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Blade Runner 2049 SPOILER THREAD


#104

She also may have given the memory to more than one replicant.


#105

I get that feeling as well.
I think that most of the “Underground” couldn’t have just been Nexus 8s.


#106

I thought about that too, but it seemed weird that he and Rachel would have gone straight to Vegas. Also, the replicants who were with Sapper didn’t know where Deckard went. He had to go somewhere no one knew where to find him especially the other replicants. It took K to find him (with the tracker). If they knew where he was, they would’ve already gone en masse and killed him to protect the daughter. Also, why would he take his pregnant wife to a radioactive zone which would have been much hotter in 2021?

It makes sense that he would have carved the horse and given it to Rachel to give to the child - not a lot of sense since there is origami and not whittling in the original film (seeing how wood is rare) and, really, it should have been a unicorn (come on!) - but not that he whittled it when he was in Vegas. It’s also a lot stronger dramatically if he had both carved the date in the tree and used wood from that tree to carve the horse the same day before, as a grieving husband, he left his baby forever (in his mind). They should have come up with another way for K to find him.

Actually, that was pretty much when I started to think this movie is just getting too convoluted and then replicant revolutionaries show up and I lost interest.

I think that is definitely true which somewhat darkens her character. I also didn’t quite get how much Wallace knew before they found Rachel’s body. From his first scene, it seems pretty clear that he knows Tyrell figured out the secret of reproduction with Rachel. And Deck tells K that they were being hunted presumably by Tyrell’s successors who also knew her import ants.

In the first film, if you only go by the final cut version, Rachel only has four years of life and, in this, she ends up dying around the time she would have, so there is no indication that she had an open ended lifespan. She was Nexus 6. If Deckard was a replicant, then he should have already died as well. Tyrell makes it clear to Batty that they don’t know how to increase lifespans. It’s only in the theatrical cut’s narrative that there is a suggestion Rachel doesn’t have a time limit.

So I still don’t think Deckard is necessarily a replicant. Wallace suggests he and Rachel were programmed, but it would have been interesting if they did a VK test on him.

Exactly, though it is confusing, but the girl he hooked up with seemed to have the same memory and she certainly was too young to belong to the Nexus 8 production line even though she looks almost exactly like Pris (who was Nexus 6). I think the jump from Nexus 6 to 8 in only a couple years is there because the filmmakers want to leave the idea open that Rachel (or Rachel and Deckard) were the only Nexus 7 models designed specifically to test breeding.

True. I was actually interested up to the Las Vegas battle. Around the time the replicant rebels show up, I stopped really caring about what was going to happen. I think they probably could have been cut out entirely. In fact, I could’ve done without a lot of the stuff in this movie. The rebel underground shows up for two purposes in the plot - to save K and reveal that Rachel had a daughter. I don’t think they were really needed for that. With a little cleanup on the back story, Deckard could’ve revealed that he had a daughter and K could’ve found some way to get back to Los Angeles on his own.

I felt like K had lost some agency after the Las Vegas battle. He was no longer driving the story.


#107

The Underground feels like an incredibly trite cliche from another genre. So yeah, I’m against that as well because, and this might seem a bit unfair, but I was loving how noirish it had been up to that point. And then it becomes some weird chosen one thing and I lost interest there.

But I think K regained some agency in the Bridge scene. “You’re a good Joe”…that line means so many things and all of them really got to me.

Also, I honestly think the daughter was just implanting memories for kicks/loneliness.


#108

I got some of the same feeling. She seemed a little malevolent when you look back on it. Especially, since she could’ve said - “this is a real memory, but it is not your memory. Someone did this to you.”

However, that would’ve taken empathy and been a risk. Is she more replicant than human?

As much as I liked the bridge scene, they should’ve cut it, too. Joi was one of my favorite characters though, but I was waiting for the big revelation that she was actually being controlled by Luv to manipulate and monitor K. Instead, Luv was simply using her for surveillance. If Luv had been more active in the Joi/K relationship, then it would have provided more support in their strange relationship - she has something like a crush on him, and her jealousy is what drives her to crush Joi.

The bridge scene implied that maybe Joi was simply a very good program with no actual self - “very lifelike” as K says - since her calling him Joe implies that was something underneath her programming - not an individual trait. That there really never was a Joi except in K’s mind as her entire program was a deeply complex program designed to respond appropriately to his expectations and needs.

However, at that point in the story, it no longer really is very important. There should’ve been more focus on the plot and how to resolve it. This resolution didn’t seem to fit the 2 hours of movie that came before.


#109

And that’s so goddamn great. But there’s also the undercurrent there of the line being that K believed it. It’s the element of his memory of his feelings for her. So the over-text of the line, outside of his revelation of Joi probably being nothing more than a sophisticated AI, is if he’s a “good Joe”. Literally. Is he just going to waft around - or is he going to try and do something for the benefit of others. Grabbing the gun gets so…impactful there.

I was really pleased that both could be construed, and I wouldn’t count out Joi entirely. There’s really no more than we can see than that she was programmed to love him, but the extent…it would be like pigeonholing the Nexus’s.


#110

It will always be difficult to truly demonstrate the appearance of agency in fiction as every character essentially is only the appearance of agency. We project personhood on fictional characters as a matter of course. So it’s really impossible to distinguish between an android or AI that appears to be sentient and a fictional character who appears to be sentient. They are all actors reciting a script.


#111

That’s where I was confused. Once Deckard is in Vegas, he shouldn’t have had any contact with anyone related to the kid, but he carved a horse there that somehow got to her. However honestly I think a lot the background was simply there to provide a reason why people who should know tge answers to the mystery don’t have them.

Well, I think he had to have some contact with someone from the Resistance at some point, so they would let him know that a) The baby was born okay b) Rachael didn’t survive c) Maybe help him with some supplies to start.

You can think that they used some sort of series of dead drops met at some middle place, etc, but Deckard had some connection to the underground.


#112

Aye, as I was trying to say…I think one of the point there was that it was real to K. Like the memories he thought were his. They weren’t - but he believed they were and acted. Her love? Not real, but so it was. And even though he had become disillusioned by the revelation that he wasn’t special - he had believed it…so he probably realized the difference is nominal on the inside.


#113

While I don’t trust Tyrell saying anything, he speaks more of how to extend life in already created replicants, which is a different thing from creating one from the start with a prolongued lifespan.

Which they do, a couple of years later after the first movie, in 2020 with the Nexus 8 series.


#114

Exactly, the four year life span of the Nexus 6 is a feature, not a bug.


#115

Maybe that’s in there, but at the same time - just like the question on whether or not Joi is real - none of this really happened. It’s all a story, and they chose a very complicated backstory in regard to the clues that K encounters.

I mean, the simplest direction to go is the most direct. It was Deckard’s hands that carved both the date in the tree and the horse (including its date) from wood from that tree - and maybe even that he took the photograph of Rachel in front of the tree. Dramatically, that is the best decision. Tying Deckard directly to the tree is also pretty thematically strong.

But this would mean that Deckard would have been with his baby girl, and that he would not have carved the horse in Vegas. My real point is that all this additional complication to the story pulled me out of the story when it could have been much simpler and stronger to simply make Deckard the one behind everything. Get rid of the Replicant underground army - I really hated that. Instead, Deckard was basically a Harriet Tubman who helped replicants hide in the system and his daughter was the last one he hid before running from Tyrell. In fact, I think it would’ve been even smarter if Deckard actually arranged the blackout operation primarily for that single purpose.

Or anything - in other words, it’s not so much what they could’ve done otherwise, but that what was revealed by the story seemed very disconnected from and slowed down the forward motion of the plot. Who buried Rachel, carved the date in the tree, carved the horse and gave it to the child? The simple answer is Deckard - the best answer is Deckard, actually, but the whole Vegas radiation business muddied that.

That’s always been a Ridley Scott thing, though. He’s always been far more interested exploring in the world of Blade Runner than telling the story of the movie in that world.


#116

Replicants could survive there, no?


#117

Yet it seemed pretty fixed for the 6’s - like part of the production process. Rachel certainly didn’t live four years, so it’s hard to say if she would have lived any longer or that Tyrell wanted her to. She was an experimental model so whether she was meant to test memory implants or breeding, they didn’t need her to live longer to do it. Also, it’s a liability if either her or Deckard are given natural lifespans. If they escape, they’ll be dead in a few years anyway. Gaff seems pretty sure that she won’t live long.

It’s not too clear what the truth is, though. Deckard certainly saw her file in the first film since he knew that memory of the baby spiders they gave her and from whom it came (Tyrell’s niece). He would’ve known if she had a natural life.

Nevertheless, if Deckard is a replicant, then he certainly doesn’t have a limited lifespan.


#118

I think the mention of the 8’s has an undercurrent of existing solely to add some ambiguity to Harrison Ford, and even Rachel, between the different endings of the cuts where human/replicant and time limit/non-time limit are concerned.


#119

Yeah that’s how I took it. Deckard could be an early Nexus 8. There could have been other early ones like Sapper, who probably hadn’t just been created when he helped Rachael.


#120

Just back from the cinema, and I liked it - but I didn’t love it. It’s a very straightforward story aside from the implanted memories bit that you guys have hashed out a lot upthread, and while it plays with some philosophical themes, they’re not the heard of the movie the way they were with Blade Runner.

That said, as its own movie it’s very good. It’s a bit too long, but I’m not sure what I’d cut. The performances are all excellent, Gosling does a very good job, his character embodies similar values to Ford’s Deckard - but differently. The use of sound is excellent, especially in the fight scenes, the volume serves to accentuate the brutality and violence and further deromanticise what’s happening.

I think the movie’s biggest failing is trying to have its cake and eat it - they bring Deckard back, but refuse to answer the question left over from the end of the original movie - and go out of their way to make his still being alive ambiguous. The questions the movie raises in its own right are easily explained or intuited. As a result, it feels like a Blade Runner fan film as much as a Blade Runner sequel.

A lot of that is because a lot of what made the original special was lighting in a bottle - much of the existential nature was figured out in the edit, and as such couldn’t be planned for easily. For such an impossible task, the producers have made the best attempt they could, and the positives far outweighh the negatives.


#121

Rachel is described as a Nexus 6 in ‘Bladerunner’, she should have the same lifespan as the others.

But unless it’s addressed directly, who knows?

Unpicking scifi technology is always going to come up against a wall at some piont.


#122

Just saw it.

Very disappointing experience but I figured it wouldn’t come close to the original. I had hoped it would, though.

The good:
It was one of the most visually stunning movies I have seen in a long time. The detail and imagination were fantastic.

The soundtrack was great. It had nods to the original but but was its own thing. It really worked well in setting the mood and tone of the film.

The bad:
It was too damn long. It desperately needed to be about 45 - 60 minutes shorter. The movie had no sense of urgency as the original did. It had a very lackadaisical feel to it. While many lingering shots were beautiful, they could have been trimmed to save time. And anything to do with Hologram Siri could have been left on the cutting room floor. A tighter script would have definitely helped with the running time.

I also found the performances to be lackluster. No one really stood out.

Blade Runner 2049 was a very pretty but shallow movie.


#123

We’re not told her inception date, IIRC. So she could be a Nexus 6 that was made in 2019