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In the movie, it is stated that Replicants were designed to live for four years. The stated rationale behind this is that the longer the Replicants live, the more human they become, and it would be increasingly difficult to detect Replicants (via an emotional response in the Voight-Kampff test).

Why then would Dr. Tyrell develop the Rachael prototype, which drastically increases the difficulty (20-30 vs. ~100 Voight-Kampff questions) in detecting Replicants?

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    I don't agree with the premise about 4 years. It truly seems to be a manufacturing issue. Whether replicants become more human over time is independent of that. Improving the human simulation appears to be for purely business reasons. Improved product or pure R&D. Note if Tyrell Corp was concerned about replicants not blending in they'd be bright green or something. Replicants are an off world product that we have to conclude is better the more human it is. (They are banned only on Earth) The sequel Blade Runner 2049 does add to the Rachel prototype's abilities FYI. Jan 5, 2022 at 7:21
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    it is stated that Replicants were designed to live for four years. The stated rationale behind this is that the longer the Replicants live, the more human they become, and it would be increasingly difficult to detect Replicants - Wait, they truly said that? The way I understood it, it was meant to be a limitation against rogue replicants: if they go rogue, they'll eventually die off anyway. Then again, Tyrell also had a dialogue about the limitations that prevented to go beyond 4 years (although I don't remember if it was to extend the years of a living replicant or to create a new one)
    – Clockwork
    Jan 5, 2022 at 8:38
  • Related: scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/8677/…
    – Clockwork
    Jan 5, 2022 at 9:15
  • "More human than human" - I know you've read it in Tyrells voice :) Jan 5, 2022 at 11:41
  • The context of your first paragraph is all in relation to the current state-of-art replicant version available with all of its features and limitations versus the context of your second paragraph Dr. Tyrell’s actions are in respect to improving upon that state-of-art to create version with better features and less limitations; you can’t compare the first to the second, it’s apples-to-oranges comparison, like asking why Intel should develop its new Arc chip in 2022 when perfectly fine Timex-Sinclair 1000s are available. Jan 5, 2022 at 13:56

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More human than human

In the movie, the lifespan limitation is a flaw, not a feature. Replicant DNA is more unstable than human DNA - replicants just die earlier.

Tyrell wants to make perfect replicants and in Rachel (and possibly Deckard) he succeeded. He simply doesn’t care that this makes things harder for law enforcement. This sort of thing happens all the time.

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    In the movie, Bryant tells Deckard (although Deckard should already know this) that the lifespan limitation was a safety feature.
    – releseabe
    Mar 30, 2022 at 17:40

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