Blade Runner (1982): Do Replicants Dream of White Unicorns? — A Gehenna Post Review

Greetings from the Ethereal Plane,

In anticipation for the long-awaited sequel Blade Runner 2049 (which we will be reviewing later on tonight!), and the upcoming Transhuman Anthology, we wanted to delve into the classic film from Ridley Scott that started it all.

Nevertheless, let the review commence!

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Still from Blade Runner (1982)

Based in a dystopian world, Blade Runner Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) is tasked with tracking down and exterminating four violent escaped replicants: androids made to appear human.

In what was once considered a box office disaster and critical flop, Blade Runner has gone on to become one of cinema’s crowning achievements. From the visually stunning universe to the fantastic performances of the entire ensemble, viewers for decades now have found themselves captured by the distinct, meticulous world that Ridley Scott and his team created. Not a moment of Blade Runner feels dull or lifeless, each small detail portrayed brings a haunting and vivid clarity to this mind-boggling science fiction epic.

At its surface, Blade Runner is a neo-noir film following a detective’s path as he pursues his most violent targets yet. But beneath the glimmering, beautiful exterior is something that can only be described as a morally ambiguous tale of humanity and thought-provoking implementations of humanity. What is it to truly be human? How far can technology go before crossing paths with God? If a machine developed emotions and passion, fear, anger, would it be justified to still only view them as a machine? Or has the line been drawn between machine and man?

Still from Blade Runner (1982)

Based on Philip K. Dick’s classic novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, the film delves into many thematic elements that have long been forgotten in science fiction. Coming off the heels of Alien, it is not hard to understand why audiences may have expected something different. Couple that with a lot of studio interference and the situation only grows to an acceptable conclusion regarding the responses of the film that were spoken at the time.

After the Director’s Cut, and eventually the apex that is The Final Cut, one can only sit back and appreciate the journey they embark upon as their imaginations yield to this masterpiece. Many people still don’t love Blade Runner, but as Chris Stuckmann stated in his recent review of the film, “it requires multiple viewings” to fully appreciate what a work of art the movie truly is. The action is intense and brutal, the plot engaging and at times philosophical, the cinematography is a series of moments that can be best described as euphoric.

Not many films, especially in science fiction, have been able to capture the themes that Blade Runner nailed so precisely. It asks age old questions of the moral implications in the advancement of technology. It begs to challenge viewers on the very notion of humanity and what defines being alive. 1982 was a fantastic year for science fiction, also giving us John Carpenter’s The Thing, which has aged like fine wine. We recommend this film to anyone who hasn’t seen it, as it is one of the all time greatest films ever made. We encourage our readers to dive in and explore this dystopian world, the aspects of storytelling that are so meticulous, and to consider the questions that Blade Runner asks on a surreal and existential level.

Now! Spoilers ahead.

If you haven’t seen the movie, stop reading now. If you have seen this film, continue reading. We hope to open discussion on this topic. But first we will give you our rating!


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Is Deckard a replicant? 

By all means, yes. We certainly do. Considering this scene where his eyes shine like a replicant:

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Still from Blade Runner (1982)

And how the police officer, masterfully played by Edward James Olmos, knew of his dreams of unicorns and left him the origami at the end:

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Still from Blade Runner (1982)

We find it questionable why people wouldn’t think this. There have been fringe theories that Deckard’s eyes shining was a camera malfunction or that the unicorn was a coincidence, but as any detective believes, there are no such things as coincidences.

What are your thoughts on whether Deckard is a replicant or not? We’d love to hear your thoughts.


Thank you as always for stopping by and make sure to follow us on social media!

2 thoughts on “Blade Runner (1982): Do Replicants Dream of White Unicorns? — A Gehenna Post Review

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