Thursday, March 22, 2018

Blade Runner

It's odd that I'm only just now getting around to watching Blade Runner, as it's such a classic sci-fi movie, yet here I am, having just finished it, and feeling the need to get some thoughts down about it. At some point I should probably also read the novel it's based on...

Spoilers below on the off chance that like me you haven't gotten around to this classic yet.

First thoughts? The design from sets to costume to lighting and makeup are all absolutely phenomenal! And had they set the movie in 2119 as opposed to 2019, I'd have found it far more believable. In fact, in my head, I just made that headcanon. The effort to make everything seem so advanced from 1982, yet at the same time dingy, run down, used up. Everything in the movie looks a little worn, weary, and a little sad. Faded glory... very noir, but an interesting blend of 40's noir plus 80's all pushed forward into a dystopian future.

I loved the costumes that you see for mere moments in the crowded street scenes. There's a lot of personality in every character, and the heavy Chinese and Japanese influences from the hats and umbrellas (due to the ever present rain) to the various street vendors helps add a layer of cultural blending that reminded me of the heavy mix of American and Chinese cultures in Firefly, though of course the influence ran in the other direction. I also really enjoyed... appreciated all the advertisements.

The next time I get around to running an adventure or even campaign that's city based, I'm going to rewatch this just for the visual inspiration.

The golden pyramid of the Tyrell Corp, and it's temple-like interior made the encounter between the replicant Roy and Tyrell himself a not so subtle allegory of the creation destroying the creator... killing your gods.

The genetic tech of Blade Runner is fascinating, and it hints at a word that has environmentally collapsed. None of the animals shown are "real" but are all genetically modified/created constructs... just like the Replicants. Genetic toys... be they toy soldiers, laborers, or sex toys... identical to humans, but with 4 year life spans they are ultimately disposable. It's interesting that the euphemism used to describe killing them it to "retire" them.

After sleeping on it, the other thing it reminds me of is Cowboy Bebop, which is interesting, as the Blade Runner Blackout 2044 animated short was done by the director of Cowboy Bebop, so clearly not a random connection...

And in answer to the question "Do androids dream of electric sheep?" they apparently dream of unicorns.


  1. The book is a lot different from the film. I have read it a couple of times. The film is however superb, one of my favourites.

  2. You watched the Director's Cut? I think only the Director's Cut has the Unicorn Dream sequence (put together from unused footage from Tom Cruise/Mia Sara/Tim Curry fantasy epic 'Legend').

    Try the Original Theatrical Release version, with the Sam Spade style voiceover. I think it's better but I'm some kind of weird heretic.

    And yeah, the book is very different.