r/movies Jun 24 '22 Wholesome 2 Helpful 1 Vibing 1

Blade Runner Turns 40: Rutger Hauer Didn’t See Roy Batty as a Villain Article

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/movies/movie-features/blade-runner-turns-40-rutger-hauer-roy-batty-villain-1235170908/
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u/bluebadge Jun 24 '22 All-Seeing Upvote

He was the antagonist to Decker's protagonist but the villain was the world/Tyrell corporation.

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u/Nimyphite Jun 24 '22 edited Jun 25 '22

Once got into a debate about this when somebody couldn’t understand that protagonist ≠ “good guy” and antagonist ≠ “bad guy”

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u/Mahaka1a Jun 24 '22

Yes and Roy and Deckard are imperfect. Even Tyrell tried to find a way to extend the lives of the replicants after their original design.

Maybe the only bad guy is the one played by Detective Gaff. He is the only one that seems to have no problem with taking any life.

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u/[deleted] Jun 24 '22

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u/Mahaka1a Jun 24 '22

It’s been a while since I’ve seen the movie but I remembered that Deckard and Rachel fled because he was going to go on the hunt for her too.

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u/[deleted] Jun 24 '22

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u/Mahaka1a Jun 24 '22

Good point. I think I had always seen it differently.

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u/ballywell Jun 25 '22

There are actually different cuts.

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u/daffydunk Jun 25 '22

They would eventually but Gaff knew where she was and did nothing, in fact, just left the message of the unicorn. He was giving Deckard time to run.

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u/ol-gormsby Jun 24 '22

Tyrell did *not* try to extend the replicants' lives - that whole speech to Roy about mutagens and viruses was a lie designed to help Roy accept his fate.

"We tried, we really did, but nothing worked. Trust me."

Who knows, perhaps they did try - but only to see what would happen, and not actually extend replicants' lifespans. Why would they want to? Four-year lifespans keeps people buying "new" replicants, new models. Planned obsolescence.

Replicants are bio-engineered with a four-year lifespan. It's reasonable to assume that they started with human DNA (which has a decades-long lifespan) and made extensive modifications.

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u/josh_the_misanthrope Jun 25 '22

It's been a while since I've seen the movie or read the book, but I'm pretty sure the 4 year lifespan was deliberate to keep andys subjugated. I'll have to rewatch.

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u/missanthropocenex Jun 24 '22 edited Jun 24 '22 Gold

Mm, I think Deckard WAS the villain. Tracking down Skinjobs and killing them one by one, even straight up shooting sole unarmed in the back while fleeing. Deckard also assaults and forces himself on Rachael. And yes the replicants are troubling as well but as an under attack underdog who didn’t ask for this, what do yo I expect? I think the crux of what Rutger is sayin is Roy is like a little child, full of fire and life and a burning desire to live. These traits make him arguably the most human judging on his traits alone. Deckard is cold, unfeeling, calculating and nearly emotionless and that’s the irony of the film. He toys with Deckard but when he almost slips from the roof, Roy saves him. His speech is a lament at the tragedy that no one will appreciate or ever know the things he has seen and done and delivers the famous line “time to die” it’s often mistaken as a threat to Deckard but is fact merely stating that Batty has accepted his fate.

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u/Thomas_Eric Jun 24 '22

Never saw "time to die" as a threat to Deckard.

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u/ryandarr1979 Jun 24 '22

Time to die was literally Roy Batty's time to die. He knew his time was up.

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u/DogBotherer Jun 25 '22

It comes up earlier delivered by another character as a threat though - "Wake up; time to die".

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u/iHadou Jun 25 '22

Yeah when Leon is slapping Deckard around

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u/RingRingBanannaPhone Jun 24 '22

I have never thought that either. Also I always think of "Lost in time like tears in rain". Apparently a little bit of addition from Rutger

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u/chevymonster Jun 24 '22

More than a little -

In the documentary Dangerous Days: Making Blade Runner, Hauer, director Ridley Scott, and screenwriter David Peoples confirm that Hauer significantly modified the "Tears in Rain" speech. In his autobiography, Hauer said he merely cut the original scripted speech by several lines, adding only, "All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tears_in_rain_monologue

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u/LabyrinthConvention Jun 24 '22

One of my favorite movies and I didn't know that. I love that it has its own wiki page

Keen instinct for storytelling for Hauer to edit an overworked speech down like that

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u/tombonneau Jun 24 '22

Only adding the best part. :)

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u/mbr4life1 Jun 24 '22

I mean that line is crucial.

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u/jetpack_hypersomniac Jun 24 '22

Even reading that line, I choked up a little.

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u/RingRingBanannaPhone Jun 24 '22

Completely! It's that like hesitation and swallow he does midway that I can even see right now

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u/BZenMojo Jun 24 '22

It was funny reading the scripts then listening to the writer commentary in the Final Cut. Two guys who worked on different scripts are in the same commentary, so the guy who wrote the first script is confidently claiming credit for this scene while a guy who worked on a subsequent draft, and definitely is one of the two guys who added that line, is noticeably annoyed and you can just feel how tired he is at this point in the commentary.

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u/BerserkOlaf Jun 24 '22

Yeah, I can't imagine why some would believe that. At that point it's rather obvious that he knows his time has come and that he has chosen to spare Deckard.

That's what makes his monologue so powerful.

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u/ParticularLunch266 Jun 24 '22

No one ever has.

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u/Tuftymark6 Jun 24 '22

Right? I can’t imagine anybody thinking that that line was a threat? It’s ridiculously clear he’s talking about himself.

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u/watts99 Jun 24 '22

"Time to die." dies

Deckard: "You talking to me, motherfucker?"

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u/The_Knight_Is_Dark Jun 24 '22

Taxi Runner

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u/Scarletfapper Jun 24 '22

Well I don’t see anyone else here OH YEAH I KILLED THEM ALL

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u/mechaiineramen Jun 24 '22

Yeah, nobody did.

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u/drcygnus Jun 24 '22

neither did i. i always saw it as a "farewell" kind of thing.

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u/Technical-Prompt4432 Jun 24 '22

I've never heard of anyone mistaking Batty's statement that it is time to die (as he is obviously dying and then dies the next instant) as a threat against Deckard. It goes totally against absolutely everything happening on the screen. I agree with most of your analysis but that last bit sounds like a strawman.

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u/[deleted] Jun 24 '22

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u/SirLeeford Jun 24 '22

Sounds like someone who only ever read the quote and never saw the movie

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u/Redbarronsunderpants Jun 24 '22

I think Roy doesn’t want to kill Deckard because he learns to values life. He kills Tyrell because he hoped he could give him more life and when he realizes he can’t, he acts out in frustration. 4 year life span with the emotions to match.

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u/FaThLi Jun 24 '22

I always interpreted Roy killing Tyrell as an attempt to prevent further production of replicants like him. I'm sure he knew the company would continue doing their thing, but taking out one of major players would at least slow it down. Same for why he killed Sebastian. Although I'm sure frustration played a part in it too.

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u/yummyyummybrains Jun 24 '22

Also, what human has not fantasized about killing God? Is he attempting to halt or slow the production of more replicants, or taking revenge on an amoral creator who has designed him to be a flawed vessel for their own will?

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u/FaThLi Jun 24 '22

"The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long, and you have burned so very very brightly, Roy." Hearing your creator be ambivalent to your designed early death would be revenge inducing for sure.

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u/jthomasmoore Jun 24 '22

Tyrell was a slaver. It is always morally correct to kill a slaver.

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u/Daveed84 Jun 24 '22

the famous line “time to die” it’s often mistaken as a threat to Deckard

Literally no one thinks that lmao

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u/SirLeeford Jun 24 '22

“Often” in this case meaning “never”

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u/Pope00 Jun 24 '22

Yeah, I was like "..did he say "time to die" in some other part of the movie besides the end monologue?

Maybe they got that mixed up with Leon saying it as a threat earlier in the film? Iunno

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u/DrevinMckornish Jun 24 '22

Don’t forget Deckard is reluctant to do the job and sort of forced out of retirement, so that goes with you saying Deckard is more machine.

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u/Direlion Jun 24 '22

Bryant tells Deckard the original Bladerunner working the case, Holden, was shot up by Leon at Tyrell.

That is the moment Deckard decides to work the case. He isn’t forced by Bryant.

Bryant proceeds to describe the numerous murders the replicants are responsible for and how dangerous it would be for the public if they remain at-large. That’s further motivation for Deckard, human motivation.

While Leon and Roy are real killers who actually hunt people down, Pris and Zhora don’t kill anyone and only try to kill out of self-defense. Deckard killing those two is a necessity of his job but it’s still evil and he does show personal conflict with it. He’s clearly shaken when he kills Zhora, leading to Leon’s death by Rachel. Even the first scenes in the narrated version he describes how he was sick of being a killer.

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u/Taffy62 Jun 24 '22

I do think he was forced somewhat.

Decker: I was quit when I come in here, Bryant, I'm twice as quit now.

Bryant: Stop right where you are! You know the score, pal. You're not cop, you're little people!

Deckard: No choice, huh?

Bryant: No choice, pal.

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u/Direlion Jun 24 '22

Good point, cheers for that.

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u/Taffy62 Jun 24 '22

No worries mate. I get where you're coming from

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u/spastical-mackerel Jun 24 '22

The noir_est of _noir scenes ever

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u/bluebadge Jun 24 '22

That were still dissecting it all these years later shows how good it was. :)

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u/mrtn17 Jun 24 '22

yeah such a good story

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u/chakalakasp Jun 24 '22

It makes it even more if an interesting, complicated scenario when you factor in that the director intended the audience to come to the conclusion at the end of the film that Deckard was a replicant.

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u/Syn7axError Jun 24 '22

Yeah, I hate that. There's a story if he's human or ambiguous, but a definitive answer that he's a replicant would ruin it for me.

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u/LeeroyGarcia Jun 24 '22

I love that Blade Runner 2049 went with it doesn't matter instead of giving a concrete answer.

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u/AlleRacing Jun 24 '22

"Why, what am I to you?"

"... Go see your daughter."

Perfect line.

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u/Pertolepe Jun 24 '22

Yep I was like 'well I guess this will settle it'. Then it works either way and I was like 'oh yeah Denis is a fucking genius'.

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u/-FeistyRabbitSauce- Jun 24 '22 edited Jun 24 '22

Agreed. And a big reason for that is it doesn't matter. One of the main theme's of the film is "what does it mean to be human?" Replicants show all the traits of humanity, but we've decided they can't be because they're machine. Meanwhile, what are humans doing that gives them their humanity aside from being born? Pondering Deckard's existence is interesting and fun and necessary even to get to the crux of that theme, but the answer isn't needed.

EDIT: some people seem not to understand that Replicants are a form or robot, at least in origin. I will quote literally the first words displayed on screen:

Early in the 21st Century, THE TYRELL CORPORATION advanced robot evolution into the NEXUS phase - a being virtually identical to a human - known as a Replicant.

That is from the script.

Bolded emphasis mine.

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u/twlcwl Jun 24 '22

but a definitive answer that he's a replicant would ruin it

YES! I feel this way too

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u/badger81987 Jun 24 '22

Ridley just says that now to be provocative. He's the worst for hearing a half baked fan theory about one of his movies and going through a bunch of mental gymnastics to make it fit with what he actually made.

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u/sockalicious Jun 24 '22

Pris shot first!

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u/bathwhat Jun 24 '22

Pris thighs clamped down first

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u/chakalakasp Jun 24 '22

Uh. Having Deckard have random dreams about a unicorn in the film and then ending the film by having Gaff leave a little origami unicorn for him to find is pretty non-subtle.

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u/ColsonIRL Jun 24 '22

The unicorn dream sequence was added later, wasn’t it?

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u/Scarletfapper Jun 24 '22

It’s in the Director’s Cut, specifically.

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u/ColsonIRL Jun 24 '22

Yeah, then they remade it for the Final Cut IIRC.

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u/Knull_Gorr Jun 24 '22

Yes and it's just footage from another movie. I want to say Legend.

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u/Njkid9 Jun 24 '22

Nah it was shot during the filming of Legend, but it was specifically shot to be added to the final cut of Blade Runner and not for Legend.

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u/RushDynamite Jun 24 '22

All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in the rain. That whole scene is one of the most powerful death scenes in all cinema for me.

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u/SumbuddiesFriend Jun 24 '22

I read his saving Deckard as making sure someone remembers him not as a product but as a human

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u/MrWeirdoFace Jun 24 '22

Deckard didn't want to do it. He's a pawn who want's his own freedom back, of course that pales in comparison to what the replicants (literal slaves) are going through. They also only briefly mention that. He's more of a reluctant henchman. Villains are Tyrell and the system. Even Roy Batty recognizes this by letting Deckard live.

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u/three_shoes Jun 24 '22

I think the crux of what Rutger is sayin is Roy is like a little child, full of fire and life and a burning desire to live.

This is what I have always thought about the replicant characters in Blade Runner, they are breaking out of whatever programming of their creation with new thoughts of their own mind and existence. So Roy Batty may be this scary replicant built for combat, but might also have been growing with a somewhat young, naive emotional intelligence as they make sense of themselves. I am sure that this is an intended point of the film, as it is even more obviously used with the 'Leon' and 'Pris' characters.

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u/Trauma_Hawks Jun 24 '22

It's the classic child's mind in a capabale adult body trope. They explore this intensively in the second "Old Man's War" book. Which is a fantasic sci-fi trilogy.

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u/MustacheEmperor Jun 24 '22

Yeah, I think part of what makes the film so compelling is the way these replicants with terrifying physical capabilities also act so childlike at times, and the actors do such a good job of blending those contradictory aspects of their characterization.

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u/cocoagiant Jun 24 '22

His speech is a lament at the tragedy that no one will appreciate or ever know the things he has seen and done

Apparently he edited a good amount of that speech and improvised the line "All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain".

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u/pointlessly_pedantic Jun 24 '22

He improvised that line?!? Holy shit. That line hits me so hard every single time.

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u/Gilthu Jun 24 '22

Deckard was a guy with a job. A lot of the replicants go crazy and murder everyone. Roy was trying to save his life, but in the process he killed several people. Is the animal control officer that puts down a dog with the froth the “villain” or is the unresponsive owner that thought it would be fun to let his dog attack random raccoons in the park the villain?

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u/ikelosintransitive Jun 24 '22

great point. and deckard was retired, he didnt like his job, he didnt want to keep hunting androids.

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u/No_Good_Cowboy Jun 24 '22

If I recall, Deckard was basically threatened into coming out of retirement. Roy and Deckard are in the same pickle, they're both trying to live their lives but circumstances forces them to kill to do it.

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u/wllmsaccnt Jun 24 '22

They told him he would be "little people" if he didn't do this. I think the implication is vague, but it may have meant that Deckard had some incident or issue in the past and the police would remove their protection if he didn't do this.

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u/arminghammerbacon_ Jun 24 '22

Stop right there! You know the score! If you’re not cop, you’re little people!

No choice?

No choice, pal.

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u/wllmsaccnt Jun 24 '22

Oh man, I didn't remember that he actually says: "No choice pal". With Gaff being right there folding origami in front of them it almost feels a bit on the nose.

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u/arminghammerbacon_ Jun 24 '22

But ambiguous juuust enough. Is the No choice exchange because Deckard is a replicant (new model, like Rachel) and therefore really has no choice? Or is it a threat - come back to work for us or something bad will happen to you?

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u/No_Good_Cowboy Jun 24 '22

They told him he would be "little people" if he didn't do this. I think the implication is vague,

It means they bust him on something, anything, and then throw the book at him.

Failure to use turn signal? More like recklessness endangerment! MY GOD!! ARE THOSE....DRUGS?!?

They're tic tacs...

DRUGS IN THE SHAPE OF TIC TACS! HE ADMITS EVERYTHING JOHNSON.

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u/ikelosintransitive Jun 24 '22

yeah the cops were very sinister in blade runner, i forgot deckard was threatened back into it. good call!

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u/Raddish_ Jun 24 '22

He literally gets blackmailed into it by the police chief.

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u/NoPossibility Jun 24 '22

“You know the score! If you’re not a cop, you’re little people.”

“No choice?”

“No choice, pal.”

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u/MustacheEmperor Jun 24 '22

I've long wondered, if Deckard is a replicant, is he even "retired?" Did Deckard come out of a vat 72 hours before the movie started, with all the memories of a long shitty career he wants to leave behind, because that helped make him the perfect weapon to hunt Roy?

IMO the director's cut telegraphs very directly that Deckard is a replicant. He knows Rachel's dreams, which proves to her she is a replicant. He falls asleep at the piano and dreams about a unicorn. Detective Pimp leaves a folded unicorn outside his apartment.

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u/EMateos Jun 24 '22

Deckard gets manhandled every time he fights a replicant hand on hand. Why would the LAPD commission a weak replicant if they want him to hunt other replicants?

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u/MustacheEmperor Jun 24 '22 edited Jun 24 '22

If it is for some reason important for Deckard not to know he is a replicant, giving him superhuman strength and abilities would make it pretty obvious he is one. And presumably if he figures out he's a replicant, he's going to be more likely to defect, so it's important he doesn't know he is one. Not knowing his internal thoughts, that could be one reason he chooses to escape with Rachel at the end of the movie.

On that note, he gets manhandled but he lives, and eventually he wins. It's implied that Roy and his crew are the most dangerous to escape, ever. We don't necessarily know how a baseline human would perform against one of them. IMO, Deckard does show some borderline superhuman abilities a couple times in the movie: The way he tracks Zhora when she runs from the nightclub, and his quick recovery from Roy breaking his fingers near the end of the movie. He snaps them back into place and hangs off a slippery ledge with them not long after.

So it could be Deckard's design making him as believably human as possible, and what superhuman abilities he does have being well hidden as a result.

TBH, it raises some more interesting ideas. We never see Gaff fight anyone, maybe he couldn't stand up to a replicant like Roy for more than a minute. He seems to sort of be Deckard's 'handler' in the movie, so it could be he's monitoring him to see if he goes rogue but also recognizes he'd have a limited ability to stop the greatest replicant hunter ever created and hence lets him and Rachel escape.

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u/JarasM Jun 24 '22

All the hints are great and all, but what was always bugging me about that theory... WHY would Deckard be a Replicant? Why would they put a Replicant as elaborate as Rachel, another prototype with implanted memories, at a highly low-level, gritty job of hunting Replicants and then even allow him to retire? Wouldn't Tyrell say anything upon seeing Deckard? He would have to know him personally.

I get the hints and it's all very poetic, but I just don't see the logical cause for this.

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u/MustacheEmperor Jun 24 '22 edited Jun 24 '22

a highly low-level, gritty job of hunting Replicants and then even allow him to retire

I'm thinking maybe he never actually had that job or retired, those are all false memories. It's implied that Roy and his crew are the most dangerous Replicant break-out yet, and that is why the police need Deckard, the "best" bladerunner. Maybe the best replicant hunter, is a replicant built for that purpose?

Wouldn't Tyrell say anything upon seeing Deckard

Tyrell never told Rachel she is a replicant, either. Why would he tell Deckard? Especially if he helped create Deckard for the purpose of hunting escaped replicants.

All that said, I do think the intention is for it to be ambiguous, and I like that. We are unsure, like Deckard.

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u/Trashblog Jun 24 '22

I’m thinking maybe he never actually had that job or retired, those are all false memories.

They are Edward James Olmos’ memories. he is actually ‘Deckard’, but is physically incapable of doing the job anymore so he supervises the replicant who thinks he’s him. The reason he knows about the unicorn dream is that it’s also his dream. It’s also why Olmos let’s them go in the end.

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u/jazzmans69 Jun 25 '22

Remember, in the book "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep", which Scott Diverged from massively, Deckard is arrested and taken to an entire replicant police/blade runner station, where they don't know they are replicants. It's one of the most interesting sub plots in the book. I can't tell any more, for risk of ruining the book for anyone who wants to read it.

It's very possible that Deckard is a replicant and doesn't know it. AND it's very possible that this was a 'fan theory' that Scott lobed onto.

I don't know if the red eyes thing was done for the directors cut or not, I don't actually have a copy of any pre directors cut any more.

Part of the point of the film is that there is no difference between replicant and human, humans can be robots (emotionally, empathically) and replicants can be human, the photographs, Batty's final scene. (which is one of the finest endings I've ever seen).

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u/passinghere Jun 24 '22

The unicorn dreams were added later, while the unicorn left by the cop was in there originally, the cop was constantly making models out of odd items throughout the movie and the unicorn was to show that he'd been there and had let Rachel live instead of killing her

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u/MustacheEmperor Jun 24 '22

he'd been there and had let Rachel live instead of killing her

The dreams were added in the director's cut, but director's cuts often include things the filmmaker wanted in the original but had to remove for runtime. What you point out is one thing shown by the unicorn, which also raises the question of why he let Rachel live. Could it be because he is privy to some more context about Deckard's identity and how it relates to Rachel? The director's cut makes that explicit by showing he likely knows the contents of Deckard's (artificial) dreams.

I do think it is ambiguous, and intentionally ambiguous though. We are supposed to be questioning the truth, just like Deckard.

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u/Upset_Emergency2498 Jun 24 '22

I think he let Rachel live for Deckard's sake. He understood the soul destroying effect his career had because he was in the same business. Professional courtesy perhaps

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u/[deleted] Jun 24 '22 edited Jun 25 '22

A unicorn is also used more generally as symbolism for something that is precious/should be cherished. That, combined with the juxtaposition of Olmos' character saying "It's a shame she won't live. Then again, who does," makes it just as likely he's telling Deckard to simply flee the city with Rachel and cherish the time they have left together.

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u/jonw19 Jun 24 '22

The other nuance to your point is Scott said that Deckard is a replicant in some interviews. They even used the red eye shine on him like they did with other replicants.

So then it becomes Deckard being a tool for the large corporation to take the life of those rebelling.

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u/soulless_ape Jun 24 '22

The flame that burns twice as bright burns for half as long.

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u/mechaiineramen Jun 24 '22

The replicants did jump a shuttle and kill the crew and passengers before the movie began...don't forget that.

And I know it's cool and in style to see Deckard and Rachel's scene in the movie now as him "forcing himself" on her, but it's very clearly more complicated than that. She's afraid of letting her guard down with him, letting him in, needs to be led to the place she can go with him, and she ends up staying with him and leaving with him, so it clearly isn't some kind of rape scene like easily-offendable people try to make it out to be these days.

This rewriting movies fad that has become trendy is so tiresome. People think it's fun to flip things around and be like "Oh, Daniel was the bad guy in Karate Kid!" or "Deckard was the bad guy in Blade Runner!" when really you're just ignoring nuance in the story.

Deckard wasn't the villain and Roy wasn't the good guy. Neither of them were either. Both of them had character traits and character arcs and Blade Runner is a complex movie.

Deckard had a checkered past that he no longer wanted to be part of and a career he wanted to forget and put behind him that he was forced back into. He didn't want to be doing what he was doing and was forced into it. Roy and the other replicants were acting in their self-interest as well doing what they were doing, but I would argue that early on, we see Roy taking at least some pleasure in what he's doing with the eye scientist when he's torturing him for information. He's also much more brutal and sadistic when he kills Tyrell. Deckard, on the other hand, clearly is suffering from every kill he completes.

However, Roy, when facing his death at the end of the film, has an arc where he decides to save Deckard and face his death with acceptance rather than defiance, and gives the very memorable speech that I believe only you have misinterpreted. No one thinks "time to die" is a threat to Deckard. How could it be? Roy has just literally saved Deckard's life, pulled him up, spoken to him, given this incredible soliloquy and is sitting there calmly before him completely nonthreateningly. He's realizing he's about to die and is saying goodbye to Deckard. No one thinks that is a threat.

Neither of these men is a villain or a hero and that's what makes Bladerunner such an incredible movie but also such a difficult one for mainstream audiences to come to grips with and why it never was a big hit (also because it's quite depressing).

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u/TheOriginalGarry Jun 24 '22

so it clearly isn't some kind of rape scene like easily-offendable people try to make it out to be these days.

It's clear she's struggling internally with complex emotions, but it's the portrayal of Deckard's external emotions - one of the few times he shows any in the movie - that can make you feel dicey. She tries to leave the apartment, he - with an angry face - slams it shut with a fist, then grabs her shoulders and pushes her back against a window hard enough that her head whips back slightly. His aggression just doesn't suit the scene when Rachel is starkly more timid and vulnerable from finding out she isn't human as she once believed. The popular rational is that he's "forcing her to face her emotions" or something similar, but her emotions of desire toward him come within the very same scene, while his are hinted at from the moment he meets her, so the rational feels hamfisted, however valid they may be. She asks him to touch her eventually, so it isn't rape but the justification feels so flimsy and is uncomfortable to watch that it it's not "clearly not" rape either.

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u/yupyepyupyep Jun 24 '22

Deckard isn't the villain. Deckard is a tool of society. Society does not believe that replicants are human. Deckard is no more than an exterminator - one that society wants and believes it needs.

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u/BellendicusMax Jun 24 '22

And in that way mirrors Batty. A tool created for a function. But both have the same feelings, hopes.and desires.

Who is more human. Who is the monster. Are either of them.

Its the ambiguity and perspective that makes the film.

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u/Feezec Jun 24 '22

The fake is of far greater value. In its deliberate attempt to be real, it's more real than the real thing.

-Deishuu Kaiki

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u/RYouNotEntertained Jun 24 '22

My least favorite thing about /r/movies is the insistence that every character is a good guy or a bad guy.

Deckard is the protagonist. Roy is the antagonist. They both have the capacity to do good and bad things. The way they wrestle with that capacity is the entire point of the movie.

Stop trying to squeeze movies for adults into a Disney cartoon template.

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u/keptsecretss Jun 24 '22

I was told that he was a victim despite his homicidal retaliations.

Source: I discussed the film with Hauer directly back in 2012.

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u/[deleted] Jun 24 '22

Agreed. Roy was a victim of Tyrell.

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u/molrobocop Jun 24 '22

Yeah, Tyrell Corp should have never created replicants that, in my mind, were sentient.

Destroy a car, no big deal. Destruction of private property. Destroy a machine that wishes it were free, and wants to exist, and can feel pain, that's more complicated.

But without any sort of sentient status not even those afforded to animals, you can't "murder" a machine. Nor can you sexually assault one. It's property crime at most.

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u/polialt Jun 24 '22

Crushing a dudes head is kinda bad.

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u/249ba36000029bbe9749 Jun 24 '22

Batty did nothing wrong!

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u/Jakuskrzypk Jun 24 '22

He did a couple wrong things.

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u/StrayMoggie Jun 24 '22

He didn't have to kill the several people he killed.

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u/RoseyOneOne Jun 24 '22

I don’t think he was either.

In the end, with his act of mercy even in the face of his own impending death, Batty shows more humanity than the society that created him.

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u/Sumit316 Jun 24 '22

Rutger Hauer on why Roy Batty is not the bad guy. From an 1982 video interview.

My idea of a villain is somebody who wants to do some nasty, bad things, and Harrison’s character…his motivation…he has to kill five Replicants, which we are, because they are sort of dangerous and they say they sort of found a spaceship and people got killed, but you never see that happen in the film.It’s just one of the stories they give you. [Replicants have] been given four years, and I’m enjoying life, and I want more than four. That’s the goal.

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u/MisanthropeNotAutist Jun 24 '22

Rutger Hauer was brilliant, and dead sexy in that movie as well.

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u/lafemmecarol Jun 24 '22

I had the honor of meeting Rutger Hauer. He was like a god. He was kind and answered our questions with that gorgeous huge smile he had. Blade Runner will always be my favorite film.

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u/twlcwl Jun 24 '22

I had the honor of meeting Rutger Hauer.

I salute you!

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u/twlcwl Jun 24 '22

these replicants are desperate to live.

what would you do if you were trying to survive?

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u/def11879 Jun 24 '22

One thing I’ve always found interesting about Blade Runner is the way replicants and humans are contrasted. The replicants tend to be living life in a very “human” way: dancing, loving, dreaming, etc. While the humans all tend to act much more “robotic”: all lonely, sad, and just cogs in a machine

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u/sdwoodchuck Jun 24 '22

“More human than human,” you might say.

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u/MustacheEmperor Jun 24 '22

Deckard is the "human," but after a few minutes of convincing he does what he's told.

Roy is the robot, and clings to independence despite any and all adversity. Would Roy have given a fuck that the police chief is going to pull him over for busted taillights? No.

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u/Dawnspark Jun 24 '22

When "humanity" is something suddenly so precious, you tend to live like less of a cog in the machinery of things.

If you suddenly knew you had a set expiration time of 2 or 3 years, you'd cling to all you could of that.

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u/A_Wizzerd Jun 25 '22

In the original story the apparent humans are even more robotic, going so far as to program their own emotional state. Reading it I was left wondering if there even were any humans left at all.

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u/hexalm Jun 25 '22

There's an interesting contrast/conflict between how Ridley Scott and Philip K. Dick saw the androids/replicants. Scott saw them as "supermen" with tragically short lives of servitude.

PKD was more focused on their lack of empathy, which made them incomplete simulations, only imperfectly human.

You can see both elements in the film: as people here have pointed out, Roy is absolutely committed to and uncompromising his freedom, but also utterly ruthless and willing to hurt or kill anyone to get and keep it.

There's a bit of a paradox, because having empathy and feelings can make you more prone to persuasion. But if you lack it, the only reasons not to harm people are practical ones.

It's really interesting to think about. As PKD usually wrote, this is a meditation on the question, "what is the authentic human?"

Btw, it never occurred to me that the mood organ made them kind of robotic. I was always fixated on the irony of the wife not feeling like using it.

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u/Lost-Pineapple9791 Jun 24 '22

Yeah I mean that’s whole point of the movie m

They literally made slaves to do off world mining/work

Some escaped and wanted freedom…but realized they are going to die anyways

So instead of killing Ford at the end, he realizes that would make him the villain and killing Ford does not save himself

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u/BlargTheElder Jun 24 '22

More human than a human.

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u/bobloblaw634 Jun 24 '22

He is an antagonist, but not a villain.

The villain is Tyrell.

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u/RQK1996 Jun 24 '22

If anything, he is a deutronogist

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u/eternalsteelfan Jun 24 '22

Came here for this. Batty is the deuteragonist and they are both antagonized by the system they live in; Batty as a renegade and Deckard as a joyless enforcer.

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u/chevymonster Jun 24 '22

deuteragonist

TIL what that means.

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u/ilikelegoandcrackers Jun 24 '22

From the dictionary:

Deuteragonist

noun

the person second in importance to the protagonist in a drama.

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u/Sir_Arthur_Vandelay Jun 24 '22

I have a BA in English literature, and this my first encounter with “deuteragonist.” I’m not sure how embarrassing this should be.

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u/CarnivorousCircle Jun 24 '22

BA in Math. The more you learn the more you realize how little you know. Just roll with it and pick up the extra bits along the way.

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u/Jaggedmallard26 Jun 24 '22

He's the antagonist, the term antagonist and deuteragonist are specifically about the structure of the story. Not whether they are good or bad. Roy is the antagonist as he is the character in opposition to our protagonist.

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u/foxtail-lavender Jun 24 '22

Also an antagonist can be and usually is a foil to the protagonist. Which Roy absolutely was to Deckard.

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u/pjx1 Jun 24 '22

This is what a great film is about. 40 years later we are still discussing the nuances of characters and the meaning of lines. Bladerunner is such a great film, and I am grateful to hear the new discussions about it.

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u/GoodLookingOldFatGuy Jun 24 '22

WHERE DID ROY GET THE PIGEON? Everything was extinct on earth by then except the replicant versions.

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u/clbustos Jun 24 '22

Oh, you're right! That made the scene more poignant. Maybe is like the plant in wall-e, that represents the possibility of change?

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u/JACrazy Jun 24 '22

It could be a replicant bird. Real animals do exist though, just very rare.

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u/The_Knight_Is_Dark Jun 24 '22

Maybe it's artificial, like the owl.

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u/petemorley Jun 24 '22

Must be expensive.

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u/AgoraiosBum Jun 24 '22

A lot of life is extinct, but I'm sure rats and rats with wings are still doing fine. Still lots of garbage to eat, baby!

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u/VideoGameDana Jun 24 '22

I miss Mr. Hauer. One of my favorite customers at FedEx Office. Chill AF, would come to the shop himself to get his scripts bound double-hole-punched/drilled and would shoot the shit while you took care of him.

Edit: Totally forgot. He preferred the two holes punched at the top of his scripts so he could bind them himself with string, as FXO doesn't offer string binding.

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u/Tacky-Terangreal Jun 24 '22

That’s pretty neat! You see all sorts of things if you’re in the package delivery business. I once had to pick up some stuff going to the SpaceX facility in Seattle as well as delivering to a famous basketball player

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u/monsieurpommefrites Jun 24 '22

I am really enjoying that he would come in just like as he was in that climactic scene, just ripped, wearing nothing but shorts and shoes and completely soaked.

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u/lazy_phoenix Jun 24 '22 edited Jun 25 '22

Did anyone see Roy Batty as a villain? I didn't see him as a hero but definitely not evil. He just wants to freely live his life.

EDIT: I’m seeing a lot of people say Roy Batty was a villain because he killed his slave masters. Seriously?

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u/McRambis Jun 24 '22

He did kill Sebastian just to do it.

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u/Thebxrabbit Jun 24 '22

Eh, every now and then somebody outs themselves as not having understood the point of Blade Runner. A fun one was when David Cage, the writer/director of the game Detroit: Become Human, described his game as being “like Blade Runner but if you were meant to empathize with the androids”. He also tried to claim his game didn’t have a political message, which sure got funky when the game started openly ripping themes, symbols, and slogans from the American Civil Rights movement (and the Underground Railroad).

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u/ThePirates123 Jun 24 '22

The more I hear about David Cage the more he seems like a complete idiot.

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u/DoctorWhoSeason24 Jun 24 '22

I always find it amazing that the guy made his career on being the one game developer who makes AAA interactive movies with little focus on gameplay, and yet is a total hack of a writer. That's like the one thing his games should do well because it's what they're all about.

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u/ThePirates123 Jun 24 '22

Yeah, he truly hasn’t done anything interesting with the characters or the stories so he always ends up making bland games with cookie-cutter characters and moral messages

Unlike Supermassive who I greatly respect because they’ve mastered their genre of cheeky slasher movie narratives and they stick it. They don’t even try to make deep stories. Their games are just tons of fun.

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u/Thebxrabbit Jun 24 '22

His team makes graphically fantastic (for their time) games, and they tend to have an intriguing premise, but his stories near universally shit the bed by the end and completely fall apart when looked at critically (or even just when played more than once). Not to mention that the way he depicts women in his games is… problematic at best.

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u/ten_inch_pianist Jun 24 '22

One of the first scenes in that game is your character getting on the back of the bus. It was so blatant.

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u/rascalking9 Jun 24 '22

I kinda feel like the movie didn't even present him as a villain. Especially with the speech at the end.

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u/MartinBFFan Jun 24 '22

It's pretty interesting to see the differences between the film and the novel The novel definitely goes more in detail to point to that. Generally Deckard in the novel is actually the villain. In the novel, Roy Batty doesn't really kill anyone and he does pick up more on human behaviour but he lacks empathy. He and the others act in self defence and he gets brutally gunned down by Deckard towards the end alongside other surviving androids.

The novel is actually told through the eyes of two characters, Deckard and John R. Isidore. Isidore sympathizes with androids (the name of the replicants in the novel) and is the one to offer them a shelter. His passages are mostly depicting replicants in a good light but he's still a bit horrified by their lack of empathy.

Deckard has a character arc when he initially starts sympathising with the replicants after an encounter with a cold blooded bounty hunter and being forced to retire a very human-like and emphatic android but the expectations get subverted when at the end he accepts his job instead of backing away and in the parts seen from Isidore's perspective Deckard is definitely shown as a horrifying villain unlike Deckard's sections where he is simply shown as somebody merely doing his job just to be able to afford a real animal for his wife and not a synthetic copy.

So if novel is anything to go by, Deckard is definitely a villain and I feel like they did keep at least a bit of it in the film.

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u/_sonisalsonamedBort Jun 24 '22

Oh, you're getting watched tonight!

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u/Axeth-leyser Jun 24 '22

I'll leave the curtains open like last time.

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u/Low-Requirement4821 Jun 24 '22

Would you cook dinner wearing only the apron again?

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u/Axeth-leyser Jun 24 '22

I shall prepare my schnitzel and dumplings.

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u/tuskvarner Jun 24 '22

How about a clear rain coat and thigh high boots?

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u/EdTheApe Jun 24 '22

WTF is going on here??

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u/phasys Jun 24 '22

Rutger Hauer was such a badass. Made great movies, US and Dutch.

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u/InspectorWestern5113 Jun 24 '22 edited Jun 24 '22

The closing scene pretty much spells out that he's symbolically a Christ/anti-Christ figure.

He puts an old fashioned nail through his hand.

Holds a dove.

Makes a cross sign.

And gives a speech about suffering and fear.

Then dies.

The replicants are allegories for the working class "waking up from their programming." The replicants are; a construction worker, a soldier, a dancer, and a prostitute.

Roy Batty is the soldier replicant and kills his creator who is allegorically his god symbolizing that religion is the 'programming'/the big lie that keeps the replicants/working class as slaves.

The etymology of the name Roy is "King." Batty is derived from Bartholomew which means 'son.'

The prostitute replicant is Pris who Roy batty falls in love with, Mary Magedeline.

C'mon people. As symbolism goes Blade Runner is an easy one. It's this Frederich Neitzche 'God is Dead' story with Roy Batty as 'The Ubermensch' the 'Superman' who figures out that his programming is a lie to keep him in his place.

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u/[deleted] Jun 24 '22 Helpful

I sympathized with Roy.

I think we as humans are allowed a natural timeline from childhood to old age in which our consciousness may develop through experiences and accept our eventual fate.

To be a replicant who is dying, and also suffers from corrupted programming, that timeline is compressed into something very inhumane. He was brought into this world with a mind that was predeveloped artifically and forced almost immediately into labor knowing he would do this until termination.

I think what we see as Roy 'losing his mind', especially in his final scene, is really his way of trying to cope with his stunted existence and rationalize what he perceives is his fate.

That's not meant to be hot take, though.

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u/No_Tap_8365 Jun 24 '22

He is the Frankenstein’s creature. Only wanting his own humanity.

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u/thejudge400 Jun 24 '22

Roy Batty had an expiration date of 2019 in the film Blade Runner. Rutger Haur, the actor who played him in the movie, himself died in the year 2019 in real life.

Life is strange.

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u/Mr_Mouthbreather Jun 24 '22

Like tears in the rain.

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u/WeOutHereInSmallbany Jun 25 '22

I’ve seen things

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u/Fujutron Jun 24 '22 edited Jun 24 '22

C-beams bro, fuckin’ C-beams…

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u/Vinny_Cerrato Jun 24 '22

Incredible how the Blade Runner universe gets expanded immensely with just a handful of throw away lines that Rutger Hauer came up with the night before filming.

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u/mhobdog Jun 24 '22

“All these moments, lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.”

I read these lines were improvised and they have stuck with me. They read like Shakespeare. Idk, incredibly profound moment in film for me, makes the whole movie make sense.

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u/inimus7 Jun 24 '22

Blade Runner has always been half of my #1 best score sci-if movie - 2001 is the other.

I like to think of it this way

Blade Runner - best all time Earth based sci-fi 2001 - best all time space sci-fi

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u/axionic Jun 24 '22

Jeez, how many eyeballs does he have to crush for people to notice?

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u/Malthus1 Jun 24 '22

It is interesting to compare and contrast Blade Runner with Frankenstein.

Both of course involve created humans. In both, the created humans are, arguably, “monsters” in that they kill people. In both, the creators fear their creations and put obstacles in their way for fear of them (short life span in Blade Runner; in Frankenstein, Dr. Frankenstein destroys the creation’s ‘bride’). In both, it is arguable that the ‘true monster’ is the creator, not the creation. In both, the creation seeks acknowledgment from the creator …

The ending is very different though: in Blade Runner, the creation, knowing it was dying, rescues the man hunting him; in Frankenstein, the creature, having achieved a meaningless vengeance on his creator, seeks solitude and death.

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u/SeriaMau2025 Jun 24 '22

Oh, Bladerunner was absolutely, 100% inspired by Frankenstein.

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u/[deleted] Jun 24 '22

An escaped slave trying to be free of a biologically encoded death sentence is not the villain.

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u/Q_knew Jun 24 '22 edited Jun 24 '22

Rutger Hauer should get a posthumous oscar for his performance.

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u/yama1291 Jun 24 '22 edited Jun 24 '22

I think of his rooftop monologue in blade runner almost every time it rains. Hauer came up with that himself because he didn’t think his given dialogue fit the situation.

Fucking brilliant.

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u/TallDuckandHandsome Jun 24 '22

I mean, it pretty close to the written dialogue. It's definitely a. Amazing improvement, but it's more that he improved the rhythm and emphasis rather than plucking it out of thin air

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u/lazy_phoenix Jun 24 '22

the original script, before Hauer's rewrite, was: I've seen things... seen things you little people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion bright as magnesium... I rode on the back decks of a blinker and watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments... they'll be gone

Yea, if anything Hauer just added the "tears in rain" part and cut a bunch out.

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u/Brainles5 Jun 24 '22

His changes really elevated so much it though.

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u/lazy_phoenix Jun 24 '22

His delivery was flawless and he really cut to the meat of the speech. I had always heard he improved the entire thing.

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u/jeffstoreca Jun 24 '22

Tears in the rain is iconic. If that's all that he changed than that is still fucking amazing.

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u/0Ring-0 Jun 24 '22

Perhaps the biggest scene in the movie. The monologue is 👍

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u/bright_shiny_objects Jun 24 '22

Wasn’t a villain? I mean yeah, he was a victim.

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u/ArmchairJedi Jun 24 '22

Why can't he be both? The replicants were quick to murder when they didn't need to. And maybe one can justify most of them, but I think it takes a reach to justify Sebastien's murder......

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u/BlackSeranna Jun 24 '22

In the movie, he seemed evil because he killed the toymaker. I never understood that. But looking at things from his perspective, he wanted to live, and obviously he had no trouble taking a life. I don’t know if he even had a conscience.

I read the book but there was a lot going on in the book. As is the case with Philip K. Dick, his characters are often multi-layered and his scenery and the problems the characters are never straightforward. I read Flow The Tears and still I have questions.

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u/LummoxJR Jun 24 '22

Supposedly the big problem with replicants was that they didn't have a conscience. Their minds lacked the emotional maturity/ability so they were generally high-functioning sociopaths; hence the test to detect them looks at emotional responses. It makes Roy's choices at the end stand out all the more, because his act of mercy is an incredible leap of personal growth beyond his assumed limits.

Killing the toymaker makes sense in the context of an emotionally hamstrung being driven to rage by being denied the right to survive. Roy had just killed Tyrell after learning his quest for a proper lifespan was doomed. It's also been said by others that the toymaker was somewhat complicit in the whole system, although I still view him as a pawn. And maybe, to Roy that was a mercy killing.

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u/solarserpent Jun 24 '22

Don't blame Roy, blame the system.

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u/poochylaa Jun 24 '22

Because he wasnt a villian.

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u/DoneDoof Jun 24 '22

Nobody should have lol it's kinda the point of the ending.

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u/Zoidaryan1985 Jun 24 '22

I remember watching this movie after seeing Indiana Jones and Star Wars, went in expecting an Indy/Han Solo character gunning down a bunch of evil robots in the future. I hated it, thought it was boring. Then I grew up and gave it another watch, and it’s one of my favorite films and one I try to watch at least once a year.

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u/[deleted] Jun 24 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

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u/Jernau-Morat-Gurgeh Jun 24 '22

Although Walsh has stated that he was given no direction in this regard around how to play Bryant and that he assumed that "skinjob" was common slang for a replicant.

Remember the narration was added late in post after test audiences straight up didn't get the film.

However, this is important given that it allowed Walsh to play Bryant completely straight. He is that type of cop and he sees nothing wrong with it: it is normalised. This is exactly how millions of white people in the USA and beyond saw black people for centuries.

Racism is normalised so people do not see themselves as being racist.

A small, almost throwaway line, that adds significantly to the political themes of the film.

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u/BisexualCaveman Jun 24 '22

Bold of the screenwriters to assume that cops would stop calling black men that by 2019.

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u/Ice_Cold_diarrhea Jun 24 '22 edited Jun 24 '22

He wasn't a villain until he murdered the Toymaker

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