Antagonists Wiki
Caesar gone. Apes follow Koba now.
~ Koba after killing Ash as a show of superiority.
Koba poster
Background information
Feature films Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Television programs
Video games
Park attractions
Actor Christopher Gordon
Toby Kebbell
Performance model
Character information
Other names One-Eye
Personality Savage, treacherous, vengeful, hateful, hypocritical, violent, aggressive, feral, devious, murderous, manipulative, perfidious, truculent, evil, oppressive, dangerous, perilous, greedy, cruel, nasty, acquisitive, miserable
Appearance Large, slender bonobo with black and gray fur, large fangs, and a scarred and blind left eye.
Occupation Test subject
Caesar's second-in-command (formerly)
Leader of the Ape Colony (briefly)
Goal To annihilate the human colony and gain full control of the ape colony (failed).
Home San Francisco, California, U.S.A.
Friends Grey, Stone
Enemies Steven Jacobs, Caesar, Will Rodman, Malcolm, Ellie, Alexander, Dreyfus, Blue Eyes, Ash, Maurice, Rocket
Minions Blue Eyes (formerly), Grey (formerly), Stone
Likes Killing humans, control, power, strength,
Dislikes Humans, Caesar, non-subjugation, weakness
Powers and abilities Peak Chimpanzee Physique , Climbing, Feral State, Intimidation
Weapons Fangs, spear, guns
Fate Is dropped onto a metal crane by Caesar and dies of the fall.
Quote "Apes follow Koba now".

"Ape Together Strong". "Ape Not Kill Ape". "Caesar Weak".

Koba is the main antagonist of the Planet of the Apes reboot trilogy, serving as a minor character in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the main antagonist of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and the posthumous overarching antagonist of War for the Planet of the Apes.

He is a bonobo that was used as a test subject in Gen-Sys Laboratories, causing him to develop a strong hatred against humans. He later joined Caesar's ape colony and became his adviser and second-in-command. However, his hatred of humans grew too strong, and he secretly attempted to assassinate Caesar and took over the Ape colony in an effort to wage war on a group of humans.

In Rise of the Planet of the Apes, he was played by Christopher Gordon in motion capture. Toby Kebbell replaced Gordon in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.


In his younger years, Koba lived with his mother in an ape research facility, and was taught American Sign Language by a woman named Mary. Like many sign language apes, Koba didn't understand that apes who didn't use sign language were like him and wasn't taught what the word "chimp" meant. As a reult, Koba regarded non-signing chimps as "big black caterpillars" snd identified himself with humans, a sentiment Mary was very well aware of, but never made any attempts to change, After Koba's mother was beaten to death by their alcoholic caregiver, Roger, funding for the project Koba was involved in was cut and Koba was sent off to a new home, which Mary promised would be good.

This turned out to be false, as Koba was sold to a TV studio run by an abusive man named Tommy. There, Koba became friends with another ape, Milo, and the two were taught by Tommy to perform tricks for the show and were electrocuted if they failed or disobeyed. After low ratings resulted in the show being cancelled, a drunken Tommy took his anger out on Koba and Milo, beating them and slashing Koba's left eye with a knife, scarring it. However, the knife wound failed to blind Koba's eye, so Tommy burned it out with a lit cigarette. Tommy later committed suicide and Koba was captured by animal control officers and separated from Milo.

Koba was then sent to a laboratory, where he was subjected to painful experiments and otherwise kept in complete isolation. As a result of boredom, loneliness and the trauma of the experiments, Koba developed self-harming behaviors such as pulling out his fur and injuring his knuckles by signing them against the floor of his cage until they bled.

At one point, Koba was discovered by a friendly Gen-Sys neuroscientist Amol, who knew Sign Language and used Koba for several experiments. The two came very close to forming a good relationship. However, Amol's superior, Steven Jacobs fired him and confronted Koba, callously deriding him as a "stupid, ugly monkey" and claiming that if the choice were his, he would put Koba down himself. As a result, Koba developed an intense dislike of Jacobs.

Koba was then moved to other labs, where he was subjected to many more experiments, gaining several more scars as a result, including one on his arm and one on his neck. Eventually, he was transported to Gen-Sys Laboratories, where he once again met Steven Jacobs, who was now the lab's CEO. Jacobs sadistically taunted Koba, mocking his scars and misfortunes, and deriding him as a simple animal. Koba finally reaching his breaking point, developed a hatred against humanity, focusing on Jacobs specifically as the source of his pain.


Rise of the Planet of the Apes[]

Koba feigned docility in an attempt to get close enough to Jacobs to kill him. While the retrovirus was being administered to him, Koba saw Jacobs and shook off his breathing mask containing the retrovirus, exposing chimpanzee handler Robert Franklin. Afterwards, Koba was subjected to several intelligence tests, which revealed that the retrovirus had greatly increased his intelligence.

Some time later, Koba and the other ape test subjects were freed by a group of apes led by a chimpanzee named Caesar during the early stages of the Ape Rebellion. This act led Koba to greatly admire Caesar. Koba joined the freed apes as the crossed the Golden Gates Bridge. In order the defeat the police blockade sent to stop the apes, Caesar ordered Koba to lead the chimpanzees onto the high wire supports as part of an ambush. The plan proved a success and the apes managed to ambush the blockade, catching them off guard and forcing them to retreat. During the battle, Jacobs arrived in helicopter and ordered his men to gun down Caesar, but a gorilla, Buck, tackled the helicopter onto the bridge, an act that cost him his life.

After Caesar refused to help an injured Jacobs, Koba took his opportunity to take revenge for his mistreatment. Koba approached the helicopter and shoved it off the side of the bridge with his foot sending a screaming Jacobs plummeting to his death. Afterwards, Koba joined the other apes in the Muir Woods. Shortly afterwards, Caesar's former owner, Will Rodman, entered the woods to search for Caesar and was tackled by Koba. Before Koba could do anything else, Caesar forcibly knocked him away. Realizing he wasn't strong enough to fight Caesar, Koba retreated, but later returned to the other apes to acknowledge Caesar's leadership.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes[]

Ten years after having escaped into the Muir Woods, Koba is now living with the other apes in the Ape Village, and is a senior member of Caesar's Ape Council. Koba first appears during an elk hunt, leading a group of apes to help Caesar cut the herd off. Shortly afterwards, Koba rescues Caesar and his son Blue Eyes from a bear attack by spearing the bear, killing it. Upon returning to the village, Koba offers a dejected Blue Eyes words of encouragement.

After Ash, the son of one Caesar's lieutenant Rocket, is shot by a human named Carver, Koba is amongst the apes that arrives to investigate. Koba is the second ape to speak, shouting at the human group, led by a man named Malcolm, to leave. Caesar orders Koba to follow the group to discover their whereabouts, and Koba, along with two of his followers, Grey and Stone, discovers a human community living in an unfinished sky scraper in San Francisco. Upon returning to the village, Koba converses with the Ape Council, suggesting that the apes attack the human community. Caesar rejects the idea, reasoning that going to war could result in heavy consequences. However, at Koba's urging, Caesar does lead the ape army to the human tower the next day and warns the humans to stay out of the Muir Woods. Before the apes leave the city, Koba glares hatefully at Malcom, who is visibly unnerved by the bonobo.

Soon afterwards, Malcolm arrives at the Ape Village and Koba immediately suggests killing him. However, Caesar spares him and lets Malcolm explain that the human need to repair a hydroelectric dam located near the Ape Village to restore power to the city. Caesar agrees to let the humans work at the dam so that they will leave afterwards. Koba is outraged at the idea, reasoning to Caesar that letting the humans restore power to the city will make them more dangerous. When Caesar points out that the humans have promised to leave once their work is done, a defiant Koba angrily points to his scars, referring to them as "human work." Caesar silently challenges Koba to continue his defiance. Realizing that he is no match for Caesar, Koba silently asks for forgiveness, which Caesar accepts. Koba then leaves.

In spite of this, Koba, along with Grey and Stone, sneaks into the city the next day to spy on the humans. The three arrive at a human armory and, upon seeing the guns stationed there, believe that the humans are preparing to attack the village. Koba is caught by two humans guards, but manages to escape by acting like a harmless circus ape.

The three then return to the village to warn Caesar, and are informed by Blue Eyes that Carver had attacked Caesar's second son, Milo. Enraged, Koba arrives at the dam and confronts Malcolm's son Alexander, but is stopped by an orangutan, Maurice. Koba then confronts Caesar for letting the humans stay and accuses him of loving the humans more than the apes. Caesar, angered at Koba's insolent accusations, attacks, severely beats him and very nearly strangles him to death, but refrains from killing him at the last moment, citing the ape law that apes don't kill apes. Exhausted, bleeding, and beaten, Koba requests forgiveness, which Caesar accepts.

Furious, traumatized and utterly humiliated by being beaten in front of both apes and humans, Koba reneges to tell Caesar about the guns, and begins plotting against him. The next day, Koba returns to he armory and entertains the two guards by pretending to be a circus ape again, only to steal a gun and kill both of them. Afterwards, he then returns to the Muir Woods and beats Carver to death, stealing his lighter and cap. Koba then orders Grey and Stone to set the Ape Village on fire using Carver's lighter.

The apes and humans, unaware of the fire, celebrate as the dam is repaired and power is restored to the city. However, Koba, using the stolen machine gun, sneaks up towards Caesar, who notices him but isn't quick enough to react when Koba shoots him in the shoulder. Caesar plummets from the village and supposedly dies, causing the apes to panic. Koba arrives and claims that the humans are responsible for killing Caesar and setting the village aflame, and takes charge, ordering the apes to attack the human city. Amassing an ape army, Koba leads them into the city, overrunning the armory and stealing the weapons stored there.

After taking control of the armory, Koba leads the apes on California Street, leading to a destructive gunfight between the apes and the humans. Though the apes suffer heavy casualties, Koba manages to rally them by dual-wielding machine guns while on horseback, which allows the apes to gain the upper hand. During the battle, Grey is killed by a tank. Koba, in response, takes control of the tank and uses it to smash down the human gates, allowing the apes to converge into the tower and capture the humans inside, though their leader, Dreyfus, escapes. By daybreak, the apes have captured and imprisoned the humans.

Koba quickly proves to be a tyrannical leader, murdering Ash for his refusal to execute an unarmed human and then imprisoning all apes loyal to Caesar in a bus, including Maurice and Rocket. Koba and the other apes then move to the top of the human tower, and Koba gives the orders for the female and young to be moved into the human city. Before they arrive, Koba is confronted by Caesar, who had survived Koba's assassination attempt. Koba declares that Caesar is weak and has no place amongst the apes. However, Caesar claims that Koba is weaker for relying on guns, to which Koba drops his machine gun and attacks Caesar for supremacy amongst the apes.

Koba initially holds the upper hand due to Caesar's previous injuries, but he himself receives a massive gash on his side after Caesar knocks him into several metal poles. Caesar then begins to focus his attacks on Koba's gash, injuring him further. The battle is interrupted, however, when Dreyfus uses C4 detonators to partially collapse the tower, causing most of the apes to plummet from their standing points.

Having survived the explosion, Koba, now utterly mad, steals a machine gun from a trapped ape and uses it to wildly shoot at Caesar in a final attempt to kill him. In the process, Koba guns down another ape and also injures Maurice. Enraged, Caesar dives at Koba and knocks him off a ledge, leaving him holding onto the ledge for dear life. Koba begs for Caesar to save him, reminding him of the law that apes don't kill apes. After a long moment of contemplation, Caesar proclaims that Koba is not an ape, and drops him from the ledge, causing him to fall to his death.

War for the Planet of the Apes[]

Despite his death, Koba looms over the sequel, as his actions cause Caesar and the ape colony to go to war with Alpha-Omega. In addition, Caesar frequently sees visions of Koba throughout the film. After killing Winter on accident, Caesar sees Koba, who tauntingly reminds him of the "ape not kill ape" rule. Later, when Caesar is captured, Koba tells Caesar to sleep, and that apes will die in the sanctuary.

Physical Appearance[]

Koba was a large, muscular male Bonobo ape who had grizzled, greying black fur that had several small patches missing. He had three noticeable scars; one on his left eye, which was blind and milky white, one on his right forearm, and one on the left side of his neck.


Koba was the most vicious, bitter, hateful, aggressive, and violent ape in the ape colony, psychologically unbalanced due to years of neglect, abuse and torture at the hands of humans. Even before his intelligence was increased by the ALZ-113 retrovirus, Koba held a personal vendetta against humans, especially Steven Jacobs. His genetically advanced intelligence also increased his hatred of humans.

Koba initially admired Caesar for freeing him and was very loyal to him and his fellow apes for ten years, risking his life for them several times. He was also capable of compassion, as he at one point comforted Blue Eyes for getting scarred by a bear. However, when the humans returned, Koba and Caesar's different beliefs regarding humans and how to deal with them caused a friction between the two friends that evolved until they got into a fight that left Koba beaten and humiliated.

Despite being spared and forgiven by Caesar for challenging him, the latter's collaboration with the humans and brutal beating of Koba in front of the apes and humans, broke the bonobo's long-damaged soul, leaving him more mentally unstable than ever. Abandoning whatever morals he once had, Koba rapidly spiraled into corruption and resolved to exact his revenge on humanity and take power at any cost, in doing so betraying and trying to kill Caesar, the one who once saved him. Now free to unleash all his pent-up pain, anger, resentment and frustration, Koba became cruel and merciless to humans and apes alike, hatefully gunning down humans left-right-and-center in battle, and even killing and imprisoning several other apes for defying him or just for getting in his way.


  • Koba is the first bonobo to appear in the Planet of the Apes series. Ironically, bonobos in real-life are generally friendly and gentle, whereas Koba is the most vicious and aggressive ape in the reboot series.
  • Koba is named after Joseph Stalin, who used Koba as an alias before the Russian Revolution.
  • At 26, Koba is the oldest known ape in the series.
  • Before the release of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, there was some debate as to whether Koba or Dreyfus would be the main antagonist. Upon release, it was revealed that Koba was the main antagonist.
  • In the official movie novelization of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Koba wields a harpoon instead of a spear and is referred to as "One-Eye" from the humans perspective.
  • In general, bonobos tend to be smaller than chimpanzees. However, Koba is bigger than most of the chimpanzees in the Ape Village, though he is slightly smaller than Caesar. Also, apart from a darker face, he lacks the other features that distinguish bonobos from chimpanzees; a leaner physique, longer arms e.g.
  • Koba ironically dies in a similar manner to Steven Jacobs, whom he had killed in Rise of the Planet of the Apes.