|Occupation||Alpha/Inmate of the San Bruno Primate Shelter (formerly)|
|Family|| Tinker (wife, unknown) |
Ash (son, deceased)
|First Appearance||Rise of the Planet of the Apes|
|Last Appearance||Dawn of the Planet of the Apes|
|“||I follow Caesar.||”|
— Rocket's response to Koba
Rocket is an altered chimpanzee who was the Alpha at the San Bruno Primate Shelter before and during Caesar's time at the shelter. He was a typical bully until Caesar outsmarted him and took his place as Alpha. Settling their differences, the two became the most unlikely of allies. During the Ape Rebellion, Caesar tasks Rocket as one of his head lieutenants. After ten years, the two are still best friends and Rocket is still one of Caesar's closest companions. He is a member of the Ape Council and Caesar's second-in-command in the Ape Army. He is also the husband of Tinker, and the father of the late Ash.
Rise of the Planet of the ApesEdit
Rocket was the dominant male at the San Bruno Primate Shelter which is where the newcomer Chimpanzee Caesar is forced to live after he attacks his next door neighbor Douglas Hunsiker. In Caesar's early days at the shelter, Rocket treated him harshly and quickly established dominance over him even when Caesar attempted to be friendly with the arrogant alpha. Their encounter ended with both being tranquilized by Dodge Landon. After this, Rocket continued to be a bully to Caesar, never showing him any mercy or pity as time went on.
This treatment doesn't last very long, as tired of being picked on, Caesar decided to use his above average intelligence to outsmart the alpha and planned to take his place. Caesar lured Rocket into the play den and hit him with a metal gasoline canister but did no more to harm to him, clearly establishing he was the rightful alpha. Rocket was somewhat reluctant to step down when seeing his followers watching, but was forced to acknowledge Caesar as his successor thanks to the recently released inmate, Buck the gorilla, whose very presence terrified Rocket into submitting to Caesar. Now without power, Rocket slowly began to sulk in his cell as the newcomer Caesar took power and was seen as the new alpha of the shelter.
Caesar would then make peace with Rocket by giving him a bag of stolen cookies and instructing him to share them with the other apes as a way to bring the apes together. This act made Rocket realize that there was nothing to gain from being cruel for no reason, and caused him to find newfound respect for Caesar, acknowledging him as the true alpha of the shelter.
When Caesar unleashes the ALZ-113 virus on the sleeping apes, Rocket becomes infected and gains a higher boost of intelligence. Caesar then turned against the shelter's tormentor Dodge Landon and began to open many of the apes' cells to release his brethren, before stopping at Rocket's. A tense moment is born, until Caesar decides to free Rocket who would then point out the remaining caretaker Rodney who was being beaten by the freed apes until they were stopped by Caesar. Rocket would become one of Caesar's loyal companions and would escape from the San Bruno Primate Shelter with Caesar and the others as they head for the outskirts of the city. Caesar divides his forces into groups with Rocket accompanying Caesar and Maurice's forces to Gen Sys Labs, while Buck and his forces are ordered to free the apes at the San Francisco Zoo to add more numbers to their people's cause. He later aids Caesar by finding a trolley which the ape army used to travel to the Golden Gate Bridge their next target.
Battle At Golden Gate BridgeEdit
On the bridge, the apes terrorize the area, forcing many of the people to run for their lives. The police then send in officers on horseback to lead the apes to the other side of the bridge where to large group officers are in wait planning to massacre the apes. This was anticipated by Caesar, who had his army halt. Caesar then commanded the new recruit Koba to take a group of Chimpanzees go up the high wires of the bridge and attack from above, as Maurice and his new Orangutan forces take the bridge from underneath. Rocket and the rest of the Chimpanzees were chosen by Caesar to help launch a direct attack on the police officers. He was shown standing by Caesar's side while he waited for the Caesar to unleash the attack. Caesar then ordered Buck and his new Gorilla forces to push a school bus in the range of police bullets until they ran out. Riding on a police horse, Caesar gave his army the command to attack which led to a fearsome battle between man and ape. Rocket joined his fellow apes in battle taking down many police officers and watching as the rest were forced to retreat.
Freedom At LastEdit
The next time, Rocket is seen in the forest with Maurice (and possibly Cornelia) when Caesar is saying his final goodbyes to his adoptive human father, Will. Rocket and the other apes moved out of Caesar's way as he walked to his favorite tree. The apes soon started to stand upright like Caesar, signifying they now saw him as their leader. Rocket joined Caesar and Maurice on an adjacent tree and the trio looked over the destruction they put the city through.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: FirestormEdit
Rocket is first seen when he spots a helicopter hovering above the trees. Caesar commands him to find him six apes and to report back to him. He soon returns with three orangutans, two chimpanzees, and Koba the bonobo. Later in the book, he excitedly reports to Caesar and shows him and his small band of apes a pile of food that he and his own band had found. Caesar sees skins from some of the fruit on the ground and questions Rocket. He sheepishly tells him that he and his band had eaten some of the food. Caesar, suspicious of this mysterious pile of food, has Koba inspect only to find a camera and several other devices.
More To come...
Dawn of the Planet of the ApesEdit
Time of PeaceEdit
After ten years of living in peace in the Muir Woods Park, Rocket has helped his people build a thriving village where he has become a prominent figure among his fellow apes. His friendship with Caesar grown to the point that they view each other as honorary brothers. Rocket is permitted to be apart of the Ape Council, and has retained his position as the second-in-command of the Ape Army. At some point, he met and married a chimpanzee named Tinker. The two would later go on to have a son named Ash, who would later in life become a soldier in the Ape Army and best friends with Caesar's son Blue Eyes (the prince of the Ape Colony).
His Son's AccidentEdit
Rocket is first seen during the hunting expedition, and is seen again in the forest later on when his son Ash is shot in the shoulder while out on a fishing trip with Blue Eyes. Forever protective over his son, Rocket is visibly shaken by this attack and looks as if he might attack the humans only for Caesar to tell him to calm down. After the humans put their guns away, Caesar and the others yell at them to leave the forest before having koba and his group follow them into the city. Later at night, during a council meeting, Rocket argues with Koba over what should be done about the attack on Ash. Rocket angrily tells him that he follows Caesar's orders and that he will follow whatever Caesar wants to do.
The next day, Rocket accompanies Caesar and the army out into the ruined city of San Francisco where Caesar personally threatens the humans with war if they enter the apes' territory again. With the message being given, the apes leave the city after returning the satchel of the teenager Alexander.
After the truce is made between Caesar and Malcolm, Rocket confiscates the human's guns and smashes them to pieces with a rock passionately, so that the weapons cannot be used against the apes or his son again. Rocket is present on horseback when Caesar leads the army his friends and sons to meet up with Malcolm at the dam. Rocket listens to Caesar and Maurice's conversation about Koba, who hasn't accompanied them because Maurice believes he was still angry about Caesar letting the humans into the village, and decided to go out hunting. Rocket then helps the other apes in saving Malcolm and his friends after they were trapped in debris by an explosion. He would later watch as Caesar and Koba have an argument which ends with the Ape King nearly beating the bonobo to death before stopping himself and forgiving him of his actions.
When Caesar and Blue Eyes are summoned by Cornelia's midwives, Rocket sits guard over the Ape Queen while Caesar, Blue Eyes and the baby sit nearby, devastated over the thought of losing Cornelia. He watches as Caesar speaks with and gives the humans one more day on the dam telling them the apes will help. When Koba arrives at the Dam and angrily confronts Caesar, Rocket watches as Caesar proceeds to thrash the bonobo before stopping himself and forgiving Koba. Later on, at night as power restored back in San Francisco he celebrates with the apes and humans until a gunshot is heard and Caesar falls from his home. Rocket then sees the Village go up in flames and watches as Koba takes power (after secretly shooting Caesar) and blames the humans for Caesar's death. Koba then leads the Ape Army in an attack on the San Francisco Human Hideout it is unknown where Rocket went while the other apes followed the deranged bonobo orders in his plan of "vengeance".
He is later seen chained on a bus next to the human cages along with Maurice, Luca and many others because of their loyalty remaining to Caesar but he is later freed by Blue Eyes who then takes them to the old Rodman House where a still living Caesar is hiding out with Malcolm, Ellie and Alexander.
Rocket is present when Caesar fights with Koba. Later on, he and the others aid those caught in an explosion caused by Dreyfus. He and Blue Eyes would tend to a wounded Maurice (who had been shot by Koba) and watches as Caesar sends the bonobo falling to his death, silently nodding at his friend. After Koba's defeat and death, Rocket is seen kneeling before Caesar with the other apes as they await the impending war with the humans.
Rise of the Planet of the ApesEdit
At first, Rocket appeared to be an arrogant and ruthless thug who harassed and traumatized Caesar in order to show dominance over him. He enjoyed power and showed immense pride in being in charge. After being overthrown by Caesar, Rocket became a worthwhile ally and his sense of pride diminished. Because Caesar's takeover of what would become the ape colony, Rocket realized there was more to power than originally thought and that there was no need to be brutal and cruel to be a great leader.
As shown in the first film, Rocket was not very bright. This was proven to be true when Caesar easily lured him out of his cage and into a trap. However, after he was exposed to the ALZ-113, Rocket becomes intelligent and struggled with the change.
Dawn of the Planet of the ApesEdit
Over the last decade, he evolved greatly from the ruthless thug he once was as he shows a strong loyalty only to Caesar and isn't afraid to express it. Rocket is now recognized for his strength and intelligence, which has allowed him to be a great mentor to the colony's younger generation of apes.
As a father, Rocket would do anything to keep his son from harm, as shown where he stood in the way of his son when discovering the humans injured his son and looked tempted to attack them for it. Due to his friendship with Caesar, Rocket takes his protective nature to a whole level and takes it upon himself to protect Blue Eyes, Caesar's eldest son, from the wrath of ape-hating human Carver.
- Animal Strength: Like all chimpanzees, Rocket is very powerful and strong. During the Ape Rebellion, he is shown to be strong enough to rips two doors off an animal control van with no effort. His strength would serve him well as he later became the second-in-command of the Ape Army and later go on to be well-known to all the young apes in the Ape Colony such as Caesar's son Blue Eyes.
- Animal Speed: Like all chimpanzees, Rocket is amazingly fast. When Caesar came to the shelter and ran away from rocket, the latter chased him up a tree easily catching up with him and quickly knocked him down. After Caesar and his ape army encounters Malcolm and his group, Rocket is already next to Malcolm's group without any of them noticing he was heading towards them, in order to protect Blue Eyes and Ash.
- Expert Combatant: Due to him being the second-in-command of the ape army, as well as the former alpha of the San Bruno Primate Shelter, Rocket is a capable fighter. He was one of the primary fighters of the Battle of the Golden Gate Bridge and was shown defeating many police officers with no problems.
- Expert Leader: As the former alpha of the San Bruno Primate Shelter, he has past experience in taking on a leadership role. As the second-in-command of Caesar's Ape Army, Rocket was able to lead many apes against the police force with no problem. All of these events proved that Rocket is a very capable leader despite his initial cruelty.
- Advanced Intelligence: Rocket unknowingly inhaled the ALZ-113 when Caesar, in the dead of night, exposed it to the other apes while many of them were imprisoned in San Bruno. He was one of the first apes shown with green irises, a trait that is later passed on to his own son, Ash. It is unknown how much his advanced intelligence and IQ has increased. Because of his new-found intelligence, Rocket struggled with the idea of being intelligent.
- Sign Language: Like Caesar, Rocket knows American Sign Language. He uses it as a way of communication. It is not known when he learned how to use this skill, but it is possible that he learned it from Caesar or Maurice over the last decade. He was first seen using it during the rediscovery of humans saying "They shot my son!" and at the Ape Council's meeting, telling Koba "I follow Caesar".
- Speech: Having inhaled the ALZ-113, Rocket gained the ability of speech. This ability is later passed on to Rocket's son, Ash. In Dawn he only speaks through the use of Sign Language, so it is unknown how well he speaks English.
Tinker is Rocket's wife. They would have met sometime during the breakout or during their lives in freedom. They had a son named Ash together, and it is unknown if they have any other children. It is unknown if Tinker is still alive during DoftPotA.
More to come...
AshEditAsh was Rocket's teenage son. When Ash and Blue Eyes encountered Carver and other humans in the forest, Rocket jumps in to defend them with a spear, showing that Rocket was very protective of his son. In the movie, no indication is given that Rocket knew of his son's death (other than perhaps Blue Eyes telling him about his death after their escape from the school bus). In the DotPotA novelization, he does find out, and this causes him to turn against Koba.
Friends and AlliesEdit
CaesarEditCaesar is Rocket's best friend, king and honorary brother. Rocket and Caesar's relationship didn't have a very good start at first. When Caesar first came to the shelter and tried to befriend him, the Alpha male started to bully him, most likely for his domesticated life and the resulting lack of knowledge of basic ape nature.After Caesar had befriended Buck the gorilla, Caesar was able to lure Rocket out of his cage into the play area, where he quickly overthrew him as Rocket knows he is no match against both Caesar and Buck. Rocket and Caesar were able to settle their differences and they become the most unlikeliest of friends with him serving as one of Caesar's key lieutenants during the ape rebellion and battle on the Golden Gate Bridge.
Over the next ten years, Rocket and Caesar are still best friends with Rocket being Caesar's second-in-command. They have become closer as they are both fathers to teenage sons who are best friends. Due to his relationship with Caesar, Rocket serves as an uncle to Caesar's two young sons while in return, Caesar serves as an uncle to his own son, Ash. Caesar also permits Rocket to have a place on the council. Rocket is fiercely loyal to Caesar, as seen when Koba questions Rocket's loyalty after his son is shot by accident, and when Koba has Rocket locked up for his loyalty towards Caesar after the bonobo shoots the ape king. After the little skirmish with Koba was done rocket would join the other apes in bowing down to Caesar as they await the battle with humans to come, signifying he is very dedicated to Caesar.
MauriceEditMaurice is Rocket's close friend. Though they have little to no interaction, Rocket and Maurice seemed to be civil, despite the fact that in their early days at the shelter Maurice originally thought Rocket was violent due to his brutality towards new inmate and future alpha Caesar. Maurice also viewed Rocket and the other apes as stupid due to their apparent lack of brain.
Over the next decade after living in a colony of apes, Rocket and Maurice have likely become closer than they were in captivity. Both hold a position in the Ape Council and hold a strong friendship with their leader Caesar. It is likely that Rocket's son Ash is one of Maurice's students, prompting a closer association. Maurice also showed concern for Rocket after the latter's son was accidentally shot by the human Carver. When Koba opened fire on the other apes, a stray bullet had struck Maurice and Rocket tended to his wounded friend for the rest of the battle, showing nothing but concern for his friend.
BuckEditBuck was a fellow inmate of Rocket while they were in captivity. Though they had very little interaction, Rocket feared Buck to begin with, believing that if he didn't do what he was told by Caesar, he'd get attacked by the gorilla who was now loyal to Caesar. Now afraid that Caesar had Buck on his side, he stepped down as Alpha, allowing Caesar to take his place. Later, Rocket was seen standing on the top of a cable car with Buck, Caesar and Maurice, showing that he and Buck have become civil due to their loyalty to Caesar.
Blue EyesEditBlue Eyes is the prince of the Ape Colony and Rocket's honorary nephew due to his close bond with Caesar. Having grown up with Ash, Rocket knows Blue Eyes well and serves as an uncle towards the young prince. This love is well reciprocated on Blue Eyes' side as he always admired and respected Rocket for his strength and skills. The pair are very close and both openly concerned when Cornelia, Blue Eyes' mother becomes sick. When Koba has Maurice and Rocket locked up in cages for their disloyalty to him, Blue Eyes expressed concern for their suffering on and begins to drift from Koba's side. He later frees them by sneaking into the city and ripping the cage door off its hinges, taking them back to the secretly alive and well Caesar.
MiloEditMilo is the second son of Caesar and Cornelia, therefore another honorary nephew of Rocket. Rocket has not interacted with the infant, but he must love him as much as he does the baby's older brother Blue Eyes.
CorneliaEditCornelia is Rocket's old friend, former inmate, and queen. Despite limited interaction, Rocket and Cornelia are close as they have watched each other's children grow up. Cornelia, being Caesar's wife, is like a sister to Rocket who in return is very protective over her as he sits with Caesar, Blue Eyes, and the baby when Cornelia is sick.
LucaEditLuca is Rocket's good friend. Not much is known about their relationship as they barely have any interaction but it appears they hold some form of friendship as they are both members of the Ape Council and the army and both hold strong loyalty towards their king Caesar.
KobaEditKoba was Rocket's close friend turned enemy. Despite their limited interactions during and after the Battle on the Golden Gate Bridge, Rocket and Koba became friends. When Caesar asks Rocket to summon a group of apes to him in the early days in their quest to survive, Rocket finds Koba and takes him to Caesar with the other apes. Rocket was later injured after falling from a tree branch when a human named Corbin fired his gun. Koba then tackled Corbin to the ground and carried the injured Rocket up to a tree, thus saving Rocket's life. As the years go on, Rocket and Koba remain on good terms until Rocket's son Ash is shot by accident by Carver. But this friendship quickly turns to bitterness as Rocket sides with Caesar during the crisis with the humans which results in Rocket, along with Maurice, to get locked up in cages for this disloyalty. Rocket's son Ash is killed by Koba and it is likely that Rocket holds extreme hatred toward Koba for killing his son. Rocket could be seen giving Caesar a subtle nod while their leader struggled with the decision of whether or not to drop Koba to his death.
- Most of the other apes in the movie had significant names, and Rick Jaffa claimed on the DVD feature that Rocket was named in tribute to Norman Rockett, a set designer on the first movie.
- An earlier version of the script differed in that Rocket's eyes begin to go green (a sign of intelligence) after having bitten Caesar during their initial confrontation. After Caesar and Rocket together escape the primate facility and visit both Will's house and the Gen-Sys lab, they use stolen scissors to share their blood with the other apes at the facility and thus pass on their viral intelligence. In this version of the script, Rocket dies on the Golden Gate Bridge after being shot by Dodge Landon, who was aiming for Caesar.
- As seen in one deleted scene, Rocket appeared to take Caeser's overpowering seriously at first and kept to himself inside his paddock, nursing his pride and refusing to exercise despite being doused by Dodge's water hose. This scene may explain the later scenario where Caesar gives Rocket a cookie and instructs him to hand them out.
- Terry Notary, who played Rocket, had also worked on Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes in 2001, as a movement instructor and stunt coordinator on both films. He also played Bright Eyes.
- Terry Notary played Rocket's motion capture role but (unlike the other ape actors) also did the vocal effects for Rocket, according to Rupert Wyatt on the director's commentary on the Blu-Ray version of Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
- In an earlier version of the script, as confirmed by Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver while being interviewed, Rocket was originally the film's antagonist but in the final film Rocket instead became one of Caesar's second-in-command. The other being Maurice.
- Rocket was mistakenly described by Andy Serkis as a baboon, even though he is a chimpanzee and baboons are not apes, rather they are large monkeys.
- Rocket is present in the first official still from Dawn. He is on Caesar's left. He also appears in the first trailer for the film as this is where the still is from.
- In the final cut of Dawn, Rocket is seen fewer times than he was in Rise in which he played a bigger role.
- Rocket is due to return in Dawn and will be played once again by Terry Notary.
- According to an interview, it is said that Rocket will be Caesar's second-in-command but struggles with being intelligent.
- Rocket has a son named Ash.
- It is currently unknown who the mother of Ash is.
- in the latest TV Spot it appears that Rocket along with Maurice are captured and put in a cage.
- In the DotPotA movie, Rocket never verbally speaks. In the novelization, he does once.
- Rocket, Maurice, Luca, and other apes who are loyal to Caesar and refuse to kill unarmed humans were caged and held prisoner by Koba.