— Buck to Caesar during his death at the Battle on the Golden Gate Bridge
Buck was an extremely powerful evolved gorilla housed in a specially built cage at the San Bruno Primate Shelter. He was notable for being the only ape to never be harassed by Dodge Landon. He was bad tempered, strong and brave, and was seen trying to get out and banging his cage. He was freed by Caesar and at first refused to go out, but after a few seconds Buck quickly dashed through the play area and begin playing with the toys the other apes played with. He respected Caesar and became his friend and his "muscle", even helping Caesar to make Rocket step down as alpha respect Caesar for his intelligence.
After the ape uprising at the facility, Buck was ordered by Caesar, with a group of chimps, to free the apes held at the San Francisco Zoo. In the climactic Battle on the Golden Gate Bridge, Buck set his target on a nearby policeman on horseback. He ran up under the horse, lifting it up. This caused the officer to fall off. Buck approached the policeman and prepared to kill him, but Caesar stopped him. He later led some other gorillas in a charge to push an overturned bus along the bridge, to shield them against police bullets. He also helped throw off a policeman who drove his car in reverse to the sideline of the bridge into the ocean from shooting off the apes with his pistol. As Caesar was about to get shot down by Steven Jacobs and a sharpshooter in a helicopter, Buck sacrificed his life to take down the helicopter, which crashed onto the bridge, killing the occupants, including John Hamil, but got repeatedly shot in the process. Caesar was saddened to lose his friend and his death was avenged by letting Koba finish off Jacobs.
Rise of the Planet of the ApesEdit
Making a friendEdit
Not much is known about Buck only that he was inmate at the San Bruno Primate Shelter along with Maurice, Rocket, Cornelia and Caesar. He was noted to be the only ape never harassed by Dodge Landon and was always kept in his cage isolated from the other apes and never once being allowed out causing him to feel lonely at being unable to interact with his own kind. He is first seen screaming at Caesar when he goes into the play den with the other apes on his second day at the shelter. Later on, he is shown screaming at another ape while trying to break out his cage by banging on the doors non-stop, his actions caught the attention of an observing Caesar who took an interest in the gorilla. On that same night, Caesar who learned how to pick locks escaped his cage before sneaking into the play den and opening a sleeping Buck's cage. Caesar woke him up by touching the gorilla's back, causing Buck to wake up screaming at Caesar whom he prepared to attack on the spot. However, Buck soon realized his cage was opened and though hesitant to walk out he quickly dashed out the cage rolling around in the straw in the den, playing with the toys the other apes played with over the years before letting out a large roar. Truly happy and grateful to be free, he turned and thanked the smiling Caesar and grew to respect him as a friend and alpha. Caesar then lured Rocket to the den and with Buck's help he overthrew Rocket as the alpha and took up the mantle of alpha of the shelter. Buck is later seen eating a cookie and howling with other apes after Caesar chose to stay at the shelter instead of leaving with Will Rodman. At night, Caesar would expose the apes to the ALZ-113 drug which would increase their intelligence there is no doubt he exposed Buck to the drug as the gorilla was shown to have green eyes the next morning.
When Caesar rebelled against Dodge, Buck paid witness to their confrontation and grew agitated as he saw his friend being shocked by Dodge's cattle prod. But when Caesar held off Dodge and spoke (in English) saying "No!" Buck was utterly shocked and speechless along with their human caretakers as Caesar knocked out Dodge and continued to saying "no" at the cattle prod. Caesar would then free all the other apes from their cells including Buck and the apes would leave the shelter and head for the city. Arriving at the outskirts of the city, Caesar divided his forces into two groups to Buck and some troops are too head for the San Francisco Zoo while Caesar, Rocket and Maurice's group headed for Gen-Sys Laboratories. Once at the zoo, Buck terrorizes the area which made many of the humans flee in fear as Buck charged at them after spotting a chimpanzee cage that he knocked down and freed more of his ape brethren who gladly followed the army's cause. Buck's actions at the zoo not only liberated more apes to his people's cause but gave his people another contribution as when knocking down a cage the Evolved Apes use the bars as spears in their fight against the humans.
After gaining more apes, Buck led his people out of the area until they met up with Caesar's group that had just freed more Evolved Apes from the Gen-Sys Laboratories making a full army whose numbers were in range of hundreds that soon filled the streets of the city with complete chaos. With more apes in the army, Buck became Caesar's fourth in command and the new leader of the army's gorilla forces. Later on, he and Maurice were in the city until they spot two police cars heading towards them while Maurice threw a sewer lid at one Buck had ripped a parking meter out of the ground and threw it at the other stopping both cars in their place. The two would then meet up with the others and join up with Caesar and Rocket on a trolley heading for the Golden Gate Bridge, the army's next target.
Battle on the Golden Gate BridgeEdit
Once at the bridge, the apes scared off the people who were caught in traffic and began making their way to the center of the bridge. The people seeing nothing but wild apes causing a ruckus had the police arrive at the bridge to form a blockade in hopes of wiping out the apes before they caused more trouble. However, Caesar had anticipated this strategy and ordered his people to halt noticing the police riding on horses who were attempting to lure the apes to the shooters on the other side. Caesar then ordered new recruit Koba to lead some chimpanzees on the bridge high wires using the fog as cover while Maurice leads the orangutans and some of the chimpanzees from the bottom of the bridge. Afterwards, Caesar led the remainder of his army to the center of the bridge as the police riders attacked them but Caesar knocked one down and had Buck join him. Buck then attacked a rider and while taking many blows from his baton he threw the rider to ground and was about to kill him however, Caesar told him "No!". With that Buck instead growled at the human's face before pushing him to the ground and meeting up with the others. Caesar put his plans into action by having Buck and the gorillas use their strength to knock over and push a large bus in to the center of the bridge which turned out to be effective as the police had begun to shoot and the bus held off their bullets. Caesar riding on a horse emerged from the fog and had the apes attack the officers resulting in a serious battle with the apes catching the humans off-guard with their brute strength and intelligence. The battle ended when a police van with apes on top of it nearly stumbled off the bridge and Buck busting through its back doors and throwing the officer off the bridge to his death. The remaining officers then fled the bridge as the ape army began to celebrate over their amazing victory over humanity. However, this quickly subsided as a police helicopter rose up and began shooting the army causing the apes to suffer serious casualties and injuries. On board the chopper was Steven Jacobs, Director of Gen-Sys Laboratories had the police target Caesar seeing him as the ape leader this forced him to head for cover in a police van where he took a chain and threw it at the shooter and Jacobs knocking them both down. But this caused the other shooter to go into action and put the alpha in danger. Luckily, Buck, who witnessed this, pushed Caesar out of the way and leapt at the helicopter while taking countless bullets to the chest. Nevertheless, he made it on board where he attacked the shooter and pilot causing the chopper to spiral out of control and crash into the bridge where a series of explosions occurred.
Caesar quickly ran to the downed helicopter and pulled a critically injured Buck out of the wreckage. Buck slowly dying and with only a few seconds to live, thanked Caesar for his friendship and passed on in the arms of a true friend. Caesar closed Buck's eyes and gently laid his body down and started to grieve over the loss of his very dear friend. As this was happening, Caesar heard a voice cry out for help. Walking to the wrecked helicopter Caesar discovered a still alive but wounded Jacobs barely hanging over the ledge of the nearly off the bridge chopper. Jacobs begged Caesar for help and at first he was considering to, but his hatred of humans like Jacobs; who have abused, oppressed, and mistreated apes, and the loss of his friend told him not, to so he pulled his hand back and nodded at Koba to do what he wanted with the human. Koba knocked the helicopter off the bridge with his foot and sent a screaming Jacobs hurtling to his death, thereby avenging Buck's heroic death.
In the ten years after Buck's death, another gorilla named Luca has become Buck's successor; serving as the new fourth-in-command of Caesar's Ape Army. Luca is also trusted in leading the Gorilla Guardians who protect the entrance of the Ape Colony's new village and is just as loyal to Caesar as Buck was to the ape leader.
Buck at first appeared reclusive, antisocial and depressed by his terms of incarceration. He was constantly ignored by the other apes and even Dodge Landon who made no attempts to socialize with him. He also showed reluctance to break free when Caesar confronts him, but then bursts into the enclosure and enjoyed himself. He is enigmatic and powerful, and undoubtedly became a valuable ally to Caesar.
Buck was then shown to have a terrifying bad temper, and appears to have a limit of self-control. He was the only known ape in the Ape Colony that risked everything for Caesar, his alpha and best friend.
Buck was terrifyingly brave and incredibly selfless, this was shown when, at the climax of the Battle on the Golden Gate Bridge when Caesar was attacked by a helicopter, commandeered by Steven Jacobs, and Buck broke through the firing line, smashing through the helicopter, killing all but one of the passengers and, in the process, killing himself. Buck's courage showed that he had very much grown to care for and admire Caesar, despite not knowing him that well.
- Animal Strength: Like all gorillas, Buck was extremely powerful and strong, he was so strong that even Rocket, the then-alpha of the shelter (and the future second-in-command of the ape army) chose to give in to Caesar's demand of being the new alpha, lest Buck would no doubt attack him. Buck was amongst the advanced guard that Maurice set up around Caesar and displayed frightening strength during the Ape Rebellion, he and his new gorilla allies pushed a large bus in range of police bullets. During the Battle on the Golden Gate Bridge; Buck defeated countless police officers before smashing through a police helicopter, killing all but one of the passengers. Buck was the strongest gorilla in the entire Ape Army, his strength was (possibly) rivaled only his successor, the late Luca.
- Animal Speed: Despite his massive size, Buck was much faster than he appeared to be. After Caesar unlocked his cage, Buck bursts into the enclosure with formidable speed, at the climax the Battle on the Golden Gate Bridge; when Caesar was attacked by a helicopter, commandeered by Steven Jacobs, Buck broke through the firing line, moving with unbelievable speed.
- Animal Endurance: Buck was shown to have great endurance as shown when he survived multiple point-blank shots from the police officers on the helicopter.
- Animal Stamina: Buck showed that he possesses high stamina as he took multiple shots from police but was able to ignore the pain and attack the officers before the chopper crashed on the bridge.
- Expert Hand-To-Hand Combatant: Due to him being the fourth-in-command of the Ape Army, Buck was a capable fighter. During the Battle on the Golden Gate Bridge, Buck was able to go head-on with a police officer, who was riding a horse despite the fact that the police officer repeatedly hit him in the face with a baton, he most definitely would have killed the police officer, if Caesar had not told Buck to let the human live. Also like most gorillas, Buck used his massive strength and speed in battle to make himself a formidable opponent alone in single combat.
- Expert Leader: Buck was a capable leader, this was shown when he single-handedly led some of the apes to attack the San Francisco Zoo which was successful as it liberated countless apes who would follow Buck's group out of the zoo and increased the numbers of the Ape Army. He would then become the new leader of the gorilla's in the army and would have his new allies help in Caesar's plan on the bridge.
- High-Level Intellect: Even before he was exposed to the ALZ-113, Buck had some level of intelligence as shown with his loyalty towards Caesar. After he was exposed to the ALZ-113 (off-screen) Buck became much more intelligent than before, it was unknown how much his advanced intelligence and IQ had increased. During the Battle on the Golden Gate Bridge, Buck was about to kill a police officer, but Caesar told him no (in english) Buck clearly understood what he said and spared the human.
- Speech: Having inhaled the ALZ-113, Buck had gained the ability of speech. At the climax the Battle on the Golden Gate Bridge; after Buck sacrifice himself to save Caesar from a helicopter, commandeered by Steven Jacobs, in his final moments he was trying to say thank you to Caesar for his friendship.
- See Buck/Relationships.
- Buck was named in tribute to Buck Kartalian, who played gorillas in both Planet of the Apes and Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, and who remains very active at Apes fan conventions to this day.
- An earlier version of the script has Buck survive the Battle on the Golden Gate Bridge, throwing Dodge off the bridge to his death after Dodge has killed Rocket.
- In his final moments he appears to say something along the lines of "Thank you" to Caesar.
- In Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, he does not appear as he died in the previous film but he is replaced by Luca.
- If Buck had not died in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, he most definitely would have become an important figure in Caesar's Ape Colony, as well as becoming a member of the Ape Council.
- Buck, Luca, and Red are the only known gorillas to have been given the ALZ-113 (off-screen) as the other gorillas in the ape colony were not given this drug (on-screen).
- Despite Caesar ordering Buck not to kill any humans, the Battle on the Golden Gate Bridge ended with him throwing a human off the bridge.
- Buck was nineteen years old, during the events of Rise.
- Due to this, he was the oldest of the apes even surpassing Koba.
- See Buck/Gallery.