Astronaut George Taylor
George Taylor is the hero of the Planet of the Apes franchise. Actor Charlton Heston played the role and made the character one of the most memorable in film history. Taylor’s story is very odd in that he starts of as an apathetic leader to having to save the human race from ultimate destruction. From what we can gather about George Taylor, he attended school in Indiana. After many years of training, he became an astronaut. He set off on a mission with three others, one woman and three men.
The ship carrying the Astronaut travels at the speed-of-light to an unknown distant star. Taylor and the others go into a state of hibernation, when they wake up it is theorized they will be at there missions end. When the astronauts wake up, they find that the females of their group are dead from an air leak in her bunk. The ship begins taking on water and the three flee to the shore. They realize that they are a in a desert on an uncharted planet. With barely enough food to make it for three days, they set out to find life. The planet seems very earth-like, yet in void of any humans apparently.
Soon the travelers find a lake, with trees and fields of food surrounding them. As they go for a swim, primitive humans steal there clothes and lead them to an open field. The Astronauts realize that these humans are mute and are very similar to cavemen. They dress in rags and do not seem to communicate very intelligently. Soon out of the woodwork, hundreds of Gorillas on horseback appear and round up the humans. Taylor is the only member of his crew to survive the attack. He is shot in the neck and taken to a hospital. While there, he sees that apes are the dominating force on this planet and use humans for slavery and experimentation.
Taylor cannot communicate because of his wounded throat. He tried his best to form a bond with Dr. Zira, a friendly chimpanzee who sympathizes with Taylor’s situation. After she realizes Taylor can write, she takles him to another chimpanzee named Cornelius. The three of them try to make sense out of the situation, but are interrupted by Dr. Zaius, an aristocratic orangutan who has a deep hatred for humans. He orders Taylor to be made a gelding, so that he will not mate. Zaius fears that Taylor is an intelligent human who could jeopardize ape rule.
Taylor escapes but is eventually caught. After being caught, he utters his words in front of the apes. They are all stunned and Taylor is brought to court to be judged. The apes feel no sympathy for him and Cornelius and Zira are the only ones who stick up for him. Taylor manages to escape and goes on a journey to find remnants of a human civilization with the other chimpanzees. When Dr. Zaius confronts them, it is revealed that Zaius new that humans were here before apes and tried to cover it up. Taylor sets out to find the answer and finds the Stature of Liberty stuck in the sand. He realizes that he has been on earth the whole time.
Taylor is then captured by a group of human living underground who worship an atomic bomb. When the apes come to destroy this underground population, Taylor is mortally wounded and confronts Zaius. In his last breath, Taylor pushes the button that ignites the bomb. The planet is destroyed and neither ape nor human reigns supreme.