Timeline-wise, it doesn’t make a ton of sense. But for fans, it’s pretty cool.
A few weeks ago, we saw footage from War for the Planet of the Apes which featured a mute little girl (Amiah Miller) joining the band of traveling apes on a special mission to find the Colonel (Woody Harrelson). In that footage, we also saw the girl playing with a part of an old car—the logo off a Chevy Nova.
Apparently, that piece of metal spelling out “Nova” will also give the girl her name. And it’s not, like, the origin of Nova being a popular name for the humans who are slaves to the apes. Oh no, according to Entertainment Weekly, the mute child is the Nova from the original Planet of the Apes film, where she was played by Linda Harrison.
The makers of the modern Planet of the Apes prequels have always insisted that the 1968 movie is part of their canon, but when Charlton Heston lands in that film, it seems like that apes have been in already charge for a long time—so long that talking humans and Caesar are myths. But if the child Nova in War is the same character as seen in Planet of the Apes, then War for the Planet of the Apes either takes place only a couple of decades, at most, before the original films. That, or the Apes movies take place in a future where humans suddenly age very slowly, which seems like a bit of a stretch—but we’ll see how this all shakes out.
Here’s the full concept art of Nova and an ape: