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The Six Renegade Replicants

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It is mentioned by Bryant that there are six replicants loose on Earth. In the original version, it is also mentioned that one of the replicants got 'fried'.

In the "Final Cut" version however, the overdubbing states that "two of them got fried".

  • Roy Batty - Is a commando and suggested by Bryant to be the leader of the escaped group.
  • Leon - A soldier and manual laborer.
  • Zhora - A sex worker retrained as an assassin.
  • Pris - A 'basic pleasure model'.
  • Hodge - One of the replicants who got 'fried'.[1]
  • Mary - The other replicant who got 'fried'.

As a result, five replicants are still alive. Deckard is asked to hunt down Roy, Leon, Zhora and Pris, all of whom appear in the movie. Whether there are really six replicants or just five, is still debated among fans.

The sixth replicantEdit

After 'retiring' Zhora, Deckard is informed by Bryant that Rachael hasn't returned to Tyrell Corporation and also needs to be 'retired'. This may be suggestive of Rachael's involvement with the other renegades.

According to Ridley Scott, Deckard is a replicant. However, the question is whether Deckard was among the six escaped replicants, or was another "harmless" replicant like Rachael? Speculation by fans suggests that Deckard himself may be one of the six escaped replicants. He was supposedly reprogrammed and given memory implants. A few arguments support this:

  • Roy Batty calls him by name, suggesting he knows him.
  • At the film's climax, Roy Batty saves Deckard's life by grabbing his hand, suggesting Roy has developed a degree of empathy with Deckard as the last replicant.

The replicant that never wasEdit

The original release on VHS has Bryant saying " I have five skinjobs on the street". All of the DVD releases have it overdubbed to "four". The dub isn't even that good. You can tell it's totally fake. One of these five replicants is said to be Mary. Mary appeared in an early script and was even cast with Stacey Nelkin -- who had screen-tested for Pris -- in the role. The scenes for this character were dropped due to budget restraints. At the time the filmmakers decided to leave out the character, they had already filmed the Bryant/Deckard scene which states there were six replicants. According to the script the story goes like this:

Deckard kills Zhora and then spots Rachael looking on. He chases Rachael, only to be beaten up by Leon. After Rachael kills Leon, Deckard buys a bottle of Tsing Tao and has to warn her with a glance when Gaff approaches. Gaff takes him to Bryant, who tells him that there were "four to go" (Roy, Pris, Mary, and Rachael).

When they eliminated Mary from the script, they had a problem: Bryant should say that there are "three to go" (Roy, Pris, and Rachael). Instead of reshooting this scene, they moved it and the scene of Deckard buying Tsing Tao ahead of Leon's death, so that the "four to go" would be Roy, Pris, Leon (not Mary), and Rachael. They nearly got away with this, but a few problems remained:

  1. When Deckard is talking to Bryant, he shows wounds from his fight with Leon, although he hasn't had the fight yet.
  2. Since he now buys his bottle before he fights Leon, it should be there while he's chasing Rachael and fighting Leon (it's not). The bottle mysteriously reappears when he gets back to his apartment.

This problem is purely the result of Bryant telling Deckard, "I've got four skin jobs walking the streets" but only accounting for one of the remaining two.

It is rumored that during dubbing, Ridley Scott initially had Bryant's line changed, but then changed his mind and left it with "...six replicants".

ConclusionEdit

You can choose either to believe Bryant's comment about six replicants being an error and that there were always just five replicants. One was 'fried', and Deckard is looking for the last four. In this scenario, Rachael is just another harmless replicant who manages to escape Tyrell Corporation.

OR...

If you choose to believe there are six replicants, there are possibilities that Deckard is the sixth escaped replicant, or Mary is, if you choose to include her character. Otherwise, the sixth replicant is simply unknown.


OR... the "real deal"...

In a 2000 interview, Ridley Scott stated that Deckard was the sixth Replicant. As can be seen in alternate footage available in the Blade Runner Collectors Set, and judging by the origami unicorn left by Gaff (which references a dream Deckard has had involving a unicorn), Deckard is indeed a Replicant. However, he has obviously been part of the population for a considerable period of time within the Blade Runner universe before the events we see unfold. His history as a serving member of the police force and relationship to other officers cannot be explained away through "reprogramming".

Rachael, then, is the sixth Replicant. She is the partner of the "fried" Replicant and has been captured at Tyrell Corporation, then had her lifetime of Tyrell's niece's memories installed, thus rendering her unaware of her former persona. A shadow of her former persona may be seen in the way she uses Deckard's pistol so accurately when shooting Leon (when she presents as a timid individual who wouldn't even know how to hold a gun).

Note that Scott did not write the screenplay: Hampton Fancher wrote the first several drafts, and David Peoples completed the final version. According to interviews with both writers, neither of them ever conceived of Deckard as being a Replicant. Scott directed the actors and oversaw the filming; as such, his comments on this subject cannot be taken as "gospel".

Now, don't you feel better? :)

ReferencesEdit

  1. http://www.brmovie.com/FAQs/BR_FAQ_SixthRep.htm
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