the future by staring into space.

The Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes ending defies explanation, but director Wes Ball is still offering an explanation of his own. Set years after Caesar’s death, the movie follows a new ape protagonist, Noa (Owen Teague). As Noa meets a sentient human, Mae (Freya Allan), he has to work to revive his clan and discover the secrets behind this strange intelligent human. The movie ends with Noa looking through a telescope and discovering a mystery before the movie cuts to black.

While Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes‘ characters know what lies beyond the telescope, the audience is left in the dark. In an interview with USA Today, Ball explained that he intentionally hid the truth to force the audience to imagine something awe-inspiring. While he jokes about the apes looking at Elon Musk on Mars, he implies that the apes could be looking forward. Check out his full quote below:

I figured there is nothing I could show you that would be stronger than what the audience’s imagination would conjure up. Sure, it might turn some people off, but some people will like it. I have ideas of what they’re looking at… Right, they’re looking at (SpaceX founder) Elon Musk flying around on his Falcon 9 rocket. But I’ll just say this. Space obviously is a key idea in all of these movies. So, maybe it’s them looking to the future?

What Did Noa And Soona See In The Telescope?

While It Isn’t Shown, There Are Different Possibilities

While Ball was simply joking about Elon Musk and the Falcon 9 rocket, there is some merit to the joke. The apes could be seeing satellites in the sky or a rocket returning from a distant and secretive journey. The exact object revealed by the telescope is entirely unknown, and it is possible that even Ball’s suspicions of its identity could change before Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes‘ sequel enters development. While the sequel has not been confirmed yet, Kingdom‘s box office success means that it is likely.


Kingdom Of The Planet Of The Apes Review: Caesar’s Reign Continues In Exciting Return To Sci-Fi Roots

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is a rousing action-adventure in the ruins of the human world – traces of the past remain but this is Noa’s story.

There is the potential that the twist is an inverse of the original Planet of the Apes twist. Instead of discovering that they have been on Earth all along, the apes may have caught a glimpse of Earth through their telescope. While this idea does have promise, it is highly unlikely to be true. Allan and Teague confirmed to USA Today that the story takes place on Earth, with Teague stating, “We’re all in L.A. The story undoubtedly takes place on Earth, which means that the apes will not need to board ships to escape back to their homeworld.

Still, space remains a prominent possibility. Even if the apes see nothing but the vast emptiness of space, it could prompt a desire to look to the stars. Considering that the franchise has its roots in a group of astronauts returning to Earth, the apes could eventually board a spacecraft themselves. Just like Charlton Heston’s George Taylor did, they could find themselves trapped in a future version of their world, reckoning with new developments between humans and apes. Whatever lies beyond the telescope in Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes‘ ending, it will likely change Noa’s life.

Source: USA Today

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