This Villain was Headlined on October, 2014.
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|“||Caesar gone.... Apes follow Koba now!||„|
|~ Koba addressing himself as the new leader of the ape colony following Caesar's "demise".|
|“||Sleep. You cannot save them. Apes all die here.||„|
|~ Koba appears to Caesar as a hallucination, taunting his friend-turned-enemy on his apparent failures to save the ape colony.|
Koba is the main antagonist of the Planet of the Apes reboot trilogy, starting off as a supporting character in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, then becoming the main antagonist of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and later serving as the posthumous overarching antagonist of War for the Planet of the Apes. He is an aggressive, dangerous, vengeful, and violent Bonobo ape who is considered to be an evil counterpart to the main protagonist Caesar, whom he initially respected.
He was formerly the right-hand adviser and brother-in-arms-turned-archenemy of Caesar, as he betrayed his former friend upon harboring a vendetta against humanity for torturing him in the past for the advancement of science and ultimately plots to wipe them all out with or without the support of his fellow apes; thus going as far enough to endanger the ape colony altogether.
While initially a tragic character and a compassionate friend towards Caesar, overtime Koba's vendetta against humans corrupted him, thus turning him into little more than a hypocritical and tyrannical psychopath.
In Rise of the Planet of the Apes, he was voiced and portrayed by Christopher Gordon in motion capture. In Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and War for the Planet of the Apes, he was voiced/portrayed by Toby Kebbell in motion capture, who also played Doctor Doom in Fant4stic and Drake Stone in The Sorcerer's Apprentice.
|“||[In sign language] From humans...Koba learned hate (hatred)...but nothing else.||„|
|~ Caesar describes the dreadful past Koba suffered.|
Koba is best described as a short-tempered, manipulative, treacherous, vindictive, violent and selfish ape who showed signs of cunning and great intelligence, due to the effects of the ALZ-113 virus, as he plots to fool the apes into believing that humans killed Caesar. When in power, he was a downright controlling tyrant, killing and imprisoning even his own kind just to show dominance. He was extremely aggressive and wrathful, resorting quickly to violence, screaming whilst massacring the human soldiers in battle and roaring with rage whilst fighting Caesar.
Koba also showed extreme bravery, often charging head-first into a fight even if the odds were against him, being bold enough to attack a huge grizzly bear and challenging Caesar throughout the film. He was also very arrogant and pretentious, scorning Caesar to his face, going so far as to label him as weak and unfit to rule as king because of his compassion and sympathy for humans, and also saying that he fought to free the Apes, when he actually fought for himself. He was also overconfident and egotistical to the point of hypocrisy, in that when he had his life in Caesar's hands at the end of the film, he reminded Caesar of the "Ape not kill Ape" rule, completely ignoring and disregarding the fact that he had killed apes himself. Koba was kind of a social darwinist, seeing compassion and mercy towards humans as weak and violence as strength.
However, before turning on Caesar and becoming the main antagonist, Koba also showed redeemable qualities such as compassion, caring, and respect towards his fellow apes such as Caesar and Blue Eyes. Then, he acted as a brother to Caesar and a mentor to Blue Eyes, to a point when he was willing to put himself in harms way for them. A prime example being when he stabbed a bear to save them. Another example being telling Blue Eyes that his scars make him strong. 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 sheer hatred for humans ultimately proved too great, and whatever feelings of friendship and loyalty he had, died when he shot Caesar. This is stemmed 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. Because of that, Koba was also paranoid, thinking humans wanted to harm the apes at the den and 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.
During the course of Dawn, Koba begins to show alarming signs of chronic mental disorder and it is not until the end where Koba became a complete psychopath who was desperate for war against the humans and would kill anybody in the way: apes and humans alike. His psychopathic features became obvious by many traits such as a lack of remorse or empathy, egomania and capacity for violent tendencies. Koba showed also signs of sadism, by enjoying to see helpless humans imprisoned.
While Koba claims that he only fought for apes, he shows complete lack of concern for his fellow species which was shown when he interacted a rivalry against Caesar, manipulated Blue Eyes into believing that the humans killed Caesar, coldly killing Ash simply because he defied his orders, moving a piece of debris trapping another monkey, only to retrieve the weapon the monkey was carrying and dropping the debris back on him during his fight with Caesar and personally attempted to shoot any other apes during his last stand, which killed one of the apes and wounded Maurice. He was also willing to put 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.
When Koba ended up hanging on the edge for his dear life, he resorted to begging as seen when he pleaded to Caesar to save him despite having only just attempted to kill him and killing many apes in the process. 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.
Powers and Abilities
Koba was an exceptionally skilled and powerful fighter; this is shown during the battle on the Golden Gate Bridge, in which the scarred bonobo overpowered several police officers with ease, even throwing one clean off his feet with just one hand. He possessed immense brute strength, capable of using heavy objects as melee weapons. He was also quite cunning, deceptive and intelligent, even before being exposed to the ALZ-113, silently plotting to kill Jacobs by acting docile with his handlers.
In the second film, set about a decade later, Koba seems to have become even more formidable despite his advanced age. He beats ape hater Carver to death and takes over a man-driven tank, both times with just his bare hands and without any difficulty. He could also ride a horse with incredible ease, even while he was carrying a spear or dual-wielding machine-guns.
Koba was also able to hold his own against the much younger Caesar on two separate occasions. Despite being overpowered relatively easily in their brief brawl on the dam, he initially dominated their duel on the ruined human tower in San Francisco, putting up an extremely fierce fight against his former friend. Koba mainly relied on his own fury and brute strength to win him the fight, meaning he did not use strategy or cunning the way Caesar did; this being his downfall at the climax of their fight. In combat, Koba was extremely lethal but not flawless, especially since he could let his rage overwhelm him and an opponent with analytical or tactical skills could eventually beat him. As a result, he was ultimately defeated and thrown to his doom by Caesar.
Koba was highly proficient with spears and guns, and was also a skilled manipulator, being able to manipulate Blue Eyes, frame the humans for Caesar's death and take over the ape tribe all in a matter of minutes only.
- Animal Strength: Koba was very 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 Marksmanship: Despite having never used a gun before, 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.
|“||For years I was a prisoner in their labs. They cut me. Tortured me. You freed me, I would do anything you ask, but now we must show strength!||„|
|~ Koba urges Caesar to begin his war with the humans.|
|~ Koba orders Ash to kill an innocent human, before the latter refuses, resulting in him killing Ash.|
|“||Caesar... gone. Apes follow Koba now!||„|
|~ Koba after murdering Ash.|
|“||Caesar has no place here! Apes follow Koba now! (Caesar: Follow Koba to war?!) APES WIN WAR!! APES... TOGETHER... STRONG!!! Caesar... weak. (Caesar: Koba... weaker.)||„|
|~ Koba harasses Caesar and receives the latter's response.|
|“||Ape not kill ape. (Caesar: You are..... NOT ape!) NOOOOO!!!!||„|
|~ Koba’s final words before Caesar refused to save his life and dropped him to his death and crashing into a crate.|
|“||HUMANS KILL CAESAR! BURN APE HOME! GO, GET THEM! APES MUST ATTACK HUMAN CITY! FIGHT BACK! COME FIGHT FOR CAESAR!||„|
|~ Koba takes over the Ape community and urges the apes to attack the human city.|
- "Koba" was a nickname for Joseph Stalin before the Russian Revolution. Koba is also based on Stalin as both used to be one of the trusted right hands during a revolution before betraying them for power by overthrowing their superiors, taking over their leadership and ruling with an iron fist.
- Ironically, Koba is killed in almost the same way that he killed Steven Jacobs in the first film.
- His relationship with Caesar is a direct mirror of the relationship between Caesar from the original movie series and his leading military commander, General Aldo and like General Aldo both are apes who betray their "Caesar" for leadership of the apes, both desire the use of guns, both plan to exterminate humans, both killed an ape and eventually both battled their "Caesar" until they fell to their deaths by the hands of their "Caesar".
- When Rupert Wyatt was asked that if Koba would be the main antagonist, he stated "There's so much we can do. Whereas the story of the first film plays out as a fairytale, 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." Interestingly enough, Koba ended up being the main antagonist in the end.
- 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.
- An earlier version of the script gave Koba's official Gen-Sys designation as "Nanotherapy, beta version: Male Test Subject #11". The same script emphasized 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.
- Toby Kebbell stated interest in playing Koba again in War for the Planet of the Apes, greatly implying Koba had survived. If he did return, he will likely be a secondary antagonist, but producer Dylan Clark has confirmed that Koba was in fact dead. However, Koba does appear in War, where he only made two cameo appearances in Caesar's hallucinations.
- Koba 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
- 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.
- Koba is the first and only known bonobo to appear in a Planet of the Apes film.
- Koba's aggressive and violent behavior is unusual for bonobos as they usually resolve conflicts with complex sexual behaviors rather than with violence and aggression like their chimpanzee cousins.
- In spite of this, Koba looks little like a typical bonobo. Bonobos have longer legs, a less stocky body, and a darker face than chimps. Koba, however, appears only to have a darker face. His legs and body seem to be the same as that of the other chimpanzees who appear in the film.
- This also explains why he stands less than Caesar in term of raw strength. Bonobos are not built for fights because of their peaceful nature.
- Despite being completely evil without redeeming qualities, WatchMojo rated Koba rather in a sympathetic light. The site made him its #5 for Top 10 sympathetic movie villains, #8 for Top 10 characters with tragic backstories, and #2 for top 10 movie villains who had justifiable motives.
- The way Koba asks to be forgiven by Caesar by extending his arm is accurate to the real world because this is how chimpanzees submit to others.