Is Deckard a Replicant?

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Admin2KSep-25-2012 11:31 PM

This is by far the best article I have ever found on the subject. 

Is Deckard a Replicant?

This is one of the most enduring debates regarding BR. Either way, opinions, have been and continue to be, divided. For some, the glowing eyes can leave no doubt whatsoever, while the unicorn all but spells it out. To others, these are easily dismissed and must be regarded with a "Deck-a-Rep" viewpoint to be accepted. Others insist there is no definitive answer, and that the clues merely "suggest" Deckard might be a replicant. Some accept Deckard as a replicant because of the clues, but feel he shouldn't be, because they feel the movie works just as well if not better if he's human, or if the question is left "unanswered".

There are those who feel that, in the OV, he is human, mainly because the unicorn dream was cut at the producers' insistence, who felt the idea was "too arty", and that in the BRDC, he is a replicant. However, many do not accept that there is any difference between the versions - you interpret how you will for Blade Runner as a whole. Some insist he simply cannot be a replicant because they feel it doesn't fit with what they have interpreted to be the theme(s) of the film, whatever those may be.

Even the director coming forward and stating Deckard is a replicant (which he has done on several occasions) has done little to stop the ongoing debate. As he plays with our memories and questions what is real during the movie, some see the wicked gleam in his eyes when he makes the statement as indicating that he knows it will make no difference to the debate. In a 1982 interview, Scott says things like, "the central character could in fact be what he is chasing", "The innuendo is still there" and "I think it's interesting that he could be." All these suggest that the original intent was to get the audience to ask the question, but not necessarily to confirm it either way.

Either way, here are some of the facts... Director Ridley Scott wanted the audience to find out that Deckard is (or, at the very least, might be) a replicant himself. (In Dick's original book the possibility was hinted at, but Deckard was eventually tested and was human.) However, it was a passage in an early version of the script that gave Scott the idea, even though this "We were brothers, Roy Batty and I!" passage was intended to be metaphorical, not literal.) This is still hinted at when Roy grabs Deckard as he's about to fall and says "Kinship!" To this end, he put a few "clues" in the film.

The 2 most important ones are the following: 1. The unicorn "dream", coupled with the origami unicorn, was meant to strongly "suggest" (at the very least) that Gaff knows Deckard's memories, like Deckard knew Rachael's, by having looked at her files, evidently containing detailed information about her memory implants... 2. In one scene, you can see Deckard's eyes glow briefly, in a similar way to the replicants' eyes. Also, the possibility of Deckard being a replicant is hinted at in some of the movie's dialogue; for instance, at one point Rachael asks Deckard if he's ever taken the test himself (Deckard dozes off, however, leaving the audience to ponder the question).

Also, at the end of the movie, Gaff tells Deckard: "You've done a man's job, sir!" While this is a common expression, within the movie's context the double meaning should be apparent - which was the intention. (It's not conclusive evidence or anything, but what the heck.) Note: in early versions of the script, Gaff's line was actually longer - and somewhat less than subtle - adding: "... But are you sure you are man? It's hard to be sure who's who around here." However, as this is not in the film, we are just left with the "man's job" line which can just as easily be taken as the literal statement of a man defeating replicants. So, in the end, is he a replicant or not? It all depends on how one interprets the clues and perhaps even one's perception of the answer before one chooses the interpretations of clues and lines.

All we can be sure about is that whether Deckard is a replicant or not is not really the point. The fact that we ask the question and cannot be totally sure underlines the old Philip K. Dick question, "What is Human?" 

19 Replies


MemberNoobSep-26-2012 3:41 AM
Another hint that Deckard may be a replicant are all of the photos on the piano in his apartment. I watch the movie from the perspective that he is a proof, just works for me.


Member2KSep-26-2012 2:31 PM
That's a very good article Svanya & I so want that unicorn!!! What I love is that it's totally open to interpretation. Tantalising clues or red herrings? All depends on your own viewpoint. Everyone's viewpoint is valid, there's no right or wrong. Personally, I choose to believe that Deckard is a replicant and I fully appreciate & respect the opposite opinion. Ridley must be rightly proud that the debate continues. It's fun, although it can sometimes get a wee bit out of hand! LOL


"Let The Cosmic Incubation Begin" ~ H.R. Giger


Member2KSep-27-2012 3:03 PM
@snakeboy Ridley always has a wry smile after he makes that statement, I think he enjoys teasing us & I also believe that if he was completely honest he would state that it's up to each viewer to decide for themselves. Of course I could be completely wrong! LOL As most us know from previous discussions on the Prometheus site & elsewhere, no matter what Ridley or anyone else says.....some people strongly believe that Deckard is human & nothing will ever change that!


"Let The Cosmic Incubation Begin" ~ H.R. Giger


MemberNoobSep-27-2012 3:01 AM
While I agree there was "debate" over this matter before a definitive answer was offered by Scott, but I now really don't see how there can be any further speculation on whether or not the clues support the theory. It's not a theory. Ridley Scott himself has stated in no uncertain terms that yes, Deckard is a replicant. Case closed, end of story. So what's left to debate about? I'm glad it wasn't stated outright in the film because it made me ponder the question at first which is exactly what was intended. I don't call Blade Runner my favorite movie of ALL TIME for no reason... ;)

Regular Parrot

MemberNoobSep-29-2012 1:39 AM
I read somewhere that RS for a great deal of time said he believed he was human but in recent times he is now cononvinced he is a replicant. I have to say, having seen the DC and the dreams of the unicorn absolutely indicate he is a replicant to me. In the oriignal Eurpean Theatrical release (what i first saw)....he comes across as human. Awwww, I guess I don't know. It's why I love the movie.

Today I have been dedicated to post on as many topics as possible until I pass out from drinking too many beers. 

Albert West

MemberNoobOct-02-2012 10:11 PM
The million dollar question..... What I find interesting about Deckard is that when we first meet the character he expresses very little emotion. In the original movie release there is narration and Deckard tells the audience that his ex-wife describes him as sushi - or cold fish. As the movie progresses Deckard becomes more emotional and he begins to empathise with the replicants that he is killing. To me it seems that there is an awareness on Deckard's part, a realization ... These doubts and emotions that Deckard has may be an indicator that he himself is questioning whether he is a replicant or a human. My opinion: Deckard is a replicant. More questions: What is the true age of Deckard? What Nexus is Deckard? How long does Deckard have to live? The craziest question of all is this: In Blade Runner what characters are not replicants?


MemberNoobNov-19-2012 1:21 AM
I saw an interview(maybe it was the "Dangerous Day's" do***entary)were someone was talking about a scene that never came to be. After Roy Batty kills Tyrell and Sebastian he finds a secret elevator that takes him to the floor above Tyrells living quarters.He enters into a room were he finds the "real" Tyrell in some kind of sleep chamber.Another Decker is in a chamber beside Tyrell. Roy reads a clip board at the end of Deckard's chamber and discovers the Deckard in the chamber is Tyrell's son. Roy would use this to taunt replicant Deckard in the final battle but the scene was scrapped.....spooky :o


Admin2KNov-19-2012 1:51 AM
@ djrees56; Here is the scene. :) [url=]Eldon Tyrell from Blade Runner was supposed to be replicant[/url]


MemberNoobNov-21-2012 8:57 PM
I saw that video a long time too, Svanya, and the truth that make ​​me think of the possibility that Tyrell were an android, obviously not. On this topic, I think Ridley was wrong in this respect, I think it dont fits very well with stereotypical a hero saving to humanity, as classic logo poster says, if you have read it from the foreign versions, your can read something like: "Only a Blade Runner can save to the humanity". I never saw Deckard as android.

Indy John

MemberNoobDec-17-2012 11:55 PM
".. In Blade Runner what characters are not replicants?.." This is not a crazy question at all and deserves more attention.Maybe we are watching a movie made by replicants for the remaining human audience. Just saying they may be preparing to wipe out all humans have the 'droids rule the Earth and beyond.
Be choicelessly aware as you move through life


MemberNoobJan-20-2013 10:13 AM
In the original version of the film, I never thought Deckard was a replicant at all. And the voice-over certainly came-off as grounding him as a human. However, even as far back as 1982, Ridley did let it be known that he had the intent of having Deckard also a replicant, had he gotten his way originally: [url=]Starburst Magazine 1982[/url] I do like the idea he too is a replicant, & prefer "The Final Cut" over all other versions. Also did like that unused alternate drive-away scene when Rachael states that she thinks they were made for each other. ^_^ It sorta gives it a bit of a creepy spin. Plus maybe she might have found-out a bit more about her design & Nexus history, after she was told she was indeed a replicant. And there is quite a bit more to their pairing than Deckard knows. S:)

NCC 1701

Veteran MemberMemberNoobJan-20-2013 11:23 AM
Welcome to the form Sawa,,, i also like the idea , Deckard being a Replicant ,,,,,,,


MemberNoobJan-20-2013 5:03 PM
I think it is interesting when Rachel and Deckard are both at the piano he says, kryptically: "I dreamt music". She responds with: "I didn't know if I could play, I remember some lessons. I don't know if they were mine or Tyrell's nieces". They both are kind of mutually accepting their "place" in this world and "heritage" that they each both have "shared heritage" with indications that mean they both are sharing their potential Replicant destinies. Also, Tyrell throws down the gauntlet as he gives the statement: "Rachel is an experiment, nothing more". Letting that experiment run to its ultimate and logical conclusion is made that much more of an observable curiosity rather like being in a zoo studying behavior when your main character/subject is brought into the fray already safe in the knowledge that their are renegade replicants running amok so he thinks... the first phase of the experiment begins. Set your test subject against what you offer up as a dangling carrot, play to his position within society or "subject-to-status" demigraphics and hint at a implied threat of conciquence should he not comply with the operation or job by giving him a proper dressing down by Briant: "Stop right where you are! You know the score PAL! If you're not COP you're "Little People". "No choice huh?" "No choice Pal!" Nothing works better for an experiment, a social experiment at that, then to seemingly give good reasons to set your test subject apart from the object of societies "undesirables" by justifying the segregation as not murder but: "retirement". What better way to amp-up your experiment by making your male policeman seemingly "de-humanized" and your female test subect a potential "memory virgin" and getting him motivated to kill replicants in the name of policing the streets for justice, and payment, then be emotionally compromized and drawn to someone you suspect is a replicant more than she does and whom just saved your life thus puts that very same male test subject in an extremely emotionally compromised situation. Its not unlike what Ash and the Mother computer in Alien were allowing to play out by non-interfierence and seeing who would be the eventual victor between the Alien intruder and the human occupants. Doing nothing lets fate and "choice" ultimately decide. To then drop the final coup de gras upon your male test subject by near-enough confirming that YOU, after all this time, in a complete reversal-of-fortune were THE replicant all along. Being that you have been consigned, or conscripted for want of a better word to hunt down and kill replicants then discover you have been one all along and you follow your orders are you legal to thus be here on earth? Should you not, by right now, turn the gun upon yourself and commit ritual suicide? Hunting yourself down? These themes are a common thread within Philip.k.Dick stories by turning event and the main portagonist upon himself. (i.e.) Total Recall, Douglas Quaid finds out he's been had and played for a fool all along and all this time throughout the course of the film by his alter ego Hauser. Minority Report sees John Anderton being suddenly accused and pursued by his own police force he spent his entire life serving, upholding and thus believing in.


MemberNoobJan-21-2013 2:35 PM
Thank-you NCC-1701. Cheers-2-Rep-Deck. S:)

Andy K

MemberNoobFeb-23-2017 7:46 AM

As a newbie to this forum I will step out onto the slippery slope of this historically heated topic only after a few qualifying statements:

1. My thoughts express my "preference" as a viewer not my "proof" in support of either side of a debate.

2. I truly enjoy (and respect) the postings of all sides of both the preference & proof camps.

Having gotten that out of the way (thanks for bearing with me) my personal preference is to view Deckard as a human. As funny as this may sound, this is not due to any specific supporting evidence in the movie. I am grateful to Ridley Scott and everyone else involved for creating a fantastic movie, but I respectfully do not take into account what RS's intent was. My view is that once a piece of art is in the public domain as it were it is fair game for anyone's interpretation.

I like seeing Deckard as a human because then for me the movie tells a great story about the convergence of man and his creation. Three quick things that I think of along the lines of this convergence:

Deckard is a human with poor social interaction skills especially in the romance department. His ex-wife called him a "cold fish" and in the movie he develops his own feelings towards the replicants. He is then paired with Rachel who is a replicant also coming to terms with feelings towards a human. In this case the human is robotic enough and the replicant is human enough that they can come together and have a relationship. "We were made for each other."

Sebastian refers to his companions in his apartment as "toys" that he created but when talking with Roy & Pris he says "there is some of me in you". I take this as indicating he sees them as almost human compared to his toys. But JF can also relate to them due to his case of Methuselah Syndrome (apparently inspired by Progeria, an actual condition). I wonder if the "some of me in you" quote is also a reference to his disease?

In the end (via Roy's death scene) it is man's creation that teaches him something about life and death.

Just some thoughts from a newbie...

rockman charvel

MemberNoobOct-18-2017 3:46 AM

Ridley Scott answer to that question clearly:


Member2KSep-27-2020 6:23 PM

 I thinks RS leaves it nebulous because as we all know he loves torturing his fans. lol

 That said, I very seriously doubt Deckard is a Replicant. I cannot see Bryant being friends with a skinjob, and the relationship between them suggests they have been friends for quite a long time.

Also, skinjobs don't get to 'quit', and Deckard did...before Bryant yanked him back in to the mix.

Also, Deckard would have to have been a Nexus 4 or 5...and if he was a skinjob, then those models were QUITE advanced, which makes no real sense.

So, no matter what RS says...I'm pretty confident in stating deckard is a Human. The dream and Gaf doing the unicorn, well deckard mentions he's seen the memories that rachel was given, and perhaps Gaf or the Police were mind-spying on Deckard, just to make sure he was still good enough for the job.

Evidence for this is Gaf turning up so Conspicuously after Batty's death, so that suggests Gaf was shadowing deckard. Quite well too, as he found Deckard's gun in that huge building with what seems improbable ease.






MemberNoobNov-28-2022 4:07 PM

Deckard is a replicant.................why not ??..


MemberNoobMay-22-2024 8:47 PM

He is a replicant. I thought that was obvious. He is one in the PKD source material. 

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