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Blade Runner Discussion

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i've watched this movie at least 3 times and had many questions:


tyrell corporation existing even though anti-replicant laws in place

origami thing?

Who's a replicant?

and unicorn symbolism (yahve's major hard on?)


i was running through some sites discussing the movie, and boy, did i get my socks knocked off by these fans. Here's two excerpts about who's a replicant (mainly deckard:)




The European cut (or original American theatrical version) of Blade Runner leans more towards Deckard being a human. The 1991 Director's cut leans more toward Deckard being an android.


It should be noted, though, that both films are ambigious about the answer.


I watched the European version first, with the voice over and "happy ending", which may well be the reason why I think Deckard is human. Granted, I'm aware of all the evidence that suggests otherwise, but there is one strong point that always brings me back to my original hypothesis:


I always felt that the film was not just one about reality vs. interpreted reality (a favorite topic of author Philip K. Dick), but also, like a lot of science fiction, a thinly guised metaphor about civil rights. I like to believe the film is a story about an apathetic and violent man who is unaware of his own sadistic tendencies since he thinks he's just offing "skinjobs." He then changes his ways once he's given a face to his "enemy" (Rachel and Roy). To me, I always felt robbed by the possibility that Deckard was a replicant; if the movie is a story about an android who discover's android's are all right, then I don't see where the ultimate drama is.


Another thing I have to say concern's Ridley Scott's interview where he finally breaks his "silence" and states that Deckard is indeed a replicant. Now most people seem to take the director's word as the "definitive" voice on the subject, but can it not be argued that the film Blade Runner has grown beyond his control and exists outside of one man's opinion? Let's not forget that Harrison Ford claims Deckard is human, and I consider him just as important a person to psychoanalyze Deckard as Scott is.


I guess there is also one final possibility that we've all overlooked that fits in with Deckard's dream and the final origami figure Gaff taunts him with; maybe Deckard was really a unicorn that magically assumed human form. That would create a really interesting debate.




I also was convinced that Deckard was a replicant the first time I saw this film in theaters. I could imagine the replicants being planned for use in the colonies only. But the replicants proved too useful on Earth. Once they were banned on Earth, the death penalty didn't scare everyone into giving their replicants away especially if the replicants themselves didn't know their true nature. It also didn't stop Tyrell from producing more replicants. The whole idea is secrecy.


I don't see Deckard as a Nexus6 or even an older model like most people do. After the mutiny, The Tyrell corporation changed the whole way they thought about replicants. They needed smarter more human replicants with less physical strength. Thus while Deckard and Racheal aren't the most powerful replicants, they are more intelligent and able to elicit feelings and emotions. The Nexus6's are the last replicants to be given superhuman strength. When the Nexus6's realized they weren't human and they were going to be slaves until they die, the mutiny began. Tyrell learned that the stength made these relicants deadly and discontinued giving replicants these genes.


All blade runners are replicants. They fight fire with fire. The police chief feels he has to arrest Deckard to bring him in. He then warns him that cops are treated differently then the little people. Deckard wants to quit. The police chief knows that if Deckard was aware of who he really is, it would take three real cops to capture him and bring him in. If he tries to run he will be put into retirement(execution). The chief also stresses how important it is that nobody finds out these replicants are on Earth. You can have a replicant on Earth as long as nobody knows about it.


Because Deckard has no partner you would expect that Gaff would have played some part in the detective work. But when Leon was about to kill Deckard, it was Rachael that came to his rescue. Gaff was very intelligent but was useless when it came to arresting replicants. He had to pretend like he had no clue what he was doing because he didn't want to destroy his own people.


Tyrell says that commerce is the goal in creating replicants. He is impressed by the way Deckard was able to identify Rachael as a replicant. He is impressed to see his creation is working. An intelligent blade runner that was created to hunt and identify other replicants is successful. Just because a regular person would face the death penalty for possesing replicants, doesn't mean that the government wouldn't continue to order replicants from the Tyrell corporation and use them for dangerous jobs such as hunting other replicants.


The last clue that Deckard is a replicant is when Roy saves his life. Roy realizes that Deckard is just like him a slave that will face the same painful death that he is going through. Then Gaff pretty much tells Deckard to take the girl and run. Their are supposed to be no replicants on Earth but most of the characters in this movie are either replicants or have their own replicant. This is such a timeless movie. It fits the issues of today's society(the cloned animals that only live a few years) more than twenty years ago.




so, what do you guys think? this movie is filled with mind hoops......

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here's one more:


I have to tell you. I disagree with your thesis. I was 13 when I saw Blade Runner in the theaters the first time (snuck in, thank ya). When it was over, I knew that Deckard was a replicant.


When the director's cut came out, it simply cemented what I already knew.


Now that I write for a living, I am certain of it.


The first thing to keep in mind is Ford's take that Deckard is human. Of course he thinks that. This was almost certainly what he was told -- so he would act completely human and not unconsciously act like a skinjob. So, it makes sense that his motivation was that he was a human doing a job. EXACTLY what Deckard (as replicant) would think.


Next, the screenwriters. I am one (still mostly unknown). If I am writing a script, it doesn't matter what I have planned. The director and producers make the final decisions. If I write a script that says the world ends because of a disease, and they decide to make the movie so that the world ends because of a fireball, then the world ends because of a fireball. My original script doesn't matter.


Ridley Scott is known to be a hands-on creator. He is certainly the determiner of what Blade Runner was to be. If he says that Deckard was a replicant, call that gospel. No offense meant to the actors, but they are just that. Actors, not creators.


Also, it seems to me that it would be silly for Deckard to be human, because then it's merely a good human versus bad android movie. (Yes, yes, I know it's more than that. I'm exaggerating for dramatic purposes. Bear with me.)


With Deckard being a replicant, the question is begged: does he know or not? Of course not. He is like Rachael, an innocent who does not know what he is capable of.


I've read many silly comments about Deckard's strength in regards to the other replicants. Clearly, he's an older model. And I don't think that a police replicant would necessarily be stronger than others. Strong cops are a Hollywood institution, not real life. In real life, cops need to be smart and determined. Deckard is that exactly. He is smart, tracing the snake scale as he did, able to determine that Rachael is a replicant. He is also determined to take them down, even though it repulses him.


I personally think the irony is that Roy Batty doesn't know that Deckard is a replicant. It's possible he does, but I like the idea that he doesn't, and he saves Deckard's life to show that, in the end, he was able to reach farther than a replicant should.


I thank that the other cops know that Deckard is a replicant. Having a boss who knowingly calls a replicant a "skinjob" is no different than a boss who calls a black man a racial epithet. It happens all the time. To say that Deckard is human because people used the term "skinjob" around is ridiculous, to say the very least.


Oh, and the movie "Blade Runner" is not the book "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" They are two very different entities, and I love both. In the book, Deckard's human. In the movie, he's a replicant.


"Blade Runner" is dressed with some of the best set and art design of any movie of the last thirty years. It's score is memorable, the acting is great, and it is a genuine groundbreaking film. It's also a film that posits one question: "What is the nature of life?"


Is the owl alive? Is Gaff? Is Rachael, or Roy, or Sebastian? The most important question is Is Deckard Alive? Of course he is. Is he a replicant? Of course he is. Without that, the idea that the replicants are people capable of emotions higher than anger is minimized. With it, the movie makes the point that all life is worth living, and it shows the horrors that humans have done to other forms of life.


Right then. This is a bit longer than I thought it would be. Thanks for reading.


"I've...seen...things you people wouldn't believe."

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Woah! there are 2 endings to this movie....


The theatrical version features a "voice over" narration by Harrison Ford, and has an extra scene at the end - a "happy ending" scene of sorts - in which you see Deckard drive off with Rachael in (strangely) unspoiled nature under a bright, sunny sky; both are looking happy...


In the Directors Cut, the voice over is gone, and so is the "happy ending", leaving the film ending with Deckard & Rachael stepping into the elevator, effectively making the film more open-ended. The DC also features the unicorn "dream" sequence.


The extra violence seen on videocassette and laser disc copies of the International Cut was deleted for the DC.

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Religious Theme


- Tyrell, as creator of the replicants, represents a (flawed) representation of God. He lives in a Mayan pyramid-like structure high above the rest of the population. His bed is a replica of that of Pope John Paul II. Roy Batty is a Christ-like figure, but has also elements of Lucifer, the Fallen Angel, who rebels against God, and is cast out of Heaven because of it; again, a flawed analogy: he does not sacrifice himself, and even rebels - and finally destroys - his god, his "father".



Chess Game


The chess game between Tyrell and Sebastian uses the conclusion of a game played between Anderssen and Kieseritzky, in London in 1851. It is considered one of the most brilliant games ever played, and is universally known as "The Immortal Game".


The concept of immortality has obvious associations in the ensuing confrontation between Tyrell and Batty. On one level, the chess game represents the struggle of the replicants against the humans: the humans consider the replicants pawns, to be removed one by one. The individual replicants (pawns) are attempting to become immortal (a queen). At another level, the game between Tyrell and

Sebastian represents Batty stalking Tyrell. Tyrell makes a fatal mistake in the chess game, and another fatal mistake trying to reason with Batty.

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i thought so too. i thought it was just hype, but it's really something else compared to a lot of the other sci-fi flicks out there.


read what i posted above. it's about the characters. what was the eye shining? it's something that the characters DON'T see - but it's what the viewer sees. does rachael become human or does her "lifespan" increase (because of the symbolism of the white dress/unicorn infinity and "newest model replicant"?) The original theatrical version actually implies this. the version you saw, the director's cut made it more open ended and included the unicorn. it really changes things up.

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I think people just read too much into this movie. If Ridley Scott says Deckard was a replicant, then he's a replicant. It doesn't really change the movie much for me, either way. It's a good sci-fi movie based on an ok sci-fi novel. It succeeds in being a bit more intelligent than most sci-fi films (hey, The Running Man, for instance) but overanalyzing it like this just ruins the experience of just watching the movie for what it is.

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  • 2 months later...
  • 1 month later...

Here's something you might find interesting spiffy:


The movie suggests this in subtle ways, which you may not notice the first time you watch it. Here is one piece of evidence. Recall that Deckard knows about Rachael's childhood memories, because they were implanted. But then at one point Deckard has a dream of a unicorn. At the end of the movie, the other detective leaves an origami unicorn where Deckard can find it. This suggests that the other detective knows about Deckard's dreams and memories--which he could only do if Deckard were also a replicant.

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soviet, i'm not sure if i remember thinking about that specific unicorn point. however, i know for sure i didn't see that the first or second time watching it. it's always something different and different ways to interpret why things in BR happened. like the debate on why whatshisname decides to save deckard?


here's something interesting. phillip k dick, the writer of the book (titled something like "do robots dream of sheep?") in which this movie was based on is the same writer of something like "we'll remember it for you wholesale," what total recall was based on. the funny thing is that in this movie, they changed up a lot of the concepts and deckard was human. for total recall, don't quote me on it, but they changed up a whole lot less.

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Actually it's "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?", if you wanna be accurate. I wasn't entirely impressed with it, myself.


And you're wrong about them not changing the Total Recall story much. In fact, in the original story it was based on, a lot of elements from Minority Report (also based on Dick's work) were in there. As I recall (no pun intended), Arnie's character was in charge of the PreCogs on Mars.

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well.... hm. that's interesting. i guess i don't know about dick. :D i should hope not...... not like IC. haha... it had totally slipped my mind that minority report was also based on dick's work. what was the name of the book that minority report was based on? i bet you're gonna say the same one... heck, i won't say it cause i'm not sure and if that's the case, it's probably wrong. ???


anyway, yeah, it's funny that his books suck and the movies make em much better. i can't think of the writers (screenplay) of those three movies, but i can remember the directors: ridley scott, paul verhoven, and steven speilberg.

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Dick is influential. He's created some of the greatest science fiction ideas of our time. And he does do some great short stories. I'm just personally not a fan of his novels because I think his skill at developing a narative is far less than his skill at developing ideas. That's why most movies based on Dick stories are based solely on a broad idea found in the story (Asimov adaptions are often the same way). If you compare the movies and the stories/books you'll see that often the only thing they have in common (besides, maybe, some character names) are basic plot structures - cop hunts replicants, precogs stop murders, guy gets new memory (also used in the upcoming John Woo film - Paycheck, still based on Dick's work). So the guy is very influential, and he's very very good at a lot of things. Crafting a great story just doesn't happen to be one of them, in my opinion...


By the way, screenplays:


Minority Report - Scott Frank (Get Shorty)

Total Recall - Ronald Shusett and Dan O'Bannon (both wrote Alien), and Gary Goldman (Big Trouble in Little China)

Blade Runner - David Peoples (Unforgiven, and the crappy pseudo-sequel to Blade Runner, Soldier)


A Philip Dick story was also the inspiration for the little-seen, but fairly critically acclaimed Gary Sinise scifi - Imposter. And another story inspired the not-as-acclaimed Screamers.

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