Whether or not you bothered with the original 1982 Blade Runner is important. If you watched the theatrical release, you got the ending where Harrison Ford’s Rick Deckard ran off with Rachel. However, the theatrical release, much to everyone’s disappointment, had edited in cut scenes from Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining where it is implied that Deckard and Rachel sailed off to Alaska to avoid being hunted and executed by new Blade Runners. Oh, sorry- it’s not execution. It’s retirement.
But if you watched the Director’s Cut, which removed the narration by Deckard and the cut scenes from The Shining, then you got the ending where Edward James Olmos as Gaff leaves a paper unicorn in Deckard’s apartment while Deckard is getting ready to flee. Deckard nods his head at Gaff to suggest that he understands. Deckard sprints out the door with Rachel and many fans were left scratching their heads. What did it mean? Ridley Scott explained that Deckard was, in fact, a replicant himself.The paper unicorn is a reference to Deckard’s dream earlier in the film where he fantasizes of a unicorn galloping through a meadow. This memory, like all of Deckard’s memories, was implanted. This revelation made Deckard’s big question about replicants even more disturbing: how can they not know what they are?
Yes, even Deckard seemed to be more human than human.Or was he?
But over thirty years later comes the sequel. And it answers every question from the original Blade Runner very thoroughly through a twisty Jesus story metaphor. The Jesus figure is Ryan Gosling’s K who later goes by Joe. After retiring a Nexus 8 replicant, K discovers a tree with a box buried underneath it. Inside the box are Rachel’s bones. Once in a lab, an analysis of Rachel’s bones showed that she died in childbirth. But that’s impossible. Replicants can’t reproduce. They surely can’t be more human than human. Or are they?
Lieutenant Joshi (Robin Wright Penn) wants the bones and any trace of this abomination covertly done away with. When she tirades that this is how wars and slaughter start, then the only thing left standing in her way is Niander Wallace’s corporate desire of slavery. Jared Leto’s Niander Wallace purchased Tyrell Corp and is beyond envious of Tyrell’s unnoticed final trick of programming in two replicants: reproduction. Wallace can’t figure it out himself, so he wants the bones, the child, and Deckard. These conflicting entities push K (aka Joe) to go deeper and deeper into the chaos Deckard created by fleeing when it was revealed he was a replicant. And Deckard is still alive somewhere hiding in fear of being dissected off world.
I’ll say no more except that K as a Jesus figure who struggles to accept what he is, finally rises to the unique being he is, has a brutal resurrection scene where he fights Wallace’s Luv, a perfect killing bot, underwater and, then, gets his poor little replicant brain scrambled in a major twist is the secondary reason to watch this sci-fi classic. What’s around him is more important. New holograms that appear and address your every desire are carried like our modern iPhones. And when K’s hologram instigates a pleasure model to sync with so that she can actually feel K, it’s this energy that sends your desires wandering to both “what a lucky fucker” and “are they using a threesome to model the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit” territory. But everything in Blade Runner 2049 is pushed forward by the women. The female characters are leading a rebellion that the men can only hide or run from. Even Wallace himself, the supposed “Big Bad” is so focused on the male Deckard, that he fails to see what’s hiding right in front of him; the true Jesus figure who is the key to the future of mankind. And God’s daughter will have you guessing the whole way as to what will happen next. This is sci-fi brilliance that will stump the feeble-minded and answer every question the intelligent viewer ever had about the original.