Deckard is a replicant…duh

Unicorn from dream sequence

Unicorn from dream sequence

Origami unicorn left by Gaff

Origami unicorn left by Gaff


A random thought last night spurred the question…wait was Deckard a replicant? I have never come to this conclusion on my own. But after doing some research I realized that yes, he is. This is evident in the Director’s Cut edition of the film.

Blade Runner is one of my favorite science fiction movies of all time. I cringe at the recent discussions surrounding a sequel. We all know how terrible the new Indiana Jones movie was (Crystal Skull...attack of the monkeys…spaceships…man-eating bugs…Shia LaBeouf…worst). Any remake would never live up to the original and Harry is getting a bit old. However, I did enjoy Prometheus thoroughly so Scott still has some life in him yet and we could see something spectacular if he assembles a crack team. An aging Deckard on his last leg could maker for an amazing film, full of big budget CGI, but hopefully not too much (we don’t want another Total Recall here folks). Scott’s use of CGI in Proetheus would be perfect for Blad Runner: not overpowering, but sophisticated, well timed and at points awe inspiring.

I did some digging and found some cool writings and videos on the matter. Yes, I got the boat loate, but better than never! Maybe I’ll watch Blade Runner again tonight.

Some interesting writings, media and videos on the topic that I found while researching:

BLADE RUNNER by Midnight Marauder

BLADE RUNNER by Midnight Marauder

BLADE RUNNER by Midnight Marauder

BLADE RUNNER by Midnight Marauder

Blade Runner OST – Vangelis


Deckard as Replicant

(*Via Off World: The Blade Runner Wiki)

Is Deckard a Replicant? The question has been asked since Blade Runner was first released in 1982.

Today, most people well-versed in Blade Runner are convinced that Deckard is, like Rachael, a replicant who thinks he is human. Paul M. Sammon clearly and methodically lays out the arguments.

  • With the 2007 release of the Final Cut, some say the argument can be finally put to rest. Ridley Scott, with full control of the media, has put/left in the unicorn dream sequence as Deckard is sitting at the piano daydreaming. Thus, at the end of the movie, Deckard’s knowing nod when he picks up Gaff‘s origami unicorn and recollection of Gaff’s last comment concerning Rachael signifies Deckard’s own realization of the facts.
  • One interesting point that comes up is what Bryant really knows. Does Gaff know that Deckard is a replicant while Bryant does not? Or is it okay with Bryant that a replicant retirer is a replicant himself?

Ridley Scott have mentioned this matter in several interviews. BBC News ran a story about this in 2000, where he concludes that Deckard is a replicant. [1]

Also in a interview Ridley Scott did in Wired magazine in 2007[2], he explained this matter:

Wired: It was never on paper that Deckard is a replicant.
Scott: It was, actually. That’s the whole point of Gaff, the guy who makes origami and leaves little matchstick figures around. He doesn’t like Deckard, and we don’t really know why. If you take for granted for a moment that, let’s say, Deckard is a Nexus 7, he probably has an unknown life span and therefore is starting to get awfully human. Gaff, at the very end, leaves an origami, which is a piece of silver paper you might find in a cigarette packet, and it’s a unicorn. Now, the unicorn in Deckard’s daydream tells me that Deckard wouldn’t normally talk about such a thing to anyone. If Gaff knew about that, it’s Gaff’s message to say, “I’ve read your file, mate.” That relates to Deckard’s first speech to Rachael when he says, “That’s not your imagination, that’s Tyrell’s niece’s daydream.” And he describes a little spider on a bush outside the window. The spider is an implanted piece of imagination. And therefore Deckard, too, has imagination and even history implanted in his head.

Wired: Harrison Ford is on record saying Deckard is not a replicant.
Scott: Yeah, but that was, like, 20 years ago. He’s given up now. He said, “OK, mate. You win! Anything! Just put it to rest.”

Harrison Ford 1982 Interview with John C. Tibbets about the Film

Blade Runner’s Original Ending: Yes, Deckard’s A Replicant
(*Via i09)

A few precious pages from an early screenplay for Blade Runner have turned up online, and they’re radically different than the version you saw on screen. They end with Deckard realizing he’s a Replicant.

Blade Runner went through many drafts on its way to the screen, and that’s not even counting the last-minute revisions that added a new voiceover. For years now, we’ve had the July 24, 1980 version by Hampton Fancher, and the February 23, 1981 revision by Fancher and David Peoples. (Fancher didn’t want to make some of the changes director Ridley Scott kept insisting on, so Scott brought in Peoples to do them.)

But now another Fancher draft has surfaced at, and it’s dated December 22, 1980. (It appears to be genuine, but as always, you never know.) If it’s real, this might be Fancher’s last stab at the screenplay before he handed it over to Peoples. Also, there are a few pages of cool-looking storyboards, and here are a few images from them.

So how does this new draft differ from the other two known drafts? Here’s the evolution of Blade Runner’s ending:

July 24, 1980 draft:

Roy Batty dies. (And instead of that awesome speech, his last line is, “Crap.”) Deckard drags himself to his car and goes home to find Rachael. They get in Deckard’s car and drive out to the countryside, while Deckard’s voiceover talks about how they had a lovely day and he taught her a song about monkeys and elephants. And then Deckard takes her out in the snow and shoots her in the head. If he hadn’t done it himself, they would have done it, his voice-over explains. But now Deckard can’t go back to the city, and he’s no longer sure what’s really real. Maybe nothing is. He drives off. The end.

Blade Runner's Original Ending: Yes, Deckard's A Replicant

December 22, 1980 draft:

It’s the day after Deckard kills Batty, and he’s in his apartment with Rachael. Bryant shows up at Deckard’s apartment, and they talk on Deckard’s vidphone. But Deckard won’t let Bryant in. Deckard insists he’s alone, but Bryant can tell Deckard is lying. Bryant warns Deckard that Gaff is ambitious. There are long pauses while Deckard tries to figure out what Bryant means, and then he gets it. Deckard finds Gaff staking out his apartment, and almost shoots Gaff. But Deckard says (in a voice-over!) that he’s tired of pulling triggers. So instead Rachael and he sneak out and go out to the countryside. Rachael makes Deckard pull over because she’s never seen snow before. They talk about Roy Batty, and how he made Deckard realize every moment is precious. Rachael says it’s the happiest day of her life, then she begs Deckard to shoot her. He does. Then he drives off, realizing it’s too late for him to get away. “They wouldn’t give me papers for the Colonies even if I wanted them.” He wonders who designs “the ones like me.” As Deckard stares at the sky, he concludes his voiceover:

The great Tyrrell hadn’t designed me, but whoever had, hadn’t done so much better. ‘You’re programmed too,’ she told me, and she was right. In my own modest way, I was a combat model. Roy Batty was my late brother.

The end.

Blade Runner's Original Ending: Yes, Deckard's A Replicant

February 23, 1981 version:

Deckard and Rachael are in Deckard’s apartment. He asks her if she loves him, and if she trusts him, and she says yes. He packs some stuff and they head for the elevator, but he sees a tiny unicorn made of tinfoil: “Gaff’s gauntlet.” Then Deckard drives through the woods at 160 miles per hour. Deckard and Rachael smile at each other, but a blip flashes on the vidscreen of Deckard’s car. Deckard puts the tinfoil unicorn on the dash. Deckard’s car zooms through the woods, and he gives us a last voice over:

I knew it on the roof that night. We were brothers, Roy Batty and I! Combat models of the highest order. We had fought in wars not yet dreamed of… in vast nightmares still unnamed. We were the new people… Roy and me and Rachael! We were made for this world. It was ours!

And then the camera pans up above the woods and we see Gaff’s spinner, chasing them. The script says: “CREDITS ARE ROLLING, God help us all!” The end.

 Ridley Scott addressing the question: Is Deckard a Replicant?:


5 responses to “Deckard is a replicant…duh

  1. Pingback: Deckard is a replicant…duh | Todd DeanTodd Dean·

  2. I enjoy this article very much, however I just doubt your judgement when you say you loved Prometheus. That film was god. awful.

    • Haha. Prometheus is definitely a mixed bag. I like the feeling of the movie (costuming, sound, environments, design, etc.). The fact that all of the characters deliberately walk into doom is very frustrating. Similar feelings to “Alien: Covenant” but I love David’s story arc that steals the show.

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