Is god real? What happens to people after they die? What is the meaning of life? While these are all important, each pales in comparison to the most important question of all: Was Harrison Ford's Deckard a replicant in the original Blade Runner film? Maybe Blade Runner 2049 will hold the answer...
For years, cast and crew alike have argued back and forth regarding Deckard's true identity. While director Ridley Scott vehemently argues that the protagonist of #BladeRunner is as artificial as the replicants that he hunts down, Harrison Ford has hinted that this isn't true, and that Deckard is in fact human.
Now that a sequel is hitting cinemas on October 6, 2017, will Blade Runner 2049 finally provide us with a definitive answer? Let's break down the first official trailer for clues.
Deckard Isn't A Replicant
For some people, the fact that #HarrisonFord was asked to return to the Blade Runner franchise as Rick Deckard provided instant confirmation that his character is human. After all, replicants can be created to look like various ages — they may even look worn down somewhat due to the passage of time — but ultimately, they cannot age.
Early on in Blade Runner, Captain Bryant revealed to Deckard that the Nexus 6 units possess a lifespan of four years, further confirming this line of thought. The reasoning behind this is that the Tyrell Corporation was worried that the replicants could develop emotions and rebel. Later on, this is confirmed by the replicant creator Dr. Eldon Tyrell himself, who revealed that the lifespan limitations couldn't be altered, as the procedure would 'kill' the artificial life forms in the process.
We know for certain that Blade Runner: 2049 is set 30 years after Ridley Scott's original film, so the fact that Harrison Ford's Deckard appears in the trailer as an older version of the character proves that he can't be a replicant... right? RIGHT?!?
Deckard Is A Replicant
While it appears that Deckard has aged in the 30 years that have passed between Blade Runner and the upcoming sequel, there are a couple of ways that director Denis Villeneuve could trick us and the Voight-Kampff test alike, secretly revealing Rick to be a replicant by the end of the film.
1) Deckard could be an advanced replicant model that physically ages. After all, Tyrel's god complex is off the charts, so it's entirely feasible that he worked hard to create a new line of replicants that can age before he died — or that someone even found a way to alter Deckard's lifespan without destroying him.
2) Alternatively, it's entirely possible that the original (human?) Deckard is dead or missing in action still, and that this new version that we see in the trailer for Blade Runner 2049 was created as an older-looking model. The purpose behind this is currently unclear, but there's enough shady conspiracies in the world of Blade Runner to suggest that someone may want to trick people with a duplicate version of Deckard. Ryan Gosling's character is sent to find the missing detective, so the former Blade Runner is clearly important still to someone in authority, even though 30 years have passed.
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Frustratingly, fans will have to wait until Blade Runner 2049 hits cinemas on October 6, 2017 before we discover for certain whether Rick Deckard is in fact a replicant. For the impatient among us, that release date might as well be scheduled for 2049, but we've already waited 34 years for an answer to this question, so it won't hurt us to wait just a few months more. In the meantime, we're going to fantasize about the idea of seeing a Deckard replicant come face to face with his human counterpart — shock twist, he's a replicant AND a human — while we continue dreaming of electric sheep.