What Happened Between Blade Runner & Blade Runner 2049?

Replicant Prohibition Ends (2036)

During the 2030s, the Wallace Corporation modified the replicant design, improving the previously flawed memory implants. They also tricked out synthetic beings to make them more subservient to humanity. As a result, the government repeals the ban on artificial life, also likely at the behest of Wallace Corps and their colossal bankroll. Shortly thereafter, the massive conglomerate releases the latest wave of synthetics, the Nexus 9.

If the trailers are any indication, the latest model isn’t behaving quite right either. Earth also appears to split down the middle at this juncture, between humans (the relative haves) and replicants (the have nots). Despite Wallace Corp’s market domination and their drive to build a better servant, the process remains, without a doubt, flawed. Although unclear, the Nexus 9 models may rebel, causing Wallace to further tweak his design.

It's also possible he has other plans for the artificial life forms. In the trailer, he charges K with tracking down (presumably) Rick Deckard. Whatever secrets he holds seem vital to Wallace's drive for prolific, “perfect,” or subservient synthetic life. Of course, if Wallace himself is enhanced or modified by implants, his designs may actually favor synthetics over than humans – much like the Borg from Star Trek, who aspired to mechanical perfection.

If Deckard is the key to this mystery, it further suggests that he's a replicant. At the same time, the trailers also allude to him erasing evidence, so the uncertain fate of prototype, Rachel, may actually be the key Wallace’s grand designs.

Blade Runner Force Increased (2040s)

Blade Runner 2049 Robin Wright Featured Image

Repealing Replicant Prohibition ostensibly lead to some serious repercussions. During the 2040s, the Los Angeles Police Department beefed up their blade runner squad. According to the timeline, a larger force is necessary to deal with a surge in illegal replicants. Growing concern over fugitive synthetics also implies an uptick in fear among humans, serious malfunctions with the Nexus 9 series, or concerns over an escalating synthetic-human class war.

During this time, K probably signs up with the LAPD, training for the mission he'll undertake in Blade Runner 2049. Ramping up their forces, especially those tasked with weeding out and eliminating dangerous replicants, implies deteriorating conditions on Earth. One clip from the trailer shows off a room full of apparent refugees or possibly even fugitive Nexus 8 or 9 models hiding since prohibition. Although the trailer is somewhat aloof by design, Deckard, Rachel, and perhaps Bautista's character, represent the missing link between K's mission and Wallace's dreams of a new world.

By the 2040s, though, Wallace Corp's plans have escalated and the world is on the brink of war or worse.

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