Rick Deckard is a veteran Blade Runner and fugitive appearing in Ridley Scott's 1982 film, Blade Runner and Denis Villenueve's 2017 sequel Blade Runner 2049. The character originally appeared in Philip K Dick's novel, "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" on which the movie is based. Rick Deckard is played by Harrison Ford.


Rick Deckard is a Blade Runner, a special member of the L.A. Police Department who is employed to hunt down and "retire" replicants (genetically manufactured humanoids). Since they were declared illegal on Earth, it is up to the Blade Runners to "retire" any that find their way to Earth. At the beginning of the film, Deckard is called out of retirement after a group of six clever and brutal replicants hijack a shuttle to Earth, intending to pass themselves off as normal humans.

Deckard is reluctant to resume work, but is told he has no choice and must use some of "the old blade runner magic" to succeed.

Deckard as ReplicantEdit

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 the 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. [1]

Also in a interview Ridley Scott did in Wired magazine in 2007[2], 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.

Deckard as a HumanEdit

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.

Denis Villeneuve, the director of the sequel, declined to take sides in the debate, saying "I enjoyed the ambiguity and I did not want to ruin the mystery for fans."

Gallery Edit


  1. BBC News: Blade Runner riddle solved
  2. "Q&A: Ridley Scott Has Finally Created the Blade Runner He Always Imagined" Wired Magazine, Sept. 2007

External linksEdit

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