What Happened Between Blade Runner & Blade Runner 2049?

Replicant Prohibition (2023)

In 2023, bad blood between humans and replicants pushed lawmakers to crack down on replicants. As a result, every synthetic being, including the Nexus 8 series, is forced to retire. By this point, Nexus 6 units have already gone out of service, due to their 4-year lifespan, so only those Nexus 8 models that fled the ban remain on the hunted list.

Despite the purge, some late-model replicants clearly escaped their enforced demises – otherwise, the blade runners of 2049 wouldn’t have much to work with. The ragtag band, seen tucked away in (presumably) the ruins during the third trailer, could be the survivors of prohibition. It's also possible K and Wallace are both after Deckard to dig up the refugees. K's search for Dave Bautista's very strong human (or replicant) character could also be an important link between the Nexus 8 fugitives, Deckard, or both.

The Wallace Corporations Solves the Food Shortage (2025)

In the aftermath of the EMP and global collapse, dramatic food shortages and fearful, humans sought salvation. A starving populace turned to wunderkind researcher Neander Wallace to solve the Earth’s problems. Using his genetic engineering techniques, he tweaked crops for optimal growth and later shared his patents with the world. Poof! No more hunger pangs. Of course, his success came with an added bonus: Wallace Corporation experienced a massive, rapid growth, stretching its tendrils around the globe and even getting a foothold in the off-world colonies.

For all his good work feeding the populace, Wallace can only do so much. In the first trailer, Villeneuve and cinematographer Roger Deakins treated viewers to a barren, orange-drenched landscape. Thus far, Villeneuve and crew haven’t revealed the reason for the planet's perpetual blanket. But the new timeline could suggest the haze resulted from the EMP or the societal collapse which followed it. Perhaps poisons leached into the landscape from unsustainable farming practices or even failed nuclear reactors. Clearly, the barren landscape pushed Wallace to reinvent the replicant wheel.

Wallace Corp Buys Tyrell Corporation (2028)

Ryan Gosling in Blade Runner 2049

Solving the food shortage turned out very well for Neander Wallace and his company, which blossomed into a trans-terrestrial conglomerate. Three years later, they purchased the now-defunct Tyrell Corp, as well as all its secrets about manufacturing synthetic life. Now, several trailers deep, it appears more and more that Wallace and his unique vision to recreate civilization is the driving force behind the most dramatic changes after the first Blade Runner.

Wallace's key takeaway here, which echoes throughout the trailers, is an insistence that "every civilization was built off the back of a disposable workforce." Genetically modified food is clearly just the beginning. Apparently, he aims to rebuild the tatters of the world into his own personal empire, and tampering with the very structure of life is his means to an end. At least he appears to practice what he preaches, since clips of the would-be megalomaniac suggest he's heavily modified, either through genetic or cybernetic manipulation. Wallace and his unsettling vision for the future form the crux of K's early mission and may result in his eventual change of perspective a la Deckard.

Key Release Dates
  • Blade Runner 2049 (2017) release date: Oct 06, 2017
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