Study Guide

Blade Runner Technology and Modernization

Technology and Modernization

In Blade Runner, the world is totally dominated by technology. Some of it is kind of cool—flying cars, people—but most of it is pretty bleak. For one thing, almost all animals have gone extinct, so anything you see, like Tyrell's owl or Zhora's snake, is just a replicant.

And then, of course, there are the human replicants, surely the most dubious technological project in this movie's world. Hey, creating a race of artificial humans to function as slave labor doesn't exactly sound like an idea Gandhi might have endorsed, does it? It goes to show how far technology has advanced in this world. People haven't just used it to dominate and ruin the environment they live in; they've also used it to play God and create Franken-humans.

Questions About Technology and Modernization

  1. Do you think technology has primarily had a good or bad effect on human beings in the present time period? Could you see it evolving into a Blade Runner-like situation?
  2. What didn't Blade Runner predict about the world we live in? Do we have any technologies the movie's world lacks? On the other hand, what did the movie predict?

Chew on This

"Men have become the tools of their tools." – Henry David Thoreau

"All the elements whose aid man calls in, will sometimes become his masters, especially those of most subtle force. Shall he, then, renounce steam, fire, and electricity, or, shall he learn to deal with them? The rule for this whole class of agencies is, — all plus is good; only put it in the right place." – Ralph Waldo Emerson

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