The 1982 sci-fi cult classic film Blade Runner calls into question what it means to be human — and humane. It asks us to decide how far is too far when it comes to corporate power, and forces us to think about what is right, as opposed to what is simply legal. The film was never meant to be a documentary or an instructional video, obviously. Still, here we are on the cusp of 2019, the year the film is set in, and way too much of the plot seems totally plausible.
The film centers around a man whose job is to kill rogue "replicants." Replicants are beings, somewhere between android and human, created by the Tyrell Corporation to do the sort of grunt work on other planets that humans of Earth don't want to do. The replicants are destroyed when they are no longer useful or if they try to come to Earth. Corporate executives and politicians insist the replicants have no feelings, and treat destroying them with the sort of casual attitude one would display in recycling an old cell phone.
Throughout the book and film we know that replicants are not soulless machines. Tyrell executives know that. Their genetic designers even intentionally created at least one replicant with memories and feelings, and she believes she is human. Still, the blade runner is charged with destroying her, and any hesitation on his part is met with threats from law enforcement.
Tyrell is concerned with profits but not lives. Those deemed lesser are forced to stay in their place even when they are being abused and killed. People are reassured that it's fine to mistreat them because they're not like us, even though that's not true. Tyrell decides who is "legal" — and who deserves to live. Those who try for a life of freedom are hunted down and destroyed. Anyone who objects to their destruction is threatened and punished. The environment is a mess; things are overcrowded; technology rules over everything; nobody trusts anyone.
Any of this sounding familiar?
Twitter is enjoying, in the most terrible way, how accurate some aspects of the film have become.
@SloanePick Whoever says Blade Runner isn’t an accurate portrayal of 2019 is lying https://t.co/HjCvT14qSB— my hands shake as i tweet these words (@my hands shake as i tweet these words) 1545176533.0
@Tamarionette @ManMadeMoon Blade runner was so accurate about the future.— Deian Sion Thomas (@Deian Sion Thomas) 1501370503.0
@GentlemanRascal @jr_bohl @adpackman @EricMertz_KC @WorldhopperVive @AWGecko @AV_snarkeyes @AliasNestor1 @IOurpatio… https://t.co/AvDY5FggnC— Lady Demosthenes (@Lady Demosthenes) 1534171650.0
I cannot scream this enough: IT IS NOT SCIENCE FICTION'S JOB TO "PREDICT" THE FUTURE. IT'S TRYING TO WARN YOU OF PR… https://t.co/WLp7l3STFt— afterglow (@afterglow) 1544958407.0
@veganbaconsauce Same. I felt rekt in the theater watching Blade Runner. I walked out looking like I'd cried quite a bit watching it.— Stankle Ferret (@Stankle Ferret) 1508089485.0
Take heart, though; it's not all bad. There's fashion, after all.
Blade Runner took place in 2019! #bladerunner #sciencefiction #bestsoundtrack #vangelis #deckard… https://t.co/lIOSoegKml— Lucid Structure (@Lucid Structure) 1544677783.0
@BenaiahIsRad @hunterjw1998 i already dress like this chief https://t.co/2dTle3VpW5— 🍒 𝔤𝔦𝔤𝔦 🍒 (@🍒 𝔤𝔦𝔤𝔦 🍒) 1544911569.0
@BenaiahIsRad @Chinchillazllla i mean this is pretty much how people in the pacific northwest dress right now— IMMS (@IMMS) 1544848409.0
@BenaiahIsRad @neondreamgirl i already have the Deckard trench lol https://t.co/Nn8vQXOE6l— 🌹Empress Renée uwu 🌹 (@🌹Empress Renée uwu 🌹) 1544891735.0
@WencheBandida @aisha_vish I was in #Camden on Saturday afternoon. I'm sure I saw all these people.— Edward Curran (@Edward Curran) 1545057536.0
@BenaiahIsRad @tprstly Personally I’m going with the cycle shorts with dove accessory look https://t.co/HutSo46pZm— Chunky (@Chunky) 1544900866.0
@BenaiahIsRad This is pretty much Brooklyn now— Anthony DeVito (@Anthony DeVito) 1544849059.0
So, yeah, 2019 is the year we all get a little gothy. Time for fishnet, fashion-doves, and eating noodles in the rain.