|This question causes the most debate among BR fans.
The different versions of BR support this notion to differing
degrees. One might argue that in the 1982 theatrical release, Deckard is
not a replicant but in BRDC, he is. There is no definitive answer:
Ridley Scott himself has stated that, although he deliberately made the
ending ambiguous, he also intentionally introduced enough evidence to
support the notion, and (as far as he is concerned), Deckard is a
replicant. [See section 9.]
The "FOR" case
Ridley Scott and Harrison Ford have stated that Deckard was meant to
be a replicant.
In Details magazine (US) October 1992 Ford says: "Blade Runner
was not one of my favorite films. I tangled with Ridley.
The biggest problem was that at the end, he wanted the audience to
find out that Deckard was a replicant.
I thought that because I felt the audience needed somebody to cheer
- The shooting script had a voice-over where Deckard says, "I
knew it on the roof that night. We were brothers, Roy Batty and I!"
- Gaff knew that Deckard dreamt of a unicorn, therefore Gaff knew
what dreams that Deckard had been implanted with. (BRDC only)
- Replicants have a penchant for photographs, because it gives them a
tie to their non-existent past. Deckard's flat is packed with photos,
and none of them are recent or in colour. Despite her memories,
Rachael needed a photo as an emotional cushion. Likewise,
Deckard would need photos, despite his memory implants. Rachael plays
the piano, and Deckard has a piano in his flat.
- Gaff tells him "You've done a man's job, sir!".
Early drafts of the script have him then add: "But are you sure
you are man? It's hard to be sure who's who around here."
- Only a replicant could survive the beatings that Deckard takes, and
then struggle up the side of a building with two dislocated fingers.
- Bryant's threat "If you're not a cop, you're little
people" might be an allusion to Deckard being created solely for
- Deckard's eyes glow (yellow-orange) when he tells Rachael that he
wouldn't go after her, "but someone would". Deckard is
standing behind Rachael, and he's out of focus.
- Roy knew Deckard's name, yet he was never told it. Some speculate
that Deckard might have been part of Roy's off-world rebellion, but was
captured by the police and used to hunt down the others. In that case,
Bryant is including Deckard among the five escaped replicants.
- The police would not risk a human to hunt four powerful replicants,
particularly since replicants were designed for such dangerous work. Of
course Deckard would have to think he was human or he might not be
willing to hunt down other replicants.
- Gaff seems to follow Deckard everywhere - he is at the scene of all
the Replicant retirings almost immediately. Gaff is always with Deckard
when the chief is around. This suggests that Gaff is the real BR, and
that Deckard is only a tool Gaff uses for the dirty work.
The "AGAINST" case
A major point of the film was to show Deckard (The Common Man) the
value of life. "What's it like to live in fear?" If all the
main characters are replicants, the contrast between humans and
replicants is lost.
- Rachael had an implanted unicorn dream and Deckard's reverie in
BRDC was a result of having seen her implants. Gaff may have seen
Rachael's implants at the same time Deckard did, perhaps while they were
- Could you trust a replicant to kill other replicants? Why did the
police trust Deckard?
- Having Deckard as a replicant implies a conspiracy between the
police and Tyrell.
- Replicants were outlawed on Earth and it seems unlikely that a
replicant would have an ex-wife.
- If Deckard was a replicant designed to be a Blade Runner, why would
they give him bad memories of the police force? Wouldn't it be more
effective if he were loyal and happy about his work?
- Deckard was not a replicant in DADoES, although he has another
Blade Runner test him at one point just to be sure.