by: Jay Carlson – Editor-in-chief
Thirty years after the events of the first film, a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K (Ryan Gosling), unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos. K’s discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years.
When news broke that after many years of conversation Blade Runner 2049 was officially a go I was against it. Blade Runner ranks among my favorite films of all time. Part of what makes that film so special for me was the ambiguity of its ending. My kneejerk reaction was to shut down the prospect of a sequel, because it would undo everything I love about the original film. Harrison Ford was going to be back so it would have to demystify everything I loved about the world of Blade Runner. Blade Runner 2049 would have to definitively tell you if Deckard was a replicant, right?
What if it didn’t?
I started thinking about how you bring Harrison Ford back to futuristic Los Angeles without messing up what made Ridley Scott’s film a flawed masterpiece. Then it occurred to me. The best way to approach Harrison Ford’s character in Blade Runner 2049 is to make him a replicant.
“But Jay, I thought you just said you liked the ambiguity of the original film.”
I did. But follow along…
The best way to handle the character of Rick Deckard in Blade Runner is to leave that character in the first film. His story ends when those elevator doors shut. What happened after that? Who knows? Was he a replicant? Maybe. Maybe not. It’s whatever you want it to be.
The character Harrison Ford plays in BR 2049 should be a replicant. It preserves the character established in the first film. If you thought he was a replicant and Gaff knew his dreams, he can be a replicant. If you believe he was a human who ran off with an android that he fell in love with, he did. Our Harrison Ford in BR 2049 can be a whole different character. He can be a replicant based on the human Blade Runner we met in the original film. Or maybe he’s another replicant in a long line of Deckard replicants. Pretty cool, right? The important part is this film doesn’t need to answer the questions that the first film asked viewers to answer for themselves.
Deckard the replicant could also open up a very cool plot for BR 2049. Imagine a world where Harrison Ford is the “skin job” on the run, with Ryan Gosling tasked to retire him? That idea makes me positively giddy. Maybe Deckard 2.0 is a replicant who has a human’s lifespan. This is the future, after all.
After coming to the realization that Blade Runner 2 doesn’t have to ruin what I loved about Blade Runner I am REALLY excited to see what story Villeneuve plans to tell in BR 2049.
Granted this trailer doesn’t tell us much, but I fear they may have gone a little two dimensional with the approach, especially based off of the synopsis released above. It frankly sounds like the plot of The Force Awakens with mixed with the plot to Total Recall (another film based on a Philip K. Dick story). I have ridiculous expectations for this film, my love of Blade Runner rivals my love of Star Wars. I’m really hoping Villeneuve is able to make something really special that stands up proudly next to Ridley Scott’s original film. He’s been knocking everything out of the park for the past few years. If anyone can make worthy sequel it’s him. (If you haven’t already seen it, get out there and see Arrival)
Blade Runner 2049 is set to open 10.6.17