For example: his hair is grey but, what I get from the whole movie, is that he is actually much younger than he appears to be. Does he have the same sickness as J.F. Sebastian?

  • 2
    Thematically, yes. Dramatically, no. Jun 5, 2016 at 13:44
  • 5
    I suppose it's subjective but his hair is white not gray and it's a style. As some other examples Storm from X-Men. It's not meant to indicate age. It's meant to indicate "different", "future", "not human", etc...
    – gman
    Jun 5, 2016 at 17:23
  • Don't forget, he's a robot, not a human. They only exist for four years, then stop functioning. They are "made" a certain way and that's how they look for the whole four years.
    – Fattie
    Jun 5, 2016 at 18:22
  • @Fattie A nitpick: replicants are not robots. They are organic and alive, and nobody (certainly not their creators, like Tyrell) dispute this. But yes, Roy Batty's hair is stylistically bleached white, and does not indicate age.
    – Andres F.
    Oct 10, 2017 at 17:43
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    hi @AndresF. - sure, "replicant" is a better word than "robot" for the type of beings in the film. Good one. The point is: the question has been fully explained. In no sense at all does Batty have "old guy" hair. He just has hip bleached white hair - like, you know, Justin Bieber or whoever :)
    – Fattie
    Oct 10, 2017 at 20:32

2 Answers 2


Roy Batty was an artificial genetically-engineered being (as explained in the opening text), and these artificial beings (replicants) had been engineered to have a four year lifespan in order to prevent them from having time to develop too many of their own "emotional responses". He was approaching the end of that life (as were his companions), which is why he had come to Earth to talk to Tyrell. And given that we actually see him die without any apparent injury at the end of the film, we can presume he was just slightly under four years old when we first saw him. From the transcript here:

Deckard: [funny look]. [pause] What's this?

Bryant: Nexus 6. Roy Batty. Incept date 2016. Combat model. Optimum self-sufficiency. Probably the leader. This is Zhora. She's trained for an off-world kick-murder squad. Talk about beauty and the beast, she's both. The fourth skin job is Pris. A basic pleasure model. The standard item for military clubs in the outer colonies. They were designed to copy human beings in every way except their emotions. The designers reckoned that after a few years they might develop their own emotional responses. You know, hate, love, fear, anger, envy. So they built in a fail-safe device.

Deckard: Which is what?

Bryant: Four year life span.

The fact that Batty came to Earth to try to have the Tyrell Corporation extend his life span was indicated by his dialogue with Tyrell:

Tyrell: I'm surprised you didn't come here sooner.

Roy: It's not an easy thing to meet your maker.

Tyrell: And what can he do for you?

Roy: Can the maker repair what he makes.

Tyrell: Would you like to be modified?

Roy: Stay here. -- I had in mind something a little more radical.

Tyrell: What-- What seems to be the problem?

Roy: Death.

Tyrell: Death. Well, I'm afraid that's a little out of my jurisdiction, you--

Roy: I want more life, fucker.

@Mr Lister points out that his "incept date" (when he was created) was actually given in the movie as 8 January 2016, as seen in an image from this article:

enter image description here

The opening text indicated the film was set in November 2019 so he would have been about 3 years 10 months old.

On the other hand, J.F. Sebastian was a human who had a fictional disease called "Methuselah's syndrome" that caused him to age prematurely. They put the actor in subtle wrinkly makeup to indicate this, which the actor playing Roy Batty didn't have, so however they engineered the replicants to have four-year life spans, it presumably wasn't by giving them Methuselah's syndrome. From the transcript:

Pris: Thanks. -- How old are you?

Sebastian: Twenty-five.

Pris: What's your problem?

Sebastian: Methuselah's syndrome.

Pris: What's that?

Sebastian: My glands. They grow old too fast.

Pris: Is that why you're still on earth?

Sebastian: Yeah, I couldn't pass the medical. Anyway, I kind of like it here.

You can see the wrinkling around the eyes in this shot (click to enlarge):

enter image description here

  • I was fortunate enough to work with "J.F. Sebastian" (Mr Bill Sanderson) on a film shoot - he's really wonderful and an amazing actor.
    – Fattie
    Oct 10, 2017 at 20:34

According to IMDB, Blade Runner is set in 2019, and Roy Batty's bio says his incept date was 8 January 2016. So... the answer is three.

About his hair colour, that's just the way he was designed. Maybe his appearance was based on a real person (just like his implanted memories), but that's just a guess.

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