Yes, Deckard is a replicant. But that’s not Blade Runner’s secret

One of the elements that makes Blade Runner so haunting.

Deckard isn’t the protagonist of the story. Roy Batty is.

The “hidden protagonist” is a technique in noir fiction. The character who ordinarily would be the emotional centre of the story is made background, and instead you follow the antagonist.

In PKDs novel Deckard is driven by his desire to buy a new animal to replace his electric sheep. In the movie he’s simply a reluctant killer. A slave hunter.

Roy Batty has rescued himself and his friends from slavery, and is trying to save the life of his lover. His acts of murder are understandable, even forgivable, in that context.

The long seduction scene between Deckard and Rachel is entirely horrifying when you read it as a scene where Deckard has all the power over a women terrified for her life. It’s a rape, as numerous feminist critics have argued.

All of this was absent from Blade Runner 2049, Deckard was some long lost hero, one of the movies many flaws.

ALSO – yes Deckard is absolutely 100% a replicant, every scene contains a little clue to that. And the film reads very differently when you bring that knowledge to it. Again, skipping this in BR2049 was a massive failing.

Advanced SciFi & Fantasy

Writing the 21st century myth

Damien Walter, writer on sci-fi and geek culture for The Guardian, BBC, WIRED and graduate of the Clarion writers workshop, leads a journey into scifi and fantasy storytelling.

How Philip K Dick’s 1960’s masterpiece nailed politics in the 2020’s

Is Europe welcoming desperate refugees, or being invaded by economic migrants? Is Donald Trump a serious President, or a clownish attention seeker? The Man In The High Castle reveals the most basic truths about our era of competing narratives. * In 1947 the forces of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan swept to victory over Europe andContinue reading “How Philip K Dick’s 1960’s masterpiece nailed politics in the 2020’s”

The 8 Tribes of SciFi

Calling sci-fi a genre in 2016 is about as accurate as calling the United States one nation. In principle it’s true, but in practice things don’t work that way. While crime, romance and thrillers all remain as coherent genres of fiction, it’s been decades since sci-fi could be comfortably understood by any shared generic criteria.Continue reading “The 8 Tribes of SciFi”

Published by Damien Walter

Writer and storyteller. Contributor to The Guardian, Independent, BBC, Wired, Buzzfeed and Aeon magazine. Special forces librarian (retired). Teaches the Rhetoric of Story to over 35,000 students worldwide.


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