Blade Runner: Meaning & Compassion of The Old and New Films

On October 5, 2017, Ridley Scott’s fantastic film Blade Runner 2049 was presented to the audience, radically changing the meaning of the original tape, filmed more than 30 years ago. In the second part of the picture, the audience was able to get answers to some questions left after watching the first film. But in the film Blade Runner, the meaning is so complex that without deep analysis it will be difficult to understand the main message of the authors.


It will be much easier to analyze what the meaning of the picture in the film Blade Runner is after a brief description of what is shown on the screen. But in order to understand the essence of what is happening in Blade Runner 2049, you first need to remember the meaning of the plot of the original.

I part

The location is Los Angeles. The time of action of the picture, filmed in 1982, is 2019.

Scientists have managed to create artificial people – replicants.

  • They are used for heavy and risky work.
  • Outwardly, replicants are no different from people and sometimes they don’t even know who they really are.
  • Androids are identified using the Voight-Kampf test.
  • Life span of artificial people is limited to 4 years.
  • Some of them periodically try to rebel. To destroy the rebellious robots, a special unit of “blade runners” has been created.

One of the “runners” – Rick Deckard is given the task of finding the latest model robots that have escaped from the colony. Four fugitives – Roy Batty, Leon, Zora and Pris arrive on Earth.

Deckard begins his investigation with a corporation that manufactures replicants. While checking the validity of the Voight-Kampf test for new models, it turns out that Rachel’s secretary to the president of the corporation is a replicant, which is a shock to the girl herself.

The investigation leads Deckard to the strip club where Zora works. While trying to escape, Rick kills the girl.

Interesting! In the scene of Zora’s performance in the club with a snake around her neck, actress Joanna Cassidy was filming with her pet, Burmese python Darling.

Leon, trying to avenge Zora’s death, attacks Rick. Suddenly, Rachel, who has escaped from the corporation, comes to the aid of the “running one” and kills Leon.

Feelings flare up between Deckard and Rachel, he does not want to destroy the girl.

Deckard finds Roy and Pris. After shooting Pris, Rick gets into a fight with Roy. During the fight, Deckard almost falls into the abyss, but Roy saves him by pulling him to the surface.

The last shots of the movie show Deckard and Rachel leaving for Canada. No one knows how long Rachel has left to live.

II part

Location – Earth. The time of action is 2049. The protagonist Kay is a replicant who works as a “blade runner”. Its functions include the capture of replicants who violate the order.

During the pursuit of one of the criminals, he finds the remains of a female replicant. As it turns out, that woman was Rachel.

After escaping, Descartes and Rachel contacted members of the Resistance who organized the “blackout”. A total power outage led to the destruction of the Replicant database.

Before these events, Rachel gave birth to a girl, but died during childbirth. To protect the child, whose birth could turn the whole idea of ​​​​androids upside down, the Resistance hid the girl for a long time.

At the beginning of the second film, Rick and Rachel’s adult daughter, Ana Stellin, works for a corporation that creates memories for androids. Its origin is a mystery to everyone.

The head of the corporation, Wallace, dreams of unlimited power. For this purpose, he needs as many obedient slave replicants as possible.

Thanks to Kay’s discovery, Wallace learns about the ability of robots to bear children. This opens up endless possibilities for him.

Kay is constantly tormented by memories that make him think he is Deckard’s son. “The Runner” goes in search of his father.

On his heels follows the replicant killer Love, sent by Wallace. During the Runner’s meeting with Rick, Love injures Kay and kidnaps Descartes.

Kay is rescued by members of the Resistance. From them, the young man learns about the real child of Rachel and Rick.

After Descartes refuses to work for Wallace, he is expelled from Earth. But Kay attacks the convoy transporting Descartes, kills Love, frees Rick.

An injured Kay takes Descartes to Stella’s office. Exhausted from his wounds, Kay lies down on the steps of the building.

Plot Explanation

The first question viewers have after watching the opening footage of Blade Runner 2049 is how did the replicant manage to have a baby? The authors do not specify this nuance. It remains to be assumed that Rachel was an experimental variant equipped with a reproductive system.

With the birth of a child, the story told in the first Blade Runner movie takes on new meaning. In the sequel, the entire plot is based on the theme of love. This is especially well shown in the scene when Wallace offers Descartes an exact copy of Rachel in exchange for information about his daughter. Rick’s refusal is evidence of the truth of feelings.

In parallel, the love between Kay and the hologram of Joe created for him is shown. Despite the artificial origin, the feelings of androids are quite strong and gentle.

Another example of love is Kay’s rescue of Deckard. From this we can conclude that in the film Blade Runner, the meaning of the tape lies in love and faith.

By the end of Blade Runner 2049, the hidden meaning of having a baby as a replicant becomes clear. The birth of Ana led to the blurring of the boundaries between man and android. And that makes the standoff between the Resistance and Wallace pointless.

What is the essence of the ending

The ending of the second film, like the original, remains open. Kay lies on the steps and it is not clear whether he will survive or not. The conflict between Wallace and the Resistance also remains unresolved. But for revealing the meaning of Blade Runner’s ending, the answers to these questions are not so important.

On a note! The main goal that the authors aspired to, creating both films, is to understand what it means to be human. And if in 1982 Blade Runner did not give an answer to it, then the sequel explains the meaning of the difference between a person and a replicant. That is why the mystery of Deckard’s origin remains unsolved. It doesn’t matter if he’s human or android. The main thing is the actions they committed.

As confirmation of this – the final actions of Kay. Like Roy Batty, who showed humanism towards a person, so Kay sacrificed himself for the sake of a meeting between father and daughter. Roy and Kay’s actions prove that a replicant can be more human than any human.

Making films with meaning is one of the ways to get to know reality. Blade Runner did a great job of making the viewer think about human self-determination.

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