The Ape Empire Has a long history and although interplanetary, are smart.
The First Ape cell was a green, two eyed carnivore, a bloodthirsty one two. They ate minnows and others. They evolved to have a spike on their back so bigger cells wouldn't kill them. They had also adapted very well to their surroundings and were efficient so they had spawned a jet in the next generation to replace the flagella, they also became herbivores. It was hard to find plant matter in the ocean but even so they found a way to overcome it, a proboscis as a mouth! The cells ate both plants and cells. Although the cells were to big for the ocean so they went on to land.
Most evidence of the non-sapient Apes are lost in time, but what scientists made out of what was given to them was big. The proboscis became a mouth and they developed legs and arms quicker than anyone else. This gave the Primates an extraordinarily big advantage and so they socialized and fought wars that were necessary to survive. The Apes became a Humanoid-like animal that was about the best generation that happened. The Apes then developed more advanced mouths, hands and feet. They then developed tools and were uninterrupted by wars long enough to build a tribe.
This was the First sign of a government, a chieftain to rule over two other apes. The Apes had tents and tools. But of course rival tribes challenged the Apes, the first were the Homo-sapiens, they were also primates but the Apes knew that if they won the Apes would lose, The Homo-sapiens were attacked shortly after their forming of the tribe. The Apes threw sticks and spears at them and eventually they died off. Of course The Apes felt bad about this so they allied every other tribe, except one tribe that just hated their guts.
The Apes had developed better ways of living and so they lived in and on trees. They made a vehicle for collecting and trading spice to other Ape Civilizations. The Ape nation didn't want the other civilizations to turn out like the Homo-sapiens, so they traded with them, they were rich and kept buying the cities until they had Global Domination. The Peaceful world spent their time trying to go to other worlds and stars, this led to a new era... the Space Era.
Although new to the Apes they developed Space flight, but only interplanetary so far, they have explored each planet and only recently found another races spaceship, now the Apes are contacting stars hoping to find life outside of their worlds. They have found another race of intelligent beings but only one.