4

Obviously, the effect is to inform the audience but Deckard acts as if some of the information he's being given by Bryant is completely new to him, for example that they have a 4-year lifespan and that they're very hard to spot, not something you'd expect that an experienced Blade Runner would need to be told.

How could any Blade Runner not know these basic Replicant facts?

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    As far as I know, the 4-year lifespan was rather new. It was implemented with the latest Nexus-5 models and wasn't present on the other older models. Some kind of failsafe in case they go rogue.
    – Clockwork
    Mar 30, 2022 at 19:04
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    Yeah the beginning of the conversation Deckard says something like “what’s this?” and Bryant explains about the new(ish) Nexus 6 models. Deckard presumably knows about earlier models, but not Nexus 6. And doesn’t he tell Gaff that he quit at the beginning? He’s been out of the game a while, if I’m not mistaken. He’s only called back because Leon killed the best blade runner Bryant had. Mar 30, 2022 at 22:13
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    They went rogue before, hence the need for Blade Runners but perhaps the 4-year lifespan had seemed to work until some went rogue even in the short period. But either Tyrell was lying to Batty or maybe the 4-year lifespan was a useful side effect of making higher performance Replicants.
    – releseabe
    Mar 30, 2022 at 22:20
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    @Clockwork - What's the source that the shortened lifespan was seen in the Nexus-5? Or was this a typo?
    – Valorum
    Apr 3, 2022 at 14:21
  • @Valorum Definitely a mistake on my end. I misremembered 6 as 5 for some reasons.
    – Clockwork
    Apr 3, 2022 at 14:34

1 Answer 1

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This was addressed in the Marvel Comic adaptation. In short, Rick Deckard has been out of the game for quite a few years. The last time he worked as a Blade Runner, he was taking out Nexus-3 Replicants.

Evidently those were easier to spot (albeit still disconcerting to Deckard, "too smooth, too human") and didn't have the same in-built lifespan limitations that Tyrell added to the Nexus-6 models to help cope with the fact that they're liable to go cuckoo if left to their own devices. Deckard is evidently being given new info, and presumably information that hasn't or won't be made available to the general public.

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In the film's official novelisation, when we catch up with Deckard he's musing about what the latest Nexus androids would be like. It's clear that he's never encountered one.

What were they like? Deckard wondered. The newest replicants. Or reps. Or robots. Or androids. Or skin jobs. Or whatever you wanted to call them as they came off the assembly lines, each new model more lifelike than the one before.

How hard were they to control now? How hard were they to catch when they broke free? How hard were they to spot when they pre tended to be humans? How hard were they to kill?

Deckard tried to stop wondering. He stared at his raw fish. He didn't want to imagine what it would be like to off the latest model Nexus. The last runaway rep he had hunted down was a Nexus 3. Even that early model made him sick to his stomach when it went dead. It was too close to seeing a real person die. And since then the Tyrell Corporation had kept its top brains working overtime to keep offering the most lifelike humanoid slaves on the market. Aimed at people willing to take the big leap offworld, the Tyrell Nexus line was the big reason why America stayed number one in the worldwide race to settle outer space.

Blade Runner: A Story of the Future

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    I think the interesting thing is that Tyrell was sort of the opponent of law enforcement. They could have easily made Replicants detectible in either obvious ways like skin tint or subtler ways, like something that could be scanned reliably using a simple electronic device but Tyrell did not do this.
    – releseabe
    Apr 3, 2022 at 14:40
  • @releseabe - But then they wouldn't have been 'more human than human'...
    – Valorum
    Apr 3, 2022 at 17:18
  • Right: this places Tyrell in opposition to law enforcement and it seems like in 2049, Wallace is an arch criminal, dangerous beyond any criminal in history it could be argued.
    – releseabe
    Apr 3, 2022 at 17:48
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    i am sure he would even as he guts newborn replicants and prepares to torture deckard. note also that wallace has been merely inconvenienced by k and deckard -- deckard and ana stelline remain in mortal danger, and now wallace knows everything. ana, whose illness limits her movements, will nonetheless have to flee.
    – releseabe
    Apr 3, 2022 at 18:12
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    Look, he is a piece of shit. I see what he does.
    – releseabe
    Apr 3, 2022 at 19:02

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