In Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, 10 years have passed since the events of the 2011 film, which ends with Caesar leading a band of genetically enhanced apes into the redwood forests near San Francisco while an infected airline pilot sets off for Paris, accelerating the simian flu plague that will ultimately threaten the human race.

In the new film, which opens July 11, Caesar’s growing tribe is forced to confront a desperate band of human survivors after a decade of pestilence, disorder, and civil war. But how exactly did that breakdown occur, leaving mankind on the precipice of extinction and vulnerable to ape supremacy?

20th Century Fox partnered with Vice Media’s Motherboard to create three “Before the Dawn” short films capturing mankind’s descent into chaos: Quarantine, All Fall Down, and The Gun, which tell a story one, five, and 10 years after the plague’s outbreak, respectively.

All three are worth watching, but if you only have time for one, go with the final episode. It features a Walking Dead-like gang of marauders, one of whom suspects the plague is a government conspiracy as he rants about Obama, Donald Trump, and corporations. As a bonus to passionate Apes fans, the Statue of Liberty (or possibly, the Las Vegas version) makes a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo.

Quarantine, directed by Isaiah Seret

All Fall Down, directed by Daniel Thron

The Gun, directed by Dylan Southern and Will Lovelace

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • 130 minutes
  • Matt Reeves