Blade Runner

Blade Runner


This analysis is subscribing to my own theory of the film. I’m pulling info not only from the 1982 Theatrical Cut and also the 2007 Final Cut as well as the documentary Dangerous Days: The Making of Blade Runner.

1. The film oozes mood right from the get-go. A plague of Black Sea travels for miles and then fire erupts. An analogy for the Big Bang and another calling to the theme of creation.

2. Leon is interviewed by a true Blade Runner Holden. He breaks Leon in a few questions. It’s clear to anyone who knows the laws of robotics that he is, of course, a replicant due to his inability to understand 'choice'. He can’t comprehend the concept.

3. We are introduced to Deckard and that dreadful voiceover narration that sounds slow and horrible. He states he has an ex-wife, yet the comment is never brought up again and dropped. Presumably Tyrell’s implants, but more importantly the first sign that Deckard is not the innocent he’s perceived to be. His first lines are a lie.

4. Gaff and two other police officers surround Deckard, in his own admission in a scene later he admits to knowing and understands every bit of lingo Gaff says. Toying with him, yes, but also a reveal that Deckard has been long underground hiding against the system in both plain sight and working with them. Perhaps so overt its covert.

5. We then meet Bryant. He states he’s looking for “four Skin Jobs” but he later reveals In a comment to Deckard while viewing files that five are on the loose. Surely a man in his position wouldn’t make such an error?

6. In the scene at the desk, Deckard also states he hasn’t been a Blade Runner for some time. Due to him hiding in plain sight with the incoming heat from the LAPD.

7. He accepts the offer to help and Gaff’s game begins. He will use the replicant to hunt down his own friends in an immoral game of cat and mouse. If Deckard at all hesitates throughout he falls into Gaff’s trap, who in the background creates his first origami; a rooster. A slight dig at Deckard's known deceit against his friends.

8. Deckard with the help of Gaff is taken to meet Tyrell. Tyrell, who is really frozen and incapacitated is secretly using a Replicant himself and in turn, can’t detect Deckard. He interviews Rachel but it takes him over 100 questions to do so. Poor work from a man who’s apparently top draw at his job or a deceiving Replicant hiding in plain sight?

9. Deckard now has no choice but to hunt down his friends for his own survival. He, overseen by Gaff, head to Leon’s apartment. Deckard investigates while Gaff watches closely. Deckard used as Gaff’s third party finds the photos and substance in the bath with ease.

10. Leon and Batty are in the phone booth. They discuss the photos and when Leon explains he couldn’t retrieve them due to a policeman, Batty exclaims “Policeman?” he knows Gaff is on his trail but at this moment is unclear if he is aware of Deckard being poised against them.

11. Batty and Leon head to Hannibal Chew’s lab. It’s revealed he is the person responsible for creating the eyes of the Replicants. The two toy with him and eventually get what they want, ultimately killing him in the process, but one key thing to take away is the eyes. REMEMBER THIS!

12. We cut back to Deckard who is startled by Rachel. He’s rude and spitefully tells her she’s a replicant, something she’s only just aware of but not clear on. Deckard knowing she’s a replicant and could be the downfall to his survival pushes her away. He knows what he must do if she’s found out. Both their eyes have a red tint.

13. Deckard knowing he has little time now until the game is over investigates the Pictures further, finding a clue to Zhora.

14. We are introduced to Pris who tracks down Sebastian for Batty.

15. Deckard investigates the Skin he found earlier and visits the underbelly of Los Angeles. This leads from one name to another, eventually revealing the snake is owned by a dancer. He follows the lead to a bar, knowing Zhora is there and what he needs to do. Deckard receives a call from Rachel, apologies for his remarks earlier and asks her to join him at the club, presumably so he can kill two birds with one stone. She refuses. He drinks alone with his conscious playing up. He knows he has to kill Zhora to stay ahead.

16. Deckard plucks up the courage and goes through with his task. He poses as an investigator, oh the irony. Zhora doesn’t notice him at first but catches on. Either recognising him or not taking the risk of being caught. She beats with ease and flees. A chase ensues and Deckard manages to shoot and kill Zhora. He acts remorseful and regretful in his actions, strange when he supposedly has absolutely no relationship with, but we both know he does.

17. Bryant and Gaff return to to the scene. The latter once again overlooking his pawn and silently but surely letting the dominos fall into place. Bryant informs Deckard has four targets left not three. Deckard questions him and Rachel’s time is up. Deckard’s time is slowly counting down.

18. Deckard coincidentally finds Rachel but is grabbed by Leon, who in turn questions Deckard on his lifespan. They both know each other and as Leon throws him around Deckard’s answers his questions. Eventually, Leon in an act of revenge for Zhora tries to kill Deckard but is shot in the head by Rachel. Deckard is saved from what could very well be his downfall.

19. Deckard flees to his apartment and Rachel follows. Rachel asks if Deckard would retire her. He pauses presumably remembering the blood on his hands killing his own people and confesses he would not retire her out of both guilt for his actions.

20. Now, this part is rather controversial but incredibly important. Rachel and Deckard talk and he makes an advance on her. She tries to leave but he forces her to stay. Now, without the correct context, this paints Deckard in a horrible light but this was not the intended effect. The actual context is due to both being replicants. Both haven’t actually participated in the act of sex or romance. Notice the awkwardness, the abrupt nature of the scene and of course the line “now you kiss me”

21. Batty appears in Sebastian’s apartment and informs Pris that Leon and Zhora have been killed. He being the actual Anti-Hero of the film chokes up on his delivery of the news. His friends have been murdered by the same kind. A betrayal that cannot go unpunished.

22. Roy manipulates Sebastian into visiting Tyrell. Tyrell is introduced to Batty and detects straightaway that the latter is a replicant, which in turns contradicts my point early of him not noticing Deckard. However, seeing as it isn’t the real Tyrell one could also presume that he is in full acknowledgement of Gaff’s plan by Bryant.

23. Tyrell delivers the blow to Batty that no matter what his lifespan cannot be extended. Batty’s eyes glow with a red tint. In a fit of rage and irony, he ends Tyrell’s life on the spot by pushing into his skill through his eyes. I also believe that Tyrell doesn’t actually kill Sebastian but in a dark twist acknowledges his fate and now chooses to live his life out with Pris.

24. A police speeder hovers over Deckard and states he’s going to arrest Deckard, who in turn states who is he and his occupation. The officer check his details, but should he not know not to mess with a Blade Runner? Presumably the details check out due to Gaff’s interference.

25. Deckard hits a brick wall but is informed that Tyrell is dead along with Sebastian, a clever ploy to add even more stress upon Deckard and that if he doesn’t find Pris and Batty soon his time is up. He calls Sebastian’s apartment and Pris answers the phone. She hangs up and Deckard says “What a way to treat an old friend”

26. Deckard investigates the house and enters the mannequin room where Pris is sat hiding. She’s fighting for her survival as is Deckard. She puts up a good fight but is gunned down by Deckard. Her body erupts in torturous rage. Her and Batty were so close to winning, but it’s taken away from them at the last minute.

27. Deckard searches the house for Batty who has just arrived. He finds Pris, his lover dead. His one goal and his intended and only purpose left is over. He has nothing to fight for.

28. He stalks and eventually attacks Deckard. Disclocating the hand that pulled the trigger that killed his family. Ironically so I may add. Deckard seemingly screams in pain but it’s actually in torment that it won’t be so easy for him his time and Batty will win.

29. Deckard begins his escalating attempt but its foiled by him falling and unable to make his final jump. Batty finds him and states Quite an experience to live in fear isn’t it? That’s what it means to live as a slave” This has ofcourse far more poignant and contextual meaning as Batty knows exactly who and what Deckard is.

30. Batty delivers his beautiful speech, yet it has so much more depth. It’s basically a spiteful dig at what Deckard has to live with. What atrocities he’s accomplished.

31. Batty dies and his four-year lifespan is up. This part is incredibly important because of one key aspect of Harrison Ford’s performance- Deckard’s blink. Why would he blink in such a manner? It’s because he believes his four-year lifespan is up, but it isn’t. More on that a little later...

32. Now we have arguably the most important scene in every cut of the film. Gaff’s reappearance. Why would he coincidentally be there at this precise moment? The answer is because it’s not a coincidence. Deckard has been Gaff’s pawn all along, he has used Deckard to track down and kill these replicants in a game of mortal spite. Deckard is none the wiser but goes along with this plan to keep up his lies as a human. Unbeknownst to him Gaff knew all along. He quite literally tells him to his face with the line You’ve done a mans job”. You can’t get any more obvious but due to the film being read on so many levels it’s clear why audiences would confuse the line.

33. Gaff throws Deckard's gun towards him and allows him to live. Not in a heroes manner but to spitefully let Deckard have to live with both Rachel and his own impending death, as they’re both Nexus 7’s.

34. Gaff then throws another important line. “Too bad she won’t live but then again who does” It finally clicks in Deckard. He’s also a Nexus 7 and perhaps that’s the reason why Tyrell’s replicant state could not pick him up, either that or a blatant continuity error. Deckard is of course in a state of confusion. He is even more alone than he thought, but there is another. This is far more obvious in the 2007 Final Cut with the unicorn origami, but alas still clear albeit slightly convoluted in the 1982 U.S. Theatrical Cut.

35. We are back in Deckard’s apartment. It’s quiet but no officers are in sight. Deckard investigates the apartment and hopes just like Batty did, his companion hasn’t been retired. He finds Rachel on his bed. He thinks shes dead but its revealed shes just asleep. He asks if she loves and trusts him and they make a run for it.

36. The film ends with what we believe to be the two driving off into the unknown. However, the film really ends with the elevator door slamming shut. What happens next is the hopes and dreams of human instinct, something all the replicants in the film desperately want. Deckard's godawful narration explains that Gaff came to the apartment and chose to let them escape. He finishes his narration looking at Rachel and repeating Gaff’s like early about who dies. Deckard believes this to be a positive end and they can spend what time they have left together, but he’s wrong. This is Gaff’s plan. He lets them escape not to live out their peaceful existent but having to deal with Deckard's crimes. Living a nonexistent life on the run constantly and also delivers the horrifying final blow that both Deckard and Rachel are on borrowed time. A game against time that they can’t win and can’t outrun. Time will eventually and unknowingly run out and once time runs out for them they’ll be left in the fear of a life not lived and the realisattion they haven’t really had an existence at all.

37. This hasn’t got anything to do with the film, well it sort of does. The ending with the mountains is of course b-roll footage from The Shining, and shot in Montana. Weirdly I’m visiting Montana in less than 10 days so that’s kinda cool. 


• As much as anticipating Blade Runner 2049, I can't help but be a little annoyed. Blade Runner never really needed a sequel in the first place. It’s going to be stunning and existential, but it’s going to take away so much discussion and theory the film demands.

• I’m exploring the idea that Jared Leto’s Character in Blade Runner: 2049 is either Tyrell himself or a relative of sorts. Apparently, he shot for only two weeks and it was primarily away from the cast, so it’s looking likely.

• Edwards James Olmos returns as Gaff, so that’s going to make or break my theory, but I’ll still hold this dear if I’m wrong alas it’s just my personal reading. I think it will be revealed that all Blade Runners’ in the future are replicants due to Deckard’s performance on his mission from Gaff. Not looking too good for Gosling then...

I think Sean Young will show up at some point, flashback or reconstructed in CGI. I think the scene with the car driving off into the sunset will probably be re-used in some form or fashion.

Well that’s all for my analysis for Blade Runner. I hope you all enjoyed my reading of the film and I hope to read all your thoughts telling me I’m wrong below. I probably will do an analysis of Blade Runner 2049 to coincide with some points in here depending on what direction Villeneuve's film takes. Thanks for reading!

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