After escaping to earth, replicant Roy Batty breaks into his creator’s Mayan temple of a mansion and bargains with his “father” (Tyrell) for more life. Tyrell informs his “prodigal son” when his time is up, it’s up. “The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long.” Tyrell is representative of God or a god, who lives vicariously through his creation.
Roy kisses Tyrell, then crushes his skull and gauges his eyes. I guess that’s where the “noir” part of the mixed genres sort of floats to the top.
Near the start of the story, Tyrell watches with personal satisfaction as his newest creation is tested. It’s actually a very romantic scene…Deckard performs the Voigt Kompf test on Rachel and eventually learns that she is a Replicant, but doesn’t know it. She has been designed to believe she’s human with implanted memories.
Roy has a will of his own, fears for his life, is grieved over the loss of his friends, comforts them, is angered over the injustice of their abuse and murders. In the end, it turns out that Roy is even a poet.
In the story, memories do not determine emotion, but they certainly shape how we relate to one another; they define us. The lesson that Roy learns, once he’s accepted his death, is that time does not determine quality of life, but experiences. I think he still missed the mark.
While Roy is fighting for his physical life to be extended, Deckard has largely resigned to the squalor of life in the chaotic future, where each man is left to his own devices. The god of this story is indifferent.
Deckard is a typical anti-hero detective to Blade Runner’s film noir genre. Deckard himself is “retired” – which could be a parallel of the deadness within his heart.
The little we know of Deckard’s past suggests that his memories are likely implants as well. That and the Unicorn origami. Deckard has no real history and thus no vision for his future – until he forms a relationship with Rachel.
In a full-blown messiah-complex, Roy is portrayed as an intermediary between man’s fear of death and his need to live with purpose. At the end of the story he hunts his hunter, with a nail pierced through one hand, and a white dove in the other. He lifts Deckard from a ledge and saves him from a fatal fall. Then he sits and talks to Deckard about his memories.
“I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time… like tears in rain… Time to die.”
But Roy didn’t want more life, he wanted more time. As he steps into focus during his first encounter with his maker – he shows the audience he is short-sighted himself. When he spoke his last words to Deckard, something was translated that perhaps Roy himself still didn’t understand. Survival for Deckard was a pretty bleak vision before he met Rachel. But after Roy tells Deckard what it means to be a slave, to live in fear, Deckard recognizes that it is precisely because time is short that he should take the opportunity to risk death.
The opposite of love is indifference. What happens to the formative memories of a budding mind when it is neglected by a father who is indifferent? What lies are imprinted?
If it is true that the neglected generations are not worth their Father’s time, other than for his own amusement, they are justified in wondering why anything is required of them. You can see how this would cause a generation to believe the lie that transcendent purpose is imposed, not bestowed.
Too many of us are not the whole-hearted creatures God intended. We’ve detached from our truest selves. But our real Messiah, the only intermediary between man and death, says that we need to give up our lives for His sake in order to live. His words and actions are proof that he is not an indifferent god.