Deck-A-Rep: The True Nature of Rick Deckard
Fans, filmmakers and people involved with the making of Blade Runner debate if main character Rick Deckard is himself in fact a Replicant or not.Fans, filmmakers and people involved with the making of Blade Runner debate if main character Rick Deckard is himself in fact a Replicant or not.Fans, filmmakers and people involved with the making of Blade Runner debate if main character Rick Deckard is himself in fact a Replicant or not.Fans, filmmakers and people involved with the making of Blade Runner debate if main character Rick Deckard is himself in fact a Replicant or not.Fans, filmmakers and people involved with the making of Blade Runner debate if main character Rick Deckard is himself in fact a Replicant or not.
In P.K. Dick's original novel "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep", Deckard is human. In Fancher and Peoples' screenplay he is too. All the evidence seems to point to that vague Unicorn daydream the Blade Runner has in the middle of the picture. Fact is, the Unicorn didn't appear in the original cut (American or International) nor was it seen in the work-print that surfaced in the early nineties. When Ridley Scott assembled his so-called Directors cut in 1992 (coincidentaly the year the novel was set in when it was first released in 1968, later changed to 2021) practically the only thing he added to the work-print was that unicorn shot. Now most of us immediately thought they had spliced an outtake from Legend (1985) in there, but now it may more likely to have been a special effect test for that film made while Blade Runner was in post-production. Now it is well known that artist always come up with little things to change in their art after they have finished it. Obviously sometime before '92 Scott suddenly saw the connection with the origami unicorn in Blade Runner, and decided to give the over analyzing fans of his most debated cult classic one more reason to fret over.
Conflicting opinions abound in this documentary, with people on both sides of the spectrum making bold and slightly intimidating statements. Ridley Scott says everybody who doesn't see the connection between the Unicorn daydream and Gaff leaving a little origami Uni for meaning Deck being a Rep, you're a moron. Frank Darabont argues that the entire movie is made pointless if Deckard's an Andy and interprets the female myth symbol of a horned horse as being one of Rachaels memory. In that case, both Deckard and Gaff could have known what was on (in) her mind. Edward James Olmos has a Freudian slip of sorts and calls Deckard a Cylon. He seems to believe the rumor, but forgets that if all Blade Runners are synthetic, his character Gaff is one too.
Only a Replicant would be tasked to hunt a fellow Replicants, people argue, but why then is Rick being beaten up by the other Skin-jobs all the time? Another clue seems to be that both Rick and the Reppies like to collect photographs. Deckard questions that fact himself in most versions of the film and concludes that if you've only got four years, you would try to hold on to as many memories as possible. Also, in some of the recently unearthed narration, Deckard's thoughts are preoccupied with his wife who had left his and he is seen looking at her image (maybe it was her love of unicorns he was thinking of). Editor Terry Rawlings talks about cutting from the Unicorn shaking it's head to a corresponding shot of Harrison Ford shaking his own, which is a very clever edit, but for some reason this was changed in the new Final Cut.
Rue Morgue Magazine Editor in Chief and all round tattooed lady Jovanka Vuckovic is certainly convinced by the clues Ridley left in his films (notice she uses the plural), yet Blade Runner expert Paul M. Sammon is not completely convinced. Harrison Ford always fought against the idea, as did screenplay writer Hampton Fancher, but co-writer David Peoples doesn't seem to mind so much. Replicant actors Rutger Hauer, Daryl Hannah and Joanna Cassidy never seem to have given the subject much thought. And why should they have? They knew what they were. The last and in some ways most important piece of evidence (much more concrete than a galloping horse IMO) is the fact that Deckard's eyes are seen to glow red for a moment - one of the visual clues present in every other Replicant seen on screen. Well, that has happened to everybody who's ever had his picture taken with a flashbulb, hasn't it? Seriously, this effect was clearly created by placing the actors in front of a special light to create the cat-like reflection and in that particular scene, Sean Young's Rachael is framed in the foreground and Harrison Ford's character just happens to cross into her light. Just another happy coincidence for Ridley Scott to use and abuse.
No one manages to come up with a definitive answer, and nobody mentions that J.F. Sebastian has a stuffed unicorn amongst his toys either. Still, what fun is a cult classic if you can't make up your own mind? In conclusion: don't move off-world unless you really have to, be kind to and preserve the life of animals, walk when the light is green, nourish your memories and make up your own mind.
7 out of 10
- Mar 18, 2009