Blade Runner FAQ

About to watch Blade Runner? This Blade Runner FAQ will help answer your questions about this 1982 science fiction cult classic. 

What are the replicants?
The replicants are bioengineered machines, artificially created using distorted DNA, that are made to look and act exactly like humans. "More human than human" is the motto of Tyrell Corporation, the company that manufactured these clones.

Why are the replicants banned from Earth?
Some of the replicants became emotionally unstable, leading to a terribly violent uprising made all the worse by the replicants' superior mental and physical abilities. Since the uprising, replicants have been banned from Earth and sent to the off-world colonies, where they do only menial or dangerous work. Some replicants do escape and make it back to Earth from time to time, endangering humans.

What is the role of a "Blade Runner"?
A Blade Runner is a specialized law enforcement official who tracks down and terminates rogue replicants who have returned to Earth. They are officially called "Rep-Detects." To screen for replicants, a Blade Runner uses a device known as a Voight-Kampff machine, which detects subtle, uncontrollable shifts in pupil dilation that occur across a spectrum of emotional responses.

Why did the replicants return to Earth?

To prevent replicants from becoming too emotionally unstable, their lifespans are limited to four years. The replicants that escape in the movie are near the end of their programmed lifespan, and they want to find a way to extend their lives.

What do the glowing eyes mean?
Anyone with the gold glowing eyes in the movie is a replicant.

Why can't the blade runner tell the replicant is not human by the glowing eyes?
The glowing eyes you as a viewer can see in the movie are not visible by people in the movie. This was done because the filmmakers were concerned that viewers would get confused during the movie and lose track of who was a replicant and who was not.

Do replicants have feelings?
The initial clones or manufactured replicants are programmed to exhibit emotions, but these are programmed responses, not real feelings. Over time, however, replicants do develop emotional responses and attachments similar to human relationships. A new, rarer type of replicant is preprogrammed with emotions.

Why Is the City Such a Mess?
Blade Runner is set in Los Angeles in 2019. Although this is never mentioned in the movie, the city has suffered a massive earthquake. In some places, new buildings have simply been built on the ruins of the past. Throughout the city, modern conveniences have been "retrofitted" onto existing structures, leaving a complex array of wiring and ductwork on the exterior of buildings.

Who Is Rick Deckard?
The exact nature of the Deckard character has been the subject of debate among fans since the film's release in 1982. Even star Harrison Ford and director Ridley Scott don't see eye-to-eye on this debate, so you'll have to decide for yourself.
 

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