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Do Blade Runners Even Exist in BLADE RUNNER 2049?

Next month, fans will return to the future in Blade Runner 2049, the long-awaited sequel the beloved sci-fi classic. Last month, director Denis Villeneuve set the stage for his story with Blade Runner 2036, a short film helmed by Luke Scott that revealed the new breed of Replicants after the original models were outlawed. Now, Scott’s new short, Blade Runner 2048: Nowhere To Run, introduces Dave Bautista‘s Replicant,  Sapper Morton, while also raising an intriguing question: do Blade Runners even exist anymore?

Sapper is clearly on the run from someone in this film, but it’s not clear who. If we had to hazard a guess, it’s likely that Jared Leto‘s Niander Wallace would want to put down Sapper, since his very existence proves that the new Replicants aren’t foolproof and they do have their own will. They’ve just gotten better at hiding themselves. It’s also worth noting that Ryan Gosling‘s lead character, Officer K, isn’t a Blade Runner like Rick Deckard. He’s just a member of the LAPD. There may not even be Blade Runners anymore if Wallace has convinced the public that rogue Replicants are a thing of the past.

It’s also intriguing that Sapper can do more than just pass for human. In this short, Sapper has a panic attack and he even formed an emotional attachment to other people. But the most striking thing about Sapper is that he is actively trying to learn what it means to be human. He wants to improve himself on a cognitive level, and that seems like more than just a simple upgrade or artificial intelligence. It may even be the birth of artificial consciousness.

There will be one more Blade Runner 2049 prequel short before the film opens in theaters on Friday, October 6.

What did you think about the latest Blade Runner short film? Let’s discuss in the comment section below!

Images: Warner Bros. Pictures

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