Meaning of the movie “Blade Runner 2049” and ending explained

Meaning of the movie “Blade Runner 2049” and ending explained Films

Blade Runner 2049 doesn’t just continue Ridley Scott ‘s classic 1982 story; it changes the very meaning of the first film.

Blade Runner 2049 deserves to sit next to worthy sequels like The Godfather Part II and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back . And just as The Godfather reveals Vito Corleone’s origin story or Star Wars reveals the shocking truth about Luke Skywalker’s past, Denis Villeneuve’s work changes how we’ll watch the original.

Yes, we will find out what happened to Deckard and Rachel after the elevator doors closed, but the main mystery is whether Deckard is a replicant? – remains. However, “2049” changes something more. It changes, or rather rearranges, the look of the first film.

WHAT WAS THE FIRST FILM ABOUT?

Before looking at what has changed in 2049, we should first talk about what the original was about. And this is not an easy task.

At its core, Blade Runner is about identity and place in the world. Deckard embodies this through feelings for Rachel and the ethics of killing replicants; throughout the film, he tries to look at her like a machine and deal with the Roy Batty gang without showing emotions. His anguish leads us to the unanswerable question of whether he is indeed a replicant.

But, of course, there is more to it than that. The film is a clever commentary on the ills of technological addiction, both for the Replicants themselves and for the subdued dystopia in which humans live. Along with this, we see the specter of big business; The Los Angeles of the future is stuccoed with advertisements from large corporations. No matter how altruistic his namesake may be, Tyrell is our corporate future, personified.

WHAT IS THE SECOND FILM ABOUT?

Blade Runner 2049 touches on many elements of the original and deepens them. We see Wallace dreaming about the species rule. It is a more devastating dystopian vision that has barely survived thanks to the path he started long ago.

But as you dig deeper, the second movie shifts focus and sends these elements in a different direction. At the heart of the tape is love.

Kay’s journey depends on his relationship with Joe. Much of the first act is spent on their relationship – he gives her freedom, she gives him the chance to be with her physically – we see that the relationship between two artificial constructs can be so tender and emotional.

She is made to serve him – just as he is made to serve the LAPD – but she seems to act autonomously, against self-preservation, willingly sacrificing herself and confessing her last moments of her life. Through Joe, the film explores what existence means, which is why K finds the faith and intention to become a hero.

Kay rescues Deckard to reunite him with his daughter – another example of love. The plot closes Deckard’s story, but it changes how we’ll now look at the first part.

Style Features

Ridley Scott was ahead of his time and created the first and at that time unique example of the “noir of the future”, full of cynicism, pessimism, black melancholy, neglect of life. Behind the bright advertising on the walls of skyscrapers – complete decomposition, physical and moral; unique technologies do not help people, but serve to corrupt and enslave them. The quintessential industrial age dystopia that would lead to the birth of cyberpunk in 1982 confused unprepared viewers.

Now the film looks like a prophecy; the creators actually predicted many of the problems of modern humanity: overpopulation, genetic engineering, cloning, globalization.

The pyramids of the all-powerful Tyrell Corporation are a reference to the Mayan pyramids, a symbol of human sacrifice, a sign of a slave-owning society in which human destinies are sacrificed for the sake of the “masters of life”.

Living and non-living: the main conflict of the film

The man of the future has learned to take care of himself and appreciate himself, but someone has to do hard and unprestigious work! In the society where stone pyramids were built, this work was done by slaves. In 2019, according to Scott, this was done by androids – replicants. They are much stronger than people, more enduring, even smarter, but they work in the mines or go to the panel.

The creators of the replicants understood that they had created potential competitors, and therefore laid down a rigid genetic program in them. Each android is given only four years of life. But this does not save the new slave owners: their property periodically riots. To kill the rebels, there is a special unit of law enforcement agencies called “blade runners”, that is, “blade runners” in literal translation.

Who are Blade Runners?Meaning of the movie “Blade Runner 2049” and ending explained

This term came from the story of the writer A. Nours. “Blade Runner” was a contraband salesman. In the megacities of the future, according to Scott, the “runners” catch and destroy replicants who are barred from the path to earth.

To recognize the replicant, the “runners” use “litmus paper” – the Voight-Kampf test, which should show the ability to empathize, since, according to the authors, androids are not capable of empathy. The hero, Rick Deckard, must recognize and destroy an entire group of replicants.

Who is Rachel?

The heroine of the film Rachel at the beginning appears in the guise of a classic “femme fatale”: red lipstick, hair gathered in a sophisticated hairstyle, a jacket with voluminous shoulder pads. But her love for Rick changes her both internally and externally.

Rachel is a unique replicant. The head of the corporation, apparently, was tormented by the idea of \u200b\u200bcreating an ideal sample of an android that could deceive the “running”. To do this, he implanted Rachel with his niece’s memory and empathy. The girl is sure that she is a real person. The love she feels for Rick finally turns her into a woman.

Human or replicant?

The main question hanging in the air is whether Deckard is human or not. Harrison Ford, who played Deckard, saw the hero as a human, and Scott as a replicant. Judging by the fact that the hero finds in the finale a paper figurine of a unicorn, which he often sees in dreams, he is a replicant – after all, how else could one find out about the content of his dreams? Only if those images were implanted in him, like false memories, in Rachel’s memory.

Perhaps he used to be a supporter of replicants: it’s not for nothing that Roy Batty, the commander of the rebellious androids, immediately calls his name upon meeting, and the replicant girl Pris quotes the phrase of the philosopher Descartes.

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On the other hand, if Rick is a replicant, the plot becomes flatter. This breaks the emotional connection between the hero and the viewer, who will view the conflict of the film in a detached way, as another battle between robots. And Rick, a man who suddenly realizes that the creatures he must destroy are more human than he, will find a deep emotional response and compassion from the audience.

Two philosophers: what does the name mean?

The name of the main character Rick is a reference to Descartes, and Roy Beatty quotes Nietzsche in the finale, whose doctrine of the superman is the best fit for the idea of ​​creating replicants. Roy’s name means “king”. He gives Rick Deckard a truly royal gift – life, shows deep generosity.

The philosopher Descartes argued that there is one who is capable of thinking (“Cogito ergo sum”). Replicant Girl Pris is a reminder of this truth. If replicants are capable of thinking, then, following the logic of Descartes, they are also people.

Creator and creation: eternal rebellion against God

Roy Beatty, the ultimate replicant, seeks to meet his creator, wanting to extend his lifespan. Tyrell confesses his powerlessness; what burns brighter burns out faster. The Replicants’ super powers are the reason for their short lives. The swarm brutally kills its creator.

This is a bitter analogy: a person who has been released longer than a replicant still considers his life too short, falls into despair and rebels against God. The conflict between the Creator and his creatures, the bitterness of the finiteness of life and consciousness is the central idea of the picture.

The meaning of the film’s endingMeaning of the movie “Blade Runner 2049” and ending explained

The dying Roy, who has been denied the right to live, rescues Rick. The metal rod protruding from his hand is reminiscent of the pierced wrists of Christ. He releases into the sky the symbol of the Spirit and the soul – a snow-white dove and dies.

What is the difference between humans and replicants? It looks like it’s thinner than a blade. Rick and Rachel love each other, but what will be the future of their love? And maybe the unicorn is not an indication that Rick is a replicant, but a symbol of fabulousness, the unreality of love in a cruel world? What is a soul? What separates the living from the non-living?

To answer at least some of these questions, Blade Runner 2049 was filmed in 2017.

What happened between the end of the first film and the start of the second?

It has been 30 years since the dying Roy Beatty mourned his fate in the rain. The black colors of the ribbon changed to gray and yellow, and a lot of events happened in the world of “runners” and androids.

Although the head of the Tyrell corporation claimed that he could not extend the life of the replicants, it is obvious that he was hiding a hefty “ace in the hole”: new models were released without life limits. They no longer need long tests: each replicant wears a brand on the eyeball.

In 2022, the replicants stage an “electromagnetic apocalypse” to destroy all electronic media. They achieve their goal – the data about them is erased. But on the other hand, humanity is thrown into the arms of poverty and hunger, and the replicants themselves are completely outside the law. Inventor of GMO products – Niander Wallace – saves people from starvation. He then buys the Tyrell Corporation and develops new androids that are completely submissive. Blade Runners have a new task – to find and kill old models.

Who is Niander Wallace?

The inventor is completely “playing God.” He does not care about the ethical issues of android production, he does not want to make them more humane, smarter and more durable. His thoughts are only occupied with the idea of reproduction of replicants.

This has two meanings. Wallace is blind. This suggests that he is also a replicant, who destroyed the eyes along with the stigma of slavery, and now longs to make his brothers finally look like people. Or he needs the function of self-reproduction of replicants to enrich his empire. He is looking for the “miracle” hidden by the rebel Replicants – the child of Deckard and Rachel, in order to steal Tyrell’s last secret.

Who is Kay?

A replicant, police officer and blade runner, Kei only seems content with his lot at first glance. Looking at him, no one asks the question whether replicants can feel. All his behavior is extremely emotional. His virtual “housekeeper” Joy – and she shows absolutely human qualities: love, care, selflessness.

Kay’s reflections on his past and what he remembers about his childhood, which was not, raises another question, which was partially addressed in the first film: how implanted memories affect the formation of a replicant’s personality.

The main conflict of the film

The existence of Anna, the daughter of a human and a replicant, ends the conflict between creatures and creators. Obviously, the biological barriers between humans and replicants have disappeared. In this case, all the efforts of Neander Wallace and the rebel replicants are simply meaningless. It is about the coexistence of two species. In today’s reality, this conflict can be reduced, in a simplified sense, to the opposition of children born naturally, and those who were born with the help of IVF.

If Deckard is also a replicant, then the essence of the conflict is not exhausted, and the existence of Anna simply means the ability of replicants to reproduce. This significantly reduces the semantic and philosophical load of the film and brings us back to the idea that Ford was right about his hero.

“Blade Runner 2049” ending explained

The film leads to the conclusion that the only thing that defines humanity is love. Soul is love. What we remember may be a lie. Memory can be deceiving. What is true is what we think at the present moment, what we feel.

Kay selflessly saves Deckard and brings him to Anna at the cost of his own life. There is no difference in physiological terms between humans and replicants, there is no difference in emotional impulses. They love, they hate, they empathize in exactly the same way. The only question is the uniqueness or artificiality of their personal experience. That is why the human and replicant Anna is the designer of memory implants. Only she can answer this question – if we wait for the continuation.

Why Rachel the Replicant was able to have a baby

As we remember, at the end of Ridley Scott’s 1982 film “bladerunner” Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) ran away with Rachel (Sean Young) – a unique replicant, all of whose capabilities, however, were unknown to us at that moment. Some endings (there were seven versions of the tape in total) showed us Rick and Rachel quietly driving somewhere in the countryside, but the canonical director’s cut left the ending open.

After they escaped, as Deckard had predicted, they were sought after by replicant hunters. Then he contacted an underground group of replicants calling themselves the Resistance, which also included Sapper Morton (Dave Bautista) and Freisa (Hiam Abbass). It was the Resistance that organized the very “blackout” – an incident when electricity was cut off throughout the Earth, because of which databases with information about replicants and their movements were destroyed.

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Shortly before the blackout, Rick Deckard and Rachel had a baby. Rachel died in childbirth and was buried near Sapper Morton’s home. The child – a girl – survived thanks to the efforts of Morton, who was once a doctor. Realizing that the appearance of this child could drastically change the entire world order (where, we recall, replicants are slaves – and this child makes the issue of android rights rhetorical), the Resistance decided to hide it so as not to endanger it.

The 1982 tape deliberately raised the issue of blurring the boundaries between a person and a replicant, and not only even in the fact that the latter now consisted not of nuts and bolts, but of flesh and blood, but also in the perception of the world and themselves. From Blade Runner 2049, it is clear that Dr. Tyrell designed the “unique” Rachel (Nexus 8 prototype) specifically with an eye to the fact that she would have a “human” reproductive system. Given that Sapper Morton calls the birth of her child a miracle (and there are good reasons to believe him), it can be concluded that Rachel was the only replicant with such abilities. After Tyrell’s death and the “blackout”, the technology was irretrievably lost, so no one even guessed about robo-development with “human” capabilities for some time, and replicants continued to be second-class creatures.

As we have already noted, after Rachel’s death, it was decided to hide the child she had born, and the Resistance sent the girl to a “shelter” in San Diego – that is, to the very dump that we saw in one of the clips published as part of the promotional campaign . Perhaps the conditions here were not the most suitable for the baby, but she was perceived precisely as a human child, and therefore the replicants who knew the truth could not worry about anything. At the same time, a wooden horse with the girl’s date of birth was hidden in a non-working oven, which Kay later found.

Due to the fact that the girl suffered from autoimmune thyroiditis (possibly due to her unusual origin), she was quarantined for a long time and could not get to Los Angeles. However, at the time of Blade Runner 2049, Rick Deckard and Rachel’s grown-up daughter is working for Neander Wallace’s (Jared Leto) corporation, creating memories for replicants. And her name is Dr. Ana Stellin (Karla Urey). No one, including Wallace, knew the truth about her origins.

Why does Neander Wallace need Rachel and Rick Deckard’s baby?

The main antagonist of Blade Runner 2049 is Neander Wallace, the new creator of replicants, who once bought the bankrupt Tyrell corporation, its developments and patents. As we remember from the events of the short film “2036: The Rebirth of the Nexus”, Wallace managed to convince the government that the Nexus 8 generation replicants are absolutely safe and completely subordinate to humans (for this he even ordered his android assistant to commit suicide), and restarted mass production of robots. However, Niander Wallace actively supports the idea of ​​human colonization of habitable planets, and his replicants play a very important role in all this (but Wallace himself, of course, has his own mind).

The goal pursued by Wallace is very simple – he needs power. Moreover, he has long passed the bar that Dr. Tyrell once set for himself – he takes it higher. For him, replicants are no longer just the result of the “conquest” of nature by man, there is no “sporting interest” to beat nature. Neander Wallace sees obedient replicant slaves who unquestioningly carry out his orders (just remember Love (Sylvia Hooks)) as a way to make humanity (and not only) dependent on its development. However, he faces a very predictable problem – he cannot increase the production of replicants, and the amount that he can “master” is objectively not enough for him to achieve his goals. 

And then he learns that there is a child born by a replicant. Wallace understands that “viviparous” robots can provide him with an almost infinite number of slaves. However, there is a new problem: there is no record left of how Rachel was created, she herself has been dead for many years, there are no traces of her child, and Wallace, accordingly, cannot reproduce her. However, when Kay (Ryan Gosling) appears on the horizon, discovering the remains of a certain female replicant who died from the consequences of a caesarean section, Niander Wallace understands what he is dealing with. While Kay is trying to figure out if he is Rachel and Rick Deckard’s child or not, Wallace creates a clone of Rachel and sends Love to follow Kay, who goes in search of Deckard, and she is ordered not to spare anyone who gets in her way (the fate of Lieutenant Joshi ( Robin Wright) is a prime example of Love’s selfless obedience and cruelty). 

there is no record of how Rachel was created, she herself has been dead for many years, there is no trace of her child, and Wallace, accordingly, cannot reproduce her. However, when Kay (Ryan Gosling) appears on the horizon, discovering the remains of a certain female replicant who died from the consequences of a caesarean section, Niander Wallace understands what he is dealing with. While Kay is trying to figure out if he is Rachel and Rick Deckard’s child or not, Wallace creates a clone of Rachel and sends Love to follow Kay, who goes in search of Deckard, and she is ordered not to spare anyone who gets in her way (the fate of Lieutenant Joshi ( Robin Wright) is a prime example of Love’s selfless obedience and cruelty). 

there is no record of how Rachel was created, she herself has been dead for many years, there is no trace of her child, and Wallace, accordingly, cannot reproduce her. However, when Kay (Ryan Gosling) appears on the horizon, discovering the remains of a certain female replicant who died from the consequences of a caesarean section, Niander Wallace understands what he is dealing with. While Kay is trying to figure out if he is Rachel and Rick Deckard’s child or not, Wallace creates a clone of Rachel and sends Love to follow Kay, who goes in search of Deckard, and she is ordered not to spare anyone who gets in her way (the fate of Lieutenant Joshi ( Robin Wright) is a prime example of Love’s selfless obedience and cruelty). 

However, when Kay (Ryan Gosling) appears on the horizon, discovering the remains of a certain female replicant who died from the consequences of a caesarean section, Niander Wallace understands what he is dealing with. While Kay is trying to figure out if he is Rachel and Rick Deckard’s child or not, Wallace creates a clone of Rachel and sends Love to follow Kay, who goes in search of Deckard, and she is ordered not to spare anyone who gets in her way (the fate of Lieutenant Joshi ( Robin Wright) is a prime example of Love’s selfless obedience and cruelty). 

However, when Kay (Ryan Gosling) appears on the horizon, discovering the remains of a certain female replicant who died from the consequences of a caesarean section, Niander Wallace understands what he is dealing with. While Kay is trying to figure out if he is Rachel and Rick Deckard’s child or not, Wallace creates a clone of Rachel and sends Love to follow Kay, who goes in search of Deckard, and she is ordered not to spare anyone who gets in her way (the fate of Lieutenant Joshi ( Robin Wright) is a prime example of Love’s selfless obedience and cruelty).

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What is the essence of the confrontation between the Resistance and Neander Wallace

An underground group of replicants that staged a “blackout” before the appearance of Neander Wallace’s corporation, and now fighting against his slave policy towards androids, calls themselves the Resistance. It is led by the same one-eyed Freysa, who revealed to Kay the truth about his origin. The birth of Rachel’s child confirmed the Resistance in the idea that one day they, the replicants, will be considered equal to people – and therefore they continue to act, despite the fact that objectively the forces are not equal, and Wallace with each new “roborab” is getting closer to “almost official » the status of God.

By the way, about God. It’s funny that Neander Wallace calls himself God, and his replicants – angels, but it is in the ranks of the Resistance that one is born who can build a new world and question the power of “God”. Can Rachel’s daughter be called a prophet? Perhaps. Even though she doesn’t realize it herself.

The finale of Blade Runner 2049 leaves open the question of the outcome of the confrontation between Neander Wallace and the Resistance – it is quite possible to expect that further films in the franchise (there is no doubt in their appearance) will be built around this. It should be noted here that the end leaves both Wallace and the Resistance with nothing. Kay fakes Rick Deckard’s death and dies himself. Deckard meets his daughter. Resistance don’t get the girl, Wallace don’t get the girl. Game continues.

Kay’s death and the theory that he is the son of Rick Deckard and Rachel

When we first meet Kay, he appears to us as more than an exemplary and law-abiding replicant: he is doing well in the service, and at home, where a hologram named Joy (Ana de Armas) is waiting for him. However, after meeting with Sapper Morton and subsequent events directly related to that very wooden horse, Kay, who always knew for sure that he was a replicant, begins to suspect that his “implanted” memories are actually real, and he is the son of that very woman. -replicant whose skeleton he discovered. Kay believes this erroneous, as it turns out, theory, but then realizes that he was invested with the memories of Rachel’s real child, Ana Stellin, and he is actually one of many ordinary replicants. There were no “twins” in fact.

However, more interesting than this is another line associated with Kay – his relationship with Joy. On the one hand, Joy’s hologram was designed specifically to give a replicant like Kay a “feel of life”. Perhaps Joy was even programmed to love and care for Kay in her own way. However, in the course of the action, “programming” is not visible – as Kay has a completely human attachment to Joy (although there can be no real feelings between them, a replicant and a hologram), and Joy – to Kay. Kei sees Joy as a living being, her love gives him the strength to live. Partly because their feelings are played out as human (in accordance with the author’s intention), Joy’s “death” makes such a devastating impression on the audience.

Now about the final. All of Kay’s recent actions and decisions are just one of the likely answers to the question of whether a peaceful outcome of the eternal confrontation between replicants and people is possible. Plus, Kay sacrificing his life for a father-daughter reunion makes us look back at the Ridley Scott film and remember Roy Batty’s (Rutger Hauer) famous monologue. Kay, like Batty, accepted his place in the world and his destiny, showed humanism in relation to a person, and ultimately made philanthropy the meaning of his existence (namely, the meaning – like a person). (By the way – remember what music was playing when Batty and Kay died? This nuance makes the dedication the most visible, while at the same time confirming that Kay really died.) Thus, Blade Runner 2049, on the one hand, emphasizes that peace between humans and replicants is possible,

Why there is no longer a border between replicants and humans

Ridley Scott added a unicorn dream to the director’s cut specifically to make the allusion to Rick Deckard’s “artificial” origin more tangible. However, despite this, disputes about whether he is a person or not continue to this day. Blade Runner 2049 adds fuel to this fire by not giving a definitive answer (although many fan theories now lean towards Deckard being human), while at the same time declaring that the main thing in the movie is Rachel’s baby, who is absolutely a replicant.

And yet the sequel works very closely with the problem of the thin line between a person and a replicant, considering it from different angles. So, during a conversation between Neander Wallace and Rick Deckard, the first one demonstrates the “recreated” Rachel (she was played by actress Lauren Peta, who was “imposed” with the appearance of a young Sean Young using motion capture technology). He tells Deckard the “truth” that Dr. Tyrell actually set up their meeting with Rachel to see if his ingenious invention could have a baby with another replicant (and again, is Deckard a human or a replicant? The creators just seem to like not giving a definitive answer to this question). Wallace offers Deckard a clone of Rachel in exchange for information about their child. Deckard adamantly refuses, and Love kills the doppelgänger – thus emphasizing that for a human,

At the same time, if you rewind, you can remember that when Kay finds Rick Deckard in the desert, he leads a completely meaningless life of a replicant (in this case, this is a metaphor), and by the end of the tape, when his meeting with his daughter took place, his existence makes sense, like a person. The same with Kay (although we have already noted this point) – he, the replicant, sacrificed himself, found the meaning of life (love), fulfilled his duty and received freedom, dying a death worthy of a man (and again a metaphor).

Ana Stellin herself, completely capturing the audience’s attention in the finale of the tape, sums up a peculiar result: she was born as a replicant as a person. Now there are no boundaries between people and androids, in fact – this cancels the very concept of “replicant”, highlighting the more general and supplemented concept of “human”. To some extent, this means that both the ideas of Neander Wallace and the ideas of the Resistance no longer mean anything and have no meaning. However, these two opposing forces have yet to understand this and come to peace – having gone through the same difficult and tortuous path that the replicant Kay went through.

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