5. “Tears in rain”
This speech, so iconic and affecting that it merits its own entry, is delivered by Roy Batty, the smartest and most dangerous of the escaped replicants. Despite his doofy name, Batty (played by Rutger Hauer) is a serious antagonist. He’s fantastically strong, highly intelligent, and determined to escape Deckard.
At the finale of Blade Runner, Deckard has tracked Batty to the warehouse-like home of J.F. Sebastian. Sebastian is a lonely “genetic designer” who suffers from an accelerated aging condition, echoing the central problem faced by the replicants. At first, he’s delighted to cross paths with Batty and Pris, a “pleasure model” replicant. However, Batty’s rage and manipulation spell the end for Sebastian. The two replicants return without him.
After Deckard arrives on the scene, he “retires” Pris, but then finds himself in a tense pursuit of Batty. They run through the massive, empty building, which is naturally full of the ever-present rain. Batty nearly catches Deckard and seriously injures the man’s hand before escaping.
Finally, the two meet on the roof of the building. Deckard, who fails to jump between buildings and finds himself barely hanging onto the edge, is suddenly saved by Batty. As it turns out, Roy Batty has suddenly run up against the end of his very short life. As the two sit in the rain, Batty tells him that “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe.”
Hauer actually altered a fair amount of the script, meaning that one of the most iconic and moving death scenes in science fiction was largely ad-libbed. In fact, Hauer disliked the original so much that he said he “put a knife in it”, metaphorically speaking. If you read the clunky original, you’ll agree that Hauer played a huge part in creating these moving final moments.