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Replicants are like any other machine, they're either a benefit or a hazard. If they're a benefit, it's not my problem.
~ Rick Deckard

Rick Deckard is the main protagonist of the 1982 sci-fi cult classic Blade Runner and the deuteragonist of its sequel Blade Runner 2049. The character first appeared in the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, which the movie was based on. He is a former "Blade Runner", a police officer whose job is to hunt down and "retire" Replicants that were declared illegal on Earth.

He is portrayed by Harrison Ford, who is best known for Han Solo in the Star Wars series, Indiana Jones in the titular series, President James Marshall in Air Force One, Dr. Richard Kimble in The Fugitive, John Thornton in the 2020 adaptation of The Call of the Wild, and Rooster in The Secret Life of Pets 2. In the 2014 BBC production, he was voiced by James Purefoy.

Biography

Background

Not much is known about Deckard's background, but he is divorced, and later left the Blade Runner unit due to feeling the Nexus-3 were becoming too human.

Blade Runner

In Los Angeles in November 2019, Deckard is brought by Gaff to meet with Bryant, who tells Deckard he must retire four Replicants who have rebelled and escaped to Earth. Their motives is because they have a four-year lifespan and they seek to extend it. Deckard arrives at the Tyrell Corporation and performs the Voight-Kampff test on Rachael, determined on finding out if she is a Replicant or not.

When Rachael visits Deckard at his apartment sometime after the test, Deckard reveals her that the memories Rachael had were memories from Tyrell's niece, leaving her distraught. Deckard later investigates Leon's hotel room and finds a photo of Zhora, and tracks her down at a strip club. Deckard kills Zhora before Bryant arrives, and tells him that he must retire Rachael as well. Soon after, Deckard is confronted by Leon and after a brief fight, Rachael shoots and kills Leon, saving Deckard's life.

When the two return to Deckard's apartment, Deckard promises Rachael that he won't hunt her down, and when she tries to leave, he physically restrains her and kisses her. Sometime later, Deckard enters Sebastian's apartment in the Bradbury Building, where he is confronted by Pris. Deckard kills Pris before being confronted by Roy Batty, who dislocates two of his fingers in retaliation for the deaths of Zhora and Pris.

Batty chases Deckard through the building, and when Deckard nearly falls to his death, Batty saves him and Batty delivers a monologue about how his memories will be lost in time "like tears in rain" before dying peacefully. Gaff arrives shortly after, and as he gives Deckard his gun, he warns Deckard about Rachael: "It's too bad she won't live. But then again, who does?" As Deckard rushes back to his apartment, he finds Rachael safe and asleep on his bed.

Before leaving, Deckard picks up an origami shaped as a unicorn, which is the ending for the Workprint Version, Director's Cut, and the Final Cut. In the theatrical version, Deckard and Rachael drive off into the sunset, with Rachael's lifespan being endless, due to her being "special".

Blade Runner 2049

Trivia

  • There is an ongoing debate on whether or not Deckard is a Replicant or not. While the movie heavily implies Deckard to be a Replicant, Harrison Ford rebuked this, claiming him to be human, while director Ridley Scott, on the other hand, claims he was always meant to be a Replicant. His appearance in Blade Runner 2049 indicates that he is either a human, or a special breed of Replicant that was allowed to age.
  • Harrison Ford reprises his role as Deckard in Blade Runner 2049. This marks the fourth time Ford has played his character in a sequel to a franchise, the other characters including Han Solo, Indiana Jones, and Jack Ryan.
  • He has inspired many other heroes in cyberpunk fiction. The most notable example being Gillian Seed, the main protagonist of the Sega CD Konami video game Snatcher.
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