Spoiler Alert! If you haven't yet seen the movie, Blade Runner 2049, you might want to skip this question.

Officer K (also known as Joe) ...

discovers that Dr. Ana Stelline is the daughter of Rick Deckard and Rachael Tyrell. Ana has a genetic disability that makes her vulnerable to infections so she lives in an environmentally sealed room 24/7.

She was not placed ...

in the environmentally sealed room at birth. She was actually placed in an orphanage (actually a child labor camp) that was very dirty. She was probably exposed to many environmental toxins and dangerous microbes in that orphanage.

How could she survive even a few years on an environmentally devastated world?

This seems like a plot hole. Am I missing something from her backstory?

  • 11
    ...genetic disability that makes ... vulnerable to infections that's what you're told, how do you know that's true?
    – Möoz
    Oct 9, 2017 at 23:30

4 Answers 4


When Ana tells her backstory, it seems that her genetic disorder did not blossom until she was 8 years old. Her parents made plans to move off-world, but Ana was not able to come with them because of her disorder. From the way she tells this story, it doesn't seem that the plan all along was to leave Ana behind; rather, her parents planned to bring her with them, but were unable to once they realized she was vulnerable to diseases. It's not clear how old she was in the orphanage, but she was obviously an orphan then, and had not been adopted by her new parents.

There's also the possibility that she was never adopted, and that the backstory is fabricated. She might not have a genetic disorder at all, but is kept in the glass box to give her a cover story so she can be hidden from anyone looking for her.

  • 16
    It's almost certainly the latter: a fabrication to keep her away from anyone looking for her and to keep her away from the cities. If she were mobile in the outside world, her unusual biology (a replicant with no serial number of any kind, with no design on file) could be discovered and her origin questioned. Keeping her with rebel replicants runs the same risk, should they be attacked. I doubt she has a compromised immune system. Rather, it is a cover to keep her in one place and to limit interest in her.
    – Praxis
    Oct 9, 2017 at 20:07
  • 2
    @Praxis I agree, I'm also convinced this is the case. It's still speculation even if it's very plausible, as it's neither confirmed nor denied by any official sources yet.
    – tobiasvl
    Oct 9, 2017 at 20:24

It's all a ruse

Look, there are way too many questions for this to be realistically plausible:

  1. Who built the room? Surely it wasn't cheap
  2. Why do the Resistance ('Replicants Underground') know of her existence and intention to 'rise to power'?
  3. Who are her 'parents' and why did they just leave her?
  4. Was she always a memory manufacturer or is this a recent development? Is this why she can afford an entire facility and 'bubble' room?
  5. And why on earth does 'Stelline' sound like 'sterile'? Too coincidental to be believed that 'Stelline' lives in a 'sterile' room!

Besides, the only viewpoint we have on this is K's. He isn't necessarily the most adept at seeing through lies at this point. Remember what Freysa said?

It's all a way of making us do our part


She will rise and lead us

(or some such).

The Resistance are amassing power and awaiting Ana's return, or whatever, to lead them. This clearly shows that Ana's condition is not as grave as she makes it out to be.

K has been deceived, and given that K is our protagonist, we are also deceived.


I got the impression that Ana has no idea who/what she is. So the genetic immunity disorder is quite possibly a ploy to keep her safe, but she doesn't know it.

The slightly sect-like rant given by Freysa (?) gave me the feeling that the rebel replicants have 'plans' for Ana that don't really take into account what Ana might actually want. To them, she represents something which is more important than her own individuality. She is a figure-head, an archetype, a myth-maker, she is their Eve. It would be quite ironic for these 'beings' who are so obsessed by humanity to go this way, but humans have, so...

I wonder whether K/Joe didn't understand this and this is why he chose to take the strategically insane step of uniting father and daughter - so that they could decide together on their future, rather than being sacrificed for 'the cause'.

How/why the 'keeping her safe/hidden' plan transitioned to being in a dangerous orphanage to being in a sterile gilded cage is beyond my speculative abilities.


I believe Deckard and Rachel had powerful friends in the resistance movement. After Ana's birth and Rachel's death Deckard and company set about the double task of both raising Ana and hiding her true identity. The orphanage could have been a good choice for hiding her for a time - and while still young being passed off as a boy. She would have been protected from harm of course, but as she got older her true gender would have become harder to hide, and her protected status would become known to the other children and resented. Also, her unique talents may have become more apparent, again, making her stand out more and becoming the target of bullies. The end of her stay at the orphanage may have been the running down and beating she suffered when she hid the horse. Her protectors would have seen that event as a sign that the orphanage would no longer work as a hiding place. Records of her time at the orphanage were destroyed.

  • 1
    This question doesn't seem to discuss how if she was in fact hyper-vulnerable to illness that she could survive in the orphanage.
    – Edlothiad
    Oct 24, 2017 at 7:33
  • This doesn't answer the question.
    – user89104
    Oct 25, 2017 at 7:36

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