The hidden meaning of Blade Runner 2049 + Extended Addendum

Many creators have contributed to the Blade Runner mythos. Philip K Dick’s original novel and the directorial talents of Ridley Scott and Denis Villeneuve are widely recognised. But the screenwriter of the Blade Runner movies provided their mythic magic – Hampton Fancher.

Fancher encoded the Blade Runner mythos with psychological symbols drawn from the work of Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud. The first Blade Runner uses Freud’s concepts of the Doppelganger and the Other. Blade Runner 2049 is structured around the Persona, Shadow, Anima and Self – Jung’s Archetypes of the Unconscious.

This episode of the Science Fiction podcast re-publishes The Hidden Meaning of Blade Runner 2049, with an extended addendum on archetypal storytelling, answering some of the most frequently asked questions arising from the original essay.

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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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