#1 Posted by Chemystery (310 posts) -

Just had to watch and analyze Blade Runner for my science fiction class. Naturally the class got into the debate about whether or not Harrison Ford's character was a Replicant or not. My professor said this is an age old sci fi debate but it is new to me. What do you think duders? Replicant or Human?

#2 Posted by believer258 (12697 posts) -

Seems like a Replicant, unless that guy left an aluminum unicorn outside of his door for shits and giggles and it happened to be a coincidence. Or that guy is the G-Man and Blade Runner is the Half-Life 3 we've all been waiting for.

#3 Posted by Veektarius (5299 posts) -

Definitively, yes. Ridley Scott made this increasingly clear with subsequent versions of the movie. The most important scenes are Deckard's visit to the hospital and the bit with the origami unicorn. However, narratively, the idea that Deckard is a replicant adds nothing to the film and seems unnecessary from the PoV of the police, especially given that Deckard exhibits none of the advantages a replicant would bring them. Harrison Ford said that he prefers not to think of Deckard as a replicant. To me this is an example of a filmmaker trying to be clever because he can, even though it makes the story less coherent.

#4 Posted by fisk0 (5089 posts) -

I think that varies with the edit of the film you watch, if I recall correctly he was intended to be in the original cut, but that version didn't sit well with the audience, and they recut it several times with different endings and alternate scenes.

#5 Posted by crithon (3518 posts) -

that's the point

#6 Posted by noizy (791 posts) -
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#7 Posted by SlashDance (1863 posts) -

Not being able to say for sure is sort of the point, but I think it's pretty clear that he is indeed a replicant.

#8 Edited by TobbRobb (5029 posts) -

I would prefer that he wasn't. But yeah it's basically confirmed.

#9 Posted by SpaceRunaway (888 posts) -

Yes, I'm on the side of Deckard being a replicant. I think it's a fantastic touch. If like Ford, you see the movie's message as the struggle of man versus machine, that detail makes no sense. However, I think it's about the nature of what it means to be human, and it makes the film much more powerful for me.

It might not be convincing if you're in the Human camp, but I always thought that since the escaped replicants were combat models (and they showed their, *ahem*, power levels at the beginning of the film), that it made sense that different replicants would have different abilities, especially if they were unaware of being a replicant, like with Rachael for instance.

#10 Posted by Aetheldod (3914 posts) -

He is a replicant no doubt .... in actuality explains why his supervisor is such a big dick. Also I think he was made to replace the Blade Runner that is killed at the beginning of the film.

#11 Edited by ArtisanBreads (4529 posts) -

@crithon said:

that's the point


The whole thing is a look at humanity and man vs machine. It's one of those twists or questions that to me is pointless to answer. I'd rather look at how it's explored.

The fact that it's a question, or a point of debate, is the point.

#12 Posted by Spoonman671 (4986 posts) -

I still don't really understand what led people to think he might be a replicant.

#13 Posted by Clonedzero (4206 posts) -

@tobbrobb said:

I would prefer that he wasn't. But yeah it's basically confirmed.

Yeah, it's kinda silly they made such a shitty replicant to hunt other replicants.

Personally i think he's human but almost self-identifies as a replicant.

#14 Edited by LTSmash (698 posts) -

I preferred when it was more ambiguous.

#15 Posted by alwaysbebombing (1836 posts) -


#16 Posted by Chemystery (310 posts) -

@spoonman671: There is a lot of stuff like the foil unicorn is from his dream which is a shared replicant memory. People think Gaff treats him like crap because Gaff is Deckard's human handler. Also he decides not to share his Voight-Kampf test results. I'm missing a lot more clues but I don't remember off the top of my head.

#17 Posted by Legion_ (1669 posts) -

Yeah, Ridley Scott has confirmed it. It's pretty obvious anyway though.

#18 Posted by bearshamanbro (293 posts) -
#19 Edited by Vuud (2052 posts) -

I think it was originally meant to be a total mystery and up to you to decide. Then Ridley got so tired of being asked that question he made it more and more obvious Deckard was a replicant in the subsequent versions of the movie.

For what it's worth, Harrison Ford said he asked Scott and Scott told him Deckard is human. Of course you'd tell your actor that to get him to act like a robot who thinks he's a human.

Oh and in the book Deckard is definitely human, though he doubts it and takes the Voight-Kampff to prove it.

#20 Posted by Dimi3je (428 posts) -

@fisk0 said:

I think that varies with the edit of the film you watch, if I recall correctly he was intended to be in the original cut, but that version didn't sit well with the audience, and they recut it several times with different endings and alternate scenes.

Yeah, if I remember correctly, the original cut was supposed to leave the audience guessing was Deckard a replicant or not. But in the director's cut it's clear that he is, in fact, a replicant.

#21 Edited by Dragon_Puncher (159 posts) -

Short answer: Yes

Long answer: Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees.

In the first version of the movie it was pretty ambiguous, but Ridley Scott has pretty much hammed the notion that Deckard is a replicant through in all the rereleases. I always thought him being a replicant was kinda dumb, but it doesn't ruin the movie for me.

#22 Posted by CornBREDX (6462 posts) -

He was originally intended to be a replicant, yes. The director has said as much and even (in the multiple cuts that he has made of the film) put more into the film he intended to have originally that implies strongly that he is.

In the original cut of the film, though, it is debatable if he is or not as the original theatrical cut leaves that vague.

He is supposed to be a replicant, though, yes.

#23 Posted by Commisar123 (1852 posts) -


#24 Posted by yinstarrunner (1255 posts) -

I'm pretty sure he's a replicant.

When I first watched the movie, I was under the impression that he wasn't. I like it better that way.

I think it presents a more interesting dichotomy if he's human. It's an interesting foil--the man who has life but doesn't live it to the fullest, against the machines who will do anything to feel like normal humans, even for a single fleeting moment. Deckard, the human, must become increasingly more efficient and "robotic" in order to hunt down the androids, who are losing all restraint in their newfound "lives". I think it adds an interesting layer to the film.

But that's just what I got out of the film when I watched it. And Scott has pretty much said otherwise. Still a fucking great movie.

#25 Posted by ArtisanBreads (4529 posts) -

@vuud said:

Oh and in the book Deckard is definitely human, though he doubts it and takes the Voight-Kampff to prove it.

I didn't enjoy the book as much as I thought I would, but I did like how it handled this aspect.

#26 Posted by Daneian (1306 posts) -


#27 Posted by Spoonman671 (4986 posts) -
#28 Edited by crithon (3518 posts) -

@artisanbreads: Not to under mind the film, but the mystery of finding former Replicants isn't much of a story. The whole film is just atmosphere and questing a lot about the character's actions and place in it all.

#29 Edited by HistoryInRust (6580 posts) -

It's like a more-subtle version of the ending to Inception. The ambiguity and uncertainty in the moment are implying something about the central theme, something far more important than the answer to that yes/no question.

#30 Posted by handlas (2899 posts) -

I must not of paid attention while watching Blade Runner. I enjoy the movie but I feel like it drags a bit near the middle/end. And I've watched it 3 times. I never once thought he was a replicant... I need to watch it again.

#31 Posted by tourgen (4568 posts) -

man the lighting in that movie is SO DAMN GOOD!

I guess it kind of makes sense to send a shitty replicant to hunt other replicants. Dangerous job, cheap labor. But better not make it obvious because he'll be working exclusively on Earth. More or less adds up well enough for a movie story.

#32 Posted by laserguy (474 posts) -

Does it matter in the end? Life is going to end some day, Roy knows this and excepts it .

#33 Posted by TheSouthernDandy (4011 posts) -

The questions already been answered so I'm just gonna say I love that damn movie so much.

#34 Edited by SgtSphynx (1779 posts) -

I really love Blade Runner, and while yes, Deckard is a replicant, I really wish that fact was left ambiguous. As @ArtisanBreads said, the answer isn't the point, the question is.

Also, this topic made me wish that Vinny and Dave had finished the Blade Runner game

#35 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (3597 posts) -

It was always my understanding that Deckard was a "one off" like Rachael. They were made by Tyrell but not as part of a line, but as specially made one of a kind experiments. The story for Rachael, in the movie, is very clear, she is an experimental replicant who believes herself to be human. She has been enhanced with false memories to provide an "emotional background" to fall back on. Becauase she is special the test is required to determine whether she is a replicant is more extreme. That is what Deckard is too...or that's how I see it.

That's the part of this people forget. Tyrell has been making replicants for decades; Roy, Zhora, and Pris are model-6, but there are/were model1-5. In addition, one must assume numerous "experiments" and special one of a kind organic robots were developed. For Deckard to be a replicant doesn't mean he has to be like ANY of the others in the movie.

#36 Posted by I_Stay_Puft (4647 posts) -


#37 Edited by TechnoSyndrome (1069 posts) -

I don't have a definitive answer in my head, I like it being ambiguous. A good argument I've heard that he might not be human is that the unicorn he dreamed of was one of Rachel's implanted memories, which he'd heard about from Tyrell.

#38 Posted by Gaff (2084 posts) -

I like to believe he's human.

And as for Ridley Scott's opinion, one word: Prometheus.

#39 Posted by Apparatus_Unearth (3500 posts) -

The first time I watched the film I didn't like it or understand it but the second time I walked away thinking it was incredible and that Deckard is a replicant.

#40 Posted by EuanDewar (5143 posts) -

you should just interpret it how you want, regardless of the directors intent

#41 Posted by Jay_Ray (1203 posts) -

I prefer Deckard as a human, to me the story has more meaning/weight if he is human but struggles with the idea that he may be a replicant.

#42 Edited by xyzygy (10592 posts) -

I prefer thinking of him as replicant, don't know why though. I'm not super good at film analysis and I usually go with my gut feelings on things like this and I prefer to think of him as a replicant.

The ending with the origami is one of my favorite all time film endings. The way it cuts to the music is just genius.

#43 Posted by Gard3 (28 posts) -

My opinion is Scott had no intention one way or the other. I've done this in narrative too. You lay some hints or some twists or a correlation here and there, but whether he is or isn't makes little difference. It's fun to mess with the "truth", and it's even more fun to listen to how people like to interpret that truth.