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Holden...muddying the waters?

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BATTY [Roy]

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Post Wed Jan 24, 2007 9:36 am

Hello, first post here. I've been a LUNATIC for this movie since '82, so I'm not sure how I missed this forum (there is some EXCELLENT discussion going on here). Sorry to resurrect such an old thread, but I didn't see any sense in creating a new one, when there was a perfectly good existing thread.

First of all, IMO (& as others have stated), the eye-glow is a plot device, not visible to the characters, & meant to be a "pointer" for the movie-goer. If not, there would be NO NEED for the VK machine; the characters would all have to be complete morons to not just put all the suspects in a dimly lit room & pick out the skin-jobs by taking a gander at their eyes. Easy-peazy-japanesy.

ANYway, I introduced a buddy of mine to Blade Runner a few weeks ago. He liked it, & some of his observations have actually surprised me (one of the first things he said was that every time you watch it, you notice something different).

So, yesterday, he says to me: "Maybe all the Blade Runners are replicants?" I told him that I didn't think so. But his argument (off the top of my head) was that replicant Blade Runners:

1. Would be better able to handle confrontations with other replicants (tougher, faster, etc).
2. Would be expendable (no danger of human loss of life during a(n) interrogation/retirement).
3. Would be easily replaceable (build a new one, load memory implants, hit the ground running).

Last night I loaded my 1080i HD rip of Blade Runner & took some screencaps. They are from Leon's VK session:

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Now maybe this is old news, & if so I apologize. But if you click the thumbnails (& then make sure to click the resulting picture to see it at it's highest resolution), Leon's eyes are glowing slightly, but Holden's eyes clearly have the glow (well, mainly his left eye, which is the only one in shadow).

So, my question to the collective is: What say you? Is it feasible that the Blade Runner units were comprised solely of replicants? I hadn't considered it before, but to me it isn't out of the realm of possibility.

I look forward to everyone's/anyone's input.
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ridleynoir

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Post Wed Jan 24, 2007 1:17 pm

Never noticed the glow in holden's eye before...good catch. even if it is an accident there is enough evidence to believe that the Blade Runners were replicants for sure. One of the things pointed out it the similarity in appearance of Ford and Morgan Paul (holden) was known before the movie was made. Also they were both healthy as opposed to Gaff and Bryant, and as Sabastian pointed out to Pris, that is why he was still on earth. Gaff acts like a kind of puppeteer with Deckard too, hanging out just in the shadows watching it all go down.
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The Abyss Gazes Also

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Post Wed Jan 24, 2007 1:29 pm

Welcome, BATTY [Roy]!

This subject has come up before, but...

"Maybe all the Blade Runners are replicants?" I told him that I didn't think so. But his argument (off the top of my head) was that replicant Blade Runners:

1. Would be better able to handle confrontations with other replicants (tougher, faster, etc).
2. Would be expendable (no danger of human loss of life during a(n) interrogation/retirement).
3. Would be easily replaceable (build a new one, load memory implants, hit the ground running).


1. No onscreen interaction between any Blade Runner and a Replicant, IMO shows the Blade Runner being tougher, faster, etc. than human levels. If anything, Deckard seems a bit weak, fumbling and prone to vice, especially given his reputation of having the "magic".

2. Replicants might be considered xpendable, sure. But the world of 2019 doesn't seem to value human life all that much, either.

3. Replicants being easily replaceable would make them attractive to police departments, no doubt. However, given all the trouble that the supposed "Holden" and "Deckard" models gave the LAPD in this film, I would say they likely cost as much as, if not more, than a trained human.

If you haven't guessed by now, I'm in the "Deckard is human" camp. The opposition will no doubt argue "implanted memories" could contribute to point #1 and that none of my arguments prove my stance, nor disprove those of your friend, but that's the problem with the argument, there is no definitive proof from what is presented in the film.

I look forward to seeing more of your opinions 'round the boards!
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Post Wed Jan 24, 2007 1:31 pm

I believe that to be a mistake. Otherwise the "effect" would be in both eyes. I agree with Ridleynoir in regards to the "health" status. If Blade Runners were all Replicants, it would probably be the ones that do the "dirty work". Those like Gaff (presumably human) would just "supervise". :)
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BATTY [Roy]

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Post Wed Jan 24, 2007 2:23 pm

Thanks for the responses! Also, before I go any further, let me state that I'm not one of those people interested in engaging in heated debates about movie opinions, so please, don't anyone think I'm trying to stir up trouble here. One of my best friends on Earth is on the 'Deckard=human' team (as I used to be). I just enjoy discussing the film (even when other opinions differ from mine).

The Abyss Gazes Also wrote:1. No onscreen interaction between any Blade Runner and a Replicant, IMO shows the Blade Runner being tougher, faster, etc. than human levels. If anything, Deckard seems a bit weak, fumbling and prone to vice, especially given his reputation of having the "magic".

I would agree AND disagree with this. Deckard is much weaker than Batty, Leon, Zhora, & Pris (all physical level 'A' (IIRC)). HOWEVER, I think Deckard appears stronger than the average (or even above average) human. I mean, I'm in pretty good shape, but I doubt I could scale the outside of a building, in the rain, soaking wet, beat up, exhausted, with 2 dislocated and/or broken fingers. I would think that Deckard's physical level would just be lower than B, L, Z, & P's. *shrugs*

Kipple wrote:I believe that to be a mistake. Otherwise the "effect" would be in both eyes.

I don't know... I can't swallow the idea that the slightly orange glow covering the entire pupil of his eye, is just a mistake (on the other hand, we all know the film is FULL of mistakes, so...).

But since the eye glow is largely visible due to having appropriate light levels, I figured that a judgment-call by the FX team might've ended up having made the glow more prominent in the left eye because it's in shadow, & the right eye NOT because it's being bathed in fairly direct light (not to mention that the difference makes it more ambiguous).
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ridleynoir

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Post Wed Jan 24, 2007 11:30 pm

I just want to state that I am okay with Deckard being either human or replicant and will watch the movie both ways with the other in mind and get something different from it each time. like the Westwood game it can have different endings depending on how you look at it. I say keep an open mind and realize a final answer doesn't really help the movie at all.
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Charles de Lauzirika

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Post Sun Oct 21, 2007 8:01 pm

The glow in Holden's eye is no mistake. You either set up for this specific front projection effect or you don't. I asked Ridley about this during the final digital intermediate session and whether or not he wanted us to remove the glow in Holden's eye. He told us not to change it. So I suppose we can add "Hold-A-Rep" to the debate now.

Speaking of which, I know they won't be considered canon, but I think the Deleted & Alternate Scenes are really going to stoke the flames on the Deck-A-Rep discussions. There are several additional clues (some subtle, some not) to be found. If there's still any doubt that Ridley always wanted to hint that Deckard might be a replicant, the Deleted and Alternate Scenes should conclusively prove otherwise.
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ridleynoir

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Post Sun Oct 21, 2007 11:52 pm

I think I may be waiting for that disc more than the movies themselves :)

I got to see the movie in NYC last weekend. Great to see it on the Big screen again. I do have one question though. Why wasn't the opening crawl changed back to the definition? It makes no sense that Deckard has no knowledge of the Replicants that created his job title. I read it somewhere that that was Yorkin's doing too. (No source cited)

Now I just hope it comes around closer to Rochester, because I want to watch it again.
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Post Mon Oct 22, 2007 1:36 am

Charles, was it my imagination that Gaff exhibited the eye glow in some scene or another?

My theory about the "why" surrounding the eye glow is that replicant eyes have the same kind of reflective cells in their retina as cats and some other animals do. The "tapetum lucidum" as it's known scientifically. Humans have it too but much less than animals do...it's why sometimes you see "red-eye" in snapshots.

Also, what do you think of my theory that the key to the Deck-a-rep controversy is the love/ravishment scene between Deckard and Rachael? That their awkwardness is the tip-off that they are both replicants? I noticed a similar awkwardness, but not as pronounced, between Batty and Pris too. They sort of have this "first school crush" aspect to their romantic interaction.

Anyway, enough theorizing. Thanks for clearing things up about Holden.
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Masao

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Post Mon Oct 22, 2007 7:07 am

I chalk up the awkwardness to the director. ;)
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Charles de Lauzirika

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Post Mon Oct 22, 2007 8:50 am

ridleynoir wrote:Why wasn't the opening crawl changed back to the definition? It makes no sense that Deckard has no knowledge of the Replicants that created his job title.(No source cited)


Unless he's a replicant designed specifically to hunt down other replicants.

Kidding, of course. There were discussions about not so much changing the opening crawl as cutting the Blue Room scene with Deckard and Bryant in half, to remove what Ridley calls "Irving the Explainer." Ultimately, it was decided that audiences new to the film might need that extra bit of clarification to understand things. It's just unfortunate that Deckard, of all people, gets stuck with that job. But that's how it was originally shot, so there you go. And personally, although the replicant definition in the Workprint is fun and clever, I love the opening crawl for its backstory and its "This was not called execution. It was called retirement" ending. I think it sets the tone for this particular future better than the Workprint's definition.

Speaking of which, one interesting idea I read about over at IMDb involved removing the establishing date from the opening of the film. Given that there's no way Los Angeles will look like that in 12 years (or perhaps ever) how would you feel about that?

msgeek:

Well, Gaff's eyes were another issue for us that we decided not to touch. In some scenes Edward James Olmos is wearing white-blue contact lenses, and in others he's not. This is touched upon in the featurette on Disc 5 called "All Our Variant Futures: From Workprint to Final Cut." We only wanted to tackle the big flaws that took you out of the story, or clean-up some of the once-tiny problems now made far more obvious from the stunning 8K scans of the 65mm visual effects shots.

If you remove all the imperfections in the film, it kind of diminishes its mystique somewhat, and leaves people with less to talk about. We didn't want to do that. And we did our best not to.

Regarding the awkwardness of Deckard and Rachael's "hate" scene, I think a lot of it had to do with the awkwardness between Harrison Ford and Sean Young. In "Dangerous Days," we show you a lot of raw footage from the scene, and Sean Young (in particular) describes how emotionally draining it was to shoot.

But I think there are different ways you could interpret the scene without that behind-the-scenes knowledge. Yes, it could be two replicants fighting through newfound emotions they weren't programmed to deal with. It could be a frustrated human Deckard trying to force humanity into something that's so close to being human, but not quite there. It could be drunken asshole Deckard having his way with a new sex toy that has no human or legal rights in the world. I'm sure there are plenty of other interpretations as well. But again, I think that's something that should never have a definitive answer. All of these questions are what give "Blade Runner" its life.

And hey, isn't this a thread about Holden? :wink:
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Post Mon Oct 22, 2007 10:36 am

Charles de Lauzirika wrote:Speaking of which, one interesting idea I read about over at IMDb involved removing the establishing date from the opening of the film. Given that there's no way Los Angeles will look like that in 12 years (or perhaps ever) how would you feel about that?


If that was the case, they should change the title to 2001: a space odyssey. I can see how that can "damage" the credibility to Blade Runner's futureworld, though. It could happen, but I don't know about the spinners.

And hey, isn't this a thread about Holden? :wink:


I've never considered the idea that Holden is a rep. I guess this really builds a sense of paranoia on who's a human or not. Reminds me of another film that was released on the same day as Blade Runner in '82...
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ridleynoir

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Post Mon Oct 22, 2007 11:03 am

Dind't P.K. Dick change the dates in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep during it's puplication? Maybe more than once?
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Charles de Lauzirika

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Post Mon Oct 22, 2007 11:08 am

eccentricbeing wrote:If that was the case, they should change the title to 2001: a space odyssey.


Well, there's a bigger difference between changing a mere timestamp in "Blade Runner" and the actual title of "2001: A Space Odyssey." But to your point, I don't think removing the date from "Blade Runner" really solves any problems because the date is approximately established by the incept dates of the replicants mentioned in the film anyway.

ridleynoir wrote:Dind't P.K. Dick change the dates in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep during it's puplication? Maybe more than once?


Yes, it was changed from 1992 to 2021 in time for the release of the film. But by the publisher, not PKD.
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Post Mon Oct 22, 2007 11:18 am

Since I tend to view science fiction (and other) films as art and not documentaries, I don't see the need to update films' temporal settings just to stay in tune with actual events.

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