15 reasons why you should watch Blade Runner right now

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11. Multiculturalism

When he first appears, Gaff speaks to Deckard is a pidgin language known as “Cityspeak”. It is apparently a mix of Japanese, Spanish, German, English, and whatever other language has moved into the streets of Los Angeles. Edward James Olmos, who played Gaff, created most of the Cityspeak you hear in the film. He also drew in other languages, such as French, Korean, Chinese, and Magyar, a Hungarian language.

Though it’s clear that a mix of cultures, languages, and traditions has become the norm in street-level Los Angeles, you likely won’t hear much cityspeak in Tyrell’s home. There is still a clear delineation of hierarchy. Moreover, the few people we see who are clearly at the top of this pecking order appear to be white.

Elsewhere, however, it’s clear that Los Angeles has become a multicultural city. While Deckard himself and the other replicants are all apparently white (the film was still made in the 1980s, after all), they don’t look as if they’re in an ethnic majority. Rather, there are many different Asian people in the city. In a chase scene where Deckard pursues the replicant Zhora, viewers can also catch glimpses of different religious people, including Hare Krishnas and Jewish city dwellers.

Even the ever-present corporations are in on the theme. An Asian woman appears in a larger-than-life add, while a brief mention of the Shimago-Dominguez Corporation claims that the company is “Helping America into the New World”.