Blade Runner: Do you think Deckard was a replicant or not?

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Tristero, Oct 5, 2017.

  1. Tristero

    Tristero Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Since its release in the 80s, there's been a lot of controversy over the question of whether or not Deckard himself is a replicant. Director Ridley Scott himself is on record as saying that he thinks so, though his screenwriter apparently disagreed and Harrison Ford resisted the notion as well. We do see some additional hints in the Director's Cut that might suggest Scott's take on this, though it's easy to read them more as impressionistic suggestions than hard facts.

    Personally, I've never bought into this idea because it would seem to undercut one of the most effective themes of the movie: The replicants are actually a lot more "human" than Deckard is. Where Deckard is cold and jaded, the replicants are passionate and hungry to survive. Knowing that they have a limited life span makes them savor it that much more. By the end, after literally pushing Deckard to the brink, Roy actually seems to sort of teach him about the fleeting joys of life. Sure, you could argue that Deckard wasn't programmed to be aware of what he is, but I still think that this notion would undercut the film's broader message about dehumanization.

    So what do you think?
  2. Nico

    Nico Forum Resident

    The way Ford gets kicked around by the "genuine" replicants make me vote for no :)
  3. Mr. Grieves

    Mr. Grieves Forum Resident

    I first saw the Theater version and thought he was human for sure. But after viewing the Directors cut, I started leaning towards him being a replicant. In fact, the only thing really getting in the way of that theory is his appearance in 2049, so I'll have to see that film and maybe it'll confirm some questions I have about it.
    GodShifter likes this.
  4. Standoffish

    Standoffish Don't you dare call me an ostrich!

    The theory on that is they needed to create a replicant that thought like replicants, to make him a better hunter.

    But they didn't want him to know he's not human, and actually hunting his own kind.

    Roy sparing Deckard's life makes me think he knew they were "brothers".
    The Revealer likes this.
  5. Hitman2017

    Hitman2017 Active Member

    Middle England
    Ridley thinks so, it's good enough for me. Makes sense to me too.
    crispi likes this.
  6. profholt82

    profholt82 Resident Blowhard

    West Michigan
    Maybe/not sure

    Edward James Olmos made the little paper maché unicorn as if he knew Deckard's dream. Deckard obsesses over his photos the same way the known replicants (Rachel and Leon) do. Rachel asks him if he ever conducted the test on himself, to which he doesn't answer.

    However, in his sexual relationship with Rachel, Deckard is rough and deliverate while Roy is very tender in his relationship with Pris. Roy displays genuine emotional hurt when he learns of the deaths of his fellow replicants while Deckard never shows any real emotional empathy.

    It's definitely a mixed bag with legitimate arguments for both human and skin-job.
    enro99 and googlymoogly like this.
  7. Bryan

    Bryan Starman Jr.

    Berkeley, CA
    I'm gonna invoke George Lucas here and argue that the director doesn't always know best even for his or her own film.
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  8. Lonson

    Lonson Don't get around much anymore

    I am a Philip K. Dick nut, not a Ridley nut. So I say No. He definitely wasn't a replicant in the book. Nor did he seem so in the original film release. Enough for me.
    enro99, CrazyCatz, Blimpboy and 6 others like this.
  9. Bryan

    Bryan Starman Jr.

    Berkeley, CA
    Agreed. Scott deciding Deckard should be a replicant in subsequent edits just feels like adding a twist for its own sake, because it's incoherent given the message of the original book and original cut of the film.
    lbangs, enro99, Solaris and 1 other person like this.
  10. parman

    parman Coffee Enthusiast

    In The Mitten
    I don't think so, he had sympathy/feelings for Rachel. I don't think a real replicant had feelings
  11. ThmsFrd

    ThmsFrd Forum Resident

    I don't know, but I wish we never find out.
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  12. Tristero

    Tristero Forum Resident Thread Starter

    The other replicants seemed to have feelings, at least, more so than Deckard. They cared about each other and wanted to live.
  13. PhilBorder

    PhilBorder Forum Resident

    Sheboygan, WI
    Anyone seriously interested in the related subject of AI might want to check out Max Tegmark's Life 3.0 I'm halfway through it, and its a fascinating and scary read. We are already more beholden to the BIG FOUR then we realize, and AI is only going to be as 'good' or objectively moral as its initial programming path. Anyone trust Microsoft or Facebook (or googs or Amazon) to be making those kind of decisions? Real life might soon render Blade Runner less visionary than it seems.
    A physicist on why AI safety is ‘the most important conversation of our time’
    Manimal likes this.
  14. Hitman2017

    Hitman2017 Active Member

    Middle England
    George Lucas is a different animal.
  15. tomhayes

    tomhayes Forum Resident

    San Diego, Ca
    Using "The Final Cut" of the film as a guide - and because I watched it last night - I think he is in the movie.

    1)M. Emmett Walsh treat shim extremely poorly - like he's only a tool.

    2)The unciorn dream and Graff leaving the oragimi unicorn.

    3)That Graff let him and Rachel go - knowing that they had a very short time to live.

    But ultimately it's this question is one of the few things they got right from Philip k. Dick - and that is the question of "what is human."

    In the novel the replicants instill doubt into him by bringing him to a police station that he's never seen to make him question what is real.
    Hitman2017 likes this.
  16. Hitman2017

    Hitman2017 Active Member

    Middle England
    Original film release was awful with that awful voice over, We are not talking about the book here, we are talking about the film. Along with the unicorn dream and oragami stating Gaff mows about the dream, also in the 1992 DC, Gaff asks Deckard "are you sure you are a real man"
  17. Hitman2017

    Hitman2017 Active Member

    Middle England
    Don't forget in the original voice over Deckard states that Tyrell lied and said that Rachel was special with no termination date.
  18. Lonson

    Lonson Don't get around much anymore

    Personally, I prefer the original release and not the Director's Cut. And don't believe that Deckard is a replicant.
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  19. If I remember correctly, when watching Dangerous Days, in some of the FX shots, they gave Deckard the red, glowing eyes, so the possibility of him being a replicant was always there.

    Personally, I like the ambiguity as it lends another POV when analyzing the movie.
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  20. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    Just on the basis that Deckard was obsessed with film noir in his own interior dialog in 2019, I can only assume he was, and his designer assumed that was the only quirk he'd need to differentiate from any other products on the shelf.
  21. pdenny

    pdenny Blow up your TV

    Do you think Deckard was a replicant or not?

    No, but the sequel is :nyah:
    The Revealer likes this.
  22. razerx

    razerx Who me?

    The East
    Do replicants age? Ford is older in the sequel obviously.
  23. mj_patrick

    mj_patrick Forum Resident

    Elkhart, IN, USA
    Scott has confirmed multiple times he's a replicant.... Gaff is clearly f***ing with Deckard leaving the origami unicorn, knowing that Deckard has those unicorn dreams. The whole point of Blade Runner's twist is that he is the same thing he's hunting down and killing. I think if anything we'll find that Deckard is a replicant without the 7 year expiration date.
    SuntoryTime and agentalbert like this.
  24. Combination

    Combination Forum Resident

    New Orleans
    George Lucas is a replicant from Alderaan.
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  25. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Hollywood, USA
    This applies to a lot of directors who can't be objective.

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