Film School Confidential: BLADE RUNNER – PART II

In my last post I wrote about Lars Detlefsen’s analysis of Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (1982), but I bet you still have a few questions left. Like “is Deckard a replicant?”

Here’s what I already knew:

Deckard is NOT a replicant. Several reasons:

  • The original debate came from a script error. In all previous versions up to the latest “final cut”, Bryant got the numbers wrong. He talked about six replicants escaping and one getting fried running through an electric field at Tyrell. Yet he continued to brief Deckard about FOUR loose skin-jobs. Huh? In the shooting script, Deckard had to chase down a fifth replicant named Mary, but she was cut from the story – causing much debate about whether Deckard was the fifth replicant. They corrected Bryant’s speak in the final cut. So there. There was also a moment in Deckard’s apartment, where he seems to have the same shiny replicant eyes as Rachel. Because Harrison Ford steps into Sean Young’s light. Also seems to have been corrected in the final cut.
  • Replicants are shown as super-strong and feeling no pain. You never see any of them eat or drink anything (although Rachel does smoke). Deckard eats, drinks and takes a beating. If he was a replicant, wouldn’t he put up a better fight?
  • If Deckard was a replicant, or had suspicions, wouldn’t he change his goal to finding out, instead of running around chasing replicants? That’s what the rest of them do.
  • It would destroy the whole point of the movie and it’s theme of exploring what makes us human. In the end the replicants are almost more human than human, like Tyrell put’s it. It’s a story about man vs. machine. If Deckard was a replicant, it would be a story about machines vs. machines. Who cares?

Yes, but what about the unicorn scene?

Well, you got me. I don’t know why Scott put that in there, if he didn’t want us to believe Gaff/the System was somehow able to read Deckard’s mind or at least know what he dreams of.

Blade Runner is a complex and ambigous film. That’s the beauty of it. And why we keep returning to it 30 years after the making.

If you still have questions left, look at the board below. That should explain it all.

Tags: , , , , ,