|“||Feeling better? Good. Then we can talk about...Escape. Apes together strong!||”|
— Rocket's resolve to stand by Caesar
Rocket is an evolved 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 the second-in-command of the Ape Army.
Rocket remained a loyal follower during the war against the humans, faithfully staying by Caesar's side as (in his own words) they needed each other due to both having lost their sons. He later went on to orchestrate the plan to enable to Apes to escape from Colonel McCullough's custody and start a new life in the desert, away from human reach.
Rise of the Planet of the ApesEdit
Rocket was the dominant male at the San Bruno Primate Shelter and at some point, he met and married a chimpanzee named Tinker prior to Rise. The Shelter 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 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 the 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. Rocket and his wife Tinker 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 and the surviving apes cheer on Caesar before they leave and reunite with the females and young. Rocket is then seen kneeling before Caesar with the other apes as they await the impending war with the humans.
War for the Planet of the Apes: RevelationsEdit
More to come...
War for the Planet of the ApesEdit
Rocket still loyally followed Caesar two years into the war. He was sent with Blue Eyes on a mission to locate a new settlement for the apes, away from the wood which the human army had been destroying in their search for the apes hidden inside. He returned with Blue Eyes revealing that night that they had found a desert far away from where humans would dare chase after them.
After Colonel McCullough kills Blue Eyes and Cornelia Rocket joins Caesar, Maurice and Luca in a mission for revenge against McCullough. Rocket's main reasoning beings that he "knows what its like to lose a son" referring to Ash.
Rocket agreed with Caesar during the apes debate after Lucas death saying that they should continue on their mission whereas Maurice and Bad Ape believed they should join the other apes, not knowing they had been captured. After the debate gets heated between Caesar and Maurice, Caesar storms off towards the base saying it was a bad idea bringing his friends. Rocket stares at Caesar shocked.
When Caesar is captured and Nova goes to feed and hydrate him, Rocket distracts the guards from Nova by purposefully getting captured and to help the ape colony escape McCullough. When Red the gorilla is ordered to beat Rocket, Red is attacked by Rocket but soon over powers the chimpanzee. Rocket then participates in the apes escape by getting one of the guards into the prison cell and tricking him into standing in a spot where he can be grabbed by Maurice from under ground. Maurice then either kills or knocks the guard unconscious and gives the apes the key. The apes then free their children and begin escaping through the underground tunnels. When Caesar wants to stay behind to kill McCullough, Rocket unsuccessfully tries to convince him to escape with them.
Rocket survives the battle and the avalanche and journeys with the other apes to their new home. However, Caesar doesn't tell Rocket he was fatally wounded in the battle and has his last words with his other most trusted ape, Maurice. Some time later, he heard Maurice calling everyone and Rocket noticed that Caesar had died and ran to him.
Rise of the Planet of the ApesEdit
At first, Rocket was an arrogant bully and a ruthless thug who harassed and traumatized Caesar simply 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 he originally thought and that there was no need to be brutal and cruel to be a great leader.
As seen in Rise, 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 arrogant bully and 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.
Rocket has no desire for power; this is evident by the fact that when Caesar was (apparently) killed by Koba, he did not use the chaos as an opportunity to become the new leader of the Ape Colony, in contrast to Koba's power-hungry and treacherous traits. As a follower of Caesar, Rocket does not believe that all humans are bad, as evident by the fact that he became friends with Malcolm.
War for the Planet of the Apes: RevelationsEdit
More to come...
War for the Planet of the ApesEdit
Rocket displayed complete loyalty to Caesar, staunchly staying with the ape king, citing he needed him as they both had lost children. Such loyalty bordered on the irrational, Rocket growing angry at those who lacked respect towards Caesar, such as Winter, due to the ape's betrayal, helping Caesar subdue him and how he stood up to strike Bad Ape for refusing to take Caesar to McCullough, forcing the ape king to hold him back. He also felt they should continue to find McCullough, not wanting Luca's death to be in vain.
Rocket is also quite brave, instinctively putting himself in full view of the human soldiers to provide a distraction so Nova could escape. He also furthered this by attacking Red to buy her time, despite knowing there was a chance he would be shot and that Red would heavily beat him afterwards.
When Caesar wanted to finish his revenge, Rocket tried to convince him to leave with him, showing that he really cared about Caesar more as a brother than a king.
- Animal Strength: Like all chimpanzees, Rocket was very powerful and strong. During the Ape Rebellion, he was able to rip a door 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. He also later tackled Red down, despite the gorilla weighing more than him.
- Animal Speed: Like all chimpanzees, Rocket was 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 encountered Malcolm and his group, Rocket was 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 Hand-To-Hand 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 is notably the only ape to beat Caesar in a one-on-one fight. He was one of the primary combatants of the Battle on the Golden Gate Bridge and was shown defeating many police officers with no problems. He also easily overpowered a soldier, despite them having a gun. He could also hold his own against Red, despite the gorilla's incredible strength, though he was ultimately overpowered.
- Expert Marksman: Over the next two years throughout the final human-ape war, Rocket became proficient in the use of firearms, using one to kill several soldiers during their attack on the Apes outpost.
- Expert Horse Rider: Rocket was able to ride a horse with ease, quickly dismounting it to get to cover if need be.
- 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 the Ape Army, Rocket was able to lead many apes against the police force with no problem and later confidently leads at Caesar's side during the war. In Caesar's absense, he confidently led Maurice and Bad Ape and then later during battle. This also granted him bravery, standing against Red and the soldiers despite knowing they would heavily punish him, much like Caesar did.
- High-Level Intellect: 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 enhanced intelligence and IQ has increased. Because of his new-found intelligence, Rocket struggled with the idea of being intelligent. He later displayed quick thinking, exposing himself to the soldiers so Nova could escape, despite knowing he would be captured.
- 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 (Caesar taught all apes sign language)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". This improves further by War, to the point of complete fluency.
- Speech: Having inhaled the ALZ-113, Rocket gained the ability of speech. This ability was later passed on to Rocket's son, Ash. In Dawn, Rocket only spoke through the use of Sign Language, in the novelization, he did speak once. It is unknown how good the rest of his English is.
- See Rocket/Relationships.
- Rocket was a minor antagonist turned supporting character in Rise of the Planet of the Apes and the tritagonist of War for the Planet of the Apes.
- 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 Caesar'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.
- It appears that Rocket will have a reasonably-sized role in War as he appears a number of times in the first full length trailer.
- To date, War is the only film within the reboot franchise of films where Rocket has played a main role. During Rise his role reoccurring as he was the ape antagonist before Koba's introduction towards the end of the film. Dawn minimised his role to appearing just under a dozen times in total.
- After Caesar's death, it can be assumed that Rocket played some role in raising Cornelius alongside Maurice and Lake.
- Rocket is Caesar's second-in-command but struggles with being intelligent.
- Rocket has a son named Ash.
- According to his wife, Tinker, they probably won't have another child
- 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.
- Rocket was ten years old, during the events of Rise.
- Rocket has silver scars on his chest.
- See Rocket/Gallery.
- Rise of the Planet of the Apes
- Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: Firestorm
- Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (novelization)
- Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (BOOM! Studios)
- War for the Planet of the Apes: Revelations
- War for the Planet of the Apes (novelization)
- War for the Planet of the Apes (BOOM! Studios)