A classic villain without being a villain-cliche.
What I mean is he isn't the type of villain that wakes up in the morning and says "I'm evil and I know it and I love it: now who can I hurt today?" That seems to be the approach to villains far too often.
But Dr. Zaius is a different sort of villain.
Dr. Zaius is a Machiavellian in the classic sense. He desires to do good: for his people and the world.
The fact that he must inflict suffering upon the humans doesn't bring him joy, but he feels it is necessary in order to prevent far greater suffering to his own people, and in fact to prevent the humans from causing suffering to themselves as well, though admittedly the later isn't his primary concern.
Dr. Zaius is a pragmatist navigating the best course he can see to avoid the future holding the same mistakes as the past. He hides truth to maintain his power, not for the sake of power itself, but to be able to have the power to protect his people.
If only more villains were as compelling and complex. This is the kind of background that makes for good gaming.
A friend of mine asked me recently "are there any simian teams?" referring to Blood Bowl. No, and when I thought about it, I realized simians are severely under-represented in miniatures. It seems a shame since I think there is some real potential in sci-fi skirmish gaming with a Planet of the Apes theme.
There is the Simian Empire range from Black Orc Games
'Want to lick my ice cream cone? It's pistachio!'
If you want classical historical fantasy ape miniatures: they are quite fun, but won't really fit the bill for a Planet of the Apes setting. With some conversion though they might fit in with the Tim Burton vision of the apes.
And now that the sequel is on its way, interest could generate a market for more Simian Miniatures.
There are then only a few individual minis currently that I know of that fits the concept of sentient ape:
Reaper Chronoscope Orangutan
Games Workshop Jokaero.
Image property of Games Workshop.
I'd love to see some apes in 15mm! How about it Khurusan? GZG? CMG? Rebel Minis?
Bring on the Apes!
In the meantime, enjoy the movie!