In the 1982 film Blade Runner, a group of six humanoid androids (referred to as "replicants") have violently rebelled against their masters and escaped to Earth in search of a means of prolonging their artificially-short lifespans. The leader of this group of fugitives is a replicant named Roy Batty, and they are being tracked down by retired bounty hunter (referred to as a "blade runner") named Rick Deckard.

Two of the replicants are killed offscreen by blade runner Dave Holden, who is then shot by the replicant Leon while administering a Voight-Kampff test in an attempt to determine Leon's identity. Deckard proceeds to "retire" (in other words, kill) the remaining fugitive replicants one by one, starting with Zohra, then Leon, and then finally Pris shortly before being confronted by Batty.

During their encounter, Batty addresses Deckard by name, and speaks as if he is familiar with him (starting at 1:13 in the following video):

Batty: Not very sporty to fire on an unarmed opponent. I thought you were supposed to be good. Aren't you the "good man"? Come on, Deckard. Show me what you're made of.

However, Batty didn't meet Deckard prior to this. And the only other replicants in his group who did were all retired shortly after meeting him, so none of them had the chance to tell him, even if they had learned his name. And I don't recall any scene where Batty looks him up or learns anything about him.

So, how did Batty know Deckard's name?


1 Answer 1


So far as I know, your question was first put in publication by Joseph Fancavilla in "The Android as Doppelgänger" (see Retrofitting Blade Runner--edited by poet Judith Kerman, p. 10), but speculation since has accounted for this...

There are gaps in the film, mostly due to budget and time concerns, but early scripts, storyboards, and interviews with actor Joe Turkel indicate that after Roy Batty kills Eldon Tyrell (and J. F. Sebastian) he discovers Tyrell is only a duplicate, a replicant himself.

Further exploring the pyramid, Roy Batty discovers the cryogenically preserved body of the real Tyrell. And here, it is speculated, he likely found a "file" with the name Rick Deckard and indicating Deckard's replicant nature--(note Batty refers to Deckard as "little man" and says "Aren't you the good man?" ironically).

Part of the nature of the film Ridley Scott created included NOT insulting the audience,encouraging them to think and infer things on their own. This is one of those elements, though perhaps irksome as it is only a few plot points.

I mention the crypt in my article "Ridley's Key: The Forgotten Influence of Joseph Losey in Blade Runner" for Luminary Magazine put out by Lancaster University UK's creative writing department, Issue 4 autumn 2014.

I'm not certain who first published this line of speculation, I'm currently researching this.

For another theory on this (less interesting) see Retrofitting Blade Runner film note p. 168 #1:35.

  • 1
    Hi, welcome to SF&F. While an interesting diversion, I'm not sure we can consider canon a scene (Batty discovering the "real" Tyrell) that wasn't even filmed.
    – DavidW
    Feb 28, 2020 at 19:20
  • 3
    I would suggest that defining "cannon" here is difficult since there are seven versions of the film, plus deleted scenes, multiple published or available scripts, conflicting interviews, and the text of the book from which it was (partly) adapted.It's up to you to decide which version or script or what you would like to interpret. I answered the question by pointing out that it has been put forth by film scholars before. Fancavilla's mention/answer suggests that it is "inexplicable." If you are satisfied with that there is no discussion necessary. The film versions stand up well in any case. Feb 28, 2020 at 19:46

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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