Saturday, February 26, 2011

Humans vs. Replicants in Blade Runner

            In class, I thought Kristen brought up a great point when we were discussing Blade Runner. If the replicants are such a threat to the human population, why is it so difficult to tell the difference between the two? Like her, I just didn’t understand why it mattered as much to rid the earth of them if they feel, think, even bleed just like humans do. Especially in the debate about whether or not Deckard is a human, I started thinking about if it really mattered or not. If Deckard needed Gaff to tell him he was a replicant by leaving the origami unicorn (and likewise if Rachel needed Deckard to tell her she was a replicant) and if humans can’t tell immediately, does it really matter? I just didn’t see the threat of the replicants other than their creepy ability to put their hand in boiling water or put their head through a wall. I guess my point is: if the characters don’t know, and we the audience don’t know who is replicant or human, is the difference even important?
            Why would Ridley Scott make these androids so similar to the humans? Unlike Alien, the “bad guys” don’t seem all that bad to me. Are we all just clones of each other without even knowing it? Scary thought, but would it really matter if we were—would it change the way you feel about yourself?


  1. I think you bring up some good points, Margaret. If the removal of replicants from Earth is such a high priority, why not have some sort of distinguishing feature in replicant models to make them more easily identified for removal? This may not be the point you're making, but I found it interesting nonetheless. I do, however, believe the differences between the humans and replicants to be sufficiently important, even if it's in a limited number of ways, namely physical capacities. Considering these replicants are engineered to be distinctly not human (super strength, speed, brain capacity, etc.) while also possessing all human traits and qualities, I believe some interesting security issues could arise. A human's retaliation to an insult may--at worst--lead to a broken bone, while a replicant's retaliation may lead to death, simply do to the enhanced physiological capabilities of the replicants. As long as corporations manufacture replicants with super human capabilities, they will present a potential security risk for society, regardless of their congruency with human emotions. Quite simply, I believe Ridley Scott made the androids so similar to humans to emphasize his point to question what it means to be human. Perhaps we are just clones

  2. There are many differences between the replicants and the humans that make it understandable that they should be banned. There superhuman abilities are an obvious threat, but i believe the biggest most dangerous threat is how similar they are to humans. These cyborgs are programmed with unreal emotions and memories that allow them to replicate huamns. The ability to decieve and blend into society is something that made Terminator that much more destructive, the fact it is unknown whether they are human or not. This begs the questions if these andriods main purpose was to be foot soilders and slaves why make them so similar, why allow the ability to gain independent thought and emotions, why do they need to be so closely related to humans. For the purposes these cyborgs are created, allowing them to potentially have free thinking seems counterintitive to their purpose. It brings the questions what other possible motives corporations had in creating such similar andriods.