Planet of The Apes

planet of the apes final scene
Type: Reading
Originally published on May 16, 2023

Engaging in conversations about Planet of the Apes can be an excellent topic for English learners. It provides a platform to practice vocabulary, explore complex themes, and develop critical thinking skills.

By discussing the film and analysing characters’ motivations, learners can enhance their language proficiency and engage in meaningful discussions. Additionally, it encourages the use of English expressions and idioms, further enriching their language abilities.

IMPORTANT: These conversation questions are under the assumption that the learners has seen the film. Although they can learn the overall theme of the film from the text, not all questions will be relevant if they haven’t seen the film.

Ask your students to read the following text, or listen as you read it to them. When finished check their understanding by asking the questions directly below the text before moving on to discuss the conversation questions.

About The Film

Planet of the Apes is a captivating science fiction film that takes viewers on a thrilling journey into a world where apes have risen to dominance over humans. Directed by Franklin J. Schaffner and released in 1968, the movie has become a classic in the genre and has spawned several sequels and reboots.

The story revolves around an American astronaut named George Taylor, played by Charlton Heston, who embarks on a deep space mission with his crew. However, their spacecraft crash-lands on an unknown planet, leaving Taylor as the lone survivor. As he explores the desolate landscape, he discovers that the planet is inhabited by highly intelligent apes who speak and possess a complex society.

Taylor finds himself captured by the apes and becomes a subject of scientific curiosity. He befriends two sympathetic chimpanzees, Zira and Cornelius, who believe that Taylor may hold the key to understanding the history of their world. However, Taylor faces discrimination, oppression, and cruelty at the hands of the ape society, which sees humans as inferior creatures.

As Taylor fights for his survival and searches for a way to escape, he begins to uncover the shocking truth about the planet’s past. The film builds up to a climactic and thought-provoking ending that challenges our understanding of humanity, civilization, and the consequences of hubris.

Planet of the Apes stands out not only for its intriguing plot but also for its groundbreaking makeup and prosthetics, which brought the ape characters to life with remarkable realism. The film’s themes of social commentary, exploring concepts of power, prejudice, and the ethics of scientific advancement, have made it enduringly relevant.

With its powerful performances, stunning visuals, and a narrative that delves into deeper philosophical questions, “Planet of the Apes” remains a compelling and influential film. It has captivated audiences for decades, leaving an indelible mark on the science fiction genre and continuing to inspire subsequent adaptations and spin-offs.

Conversation Questions

My Image
  • Have you seen the film? Do you like it?
  • How did the film portray the relationship between humans and apes?
  • What social and political themes did you identify in the film? How do you think they relate to our society today?
  • Which character did you find most interesting or relatable? Why?
  • How did the film explore the concept of power and its effects on society?
  • Were there any scenes or moments in the film that stood out to you? Why?
  • What do you think the film is trying to convey about the nature of humanity?
  • Did "Planet of the Apes" make you reflect on any ethical or moral issues?
  • What does the film suggest about the consequences of exploiting nature and the environment?
  • Were the actions of the apes in the film justified as a means of self-preservation and maintaining their society?
  • Did the humans in the film deserve the treatment they received from the apes?
  • Is it possible to interpret the events in Planet of the Apes as a metaphor for real-world social and political challenges, and if so, what are some parallels that can be drawn?
This conversation topic was prepared by Gregory

Gregory is a qualified TEFL teacher who has been teaching English as a Foreign Language (ESL) for over a decade. He has taught in-person classes in Spain and to English learners around the world online.