NERD ALERT 2000: There’s another BLADE RUNNER movie on the horizon from legendary director RIDLEY SCOTT. This is an automatic stamp of approval from the visionary behind the camera of the 80s original – my pick for the BEST SCIENCE FICTION MOVIE OF ALL TIME. If Scott wasn’t involved, I’d be a lot more hesitant. And at least a little crestfallen.
So my fellow SLIPpers how do you make a sequel to BLADE RUNNER? And how do you do it with the rumoured to return HARRISON FORD? Will he be returning as his character, DECKARD, from the original? If so, how? You nerds know what I mean.
I’m one of those annoying viewers who deconstructed BLADE RUNNER a little too much. My buddies in high school would say I read waaaay too much into it. They thought if we’re supposed to know something in a movie, we would be told it explicitly – especially something as monumental and shocking as I was suggesting. Turns out, years later upon the most recent FINAL CUT EDITION release, I was right.
And I don’t mean this in a d*ckhead sort of stuck up way. I mean, I was ridiculed (playfully) for thinking about a movie after it was done. If you’re guilty of the same thing, then this article (actually, this whole site) is for you.
If you haven’t yet seen BLADE RUNNER do that first. Then come back… I don’t want to SPOIL this sci-fi masterpiece that influenced every genre writer since it hit the screens in the 80s. So many movies ripped it off in one way or the other, from the ideas to the phenomenal visuals. Do not let this movie SLIP THROUGH your hands.
Sometimes it pays off to participate and look for clues. This is an article for people who don’t look at a movie as a piece of entertainment to turn your brain off. This is for viewers who wonder what’s going on under the surface – those that like the artform of cinema and its possibilities to inspire creativity and imagination in its audience. Even if you’ve never drawn a picture or wrote anything creative or hummed a tune, in regards to movies, you’re an artist if you actively co-create your fiction.
Still curious? I bet I lost a lot of you by now. They’re clicking onto another website or checking their social media. But not YOU…
I think I have a way to break the story for BLADE RUNNER 2… Here’s what I mean…
First, some context… Before we get into sequel ideas…
Deckard (HARRISON FORD) was a replicant in BLADE RUNNER. That’s right, a cybernetic human that doesn’t even know he’s a robot underneath. He has fake memories, real emotions, just like the Replicants he hunts down. The philosophical conotations of this are profound and deeply touching – almost as much as RUTGER HAUER’s recognition of his own mortality. This was the most mind blowing concept in BLADE RUNNER.
I remember watching this as a teenager and it opening up my world. Especially, in regards to the old saying “walk a mile in someone else’s shoes”. What if you were a robot, who one day realized you were a robot? Then you realized your memories were false and your history never happened. Now imagine you realize you will die one day. Actually you know when that day is. How do you deal with that? What do you do? It’s such a striking parallel to what it means to be human and our own fragile mortality.
So I’ve set up the mortality and artificial intelligence details. Original author PHILLIP K. DICK was a legit genius, a true O.G. (original genius). Now I don’t know if it was PKD’s idea or RIDLEY SCOTT’s interpretation, but there are several clues / pieces of evidence as to why I think Deckard himself was a replicant. Ironic in itself that a man who examines Replicants with an Empathy test to prove if they are human or not, is in fact himself a Replicant and doesn’t know it.
CSI TIME… Here’s some evidence for my unusual theory. Keep in mind, I originally had these thoughts almost 20 years ago.
The first thing I noticed with Replicants was this strange reflective quality in their eyes. They bounce back light like a cat in the dark. These cyborgs all have it. The cybernetic owl has it. The inventor of A.I. summons Deckard to interview his latest version of Replicant, a woman named RACHEL. She doesn’t know she’s a robot. Deckard conducts a test with his Empathy Registering equipment. It takes the operator and the machine much much longer to detect her artificiality. Ironic that Deckard conducts this test, if I’m correct, he’s a robot that doesn’t know he’s one interviewing another in the same situation.
On another viewing I tried to figure out the strange dream sequence stuff with Deckard. He plays a sad song on the piano and reminisces about his past. The dream image plays over this moment. A unicorn. Later on, Deckard’s fellow Blade Runner (played by EDWARD JAMES OLMOS) leaves behind an origami creature. He’s been fiddling with these throughout the movie. This time it clicked. The animal: a unicorn. And what does Deckard’s partner say to him at the end, regarding Rachel (who Deckard has come to love)… “It’s too bad she won’t live… But then again who does?”
This still haunts me. All the gears of my mind tumbled together, activing a mechanism, connecting the dots. How would his partner know about the unicorn? It was a dream Deckard had? Unless, all Replicants have the same shared fake memories, and the same shared fake dreams. It gives me goosebumps. All these pieces of evidence suggest Deckard is a Replicant. In fact, all Blade Runners might be. It’s like the notion of it takes a thief to catch a thief.
SEQUEL TALK… Does a robot age? How can Deckard live past his expirey date? HARRISON FORD returns so it makes me wonder if my mind-blowing theory is right. Maybe Deckard was human afterall, and we’ll follow a story decades after Rachel expired? Maybe Deckard is planning revenge against the creators / makers of new Replicants?
However, I’m sticking to my guns… I’m thinking Ford returns as one of the creators of these cyborgs. Maybe he is the man who these cyborgs were molded after? Maybe those shared fake memories are his – from his actual life? Now, as Ford’s character nears the end of his life he wants to make up for his mistakes. He never intended his creation to be exploited.
Maybe in the future, some sort of catastrophe occurs? Maybe A.I. has learned to improve itself? Maybe they want to wipe out the human race to perserve the planet: Earth, the Replicants home planet? Imagine if this sequel takes place decades after this A.I. apocalypse and tells the story of humanity’s rebellion?
For me, BLADE RUNNER is the best of the genre because of many elements. The characters are fully realized. The world is fully developed. The philosophy is worth examining. The hallucinatory visuals created a unique atmosphere never seen before the 80s. Cyberpunk arrived with RIDLEY SCOTT’s cinematic masterpiece. This film is a landmark of science fiction. The new sequel will have some giant shoes to fill.
What do you think? Leave a comment.
You speak… I hear.
Do you think it’s blasphemy to make another BLADE RUNNER?
Did you hate the original? Or are you a defender of the cult classic?
Do you have any other theories?
What is your favourite science fiction film of all time?