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Blade Runner 2049’s director weighs in on the replicant theories of the original

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After all of these years

Before debuting the official trailer for Blade Runner 2049, director Denis Villeneuve, Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford took place in a Q&A session to discuss the film.

Or, rather, discuss as much of the film as they could.

Like many of Ford’s projects, Blade Runner 2049 is shrouded in secrecy. As blade runner Rick Deckard’s journey continues, one of the questions on everyone’s mind is whether or not Ford’s iconic character is a replicant. At the end of the first Blade Runner, which was directed by Ridley Scott and released in 1982, the general assumption viewers were left with was that Deckard was a replicant. Much like Rachel, an experimental replicant and assistant to Dr. Eldon Tyrell who has been designed to believe she was human, most people assumed Deckard was living a similar lie.

When Villeneuve was asked whether or not Blade Runner 2049 would finally answer the question once and for all, the director gave a bit of a wraparound answer.

“We are still exploring the themes of memories and empathy,” Villeneuve said. “That's still part of the deeper tissue ... of where the movie evolves in relation to what does it mean to be human.”

Although Villeneuve won’t reveal the answer — and who was expecting him to, really? — this question has received mixed responses over the years. In a 2007 interview with Wired, Scott confirmed that Deckard was a replicant. He told the magazine he left clues for the audience, but didn’t feel like he had to directly spell out what was going on. Blade Runner is a movie that exists on implications and riddles, Scott said.

“It was, actually. That's the whole point of Gaff, the guy who makes origami and leaves little matchstick figures around. He doesn't like Deckard, and we don't really know why. If you take for granted for a moment that, let's say, Deckard is a Nexus 7, he probably has an unknown life span and therefore is starting to get awfully human. Gaff, at the very end, leaves an origami, which is a piece of silver paper you might find in a cigarette packet, and it's a unicorn. Now, the unicorn in Deckard's daydream tells me that Deckard wouldn't normally talk about such a thing to anyone. If Gaff knew about that, it's Gaff's message to say, ‘I've read your file, mate.’ That relates to Deckard's first speech to Rachael when he says, ‘That's not your imagination, that's Tyrell's niece's daydream.’ And he describes a little spider on a bush outside the window. The spider is an implanted piece of imagination. And therefore Deckard, too, has imagination and even history implanted in his head.

While that would insinuate that the debate was over for good, Ford gave a contradicting reply. In a 2002 interview with BBC1, Ford said that it was the area he and Scott most disagreed on in regards to the film.

That was the main area of contention between Ridley and myself at the time. I thought the audience deserved one human being on the screen that they could establish an emotional relationship with. I thought I had won ' agreement to that, but in fact I think he had a little reservation about that. I think he really wanted to have it both ways.

Blade Runner 2049 takes place 30 years after the events of the first movie, but Villeneuve confirmed Deckard will remember everything.

Blade Runner 2049 will be released on Oct. 6.