Blade Runner Replicants

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Major spoilers of the movie below!!!


Hi guys,

I recently had an opportunity to see Blade Runner on the big screen. It's the third time I've seen the film now and there's this one thing I started wondering, so maybe we could discuss.

At the end when Roy saves Deckard from death, I started thinking that these replicants can not only feel geniune emotions but they also don't seek revenge as he kept Deckard alive despite his intentions to murder the robot.
This kind of makes me think that as well as being perfect physically they are also perfect emotionally. They can love, they feel happiness, they fight for their well-being yet I don't seem to recall them feeling revenge, regret. And I think that perfection,in the end, is what separates them form human beings. Cause is human to make mistakes or to have inappropiate feelings. Of course, there are scenes like when Roy kills his maker which kind of proves me wrong so it makes me wonder even more.

Up until now,I always thought that the movie tries to question what is human by showing that sometimes replicants act more human than the actual humans do. I know it's all very philosophical but still was wondering how do you interpret it guys? what do you make of that last scene? Why did Roy save him, despite killing his maker before?
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"Anything less than immortality is a complete waste of time."



Because, Deckard is a replicant like him. Batty, preserves the life of his fellow replicant as he realises how precious life is. It was not Deckard's "time to die".



Welcome to the human race...
You are right about a lot of things, Gabrielle. I think the reason is that it is around that time that Batty finally reaches the peak of his emotional maturity, which has been lower and inconsistent throughout the rest of the film. Part of the reason he kills Tyrell is out of frustration with his own out-of-control emotions and how not even Tyrell can fix the replicant lifespans, meaning his whole mission and the damage it's caused have been for nothing. Though he doesn't show it too much, he's obviously conflicted about it as he has a look on despair on his face even as he is killing Tyrell and escaping the scene. The reasons why are more complex than just "because he's human".

As for the ending, he reaches the end of his lifespan right at the same time that Deckard is about to fall to his death. Batty ends up reaching a moment of self-actualisation and decides to rescue Deckard in order to prove to both himself and to Deckard that he is capable of being more than just a destructive piece of haywire machinery. Also, there's a lot of Jesus imagery throughout that final sequence (the most obvious being the part where Batty pushes a nail through his own hand), so that's something to add to it, I guess.

Also, just so you know, I think Deckard is human.
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I think its more simple than that. He saves Deckard because he wanted someone to know about him. He had seen and expirienced so many things that he wanted to share it so it lives on. Deckard was the last person/replicant that knew Batty personally. What is moral and human can be discussed but one thing that all humans want regardless if they are evil or good is to forward their legacy. I think it was a sort symbol för reproduction that is the very nature of humans so in that sense when Batty wanted that he displayed the most basic human nature.



You mean me? Kei's cousin?
It's a mystery that was obviously left with us to ponder. I think Deckard's narration sums it up, and this is why I prefer the theatrical cut. "I don't know why he saved my life." Let it be known that I believe Deckard is human.





You guys can "believe" that Deckard is human if you want, just as one can "believe" that it is Keaton and not Verbal Kint who is Keyser Soze, that Boba Fett is really Luke's father, or that Norman Bates is innocent and his mother's corpse was a killer zombie. There is nothing in the text of those films to support these beliefs, but if you want to ignore the filmmakers intents and just make ***** up, we can't stop you.

We don't have to respect you, and we may mock you, but we can't stop you.
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"Film is a disease. When it infects your bloodstream it takes over as the number one hormone. It bosses the enzymes, directs the pineal gland, plays Iago to your psyche. As with heroin, the antidote to Film is more Film." - Frank Capra



No point putting spoilers round this as having spoilers kinda undoes the meaning of having spoilers.


Ridley Scott has admitted Deckard is a Replicant. Can't remember where the source is or where it was but I have a clear memory of him admitting it.
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Originally Posted by doubledenim
Garbage bag people fighting hippy love babies.

Bots gotta be bottin'



As for the OP... the film was based around Philip K Dick's novel Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?.


That's one of the points of the movie with whether or not Replicants can "feel" and to make the viewer ask these questions.
Deckard, going back to my post above, knows one thing... he's a Blade Runner, he knows how to track, hunt and kill Replicants. Done it all his life.
Or is he programmed that way?


Like in his interviews with Rachel, she has clear memories of childhood... and even gets upset when Deckard says her memories are implanted fakes.
So, is Deckard the same as her?
From what Ridley admitted, yes. Deckard is the same as Rachel. Programmed to be a certain thing, a certain way, but doesn't know, he thinks he's "real". This would also explain why they have feelings for each other... as they are also the same as Batty and Pris who have a connection to each other.
Although, Ridley may have just been blowing smoke about Deckard being a droid.


As for Batty, if Deckard was a Replicant, I think he knew about it and was maybe sending a message to Deckard about being humane, and "human".
Which does make Batty more human than Deckard, who thought he was human.
And if Deckard is human, it still sends that same strong message.


Blade Runner can be seen in many ways, and raises tons of questions...
All of these questions, you could say that every answer is correct, which is why Blade Runner is a Masterpiece.



Welcome to the human race...
You guys can "believe" that Deckard is human if you want, just as one can "believe" that it is Keaton and not Verbal Kint who is Keyser Soze, that Boba Fett is really Luke's father, or that Norman Bates is innocent and his mother's corpse was a killer zombie. There is nothing in the text of those films to support these beliefs, but if you want to ignore the filmmakers intents and just make ***** up, we can't stop you.

We don't have to respect you, and we may mock you, but we can't stop you.
But that's such an obvious resolution that it's practically boring. I used to think Deckard was a replicant because of that scene, but now I tend to think of it as one of my least favourite things about the film precisely because it comes down so firmly on one side of the debate, which is a shame considering how well the rest of the film juggled the ambiguities between humans and replicants (the same goes for that one shot of an out-of-focus Deckard where his eyes have the same red glow as the replicants sometimes do). It may be what Scott intended, but it somewhat compromises the rest of the film for the sake of having a clever twist ending. This is why "death of the author" is a thing.



If "death of the author" is actually a thing just because people don't always like what stories are about, then I think even less of it than I did before.



A system of cells interlinked
But that's such an obvious resolution that it's practically boring. I used to think Deckard was a replicant because of that scene, but now I tend to think of it as one of my least favourite things about the film precisely because it comes down so firmly on one side of the debate, which is a shame considering how well the rest of the film juggled the ambiguities between humans and replicants (the same goes for that one shot of an out-of-focus Deckard where his eyes have the same red glow as the replicants sometimes do). It may be what Scott intended, but it somewhat compromises the rest of the film for the sake of having a clever twist ending. This is why "death of the author" is a thing.

Am I reading this correctly? Even if the director clearly intended it to be one way, you will just believe it is another way, just because you like the idea more? I see no reason to discuss this at all if this is the case - it is just so much cognitive dissonance.

In response to OP - I always saw that final scene as Batty finally understanding the value of life, just as he is about to lose his own, and not until then, hence his actions beforehand. When he killed Tyrell, it's like he was that little kid that doesn't get the toy he wants, afterward wishing his parents would get attacked by a dragon as revenge, only to forget about it hours later. It's a silly, child-like response that is generated by the mind of a child that doesn't understand implications and consequences yet. In Batty's case, he is a 6' foot tall child with super strength, so there is no need for a dragon. Note the very childlike way Batty frowns and looks down in the elevator ride down from Tyrell's suite. All the Nexus 6 replicants are overgrown, psychotic children - that was a failed line, hence Tyrell moving on to the next version with the memory implants (Rachel and Deck).
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Welcome to the human race...
Am I reading this correctly? Even if the director clearly intended it to be one way, you will just believe it is another way, just because you like the idea more? I see no reason to discuss this at all if this is the case - it is just so much cognitive dissonance.
"Believe" is a strong word. I'm sure I'd be just as critical if the ending had explicitly confirmed that Deckard was human after all - my problem is that Scott felt the need to confirm it one way or another for reasons that I have already specified.



It's quite obvious that Deckard is a replicant. The 'red eye' scene and the unicorn origami that Gaff leaves outside his apartment are obvious clues, not to mention the "kinship" quote from Roy Batty as he saves Deckard's life. How could Gaff have known that Deckard had had the unicorn dream, unless he had known about it being implanted into his mind beforehand? Which would suggest that Deckard's colleges and superiors always knew he was a replicant, and were in cahoots with Tyrell to keep the fact secret from him.



Ridley Scott didn't feel the "need" to tell people Deckard was a Replicant some ten years after he released the first Director's Cut and gave the answer right there in the frippin' film. But people keep asking him about it in interviews, so when asked, he answers. It really isn't complicated. No more complicated than the rest of the dense film.

Some people, apparently including some in this thread, simply refuse to see what is in front of them in the text of the film. Partially because he gave the answer artfully. Clearly, but artfully. He didn't spell it out and dumb it down in big bold letters DECKARD IS A REPLICANT the way that, say, The Usual Suspects does by having the coffee mug break four times in slow motion instead of just having him drop the mug and run into the street.

In every single cut of the film except the original theatrical cuts with the voice over and studio-forced tacked on ending, Deckard is a Replicant. He was a Replicant in the original cut, too, but Ridley was forced to compromise and leave it ambiguous, so yes, if the original narrated version is the one and only thing we are talking about, it is ambiguous. There is still author intent in that cut, but there is reason to argue and have theories as that intent was obscured. But at this point, after the Workrpint and the Director's Cut and the Final Cut, there is no longer any reason or room for debate, Deckard is a Replicant with implanted memories, just like Rachel. And just like Rachel, he didn't know....until Gaff told him with that last piece of origami.

Why people are stubborn about that, I really don't know? Just for the sake of being stubborn, I expect. Deckard being a Replicant doesn't devalue anything that came before that realization. If after watching Blade Runner you somehow walk away with some version of, 'It's all meaningless if Deckard is a Replicant, too, and not human' then you have so completely missed the points the film was making, your opinion is invalid or, at the very least, really dumb. If after that exquisite Sci-Fi treatise about one's humanity being more than blood or wires you are still hung up on blood vs. wires, you simply do not get this movie.




Welcome to the human race...
Ridley Scott didn't feel the "need" to tell people Deckard was a Replicant some ten years after he released the first Director's Cut and gave the answer right there in the frippin' film. But people keep asking him about it in interviews, so when asked, he answers. It really isn't complicated. No more complicated than the rest of the dense film.

Some people, apparently including some in this thread, simply refuse to see what is in front of them in the text of the film. Partially because he gave the answer artfully. Clear, but artfully. He didn't spell it out and dumb it down in big bold letters DECKARD IS A REPLICANT the way that, say, The Usual Suspects does by having the coffee mug break four times in slow motion instead of just having him drop the mug and run into the street.

In every single cut of the film except the original theatrical cuts with the voice over and studio-forced tacked on ending, Deckard is a Replicant. He was a Replicant in the original cut, too, but Ridley was forced to compromise and leave it ambiguous, so yes, if the original narrated version is the one and only thing we are talking about, it is ambiguous. There is still author intent in that cut, but there is reason to argue and have theories as that intent was obscured. But at this point, after the Workrpint and the Director's Cut and the Final Cut, there is no longer any reason or room for debate, Deckard is a Replicant with implanted memories, just like Rachel. And just like Rachel, he didn't know....until Gaff told him with that last piece of origami.

Why people are stubborn about that, I really don't know? Just for the sake of being stubborn, I expect. Deckard being a Replicant doesn't devalue anything that came before that realization. If after watching Blade Runner you somehow walk away with some version of, 'It's all meaningless if Deckard is a Replicant, too, and not human' then you have so completely missed the points the film was making, your opinion is invalid or, at the very least, really dumb. If after that exquisite Sci-Fi treatise about one's humanity being more than blood or wires you are still hung up on blood vs. wires, you simply do not get this movie.
Well, I've only ever seen cuts of the film that explicitly went with the "Deckard=replicant" route. I understood the ending and accepted that because it seemed reasonable given the evidence (and it still does). I guess in my case the stubbornness regarding differing interpretations of the ending can be summed up by the Lynch quote in Sedai's signature - I like having some room to dream. The canonical ending of Blade Runner is definitely a solid ending by itself and works well, but given how the rest of the film played around with concepts of humanity and whatnot, for it to decide firmly one way or the other about Deckard's true nature also seems to miss the point a bit. If the film really is about humanity being more than blood or wires, then that much would have been determined before the final scene with Batty's actions during the climax and wouldn't need the explicit inclusion of the unicorn. That being said, deliberate ambiguity would have been far more preferable than the studio-mandated ambiguity you mentioned.



You mean me? Kei's cousin?
The screenwriters say he's human. I think that should be enough. But if you want to believe Ridley Scott's lies, that's on you, not me.
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Here's another hint, that Deckard is a replicant.

When he meets Bryant, his boss; he talks to Deckard in a condescending tone and says: "If you ain't cop, you're little people" He refers to Deckard in the plural, suggesting he is part of a group - a replicant.



Replicants don't eat noodles, so he's Human
Ever seen Ash and Bishop in the Alien movies? Their insides are all noodles.


Plus Alien is set in the same Universe.



Welcome to the human race...
Here's another hint, that Deckard is a replicant.

When he meets Bryant, his boss; he talks to Deckard in a condescending tone and says: "If you ain't cop, you're little people" He refers to Deckard in the plural, suggesting he is part of a group - a replicant.
That's too vague to be much of a hint one way or the other. I could easily say that the fact that he even refers to him as "people" at all instead of something more dehumanising such as "small-time" or "nothing" is a hint towards him being human. It's a very throwaway line.