After the discussion on Monday, I found I really wanted to comment on Bladerunner this week, though it is slightly unorthodox for me to do so as part of the Wednesday group. The group presenting had a final question that the class did not have a chance to address–“Is Deckard a Replicant?”–and I’d like to try to answer it here. This question can be framed in two ways: “Is Deckard a synthetic being?” or “Does Deckard have the same situation and problems of a Replicant?” Given that the first is unprovable by any viewer, the second must be considered. Deckard’s personality–or lack thereof–seems at first an obvious suggestion that he might be a replicant, but none of the humans in this movie are the fully-fleshed out people we associate with fictional representations. Working within the movie alone, Deckard does not actually stand out much from other human characters, whom we learn equally little about. Some might point to Deckard’s taking orders against his will at the start of the movie, but all the concrete examples of replicants in the movie rebel against orders. And so the question becomes, why does Deckard act more like a robot than the actual robots? Because it doesn’t matter for him. The true difference between Deckard and the replicants, which makes me convinced that Deckard is not a replicant, is that replicants are constantly scrutinized and feel the need to justify their humanity. Rachael brings out evidence of herself as a child, Leon safeguards his precious photos, Pris says “I think therefore I am,” and Roy saves Deckard. The last is significant because Roy is appealing to an idealized version of humanity–he safeguards life, therefore he must be human. Deckard never feels the need to do any of these things because he is under no pressure to justify himself–these are rights he possesses innately. Someone pointed out in class that Deckard was eating at the beginning of the movie and seemed aimless. The fact that he’s eating furthers the notion that Deckard is human–he consumes, he is selfish.