15 reasons why you should watch Blade Runner right now

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1. The replicants

While there’s plenty to love about Blade Runner, my personal favorite topic of discussion centers on the replicants. They’re so odd and so strangely powerful, both physically and emotionally, that they’ve stayed in my mind for many years.

Theirs is a sad tale. The replicants are synthetic, bioengineered beings, created with special abilities and limited lifespans. Though they look human, replicants have very different lives from their creators. A replicant might serve as a laborer on a faraway, dangerous world; or, they might be a so-called “pleasure model”, who exists only to satisfy human desire. No one, it seems, bothered to wonder if the replicants have feelings.

Perhaps worst of all, replicants are designed with limited lifespans and false memories. They are designed to “die” within four years of their activation. Dr. Eldon Tyrell, the creator of the replicants, tells protagonist Rick Deckard that any attempt to circumvent this lifespan will result in a replicant’s immediate death. When a generation of replicants begins to develop quasi-emotions, manufacturers implant false memories in an attempt to control their creations.

In Blade Runner, six of these replicants escape their off-world colony and make it to Earth (where replicants have already been banned). Deckard is assigned to track them down and forcibly “retire” them. However, his growing reluctance underlies one of the strongest and most unsettling moral quandaries of the film: who is human?