Philosophical Topics Behind “Blade Runner” and “Blade Runner 2049”

Above, the beginning scene of “Blade Runner” explains how Blade Runners were responsible for retiring Replicants, who were a genetically altered species designed for slave labor. Below, in comparison to the beginning scene of “Blade Runner 2049”, we learn that Replicants are still used as slaves, but Tyrell Corp. is now owned by Niander Wallace.


Above, the Voight-Kampff machine is used by Blade Runners to determine whether someone was a Replicant or human. Below, the machine is used differently. It distinguishes Replicants, such as Blade Runners, from rogue Replicants.


Above, we see Replicants positively interacting with humans. On the left, Pris is embracing one of her designers, Sebastian. On the right, Roy is giving a kiss to his creator, Tyrell, as a token of appreciation.
However, below we see images from 2049 depicting discrimination against Replicants.


Above, the scenes depict robots created by J.F. Sebastian. These robots can be viewed as lesser forms of intelligence since they are not Replicants, but they are still considered to be “friends” by Sebastian. The picture on the right shows Pris hiding among the robots to avoid Deckard.
The scenes below show Joi, K’s virtual girlfriend, syncing with an escort. Joi can also be viewed as another form of intelligence that is not a Replicant. The image on the right shows the emanator that ultimately gets destroyed, killing Joi.

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