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Rick M. Deckard was a Blade Runner of the Los Angeles Police Department who was assigned in 2019 to retire four replicants who stole a ship and illegally landed on Earth to find their creator, Dr. Eldon Tyrell.

After finishing his assignment, he left Los Angeles for a cabin in Oregon with the replicant, Rachael, who he kept stored in a transport sleep module in order to extend her life. Less than a year later, he was summoned by Rachael's templant, Sarah Tyrell, to retire the elusive sixth replicant.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Sometime prior to 2019, Deckard was divorced,[1] his father had died,[2] and he had retired from his job as a Blade Runner[3] because he felt the Nexus-3 replicant was "too smooth, too human."[2] During his time as a Blade Runner, he had been partners with Dave Holden.[4]

2019[edit | edit source]

Coming out of retirement[edit | edit source]

In 2019, the LAPD sent out Blade Runner Gaff to pull Deckard out of his retirement in the light that six rogue Nexus-6 models had arrived on Earth for unknown purposes. Deckard, while seated at Howie Lee's White Dragon, eating noodles, was interrupted by Gaff who arrested Deckard and took him to his spinner and headed for LAPD headquarters.[3]

Mission briefing[edit | edit source]

"I was quit when I came in here Bryant. I'm twice as quit now"

Deckard to Bryant[src]

Deckard met with his former boss, Harry Bryant, and was given an ultimatum - track down a rogue Nexus-6 or live the rest of his life as a "little person" and forever be harassed by the LAPD. Deckard questioned why Holden had not been given the task, only to find out that Holden tried and failed already. Concluding that he had no choice, Deckard sat down with Bryant to discuss the six renegade replicants.[3]

Sitting in a dimly lit projector room, Bryant explained that out of the six replicants, one[4] was fried in electrical traps after trying to infiltrate the Tyrell Corporation while the others escaped. Leon was shown first, whose encounter with Holden was documented during his Voight-Kampff test. Roy, the leader of the rogue group, Zhora, and Pris were shown to Deckard as well. Bryant also gave Deckard information on Nexus-6 models; namely, replicants that were dangerous because their emotions were childlike, given their raw strength and mental intelligence. A fail-safe was given to Nexus-6 that would only allow them to live for four years, negating any worry that they would be around to cause damage. Bryant ordered Deckard to go to the Tyrell Corporation and test a Nexus-6 model with a Voight-Kampff test that would allow the Blade Runner to understand how to spot them in the field.[3]

Meeting Rachael and Eldon Tyrell[edit | edit source]

"She's a replicant isn't she... she doesn't know... how can it not know what it is?"

Deckard to Tyrell about Rachael[src]

Deckard and Gaff flew over to the immense Tyrell Corporation pyramid. Deckard held a brief conversation about the nature of the owl in Tyrell's meeting room with his secretary, Rachael. Their conversation was interrupted by Tyrell himself, who asked Deckard to demonstrate the Voight-Kampff test on a human, namely Rachael, before he provided him with a Nexus-6.[3]

Deckard converses with Rachael about the risks of a Blade Runner

Rachael answered over one-hundred questions before being asked to step outside of the room by Tyrell. Deckard concluded that she was a replicant that did not know she was one. There, Deckard learned from Tyrell that Rachael was an experiment in providing replicants with memories to control them better. He left with Gaff to investigate Leon's apartment at the Yukon Hotel.[3]

1187 Hunterwasser and Rachael's visit[edit | edit source]

"Okay. Bad joke. I made a bad joke. You're not a replicant... go home."

Deckard to Rachael[src]

After crossing the street in heavy rain, Deckard and Gaff were taken to Leon Kowalski's apartment by the owner of the Yukon. Deckard found a scale in the bathtub of the apartment while Gaff created an origami man with an erect penis. Deckard continued to search for anything useful and came across a handful of photos belonging to Leon.[3]

Deckard returned to his apartment, only to find Rachael waiting for him in the elevator. He attempted to make her leave, but eventually gave in when Rachael told him that Tyrell wouldn't see her. After offering her a drink, Rachael attempted to convince Deckard that she wasn't a replicant by showing him a picture of herself as a child with her mother. Deckard brushed this off and explained specific memories that only she would know, telling her they were implants from Tyrell's niece. Seeing that she was visibly shaken, Deckard attempted to retract his statements and get her a drink but Rachael stormed out, leaving her photo behind.[3]

The Dream, Esper Analysis, and Animoid Row[edit | edit source]

Sometime after Rachael left, Deckard played the piano and began to fall asleep, dreaming of a unicorn galloping through a forest.[5][6] He grabbed Leon's photos from earlier and analyze them in his Esper machine. After perusing the photo, he came across a mirror and used it to find Zhora, with a snake tattoo and sleeping on a couch. He concluded that the scale belonged to her, and headed to Animoid Row to investigate the scale further.[3]

Upon reaching Animoid Row, Deckard asked the fish vendor if the scale he found was from a fish. The woman informs him that it was not fish, but snake, and pointed him in the direction of Abdul Ben Hassan, the creator of the snake. Deckard made his way through Animoid Row and threatened Hassan to give up who he sold the snake to, learning that the snake belonged to someone working at Taffey Lewis' nightclub in First Sector, China Town.[3]

Taffey Lewis' and Zhora[edit | edit source]

"I'd had people walk out on me before, but not when I was being... so charming."

Deckard to Rachael[src]

Deckard proceeded to Taffey Lewis', speaking with the owner personally about Zhora. Lewis merely dismissed Deckard and he was left with a drink on the house. Deckard attempted to call Rachael with the number on the back of her photo, but failed to get her down to Taffey Lewis'. Rachael told Deckard it was not her kind of place and hung up on him. Deckard was present for Miss Salome (Zhora) and her snake dance, visibly uncomfortable by the spectacle. He noticed, however, that she was the replicant he'd been looking for.[3]

After the performance, Deckard hung around near the dressing rooms, waiting for Zhora. He found her and went into her dressing room under the guise of a member of the American Federation of Variety Artists. His attempt at hiding his identity only make Zhora more suspicious and, after her shower, she punched him after asking him to dry her. Zhora attempted to strangle Deckard but was interrupted by more performers coming into the room. Zhora fled, with Deckard following shortly after.[3]

Deckard aiming at Zhora, about to kill her

Zhora nearly succeeded in losing Deckard among the crowded streets of Los Angeles, but was eventually hunted down and shot twice in the back. She crashed through several glass panes before succumbing to her injuries. Deckard, visibly shaken, showed his identity to the responding officers and looked on as Zhora is taken away. Moments later, Gaff took Deckard to Bryant's spinner to inform him that four replicants still remained; Rachael being included among them.[3]

Confrontation with Leon[edit | edit source]

Leon confronting Deckard after Zhora's retirement

Deckard caught glimpses of Rachael in the crowd of onlookers, and attempted to find her. Before he could, Leon grabbed him and demanded to know how much life he had left. Deckard answered him honestly, and the two fought. Leon slapped Deckard's gun out of his hands and easily beat down Deckard. As he prepared to gouge Deckard's eyes out, Leon was shot in the head by Rachael with Deckard's gun, causing him to collapse, dead.[3]

Rachael and Deckard[edit | edit source]

Deckard telling Rachael someone will eventually hunt her

Deckard and Rachael left the streets and returned to his apartment. There, Deckard told Rachael that he would not hunt her down, but that eventually, the LAPD would send another. Before falling asleep, Deckard was asked by Rachael if he had ever taken the Voight-Kampff test himself, but he fell asleep before he could answer. Rachael began to play the piano, and Deckard woke. He joined her at the piano, complimenting her that she played beautifully. Deckard attempted to kiss Rachael who, not yet understanding who or what she was, attempted to leave. Deckard forced Rachael to stay and the two shared an intimate moment together.[3]

Hunting Pris and Roy[edit | edit source]

Learning of the death of Tyrell and J.F. Sebastian, Deckard called Sebastian's vidphone, only to encounter Pris as she answered the call. She immediately hung up and Deckard moved towards the Bradbury Apartments to retire her. Pris hid among all of Sebastian's creations, ambushing Deckard and nearly breaking his neck. As Pris prepared to attack him again, Deckard shot, but failed to kill Pris. As she writhed on the ground, it took one[7][1][5] or two[8][6] more shots to finally put her out of her misery. Deckard was visibly uncomfortable by this confrontation and moves to a location to ambush Roy Batty.[3]

Meanwhile, Roy returned from his confrontation with Tyrell to find Sebastian's apartment broken into and Pris shot dead on the ground. After Deckard failed to ambush Roy, he got his fingers broken by the replicant leader and was told to run.[3]

Rooftop finality[edit | edit source]

Roy, near the end of his life, chased Deckard throughout the Bradbury Apartments. Because of his broken fingers, Deckard dropped his gun and continued to head for the roof. Roy followed closely, counting up from one and becoming increasingly erratic and more animalistic. Deckard was eventually able to reach the roof, but was confronted by Roy as he attempted to flee. Deckard leapt from the Bradbury to a nearby rooftop, but failed to grab hold of anything stable and hangs hundreds of feet above the streets.[3]

Roy, now with a dove in his hands, made the jump easily and turned to stand above Deckard. Before slipping, Deckard spat at Roy and was shockingly saved from his death by the replicant. Roy placed Deckard back onto the roof and gave one final speech about his life experiences before smiling at Deckard and dying peacefully. Deckard was left to contemplate the importance of life while Gaff arrived and gave Deckard his gun back, implying that Deckard's job was done and that it was too bad that Rachael would not live.[3]

Fleeing Los Angeles[edit | edit source]

Rachael and Deckard Ending.jpg

Deckard returned to his apartment, battered and broken. His door open and fearing the worst, Deckard was relieved to find Rachael alive and well in his bed. He asked her if she loved and trusted him, and prepared to leave Los Angeles. Before leaving, Deckard noticed that Rachael knocked something over in the hallway. Deckard picked up an origami unicorn, presumably left by Gaff. Deckard nodded in understanding and got in the elevator with Rachael, leaving Los Angeles behind for a new life.[3] Deckard escaped to Oregon with Rachael.[4]

Sixth replicant[edit | edit source]

Over the next year, Deckard arranged to have a Tyrell transport sleep module stolen, storing Rachael inside it in an attempt to extend her lifespan.[4]

One day, he was visited by Rachael's templant, Tyrell's niece, Sarah Tyrell. After revealing her identity to him, she left and a team of Tyrell agents took Deckard to the Tyrell headquarters. There, Sarah asked him to hunt down and kill the elusive sixth replicant that Bryant had mentioned to him for his job the previous year. Deckard was initially reluctant, but Sarah convinced him by coupling recording of him and Rachael with her identical appearance to his lover.[4]

During his assignment, he was first sent to the Van Nuys Pet Hospital, where he spoke with its head, Isidore, who condemned Deckard's job as a Blade Runner, comparing it to a Third Reich Rassenprüfer. Isidore went on to state that the Voigt-Kampff test was flawed, and had caused human deaths, using the St. Paul incident as an example. Further, Isidore revealed to Deckard that the Pet Hospital serviced replicants so that they could pass the Voigt-Kampff test. Finally, Isidore told Deckard that Pris had actually been a human who suffered a psychotic break and lived as a replicant.[4]

As he prepared to leave the Pet Hospital, Deckard noticed among photos of the hospital founder Hannibal Sloat a newspaper clipping of Anson and Ruth Tyrell – Sarah's parents – preparing to board the ill-fated Salander 3. Deckard asked Isidore why the Tyrells chose to return to Earth – a trip that caused their deaths – though he did not have the answer.[4]

After witnessing the destruction of an Off-world colonies advertising blimp, Deckard incapacitated a police officer and stole his uniform. He made his way to the LAPD headquarters to speak to Bryant, instead finding a persynth of him. Deckard was ambushed by police personnel but managed to escape.[4]

He made his way to an apartment that served as a safehouse to Blade Runners. Upon entering, he was spotted by Kaiser and was attacked by Pris until J.F. Sebastian intervened. Sebastian explained to Deckard that he had survived his encounter with Batty – contrary to initial reports – and had taken Pris' body from a morgue and revived her, utilizing spare replicant parts.[4]

Holden soon came to the apartment, informing Deckard of an alleged conspiracy by the LAPD to eliminate the entire Blade Runner unit. Holden wished to have Deckard join him in investigating the conspiracy and retiring the sixth replicant, but Deckard refused, opting to continue on his own.[4]

After Holden left, Sarah came to the apartment, having tracked Holden to its location. She coldly shot Pris and demanded that Deckard leave with her. She provided him with a spinner, which he used to later return to the safehouse.[4]

There, he was attacked by Holden and the Roy Batty templant, who believed he was a replicant. Despite being outnumbered, Deckard managed to escape the pair, though Batty soon caught up with him on a section of freeway. Due to Batty's immense strength and agility, Deckard supposed that he was the sixth replicant. During a scuffle, Batty prepared to kill Deckard, but was shot in the head by Holden, who also now believed Batty being a replicant. Deckard and Holden then watched as Pris emerged and went to Batty's body. Holden readied himself to shoot Pris, but Deckard urged him not to, to just leave her be.[4]

Deckard and Holden went to the Tyrell headquarters and Deckard entered Sarah's suite, finding Sarah – perhaps believing she was Rachael – asleep on the bed alongside his gun. A persynth of Sarah appeared on a nearby screen and spoke to him. Deckard resolved that there had actually been no sixth replicant and that the conspiracy had been created by Sarah based on a mistake Bryant had made when briefing Deckard the year prior. The persynth announced the destruction of the building, which Deckard escaped with Sarah and Holden.[4]

Deckard and Sarah subsequently obtained false identifications as "Mr. and Mrs. Niemand" and emigrated Off-world.[4] He eventually came to the realization that Sarah was not Rachael.[9]

Film consultant[edit | edit source]

Deckard took a job as a consultant for a film chronicling his exploits as a Blade Runner. Upon filming the death of Leon, he realized that the replicant portraying him had actually been killed as part of the scene. Angered, as he had been told that nobody would be killed for the film's production, Deckard searched for the film's director, Urbenton, who had left the set.[9]

He soon found the director locked inside of a room. Urbenton was not on set during the shooting and had been unaware of it occurring, to the point of being skeptical upon learning about it from Deckard. Deckard and Urbenton began to return to the set, but noticed that another scene was being filmed, despite nothing being scheduled. The scene, directed by a man named Marley, was of Leon shooting Holden and it was soon learned that the real Holden had somehow made it onto the set and was used in the scene, being killed in the process.[9]

Deckard decided then to leave the film production. As he left, a production assistant gave him a briefcase displaying his initials, RMD. Contained within was a persynth of Roy Batty, which provided him the details of a mission for Deckard, orchestrated by replicant sympathizers. Also contained in the briefcase was a list of codes that would allow replicants to pass the Voight-Kampff test. The replicant sympathizers wished Deckard to take the package to replicants in the distant colonies.[9]

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Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

Deckard was portrayed by Harrison Ford. Upon his casting, Ford specifically requested that he not wear a hat in the film. This was due to his discomfort with having to wear a hat through the bulk of production on his previous film, Raiders of the Lost Ark. His hairstyle in the film was also chosen by himself.

In a draft of the original film's script, dated February 23, 1981, Gaff tells Deckard that others refer to him as "Mr. Nighttime" and "The Boogeyman."

Deckard's identity[edit | edit source]

Deckard as a replicant[edit | edit source]

Is Deckard a Replicant? The question has been asked since Blade Runner was first released in 1982. Many people, including the director Ridley Scott and writer Paul M. Sammon, regard Deckard is a replicant.

  • With the 2007 release of Final Cut, some say the argument can be finally put to rest. Ridley Scott, with full control of the media, has put/left in the unicorn dream sequence as Deckard is sitting at the piano daydreaming. Thus, at the end of the movie, Deckard's knowing nod when he picks up Gaff's origami unicorn and recollection of Gaff's last comment concerning Rachael signifies Deckard's own realization of the facts.
  • One interesting point that comes up is what Bryant really knows. Does Gaff know that Deckard is a replicant while Bryant does not? Or is it okay with Bryant that a replicant retirer is a replicant himself? As Deckard is looking over the Replicant profiles, the camera shows Bryant giving him strange looks as they discuss the four-year expiry of the Nexus-6.

Ridley Scott has mentioned this matter in several interviews. BBC News ran a story about this in 2000, where he concludes that Deckard is a replicant. [10]

Also in an interview Ridley Scott did in Wired magazine in 2007,[11] he explained this matter:

Wired: It was never on paper that Deckard is a replicant.

Scott: It was, actually. That's the whole point of Gaff, the guy who makes origami and leaves little matchstick figures around. He doesn't like Deckard, and we don't really know why. If you take for granted for a moment that, let's say, Deckard is a Nexus 7, he probably has an unknown life span and therefore is starting to get awfully human. Gaff, at the very end, leaves an origami, which is a piece of silver paper you might find in a cigarette packet, and it's a unicorn. Now, the unicorn in Deckard's daydream tells me that Deckard wouldn't normally talk about such a thing to anyone. If Gaff knew about that, it's Gaff's message to say, "I've read your file, mate." That relates to Deckard's first speech to Rachael when he says, "That's not your imagination, that's Tyrell's niece's daydream." And he describes a little spider on a bush outside the window. The spider is an implanted piece of imagination. And therefore Deckard, too, has imagination and even history implanted in his head.

Some of the deleted scenes that were never incorporated into either versions of the film seem to heavily support Deckard being a replicant. This included extended looks at Deckard looking over photos of his wife which seem to mirror the scenes where Rachael looks over a fake photo of her as a child. In an extended version of the theatrical ending, Rachael asks Deckard as they're driving off into the mountains, whether he knew his wife a long time, to which Deckard replies that although he once thought he did, he's not quite sure anymore, as he seems to be doubting his memory. Rachael then remarks that she thinks the two of them are 'made' for each other.

Although these deleted scenes seem to unequivocally prove that the filmmakers did indeed put a lot of thought and consideration into the possibility of strongly hinting that Deckard is a replicant, the fact that they were deleted from the film casts doubt on whether these scenes can still be taken as canon or merely a remnant of old plans by the filmmakers that were later discarded.

Deckard as a human[edit | edit source]

Many people involved in the original movie maintain that Deckard is human including Harrison Ford and the screenwriter Hampton Fancher. In the original Philip K. Dick novel, Deckard seems to be human and passes the Voight-Kampff test. Ford and Scott continue to argue about the issue to this day.

The original theatrical release did not include the unicorn daydream, so the evidence for Deckard as a replicant is weakest in this version. This version also had an extensive voice over by Harrison Ford, further adding to Deckard's character and history. With this, the original indicates he is a human.

Deckard has a history with the LAPD and he retired from the police force sometime before the events of 2019. This can be attributed as falsified memories as well and so can be counted as evidence for both.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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