I thought Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was a good sequel to the new reboot: SFX so good you forget it’s SFX, good story, nice characters, amazing action sequences and a thought provoking story. It left me thinking that there are a few things we should learn from the story. (There will be spoilers.)
Local micro electricity generation
The initiating event for the entire film was the need to get the hydro power station working again. If everyone had personal solar power units, or the city had been full of wind turbines, or there were tidal power units in the bay, or there were small micro hydro units powered by rain, then no one would have needed to venture out to the dam and the entire story could have been negated. It wouldn’t have been as entertaining admittedly, but still I couldn’t help thinking that we should be thinking about (and creating) distributed electricity generation. Never mind a viral apocalypse and intelligent apes, what about climate change or running out of gas and oil? A distributed fault tolerant renewable source of electricity has to be the future.
A single leader is not a good model for your society
I refrained from using the word dictator, but I suppose it could be argued that Caesar was one. Or if you choose think of it in tribal terms he was the king. Either way Caesar was in charge and everything was not too bad because he was a good leader and had peaceful aims and beliefs. As soon as Koba took control everything turned to war and chaos, because that was what he believed in. Most of the apes were too scared to resist Koba’s will. That’s what happens you put all your trust in a single leader, you can’t guarantee what whims they will follow at a later date. Democracy has to be the way forward. Maybe the apes were incapable of that? I’d like to have seen them try.
Guns don’t kill people… Oh, hold on, they do
If the humans hadn’t been carrying guns when they first encountered the apes then the conflict probably wouldn’t have escalated in the first place. If the human’s hadn’t been testing the guns in the city then Koba wouldn’t have had another reason to distrust the humans. If there wasn’t a massive armoury of guns and weapons then the apes wouldn’t have been able to raid it, steal the guns and shoot people. Anyway you look at it if there weren’t guns then the entire conflict would have a lot lower tension, or could have been diverted entirely. So, after the apocalypse, lose the guns.
We need more good people
Or good apes. We need people who believe in peace and not war. Who want to cooperate not fight. In the film there is a shortage, there are good people and there are violent people and there are people who just follow. The same with the apes. More of the good people and more of the good apes and the fight could have been averted. How do we create these good people in real life? I’m not sure, but we need to change our culture away from war and fighting to cooperation and community, to caring for each other and not fighting over beliefs or arbitrary lines on a map. On realising what is truly important and having the faith to persuade others.