Blade Runner – The End of Humanity


There is a practicality to the world of Blade Runner. Every element that adds style to the world of the film, first serves a tangible purpose. These lights, for example, are for air traffic control. Take just about any scene in the movie, and every detail will add up to something greater. Blade Runner fits into the genre of realistic science-fiction. In his commentary track, Ridley Scott stated that the two biggest films that have an impact on Blade Runner are Star Wars and 2001: A Space Odyssey. The former is essentially a fantasy film that was set in space, and the latter, an ultra-realistic prediction of the future. If Star Wars is described as “What If?”, and 2001 is described as “What Will?”, then Blade Runner can be described as “What could?” or what would happen if people were to be able to recreate life? And the film’s answer to that is the end of humanity. The film establishes this very early on. It’s just about five minutes into the movie before we see a human. And it’s this unnamed blade runner testing Leon’s humanity. There will be more on this a bit later, but the ultimate irony of this scene is that the human shows no emotion, whereas the replicant does. When we enter the streets below, we’re presented with a number of reasons why humanity seems to have dried up. One of the most apparent is a lack of communication. Throughout the film, characters struggle to understand what others are saying. I said throughout the film, characters struggle to understand what others are saying. Forget it. In addition, the language is spoken on the streets are a jumbled mess of English, Cantonese, Spanish, Japanese, German, French and Hungarian. There is no uniformity, no great connector. Instead, just people isolating themselves from one another. Moreover, people are looking to leave earth for off-world colonies, for they’re distancing themselves from one another But the biggest cause of this lack of humanity comes from the replicants, or at least, the creation of these replicants From their conception, they are told that they aren’t human. They’re created with an inferiority complex, before they are enslaved. As we are told in the opening credits, the replicants are equal to or superior to their human creators, and the humans enslaved them, devaluing their own existence. The film is over one-third of the way finished, before we see our first decent and human act. J.F. Sebastian invites Pris up to his house. J.F. is one of the few characters with humanity in the world. He really cares for others and shows compassion. This compassion which ultimately leads to his demise. However it isn’t a total loss, because his compassion sets in motion a series of events that becomes a central focus of the film: Characters gaining humanity It starts with Roy Batty accepting his dwindling amount of time left alive. From his creation, Roy was given perfect intelligence and health, but as Tyrell tells him that comes at a cost of a shorter lifespan. Before he came to Earth, he clearly put no value on human life. As we’re told, Roy and the other replicants massacred the passengers aboard a cruiser. And once they reached Earth, the rain of death and destruction continues. All of this killing was for one very ironic purpose, to extend their own lifespan. However, upon being told that this is an impossibility, Roy, the last remaining off-world replicant, has an existential meltdown He has hours of life left. Everybody who he has ever been close with, is being retired. And Deckard is quickly closing in on him, trying to end his life as well. During their confrontation, Roy finds out that he is superior to Deckard in every way. And looks to beat him both physically and then mentally. He begins by breaking his fingers essentially stripping Deckard of his power, before moving on to show the flaws in morality that drive Deckard and the other blade runners. They are attacking and killing the weak, social outcasts who are unarmed. Deckard is a character who clearly has a conscious. So during this confrontation, Roy succeeds in stripping him to nothing. Despite this, when Roy has the chance to let Deckard die, he chooses to save him. You could read this scene as a visual representation of enlightenment, of Roy pulling Deckard up to his level to show him that there can be good in this world and that life has value. Just because he was created instead of being born, he still understands the importance of existence. All of this killing serve no purpose and killing someone else would achieve nothing at all. This is then reaffirmed with his final monologue, a beautiful soliloquy praising the value of human life. Reaffirming that even when society tries to strip down everything right in this world, one simple act of goodness can have a drastic impact. And just like Roy was inspired by J.F. Sebastian’s goodwill, Deckard is too, influenced by someone who he once believed to be subhuman. Throughout the entire film, Deckard struggles trying to find any purpose in existing. He has been beaten down by the inhuman world and just exists. And everything from his attitude to his drinking habits to his attire, Deckard is clearly influenced from the film noir era detectives. And like film noir era detectives, he is unwillingly forced into the story. And his ultimate goal in the movie is to find a way out. He wants to leave this world and to exist somewhere that he can be happy. Whenever people get close to him, he turns them away even if he ultimately cares for them. He has been conditioned to view the world as evil. He dreams of purity, of being more than human as we see in the unicorn sequence. But he doesn’t achieve that until he comes face-to-face with humanity, though trying to hunt the replicants From the first scene with a replicant to the last one, replicants show more humanity than anybody else. In the opening scene with Leon and the blade runner, Leon is joking around and trying to connect with the blade runner, who just stares at him. Following killings or “retirements”, the replicants are the only ones who show true emotion. Replicants are truly human. They’re the representation of what people should be. They’re not good, they’re not bad instead, they exist somewhere between the two in a contradictory state Selfish, while also caring. Individualistic, while also group-oriented. This is the journey of Deckard. After Roy saves him, he too finds the beauty in humanity and begins to truly appreciate it. He chooses to start a new life with Rachel, who was the one person in the movie who truly makes him happy. Hey, everyone. I hope you enjoyed. Blade Runnner might be my favorite movie of all time. It’s definitely up there. I’m glad that I could finally discuss it over here. And I’d love for the discussion to continue, so be sure to drop a comment to get your thoughts out there. If you haven’t seen it yet be sure to check out my last video, where we compared Silence and Apocalypse Now! If you’re not subscribed yet, hit that subscribe button. Thanks for watching, and I’ll see you next week.

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