Blade Runner 2049 is an excellent follow-up to the original, expanding on its themes and philosophies. (Though it did raise a significant problem.)
Unsurprisingly, it's also left us with a whole bunch of questions. Here are the ones confounding our poor human brains, along with some possible explanations.
Naturally this feature is PACKED WITH SPOILERS.
1. Is Deckard a replicant then?
The enduring question posed by the first film and much debated in the years in between raises its head again in 2049. The answer is... we're not sure. But we think so.
Deckard has aged and he's survived much longer than the four years former replicant Nexus 6 models 'lived' for, but that doesn't mean he's human. We learned from one of the animated shorts that replicants with natural life spans have been created. It would likely be possible that they would then age.
Further suggestions that replicants can age come from Hiam Abbass' replicant rebel leader Freysa, who is shown holding Rachael's baby (some people thought this was Rachael in the picture but it's not – she died in childbirth) looking younger than she does in the flesh.
Deckard and Rachael are able to have a child but that doesn't mean it's a human-replicant hybrid. If that were the case it would be an entirely different film. Oh and finally, when asked which of the many versions of the original Villeneuve prefers, he chooses the original theatrical one (where Rachael and Deckard go off into the sunset) but also the 2007 version where Ridley Scott made it clear that Deckard definitely is not human.
2. How come Rachael can conceive and other replicants can't?
The answer is, again, we don't specifically know. And nor does Wallace, who's clearly on a mission to find out, and repeatedly failing.
But this is our theory: we think that there must have been prototype models made by Tyrell while developing replicants with a human life span. We think this probably involved including some human DNA.
Wallace says to Deckard "Do you think you met by accident?" talking about his meeting with Rachael and their relationship. He's saying that they're the only two replicants who can procreate (or certainly one of a small number), which would imply they aren't just the same model as all the other natural-life-span replicants.
3. Who has Ana's memories, and how does that work?
Ana is Rachael and Deckard's daughter, hidden in an orphanage with human kids, now working for Wallace weaving memories for replicants. She gives her memory of the orphanage to Agent K.
But when K meets the revolutionary replicants and discovers he is not the child, Freysa tells him "We all thought we were the child," which implies her memories are in all of them (making her harder to track down, and therefore making the replicants know what they are fighting for – as Freysa says).
4. Why is Wallace trying to develop new replicants who can breed when it'll put him out of business?
The movie sets up the idea that he can't make them quick enough, and also that he has a god complex and likes the idea of being father to an entire new race.
But isn't this a terrible business model? Human consumers could 'own' replicants and breed their own, for example?
We think the way the script tries to get round this is in the early crawl explaining that Wallace's replicants obey him – so in this way he'd still have control of the new generation.
5. Okay, but if Wallace's replicants obey him, how come Luv and K don't?
Luv kills K's boss Joshi (Robin Wright) and says she is going to lie to Wallace and say it was done in self-defence.
K defies Wallace, kills Luv, and takes Deckard to see Ana. But...
But what if they are still obeying him? What if Wallace planned for K to do that all along? That would explain why Luv leaves K alive when she could have killed him.
Before K got involved Deckard was close to useless – or certainly until Wallace can cut him open. He knows there's a kid and a cover-up and he knows the resistance exists but he doesn't know anything else.
But now K has solved the mystery, found Deckard and introduced him to Ana, he's a weak link. If Wallace can find Deckard NOW and torture him, he'll have all the info, which just wasn't true before K came along.
Wait for the inevitable sequel...
6. Why does Wallace kill the newborn female replicant?
In one particularly harrowing scene a new female replicant is born. Wallace explains his desire to create replicants who can breed to increase his production capabilities exponentially.
Then he kills the newborn replicant, slicing her at the womb, for being unable to do so.
Leaving aside the morality of it, isn't that a bit of a waste of replicants? Given he says he can't make them fast enough it seems a bit silly to kill a perfectly good new one.
7. Do androids dream of electric sheep?
No, toasted cheese apparently.
Blade Runner 2049 is in cinemas now.
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