Deckard is Human or Replicant? - Page 24 - AVS Forum
View Poll Results: Vote your say now is Deckard a Human or is he a Replicant?
Deckard is a Human 47 46.53%
Deckard is a Replicant 54 53.47%
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post #691 of 720 Old 01-21-2009, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by geekhd View Post

So you're not debating Deckard's biological identity. Ok.

It works either way because there's nothing to preclude Deckert from being a replicant within the TE, but I personally believe the ambiguity was an afterthought, based upon nothing more than Deckert's brief reaction upon finding the origami unicorn. His expression doesn't reflect a fundamental revelation about himself. It's more a look of concern, followed by a slight nod, as in: "Uh oh, he was here........but he's letting us go". Of course, he could also remain oblivious, while only the audience is in on it. *shrug*

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By the way, I think it (RS's alterations) compromised the film's integrity little bit.

Other than the rather insignificant discontinuity I pointed out above, How?
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post #692 of 720 Old 01-21-2009, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by GhostbusterEcto1 View Post

Good point. If Deckard is human, he is clearly making a major sacrifice to be with Rachael. As JBLsound has pointed out, protecting Rachael could even be considered an act of redemption. On the other hand, if Deckard is a replicant, he NEEDS to run because a blade runner could be ordered to retire him at any time. Of course, Deckard appears to have resolved to run off before he (supposedly) learns that he is a replicant. Nevertheless, if Deckard is a replicant, the sacrifice angle goes out the window, and the redemption angle is weakened because Deckard was tricked into hunting down his own kind.

Exactly. It's good to see a few here get it. Are you paying attention RTO?

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post #693 of 720 Old 01-21-2009, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Rutgar View Post

Exactly. It's good to see a few here get it. Are you paying attention RTO?

Absolutely, but apparently some of you haven't been paying attention

I've repeatedly tried to make clear that there's no distinction between human and replicant, other than certain replicant capabilities which have no impact on their humanity. There is no meaningful difference in the way they work, behave, love, reflect, dream, and cling to life in fear of their own mortality. If there's no real distinction between human and replicant, your points are meaningless.
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post #694 of 720 Old 01-21-2009, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by rto View Post


I've repeatedly tried to make clear that there's no distinction between human and replicant, other than certain replicant capabilities which have no impact on their humanity. There is no meaningful difference in the way they work, behave, love, reflect, dream, and cling to life in fear of their own mortality. If there's no real distinction between human and replicant, your points are meaningless.

So you think that Roy's act of sparing the life of Deckard is of equal significance whether he (Deckard) is human (the species who are persecuting the replicants and wants them dead) or replicant (one of his own kind)?


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post #695 of 720 Old 01-21-2009, 07:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by rto View Post

It works either way because there's nothing to preclude Deckert from being a replicant within the TE, but I personally believe the ambiguity was an afterthought, based upon nothing more than Deckert's brief reaction upon finding the origami unicorn. His expression doesn't reflect a fundamental revelation about himself. It's more a look of concern, followed by a slight nod, as in: "Uh oh, he was here........but he's letting us go". Of course, he could also remain oblivious, while only the audience is in on it. *shrug*

Other than the rather insignificant discontinuity I pointed out above, How?

It does not work both ways and the reasons have been posted already.

"insignificant discontinuity" is just that because RS tried to change what's already done as one theme. It would've been different if the whole thing was made to be another theme from the beginning. For that matter, the alteration is a bit of compromise. I’ll revert back to artist’s painting analogy.
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It’s like an artist’s painting of a landscape capturing a sunset but after it’s done, he wants to change it to sunrise so he goes back and puts highlights in some places in an attempt to make it appear to be a sunrise. It may convince some viewers as a sunrise but upon closer look, it doesn’t work as well as a landscape painted to be a sunrise from the beginning. As to how close of looking it would take to notice the discrepancy will depend on the viewer’s ability.

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post #696 of 720 Old 01-21-2009, 07:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by rto View Post

He did manage to ferret them out, so he might have had other "enhancements" that made it more likely......and/or it might be another covert "experiment" courtesy of Tyrell...... I'm playing devil's advocate, because IMO, the entire question is moot.

There’s nothing in the movie that suggests such thing. But it can be a valid point if you start stretching things. Heck, anything can be a valid point if stretched far enough!

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If Roy isn't fully human; if at the end, he doesn't comprehend that every life is precious, how is he capable of displaying transcendent mercy by sparing a man who was directly or indirectly responsilbe for the death of his companions; a man who just moments before, killed his lover? If he doesn't have a soul, why use the obvious allegory of a dove suddenly appearing in his hand and taking flight as he expires?

“If Roy isn't fully human”, “If he doesn't have a soul” ??? One of those symbolic pictures maybe? Yeah, lets stretch it. Well, Roy knew that his life span is nearing the end when his hand started to close on its own (cramp?) and he had to put a nail through it to relax it after saying “not yet, not yet”.

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Why does he go on about "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe" and how "all these things will be lost.... like tears in the rain" ( his life experiences ) if his memories aren't every bit as meaningful, and their loss as tragic as the passing of any 'normal' human?

Replicants do have their own memories but only 4 years long at the most. Maybe longer for Rachael. See below.

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How does that scene really have any pathos, if Roy is only a programmed, manufactured product, and not one of us?

They are equal in intelligence of the engineers who created them as explained in text at the beginning of the movie. Also, they develop their own emotion (love, hate, anger… etc) per Capt. Bryant’s briefing to Deckard.
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post #697 of 720 Old 01-21-2009, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Rob Tomlin View Post

So you think that Roy's act of sparing the life of Deckard is of equal significance whether he (Deckard) is human (the species who are persecuting the replicants and wants them dead) or replicant (one of his own kind)?

In either case, Roy recognizes the humanity within himself and empathizes for Deckard's predicament. If Deckard were a replicant, it would imply that Roy can not only see his own humanity but also sees the importance of life in other machines. It is interesting to think that Roy can see the value in saving the life of a human, but I think it is more interesting to think that Roy can see the value in saving the life of another machine.

I personally don't care whether Deckard was a human or a replicant. I think that it works both ways. On the one hand I think that a replicant not knowing he is a replicant who is then programmed to unknowingly hunt down and kill his own kind is an interesting story. On the other hand, I think that a human questioning what makes an individual human and then falling in love with someone he knows is a machine is also interesting.
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post #698 of 720 Old 01-21-2009, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Rob Tomlin View Post

So you think that Roy's act of sparing the life of Deckard is of equal significance whether he (Deckard) is human (the species who are persecuting the replicants and wants them dead) or replicant (one of his own kind)?

If Deckert is a replicant, Roy isn't aware of it, so it makes no difference. Even if he somehow knew, it wouldn't change the fact that Deckert killed some of his friends along with his lover, so the same measure of mercy would be necessary to spare his life.

The entire premise of the film, is that there is no distinction between human and replicant, with respect to what defines humanity, for good, or ill.
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post #699 of 720 Old 01-21-2009, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by geekhd View Post

It does not work both ways and the reasons have been posted already.

"insignificant discontinuity" is just that because RS tried to change what's already done as one theme. It would've been different if the whole thing was made to be another theme from the beginning. For that matter, the alteration is a bit of compromise. I'll revert back to artist's painting analogy.


It's a false analogy. This change isn't significant in the least, you're just imagining that it is.
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post #700 of 720 Old 01-21-2009, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by geekhd View Post

There were no doubts about Deckard being human after the Theatrical Release nearly thirty years ago. It started after DC was released in 1992.

Demonstrably false assertion. The questions were there, and the DC removed the doubt.

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post #701 of 720 Old 01-21-2009, 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by geekhd View Post

There's nothing in the movie that suggests such thing. But it can be a valid point if you start stretching things. Heck, anything can be a valid point if stretched far enough!

It's only a stretch in your mind. Others clearly differ in finding it not so much of a stretch, so it's a matter of opinion, not fact.

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If Roy isn't fully human, If he doesn't have a soul ??? One of those symbolic pictures maybe? Yeah, lets stretch it. Well, Roy knew that his life span is nearing the end when his hand started to close on its own (cramp?) and he had to put a nail through it to relax it after saying not yet, not yet.

Then why the dove? In Western culture, it's a traditional, essentially universal symbol for the human spirit or soul. Sorry, but nothing about this is a stretch in the least, in fact, I'd say it's as plain as the nose on your face.

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Replicants do have their own memories but only 4 years long at the most. Maybe longer for Rachael. See below.

They are equal in intelligence of the engineers who created them as explained in text at the beginning of the movie. Also, they develop their own emotion (love, hate, anger etc) per Capt. Bryant's briefing to Deckard.

Whether the memories are implanted or not, is irrelevant. Implanted memories are no less real to the replicant carrying them than their memories of actual events, or any 'normal' humans' memory of actual events. Remember at one point Rachel is playing the piano, and she says that she doesn't know if her ability is due to actual lessons, or implanted memories of them.
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post #702 of 720 Old 01-21-2009, 09:09 PM
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For those of you who are apparently having difficulty getting past labeling which this film clearly illustrates is actually meaningless and arbitrary, imagine for a moment that instead of 'replicants', Roy and his pals are lo-tech, carried-in-the womb humans who were genetically altered with special abilities and drastically abbreviated lifespans to serve as slaves on off-world colonies, forever banished from their home-world. Would any of their actions seem out of character for fully human beings; simultaneously capable of murderous retribution, selfless love and sacrifice?
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post #703 of 720 Old 01-22-2009, 05:55 AM
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Indeed, rto, that with which Tyrell imbued the replicants seemed to them like LIFE. When Tyrell asked Roy what he wanted, Roy replied, "I want more LIFE, Father." (FC version; theatrical release through DC had the movie's lone obscenity in place of the paternal nod. I think the FC line works better, given the "prodigal son" angle.)

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post #704 of 720 Old 01-22-2009, 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by rto View Post

For those of you who are apparently having difficulty getting past labeling which this film clearly illustrates is actually meaningless and arbitrary, imagine for a moment that instead of 'replicants', Roy and his pals are lo-tech, carried-in-the womb humans who were genetically altered with special abilities and drastically abbreviated lifespans to serve as slaves on off-world colonies, forever banished from their home-world. Would any of their actions seem out of character for fully human beings; simultaneously capable of murderous retribution, selfless love and sacrifice?

True. But none of that has any bearing on whether or not Deckard is a replicant. It also has no bearing on the theme of the film. As I said before, you are getting lost in the details of the film, and overlooking the overall story arc represented.

One more time: The film is about Deckard. It's HIS story. Also, regarding Deckard, one overwhelming fact that is just completely getting ignored by the 'replicant' crowd, is the fact that Replicants are incapable of empathy. It's the very thing that the VK test is based on.

Deckard shows overwhelming empathy throughout the entire film. When tapped for the mission, he's a 'quit' Blade Runner drowning his sorrows. Why? Empathy for his 'victims'. He only takes the mission because he's forced. As he systematically starts retiring the 'Skin Jobs', he shows enormous empathy for every replicant he retires. As the story moves along he completely falls for Rachael. A known Replicant. All of these things Deckard displays are very 'empathetic'.

The most poignant part of the film, which several have already brought up, was Roy saving Deckards life. The questions is raised, 'why?' The later deleted VO addresses some of the reasons. But with or without the VO, is appears that Roy had developed a sense of 'empathy'. And this last part with Roy, completely falls apart into meaninglessness, if Deckard isn't Human.

And BTW, his name is 'Deckard'. Not Deckart.

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post #705 of 720 Old 01-22-2009, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Rutgar View Post

True. But none of that has any bearing on whether or not Deckard is a replicant. It also has no bearing on the theme of the film. As I said before, you are getting lost in the details of the film, and overlooking the overall story arc represented.

One more time: The film is about Deckard. It's HIS story. Also, regarding Deckard, one overwhelming fact that is just completely getting ignored by the 'replicant' crowd, is the fact that Replicants are incapable of empathy. It's the very thing that the VK test is based on.

Deckard shows overwhelming empathy throughout the entire film. When tapped for the mission, he's a 'quit' Blade Runner drowning his sorrows. Why? Empathy for his 'victims'. He only takes the mission because he's forced. As he systematically starts retiring the 'Skin Jobs', he shows enormous empathy for every replicant he retires. As the moves along he completely falls for Rachael. All things that are very 'Human', by standards established in the film.

The most poignant part of the film, which several have already brought up, was Roy saving Deckards life. The questions is raised, 'why?' The later deleted VO addresses some of the reasons. But with or without the VO, is appears that Roy had developed a sense of 'empathy'. And this last part with Roy, completely falls apart into meaninglessness, if Deckard isn't Human.

And BTW, his name is 'Deckard'. Not Deckart.

This is self-contradictory. If replicants are truly incapable of empathy, how has Roy developed that capacity? You keep asserting that if Deckard is a replicant, the final scene doesn't work, but still haven't supplied a single credible reason as to why.
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post #706 of 720 Old 01-22-2009, 07:31 AM
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Rutgar, your most recent post is a very good one, but the opinions you express in it are unconvincing. Not to mention, explicitly rejected by the director.

Your notes on empathy are very good, and I agree that empathy is a key factor in the story of the characters in "Blade Runner." As you noted, Roy seems to develop it. As you probably noticed but did not note, Rachel also seems to have some empathy. Her V-K test took unusually long, and Tyrell explained that it was because she didn't know she's a replicant, but was "beginning to suspect." (Also interesting is Rachel's challenge to Deckard: "You ever take that test yourself?")

Wouldn't it be interesting if another "experiment" of Tyrell's was a replicant who is so like the slogan "more human than human" that he is completely unaware of his own nature, and whose job it is to hunt and kill rogue replicants? Yes, that would be interesting. And that's the story Ridley Scott tells in his movie.

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post #707 of 720 Old 01-22-2009, 07:55 AM
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I don't think my view of the 'Roy' scene is being contradictory at all. I didn't conclude that Roy developed 'empathy', and I don't think the film does. It just opens the ambiguous possibility at the end, which is what makes it a poignant moment. Like I said, the VO in the theatrical release explores Roy's motives more deeply.

Rachael: In the scene where Rachael asks if Deckard has ever taken the VK test himself. You have to look at the context. I saw this scene as nothing more than a 'dig' from Rachael because at the moment, Deckard wasn't being very 'empathetic' to her situation. But looking closer at Deckard, it was quite clear that he had tremendous empathy for Rachael and was in personal conflict. So I think the question isn't as much evidence that Deckard is a replicant, than it is questioning Deckard's humanity, thus a plot device to further move Deckard toward Rachael.

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post #708 of 720 Old 01-22-2009, 08:10 AM
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Nevertheless, Rutgar, the theme of the film is still quite satisfying to those of us who do not deny the director his choice in having told the story as he did. Seeing Deckard as a replicant as the director presents him does not destroy the deeper questions of "HIS (Deckard's) story," it just opens other questions for consideration. Still a very entertaining and thought-provoking movie, even after the question of Deckard's humanity was asked and answered.

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post #709 of 720 Old 01-22-2009, 08:14 AM
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This is like watching an episode of "The Big Bang Theory" play out before our eyes.
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post #710 of 720 Old 01-22-2009, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rto View Post

If Deckert is a replicant, Roy isn't aware of it, so it makes no difference. Even if he somehow knew, it wouldn't change the fact that Deckert killed some of his friends along with his lover, so the same measure of mercy would be necessary to spare his life.

The entire premise of the film, is that there is no distinction between human and replicant, with respect to what defines humanity, for good, or ill.

You completely glossed over the point that I made. It most certainly is NOT the "same measure of mercy" if Deckard is a replicant.

Again: So you think that Roy's act of sparing the life of Deckard is of equal significance whether he (Deckard) is human (the species who are persecuting the replicants and wants them dead) or replicant (one of his own kind)?

How can one be the same as the other? If Deckard is human, Roy is overcoming more by sparing Deckards life, such as prejudice against humans.

And even if Roy thought Deckard was human (but wasnt), it still shows how that question impacts the story....despite the fact that you said it doesn't make any difference.


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post #711 of 720 Old 01-22-2009, 08:30 AM
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There's absolutely nothing ambiguous about the fact that Roy spares the life of someone who killed his friends, blew a gaping hole through his lover, and made every effort to take him out. How many of us could do that? Replicant, or human, it makes no difference, because by this point in the film, it's become evident that the distinction is artificial.
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post #712 of 720 Old 01-22-2009, 08:35 AM
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This is like watching an episode of "The Big Bang Theory" play out before our eyes.

I was thinking this:



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post #713 of 720 Old 01-22-2009, 08:39 AM
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There's absolutely nothing ambiguous about the fact that Roy spares the life of someone who killed his friends, blew a gaping hole through his lover, and made every effort to take him out. How many of us could do that? Replicant, or human, it makes no difference, because by this point in the film, it's become evident that the distinction is artificial.

But it DOES make a difference. You are correct as to the fact that he still shows great passion by sparing his life even if Deckard is a replicant.

But there is even more passion shown if he is human for the reason I stated. Surely you can concede that (simple) point?


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post #714 of 720 Old 01-22-2009, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by IAM4UK View Post

Nevertheless, Rutgar, the theme of the film is still quite satisfying to those of us who do not deny the director his choice in having told the story as he did. Seeing Deckard as a replicant as the director presents him does not destroy the deeper questions of "HIS (Deckard's) story," it just opens other questions for consideration. Still a very entertaining and thought-provoking movie, even after the question of Deckard's humanity was asked and answered.

So that's your answer? Ignore eveything presented in the film and go by what you think the Director's 'intent' was? If that's what works for you, that's fine. Personally, I prefer to take from films what I actually 'see' in the film, and not from what the Director says externally many years later his 'intent' was (which contradicts his position when the film was actually made, as has been stated.)

Frankly, I think that if you base your argument on what Scott said... you lose the debate. What counts, is what's in the film. I can keep quoting Harrison Ford, who said that he and Scott agreed that Deckard was Human when they were making the film. So I think basing you opinion on anything that was said external to the actual film itself is moot.

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post #715 of 720 Old 01-22-2009, 08:47 AM
 
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Still a very entertaining and thought-provoking movie, even after the question of Deckard's humanity was asked and answered.

The problem is, the "question" was never asked during the movie's initial theatrical run, or in the intervening years, only "answered" in an interview a decade or so after the film had originally been released, likely just to generate controversy and addition sales. As has been pointed out, ad nauseum, there's nothing in the film that points to him being a replicant other than a brief piece of footage from an entirely different movie spliced into a new cut years later. And, as also been pointed out, there is plenty of evidence in the movie, even in the newer cuts, that points quite clearly to him being merely human. I mentioned a couple of those yesterday in this thread, which nobody was able to refute with contrary evidence.

Finally, it's just a better movie thematically if he's human, which has also been adequately explained. Simple as that, really. Yet, the debate rages on.
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post #716 of 720 Old 01-22-2009, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Rob Tomlin View Post

You completely glossed over the point that I made. It most certainly is NOT the "same measure of mercy" if Deckard is a replicant.

Again: So you think that Roy's act of sparing the life of Deckard is of equal significance whether he (Deckard) is human (the species who are persecuting the replicants and wants them dead) or replicant (one of his own kind)?

How can one be the same as the other?

And even if Roy thought Deckard was human (but wasnt), it still shows how that question impacts the story....despite the fact that you said doesn't make any difference.

You persist in making false distinctions. Roy is a replicant who has demonstrated a transcendently human capacity for compassionate mercy, in saving an individual who just offed his lover. The notion that Roy would somehow naturally be more motivated to kill a human than another replicant under those circumstances, is spurious, as is the notion that he'd be more likely to save one over the other.
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post #717 of 720 Old 01-22-2009, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by rto View Post

You persist in making false distinctions. Roy is a replicant who has demonstrated a transcendently human capacity for compassionate mercy, in saving an individual who just offed his lover. The notion that Roy would somehow naturally be more motivated to kill a human than another replicant under those circumstances, is spurious, as is the notion that he'd be more likely to save one over the other.

Uh...ok.


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post #718 of 720 Old 01-22-2009, 09:11 AM
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So that's your answer? Ignore eveything presented in the film and go by what you think the Director's 'intent' was?

No, I view the film and see that Deckard is a replicant. That's what the film says to me. It says something different to some other people. That's cool; opinions are our own.

Then, later, the director chimes in. He explicitly says the interpretation of Deckard as a replicant was correct (where "correct" simply means it was his intent). He recuts the movie to remove the ambiguities that led to the debate.

--------------------------------------

Those of you claiming that the debate only started after the DC are simply factually incorrect. I was aware of the debate prior to the DC, particularly once the CAV LD from Criterion was released, and I studied it in 1988. Anecdotal evidence: I shared the movie on LD in 1991 with someone who'd never seen it. She pointed out that Deckard's eyes glowed just like those synthetic animals. She said she thought Deckard was a replicant. I hadn't prompted any such discussion, but then replied that there is a big debate about that issue.

Some contended (pre-DC) that there was other evidence of Deckard being a replicant, beyond the eye-glow. Some pointed to a line from Gaff that was cut short: "You've done a man's job, Sir. [But are you a man?]" Some pointed to the unicorn dream that had been cut from the TC. This was BEFORE the DC was released.

So, the timeline is thus:
1982: TC is released. Some debate Deckard's humanity or replicant status.
~1987: Criterion's CAV LD is released. Aspects of the debate are addressed in the supplements.
1992: DC is released. RS restores the primary item that supported the previously-debated position that Deckard was a replicant.
RS states explicitly that he considered Deckard a replicant. This did not start the debate. (But it obviously didn't end it, either.)

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post #719 of 720 Old 01-22-2009, 09:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Alan someone please CLOSE THIS!

Deckard is fictitious character in film nothing more nothing less. Please close it the vote pole is finished and I feel sick at the moment to read a bunch of sad idiots so close to each others throats I really couldn't care less if his human or not.
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post #720 of 720 Old 01-22-2009, 09:16 AM
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Closed.
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