He spends half the film angsting about whether he's a real little boy or not. Why couldn't he just check his 'eye code'?

The only reason I can think of is that maybe Nexus-9 replicants don't have eye codes any more?

  • 2
    If replicants always had eye codes, why would they have needed the Voight-Kampff test to identify them in the first movie? – Zeiss Ikon Oct 23 '17 at 12:38
  • 1
    Biotech which can make a whole replicant is probably up to implanting the eye code in a non-replicant. – Royal Canadian Bandit Oct 23 '17 at 12:47
  • 3
    @ZeissIkon Well, Nexus 6 (and earlier) didn't have eye codes, and they don't use VK anymore in 2049. – tobiasvl Oct 23 '17 at 12:49
  • K already knows that he's at least half-Replicant. What would it prove if he was to see an eye code? In fact, what would no eye code mean to him - that he's a very well Replicated being, or that he's 'natural'? In fact, in the novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (which the original Blade Runner was loosely based on), the Blade Runner periodically 'checks' himself, clearly showing that he's not satisfied with the previous test. – Möoz Nov 1 '17 at 23:34
  • 1
    Why doesn't K check his DNA when he thinks he is one of the two "orphans"? Because then the last half of the movie wouldn't exist. – n_b Nov 3 '17 at 16:20

Nexus-9 replicants do have an eye code

2036: Nexus Dawn, one of the promotional short films for Blade Runner 2049, shows that Nexus-9 replicants do have an eye code.

Blade Runner 2036: Nexus Dawn - Replicant eye code

Given that K has gone through his life knowing he's a Nexus-9 replicant and works as a Blade Runner, he almost certainly has an eye code as well.

But what does that prove?

Having an eye code does not disprove that K is the child he's searching for. Sure, the child would not be born with an eye code, but the people who hid the child have already altered the official DNA birth records. For all K knows, they may have also had the ability to add an eye code to a baby replicant. (Or for that matter, they could have altered the DNA birth records to be different than the child's to even further hide their tracks).

Let's not forget too that the "Black Out" (detailed in Blade Runner Black Out 2022) destroyed a great deal of information about the past. This means that there is enough unknown information that K can never know for sure if he's got the whole picture.

K is interpreting evidence to mean he is the child

Regardless of any proof that K finds, we see throughout the film that he wants to be the child. First, there is Joi encouraging him to think this way:

I always knew you were special. Maybe this is how. A child. Of woman born. Pushed into the world. Wanted. Loved.

We see too when he visits Dr. Ana Stelline, she looks at his memory of the toy horse and says:

Yes, this memory happened to someone.

Note that she says "happened to someone", not specifying whether it happened to him or to someone else, yet K assumes that it happened to him and this seems to be the turning point where he believes he is the child.

Later when K meets the hidden colony of replicants, their leader says something along the lines of "You wanted it to be you." This is clearly a tragic flaw with K: he never attempted to disprove that he was the child once he had convinced himself that he was.

Even if K found all sorts of proof indicating that he wasn't the child (including an eye code, different DNA from the birth records, serial numbers on his bones, whatever), he likely would have still hoped that it was part of the coverup to hide him, the child.

  • Nexus-9 replicants might have eye codes, but the picture clearly shows a Nexus 8 eye code. "NX-8 2 ..." – RichS Feb 18 '18 at 21:01
  • @RichS The Wikipedia page for 2036: Nexus Dawn lists the replicant character as a Nexus-9, which is what I'm going off of. I admit that I don't know for sure where that info came from, or if the NX-8 in the eyecode is supposed to indicate that he was a Nexus-8 or if it's a coincidence. – Thunderforge Feb 19 '18 at 1:47
  • 2
    I remember somebody pointing out to me that the serial number from Rachel's bone fragment showed N7FAA52318 and she was the sole Nexus-7 model. (Also according to Wikipedia, and I don't know the source.) The serial numbers for the 4 replicants from the original movie all start with "N6" and they are Nexus-6 models. And Sapper Morton was Nexus-8 model with the number, N8PSD32974. I think the special effects department for the 2036 film made a typo. :-) – RichS Feb 19 '18 at 2:05

I think that's a really good question. As it was shown in "2036: Nexus Dawn" Nexus-9 replicants did have an eye code. If they didn't they would probably be unidentifiable. The only reason why K didn't do this that comes to my head is that it would ruin the film.

  • 1
    Do you have any in universe reason why he may not have? – Edlothiad Nov 3 '17 at 7:47

Because eye codes can be faked / printed on non-replicants? They look printed on eyes of replicants with special paint, not like a genetically grown part.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.