2001: A Space Odyssey Wiki
2001: A Space Odyssey Wiki

Moon-Watcher,[1] or Moonwatcher,[2] is an alpha man-ape featured in the introduction of Kubrick and Stanley’s 2001 project.

2001: A Space Odyssey

Moon-Watcher and his tribe are inhabitants of Pleistocene Africa,[1] 3 MYA.[2] He becomes the new alpha at about the age of twenty-five, after his father Old One dies. Moon-Watcher and his tribe become the first ones to encounter a “New Rock”, a fifteen foot tall monolith that appears to impart intelligence upon them. It then dawns on Moon-Watcher: the capability to improvise an object into a weapon.

Subsequently, after Moon-Watcher realizes that a large bone could serve as a way to catch a meal, it then dawns on him that he might be able to take back a waterhole from a rival tribe that pushed him out earlier. Thus, Moon-Watcher and members of his tribe are equipped with bone weapons to take back the waterhole. The success of the occupation results in the death of the rival leader One-Ear.


Moon-Watcher stands nearly five feet high, the highest stance above all the others, and is even known to be the only one capable enough to stand upright.[1] He is badly undernourished and weighs in at over a hundred pounds. He is hairy, with a muscular build halfway between ape and man, but his head is much nearer to man than ape. The forehead is low with ridges over the eye sockets, with dark, deep-set eyes.[2]

In the film, Moon-Watcher was played by actor Daniel Richter.


Fans attribute Moon-Watcher and his tribe to Australopithecus afarensis the first known upright walking ape.