Study Guide

Blade Runner Identity

Identity

What would happen if your identity became hazy and unclear? What if you were a clone of someone else, for instance? Would you still really be "you"? Would you have an identity distinct from the person you're based on?

Those are the kind of questions the replicants face in Blade Runner. Replicants are beings who have been totally constructed and designed by someone else—there's nothing, really, that's quite their own. Nevertheless, the replicants somehow develop emotions and goals of their own, and they go against the very nature they've been created to possess. The fact that Roy—a replicant who's been created to kill—can refuse to kill one of his own enemies seems to call into question the assumptions of his designers. There's something in him that transcends their plans.

Questions About Identity

  1. Do you think that if you were a replicant with fake memories and didn't know it, you'd be able to figure it out? How?
  2. Could an android actually be equal to a human being? How about a flesh-and-blood creation like the replicants?
  3. Is Deckard a replicant or not?
  4. Does Roy manage to prove that he's actually a human being or the equivalent?

Chew on This

"Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation." – Oscar Wilde

"There is that in me—I do not know what it is—but I know it is in me.
[…] Something it swings on more than the earth I swing on,
To it the creation is the friend whose embracing awakes me." – Walt Whitman

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