New Blade Runner

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What are Replicants brain made of? Are they composed of neurons, dendrites, axons, neurochemicals or are they composed of integrated circuits, transistors and processors? How come they can't process emotion? What kind of emotions can't they feel?
 
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We already have initial researches about optic nerves regeneration. See:

https://nei.nih.gov/audacious/optic_nerve

Maybe in 2049.. there won't still be much progress on this.. Or did global catastrophe stopped it? For those who haven't watched the movie yet.. Don't read the following spoiler (is it a spoiler)?

What kind of global catastrophe occurred in the movie? Is it all out nuclear war? Why are most of the sceneries all orange? My cinema sound system was so bad I couldn't hear them speak well so couldn't understand the conversations.
The opening blurb said "the ecosystems failed".
 

jez_h

Don't worry, that's not a spoiler, in fact I think it's made clear in the trailer that that city was ruined. As Rhysling pointed out, they're cataracts and cataract surgery is already a thing.

The people who complain that "it's just a work of fiction" as if I should suspend my disbelief without limits. This is still set on Earth with just humans and what they've made. Not even any aliens. I'm willing to suspend my disbelief that magic is real for Harry Potter's version of Earth but if he couldn't cast a spell to make light but could cast a spell to turn humans into gods then I would see that as absurd *in context*.

No I don't have an xkcd comic to hand to justify my dismissal of a silly argument.
 
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The people who complain about stuff like "They can do X but they can't do Y?!" seem to lack imagination as to why they might NOT be able to do something.
Or there are awkward holes in the movie's version of reality that didn't need to be there. One, the other, both.
 
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The opening blurb said "the ecosystems failed".
I just watched the 15 minute cartoon prequel to the Blade Runner 2049 and it's beginning to make sense: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blade_Runner_Black_Out_2022
Many of you may not be able to watch the cartoon so the following is the plot (don't read it in case you have accessed to the cartoon)

"Set three years after the events of Blade Runner,[3], the Tyrell Corporation has developed the new Nexus-8 line of replicants, who now possess lifespans equivalent to that of a regular human. This causes a massive backlash among the human populace, who begin hunting down and killing replicants. One of these replicants, Trixie, is attacked by a group of thugs but is rescued by Iggy. Iggy reveals to her that he used to be a soldier but deserted when he realized the enemy soldiers he had been fighting and killing were also replicants.

Iggy hatches a plan with Trixie to destroy the Tyrell Corporation's database of registered replicants, so that replicants can no longer be hunted. Trixie befriends Ren, who is a technician in charge of launching nuclear missiles. Ren agrees to redirect a test missile to detonate over Los Angeles, blacking out the city and wiping out all electronic data. At the same time, Ren and Iggy hijack a fuel truck to physically destroy the Tyrell Corporation's servers. The operation is a success, with the servers destroyed and power to Los Angeles disabled. However, Trixie is killed by security forces in the process. Iggy manages to escape and removes his right eye, the only thing that can identify him as a replicant.

The ending narration states that in the aftermath of the Black Out, all replicant production was banned and the Tyrell Corporation went bankrupt, only for the Wallace Corporation to restart production of a new model a decade later."
 
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So why did they find a serial number on Rachel's bones?

ETA: Unless they mean "by casual inspection"?
 
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The opening blurb said "the ecosystems failed".
They need to explode nukes in the atmosphere to destroy the data centers in the city where the humans used the registry to hunt them. Maybe the ozone got damaged or something?

Whatever. Hitler had experimented with a million people mutilating them so it's warning that it's a probable future.. a dark future creating slave race to do our or their bidding.. this is the path we will take if physicists stay on the present course...
 

BillTre

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The things that seemed to strain my science sense were:

1) Wallace's cataracts: Like other said these are easily fixed at the present time. They would also be in the future depicted in the movie. On the other hand they were more obvious that real cataracts and seemed to me to be a visual shortcut for saying he is blind. This removes a lot of probably verbal explanation which movie makers don't like.
An associated question would be why was he supposed to be blind anyway? What does it add to the plot? Is it that he is a blind (messed up) guy making, using, and destroying physically (and mentally) better "humans" than he is himself?

2)
So why did they find a serial number on Rachel's bones?
It seemed clear that plot-wise the number was there as a clue for K to find.
I would ask what is the number doing there since my interpretation of their replicant generating procedure was to grow them not to manufacture them. You wouldn't have physical serial numbers on something that is grown. Instead you would have some kind of DNA sequence code unique to an individual. This would be trivial to do since they are genetically engineering the replicants.
Perhaps the Tyrell Corp (which made Rachel) was doing some parts assembly and put a number on her bone. Not clear.
Another question along these lines would be where is the police DNA analysis. This should be pervasive in the future, and useful.

My previous post had links to what I call background videos for the movie. They cover the black-out and loss of replicant information, the nature of the new replicants, and the origin of Sopper Morton.

Overall I liked the movie. Although it was long and slow, for me it was absorbing.
The biggest difference for from the original movie was that the first one had a lot of non-obvious things going on which required the audience to think things out to understand. The world in which they the film existed was complex and different which required thought. The most obvious example is whether Deckard was a replicant or not. A similar issue in this one seems to be who is related to whom.

The general theme is the same (to me anyway): "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" or what's going on inside the head of a replicant, should they be treated as humans.
 
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"It seemed clear that plot-wise the number was there as a clue for K to find."

Eh? He just happens to find a flower, then just happens to do a scan, and that just happens to show a box...

Murtagh: "Thin."

Riggs: "Yeah, very thin."
 

mheslep

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What kind of global catastrophe occurred in the movie
Many dystopian future Sci fi films adopt a vague or mysterious description about the earlier catastrophe. The Road. Mad Max. Book of Eli. The Matrix ("We don't know who struck first, us or them"). Planet of the Apes. The Time Machine.

The approach has several advantages IMO, i)drawing attention immediately to character development instead of backstory, and thus audience connection to the characters; ii) frees up the plot from unecessary constraints, iii) allows a possible whodunnit line to the plot, ie who wrecked the world:

planetoftheapes.jpg
 

BillTre

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He just happens to find a flower, then just happens to do a scan, and that just happens to show a box...
I don't know if its true, but someone told me that the kind of flower he found has no fragrance, yet he spent some time smelling it.
Also where did the flower come from? Flowers at a grave from a mourner (Sapper Morton)?

I can see the scan as a result of that though.

Old Statues of Liberty also bug me.
Its a copper sheath on a frame. Not very strong or resistant to corrosion I would guess.
 

Janus

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Old Statues of Liberty also bug me.
Its a copper sheath on a frame. Not very strong or resistant to corrosion I would guess.
According to the author of The World Without Us, the statue of Liberty could hold out for quite a long time. Copper, unlike Iron, doesn't crumble as it corrodes, but forms a thin layer or patina that protects the Copper underneath from further corrosion.
 
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Right now you know the Blade Runner has flopped or fizzled at the box office. I can offer my reason why. Between the 1982 film and the current one.. we have a lot of stories or let's call it "mythos" on similar theme that public have been exposed to.. and they are much more sophisticated so much so that when I was watching Blade Runner 2049. I kept thinking it pales in comparison with the mythos. For example there is one very much like it. David Jacobs has written the book "Walking Among Us: The Alien Plan to Control Humanity" and here is the description (let's treat it as mythos or not possible to be real to conform to forum rules):

"In his 1998 book, The Threat, Jacobs uncovered disconcerting reports about aliens’ plans for the future of Earth. He reported that a “change” is coming; a future when very human-like hybrids would intermingle with humans in everyday life. “Soon we will all be together,” the aliens said. “Soon everyone will be happy and everyone will know his place.”

"This book examines a disturbing phenomenon that Jacobs began noticing in 2003. The alien integration action plan has kicked into high gear. The incidents of alien abductions have accelerated as have occurences of alien involvement in everyday human life. A silent and insidious invasion has begun. Alien hybrids have moved into your neighborhood and into your workplace. They have been trained by human abductees to “pass,” to blend in to society, to appear as normal as your next door neighbor.

This book illustrates in detail the process of alien integration into society and the strategy and support structure that has been developed to make this happen seamlessly. While he is not certain why they are doing it, the final chapter of the book will provide some chilling possible answers as to why they are here and what they want to accomplish.

Jacobs is a careful researcher who has investigated more than 1150 abduction events experienced by more than 150 abductees. This book focuses on the experiences of thirteen abductees."

----
Back to me. In his earlier book The Threat. Jacobs recounted about the grown up Hybrids effort at integrated into society (think of the Replicants integration into earth society) and their plan to terminate potential people who could tell them apart. The public has read this account or exposed to it for years so when compared to Blade Runner.. the latter becomes just boring. The following is just short excerpt of the Hybrids plan to terminate potential Blade Runners who can recognize them. Jacobs was interviewing an abductee:

"(Jacobs) How are they dressed? Are they dressed for winter, for summer?

(Abductees) Spring. Everyone's dressed. Men have pants on. Some have shorts. You know,
springy. It's very pleasant, very nice. I don't know what the point is here but I
can't pick out what they're asking me to.... It's very, it's kind of scary. I find it
scary. But I don't even know if this is real. I mean, they could all be them or could
all be us and I could be looking for nothing. But I feel it's important enough for
my opinion that in this scene there are hybrids and I think the point of it is, I think
they've achieved their goal. They've mastered the splicing and dicing, test-tubing,
and they can fit in now. You can't tell them apart. They're proud of that....
Do you get a sense of for what purpose this might be—that this is being achieved?
No, not right now. What happens now is that the film kind of stops and it's all in
color. And what I'm looking at is, like I said, there's like a blanket here and
families and kids. There's a whole bunch of blankets, it's all scattered, and
families doing things. I think each blanket represents an individual family, that's
their picnic area. Like everything kind of stops. Now there's down here maybe it's
about one, two, three, well, between a third and fourth blanket area I'll say, there's
a man standing there. Everything's in color, it stops. And he's originally facing
this way. He turns his head and looks at me and he's like black and white and
that's one. And then it starts over there, down a little bit. There's this little girl in a
little pink dress. She's got hair about down to here, dark hair. And the same thing
happens to her. The whole picture's still but you can see her head turn, look at me
and stop and it's black and white. Now she's in black and white. And they do this
with a couple people and they're the ones that I missed and couldn't tell the
difference.

Do they look any different when you see them? Can you suddenly realize, "Oh
yeah, that's one," or you still wouldn't know?

There's only one way to tell and that is that energy field, that energy field around
them but unless you can see it, you'll never know.

An energy field around them.

But you know, the man, the woman, the family he's with—they didn't turn black
and white. And his kids didn't turn black and white. Only him. My feeling is she,
of course, is not of them.

You mean, the wife?

Right. But I don't know if the two kids are just not considered one of them
because . .. they don't consider the offspring of this hybrid and this woman to be
worthy of the black and white. They're us.... Maybe because she wasn't a hybrid, I
don't know. But the children, his offspring, are not considered hybrid though they
come from hybrid stock. So anyway, everything just goes. The black and white
color disappears and everything just goes to everybody playing. That's when I
hear the thing about the energy field.

That it's the energy field that distinguishes them?

But I can't see it. I can't see it on anybody. But there's going to be a few people
that can see it and will know. This is crazy. The ones that can see it or can
distinguish ... those who can see the energy field and can know the difference and
would have an uprising about it, then would be subsequently terminated. So
there's a power thing. I don't feel experiment. I kind of feel this is not only going
genetically and for that purpose, I feel there's a political power or motivation as
well in the underlying scheme of things.. .. They all look so happy. They're
healthier. You know, this is almost like a running commercial or a program, as
though I'm an investor and they have this program and they want me to invest in it
and they're showing me the beginning to the projected end. It's what I feel like."

So you see. After the Change and the Hybrids have integrated into society (when earth population dwindled) in a dystopian future. There would be people (Jedi like) who can recognize the Hybrids and who can initiate an uprising against them. So the Hybrids would terminate them. Therefore what it means is the future Blade Runner who can take on the Hybrids must be people with Jedi like powers who can challenge them (Note: Let's really treat Jacob account as science fiction because if there is even an iota of truth in it. We are screwed. For people who has abilities and can recognize the Hybrids. Science laugh that this abilities are fiction because it is not in the Standard Model. So we can't help them. Therefore all the complex things that revolve around it like Hybrids with abilities terminating people with abilities.. they will be totally outside the radar of physicists).

My basic point is. The public now are well aware of Jacobs stories (let's call them mythos whether they *can* be true or not but for forum rules sake.. let's assume they are not true and hence we call them mythos) and so compared with the Blade Runner 2049. The latter is just plain boring. What the public need now are stories that are combination of aliens and Marvel's or X-Men or Jedis in combination. The Avengers run for near 3 hours and earned billions. So if you are a science fiction writer. Write one like Jacobs or as complex as it. It's what interest the public which easily get bored. Write another one like Blade Runner and it would fizzle in the box office too.
 
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Just got back from seeing it! Fantastic atmosphere. I need to research a few things I didn't understand but overall top shelf movie!
 
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I don't know if its true, but someone told me that the kind of flower he found has no fragrance, yet he spent some time smelling it.
Also where did the flower come from? Flowers at a grave from a mourner (Sapper Morton)?

I can see the scan as a result of that though.

Old Statues of Liberty also bug me.
Its a copper sheath on a frame. Not very strong or resistant to corrosion I would guess.
Batista could have grown them, maybe.

One major problem with the statue is the cliff. Didn't come out of nowhere, there was a some serious geological upheaval there in the past. It would take a lot of past to get that, I think. And the Lady is still upright? Conveniently exposed? Meh, movie "magic".
 

Bandersnatch

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I've just came back from the theatre. A rather flawed film, I think more flawed than the original, but worth seeing. Visuals are outstanding, but there's more to the film than just that - unlike how it was with e.g. Prometheus (thank Jove Scott didn't get to make this one himself).
Villeneuve has a solid record of making films with a lot humanity in them, and this one is no exception.

In a way it's the quintessential sci-fi: throws around lots of interesting ideas to make you stop and think, but the story is somewhat undercooked (despite its running time).


What are Replicants brain made of? Are they composed of neurons, dendrites, axons, neurochemicals or are they composed of integrated circuits, transistors and processors? How come they can't process emotion? What kind of emotions can't they feel?
They can, that's the whole point. It's just a once-emergent disability which humans continue to use to justify what is outright slavery.

In the original the lack of human-like emotional response was used in the V-K test to identify replicants, and the 'lack of emotions' was the reasoning people used to prop up the boundary between themselves and their manufactured slave force. And yet, it was clear then that replicants were developing emotions. They were forming attachments, collecting memorabilia. It's just that they (the Nexus-6 models Deckard was tasked to retire) had a built-in 3-year life span limit, so they were in effect highly-intelligent, highly-competent people with, at best, a 3 year-old's emotional intelligence. I thought it was played to great effect by Rutger Hauer.

In the sequel we have replicants without the limited life span, but whose emotional development, and personal identity, are intentionally stunted by their environment. They are subject to regular tests for emotional response (as Joe is shown to take), and those who deviate from the baseline are eliminated.

So in the original it was like: 'you're below human, because you don't get to learn how to act like a human before you die'.
In Blade Runner 2049 its' like: 'you're below human, because you can't act like a human, and if you try to learn, you die'.

The whole thing is like the attempts to justify racism against blacks in the US because there is disproportionally large population living in the slums, or 'not amounting to anything', hence they must be worse as a race of people. Where it's the systematic deprivation of opportunities driven by that very same prejudice that creates this result.

As for what they're made of - they're the same meatware as we are. You can see that clearly when they bleed, are chocked to death, have their bones X-rayed.
In the book the films are (loosely) based on, Deckard is so steeped in the conditioning relegating replicants to the realm of the artificial, that he fantasises about shooting an android, where he pictures all the blood, brain matter, and gore as 'transistors'.

1) Wallace's cataracts: Like other said these are easily fixed at the present time. They would also be in the future depicted in the movie. On the other hand they were more obvious that real cataracts and seemed to me to be a visual shortcut for saying he is blind. This removes a lot of probably verbal explanation which movie makers don't like.
An associated question would be why was he supposed to be blind anyway? What does it add to the plot? Is it that he is a blind (messed up) guy making, using, and destroying physically (and mentally) better "humans" than he is himself?
On the purely logical level, one could assume Wallace chose not to fix his cataracts, since he could afford better replacements (those cybernetic, floating eyes).
But I think it's more of the continuation of the general theme of both films - that it's either easier, or more desirable to use new things, than to maintain or fix the existing problems. You know, it's playing on that trope of humans as locust.
That's why it's preferable to move to new worlds, and presumably exploit them without much concern for ecological sustenance - as was with Earth, than to fix the ecosystem.
That's why it's better to make a subservient race, than to fix existing social problems.
Perhaps the externalised eye-replacements for Wallace are a reflection of this drive.

On yet another level, there's this ongoing theme of eyes as a window to your soul. It was prominent in the original, with Roy et al. wanting theirs 'fixed' to pass the tests, the actual V-K test looking at the eye, and with Tyrell wearing almost comically thick glasses. There was some message there that it's the flaws, deviations from perfection, that make human, or something like that.

Here we have relatively easily visible marks in the eyes that distinguish human from replicant. An artificial distinction. Again, like the colour of one's skin.
And Wallace is blind, because he can't see the humanity in his creations.

I would ask what is the number doing there since my interpretation of their replicant generating procedure was to grow them not to manufacture them. You wouldn't have physical serial numbers on something that is grown. Instead you would have some kind of DNA sequence code unique to an individual. This would be trivial to do since they are genetically engineering the replicants.
Perhaps the Tyrell Corp (which made Rachel) was doing some parts assembly and put a number on her bone.
It was established in the original that manufacturers marked their products with serial numbers embedded in tissues. Whether it's genetically-designed to arrange itself as such, or is added in the (unspecified) manufacturing process, it doesn't feel all that much of a stretch.


Overall, let's not forget it's a different universe than ours, with different technology.
Even in 2019 they had space travel, hovercars, advanced bioengineering, but no internet, mobile phones, or not-CRT monitors (they did manage to get to drones and wi-fi by 2049).
Also, Pan Am and Atari are still in business, an CCCP is a thing.
As long as it's internally consistent, I don't really mind.
 
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Wednesday morning re-watched a streaming version of Blade Runner 1982 that I had not viewed in at least a couple decades then in the afternoon watched Blade Runner 2049 at a local theater in 2D. My overall impression is it is one of the finest science fiction movies I've experienced. Leaving the theater felt similar to how I may have felt after 2001: A Space Odyssey. The sound track was immensely impressive though not melodic. So expect some will be critical. There are considerable subtleties one will pick up by watching the original movie before this new sequel, so is highly recommended.

I am not a movie enthusiast, nor have not watched many movies or tv in decades though have most of the better scifi films. Thus am not particularly familiar with the fine art of cinema. Not a fan of fantasy and magic in better science fiction but have an open mind in what might be possible. As someone that is not a regular movie goer with a 120 minute habit that gets antsy and impatient beyond that, the 144 minutes was not an issue and am probably someone that would have easily enjoyed another hour filling out all manner of interesting fascinating details.

Although the first movie was supposed to have occurred in 2019 it is quite obvious what LA looked like in the original movie is vastly different than what it will look like in a couple years at 2019 AD that is still very similar in many ways to 1982. However that is easily explained with minimal imagination given it is fiction with only limited concrete details. The writers simply need to inject into the following sequel that all these events were hundreds or thousands of years in the future such that the original was not 2019 AD (after death) but rather based on another starting date far in the future. Let's say in round numbers 4000 years hence then it could be 6019 AD.

One has to admit the world of Los Angeles shown in the original version was vastly different than could possibly change in just 30 years and we certainly would not have been so advanced in space in another 35 years that we were going out to other worlds. Some studio type may have wanted to date it not too far in the future as a trick simply to have people be able to relate easier and try and sell a few product brand names on elements in the film. Unless I missed something, I don't recall seeing anything that nailed it as an AD date. Can imagine Ridley agreeing laughing to that simply because he would so enjoy having masses of fan boys get the whole thing wrong over decades blabbering endlessly due to their small thinking.

Also as to Waller having cataracts, did I miss something? Do not recall any mention of why his eyes were black balls and would not expect writers would bother to add dialogue for something so trivial. I plan to watch the movie a second time in a few days more closely so will watch for that. For all we know Waller doesn't even have optic nerves. Actually we know very little about him. We do know humans have gotten to other worlds so space science is far in the future. So my idea is Waller may not be an ordinary Replicant at all nor a human but rather an alien AI being or the pseudo DNA of. Like maybe some monitoring advanced race noticed what was going on with Tyrell genetic research and saw it as an opportunity to slowly slip into control and power on Earth. Not saying that is likely what Ridley and Villeneuve have planned but is rather an example of how one needs to think out of the box until concrete details are cast in stone.

I am also enjoying how the news media quickly pounced on how the opening weekend box office financials were mediocre then immediately we get all these dooming scifi conjectures and all. Of course same thing with the 1982 original. Though I may not be much a movie enthusiast and someone that understands what makes movies box office successes, just judging my personal viewing experience was enough to give me the impression that beyond the opening weekend, there will be lots of positive word of mouth that will cascade into higher numbers over a longer period visiting theaters. Outside the bean counters, media critics and most of those having seen the movie thus far are certainly impressed. That said there are fair numbers of mainly younger generation movie enthusiasts that are all about the Transformer and super hero movies that will be put to sleep given the lack of continual action. They are likely to not only hate the movie but become angry after waking up after several days that others not only don't feel like them but praise the movie highly that suggest they are too dense haha. Another thing I am expecting is if the movie does become a success, that tv minds will start exploding with ideas to take off using the fictional world presented.
 
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BillTre

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Here are a couple of interesting things I found on IMDB (link also has spoilers):

In order to portray the blind character of Niander Wallace Jared Leto decided to fit himself with opaque contact lenses that made it impossible for him to see any thing.

Jared Leto used Silicon Valley tech investors and inventors that he personally knows as examples of how Niander Wallace would behave.
 
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" Do not recall any mention of why his eyes were black balls and would not expect writers would bother to add dialogue for something so trivial. "

The cataracts were white clouds on his eyes. You did't pay attention?
 

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