An okay finale. It opens in 2678, with John Huston as the Lawgiver, a wise old orangutan who teaches his class about Caesar (Roddy McDowall).The rest of the movie is set in about 2015 and involves Caesar's problems with the barbarous gorilla General Aldo (Claude Akins) and a band of mutants from the Forbidden Zone. The film brings the Apes saga almost full circle, with the humans in Ape City reduced to slaves (who can still speak, having not been lobotomized yet).
The battle scenes are staged better than in Conquest, and there's a lot of action and the usual political parallels (at one point Caesar says "Let us reason together," just like LBJ). John Landis can be seen as a human slave. Landis got to know Apes make-up designer John Chambers, who later appeared in Landis' directing debut Schlock.
After this, in 1974, came a short-lived TV series, which was recycled into two TV-movies: Back to the Planet of the Apes (the pilot) and Forgotten City of the Planet of the Apes. There was also a Saturday-morning cartoon from 1975-76, as well as the usual comic books, novelizations (historical novelist John Jakes penned one, as did SF author David Gerrold), bubble-gum cards, action figures, and so on. In 1998, upon the original film's thirtieth anniversary, the films were all reissued on videocassette; a boxed set contained a documentary narrated by Roddy McDowall, and the films were given similar treatment on DVD soon after. Then, in 2001, came Tim Burton's remake, which did not follow the storyline of the first five films but blazed its own trail (a working title for it, in fact, was not Planet of the Apes at all, but The Visitor).The irony of the 'Apes' series is that it preached non-bigotry, but it was still racist on some level. The warlike, bestial gorillas were dark-skinned; the more intelligent and peaceful orangutans and chimpanzees were light-skinned. 20th Century-Fox was able to get away with that in the early '70s, but in reviving the franchise for the 21st century it seems they had to rethink the color-coding a little.