Warning: may contain SPOILERS for Blade Runner and Blade Runner 2049.
Ridley Scott’s vision of the future always seemed pretty bleak. One of his most renowned films, Blade Runner, envisions Philip K. Dick’s dark, dystopian world to near-perfection. Recently, Denis Villeneuve undertook the daunting task of resurrecting Scott’s seminal series with Blade Runner 2049. Fans of the haunting, cyberpunk classic aren’t sure what to expect, but his follow-up has great potential, especially with Harrison Ford reprising his role as Rick Deckard and a top-notch cast, including the acting muscle of Ryan Gosling, Robin Wright, and Jared Leto among others.
Warner Bros. dropped the third trailer at San Diego Comic-Con. While showing off Villeneuve’s work on the film (which looks stunning), the latest clip also reveals more about the mysterious plot, which purports to tie up loose threads from Scott’s original. In addition to the trailer, Warner released a rundown of the timeline (h/t Collider) at Comic-Con, which illuminates key historical points in the film’s not-too- distant- future. So, how did the world of Blade Runner find itself in such a sorrowful state?
This Page: Tears in Rain
“Tears in Rain”
The first Blade Runner begins with a neo-noir flourish, as audiences are treated to long, sweeping shots of Los Angeles in the distant year of 2019. But after dropping to the street, the vast, techno-wonderland rapidly reveals LA as a grimy and dangerous place. And rainy. It’s always raining there. Fans quickly meet Rick Deckard, who once worked as a blade runner, tracking down rogue replicants (i.e. synthetic human beings). Now retired, his former boss at the LAPD pushes him back into the game to track down a band of dangerous androids.
During his assignment, Deckard falls for a replicant named Rachel (Sean Young). He also discovers that the rogue synthetic’s murderous mission is a personal one. They’re on a quest to find their creator, corporate overlord Eldon Tyrell, and force him to upgrade their four-year lifespan. Deckard’s task becomes a rumination on the ugliness humanity often heaps upon itself and its creations. He also discovers the dividing line between human being and replicant is far from static.
Scott’s now-legendary director’s cut climaxes with a poetic scene, as Deckard confronts the Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer) as his pre-programmed life cycle ends. The haunting finale leaves behind an enduring mystery, one which still conjures up heated debate ‒ at least if you keep Ridley Scott out of it. Almost 40 years later, these unanswered questions resurface. As the trailers seem to indicate, Deckard and his actions set in motion events that changed the course of history.
So what exactly went wrong with the world? The SDCC timeline offers a few telling hints:
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