Ever since the movie Blade Runner was first launched in 1982, the question on minds of many has been: Is Deckard really a replicant? Currently, majority of people who have watched Blade Runner believe that Deckard, just like Rachael, is a replicant who consider himself a human being. To some people, Decker’s glowing eyes (a unique characteristic of all replicants) serves to cast aside any doubts about his true identity.
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There are several scenes in the movies that suggest the true identity of Deckard. In one scene, the unicorn dream (and the origami unicorn) strongly suggests that Gaff is aware of Deckard’s memories in a similar manner Deckard knows Rachael’s memories when he looked at her files which had information about her memory implants (Anders 1).
In another scene, the eyes of Deckard glows briefly in a similar fashion to the eyes of the replicants. In addition, the likelihood of Deckard being a replicant is also manifested in one of the scenes where Rachael engages Deckard in a conversation. As they talk, Rachael inquires from Deckard whether he has ever taken the test.
Deckard does not reply. Instead, he falls asleep leaving the viewers to wonder whether he really fell asleep or he is simply avoiding the question. What’s more, as the movie comes to an end, Gaff informs Deckard: “you have done a man’s job, sir.” In spite of the fact that this expression is regularly used within the context of the movie, the hidden meaning is clear.
There is no doubt that Gaff was convinced that Deckard was in deed a replicant. It is worthy to mention that Gaff’s line was actually longer in the original versions of the script: “…but are you sure you are man? It is hard to be sure who is who around here.” Since this line was not part of the final version of the script, we are left to content with the “man’s job” line as one of the clues showing that Decker is a replicant (Anders 3)
One of the major clues about the true identity of Deckard stems from the Director’s cut version where a unicorn appears on the screen while Deckard is absent-minded. The picture of the mythical creature surfaces again as the movie comes to an end when he picks up an origami model thrown away by Gaff who is another character in the movie.
Given that replicants did not have their own memories (they had memory implants), we can easily conclude that the surfacing of the model was a clear indication that Gaff was aware of Deckard’s memories due to the fact that it was an image shared by other replicants. Another useful hint in the movie (on whether Deckard is a replicant or not) can be deduced from the number of replicants hunted by Deckard.
We discover that six replicants had travelled to earth although one of them was killed. However, Deckard is in pursuit of only four replicants. The question in our minds is: who is the fifth (missing) replicant? It is highly likely that Deckard is the fifth replicant (Anders 4).
In another scene (the day after Deckard murdered Batty), Deckard in his house with Rachael when Brant shows up. Deckard refuses to let him in to his apartment and they talk via Deckard’s vidphone. Although Deckard claims that he is alone in the house, Bryant knows that he is lying.
This is only possible because they are both replicants and share same memories. Bryant cautions Deckard that Gaff is ambitious. Deckard takes time to decipher what Bryant implies and finally he understands. This is only possible because they have identical memory implants.
In another scene, Deckard contemplates escaping but soon realizes that he cannot: “they will not give me papers for the colonies even if I wanted them.” At one time, Deckard wonders who designed him. He also remembers Rachael telling him that he was also programmed. All these clues seem to suggest that Decker is in deed a replicant (Anders 5).
Anders, C. Jane. “Blade Runner’s Original Ending: Yes, Deckard’s A Replicant.” 6 Dec. 2011. Web.