General Thade is the son of the ailing Dr. Zaius. He is an able commander, and an aggressive enemy of the word's human population.
Thade has long had his heart set on the strong-willed Ari; who puts him off gently, that is, until she sides with the humans rebelling from her household. In disgust, Thade brands her hand with the Emblem that is burned into captured human's skin.
Thade learns the secret of the Planet of the Apes, from his father Dr. Zaius; who is on his deathbed.
This secret sets General Thade on a collision course with escaped humans and ancient human technology.
When Captain Leo Davidson finally makes it back to Earth, he is shocked to find that General Thade is hailed as a great leader. Thade's statue has even replaced the sitting Lincoln Monument, in Washington, DC.