It is a week for complex geek emotions, friends. Not only do we have the, “Yes but… should we?’” Alien: Covenant being released on Friday but confirmation that a rebooted Hellboy is in the works and a trailer for the Blade Runner sequel.
Much like legendary Anchorman Ron Burgundy, we really are trapped in a glass case of emotion this week.
And the thing is, we’ve had some time to think in there and we think we’ve figured out something about Blade Runner 2049. So, be aware the supposition light is flashing, as is the spoiler warning light for Blade Runner. Because here’s what we think:
K is Deckard. Or at least, the latest version of the Deckard-model replicant.
The director’s cut of Blade Runner especially teases the idea that Deckard is artificial. You can read the scene with his boss as a racist old cop having some fun, or the interactions with Gaff as professional rivalry. You can certainly buy into the horrific damage Deckard takes all movie if you assume he’s a combat model and built tough. Plus, what better way to hunt rogue Replicants than with a hunter who can stand toe-to-toe with them?
K being the latest model makes even more sense. From his name to Gosling’s physical resemblance to Ford he looks like the latest version of an older creation. There’s even a neat metafictional air to that, the movie acknowledging its sequel status by focusing on a literal, biological sequel. There’s some other evidence too.
K’s silhouette, his weirdly bulky coat and all, is very similar to Deckard’s in the original movie. We get that both men are Blade Runners but two, decades apart, making stylistic choices this similar is a little odd.
If that is K’s sidearm we see then it’s very similar to Deckard’s. It could still be a department sidearm, it could be a vintage model. It could even be Deckard’s own gun. But it’s another similarity.
At 42 seconds there’s a shot of K, under blue neon. He’s busted up, obviously just been in a pretty serious fight and he looks, for all the world, like Deckard at the end of the original. The wounds are on the same side of his face, there’s similar lighting and rain. It’s either a very clear shout out to the original, or another clue.
This is a slightly odd, and nerdy, one. That gun looks like at least a .45 calibre. It’s basically a hand cannon. Deckard continually fires his one-handed, with no give in his arm at all. There’s none of the close-quarter battle training you’d expect a police officer to have. He doesn’t check corners, he doesn’t brace the weapon, he doesn’t keep it lowered and we’re pretty certain he’s got lousy trigger discipline. That’s understandable, given Deckard’s job. It’s also entirely understandable if you buy into him being a replicant. Greater tensile strength, better muscle fibres in the arm and of course you could fire a gun like that one handed.
K holds his the exact same way.
Decades later, younger, more up-to-date training and he’s still straight-arming that thing. Almost like that’s what he was programmed to do…
At 1:42 there’s a shot of Deckard and his dog sprinting away as someone jumps through a wall. That’s clearly a replicant and there’s some speculation it’s K. You get very little on the freeze-frame but the character has a band over their eyes, suggesting glasses or shades. Which in turn says replicant, but not K, at least to us. At least not yet…
“Your story isn’t over yet”
That does sound an awful lot like there’s more to K’s story than we see here doesn’t it?
Blade Runner 2049 is released in the UK on 6 October. We’ll have the Voight-Kampff waiting.