Blade Runner: question about Roy Batty's soliloquy

Roy Batty’s “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe” speech at the end of the movie - those are fabricated memories, right?

They establish early in the movie that Rachel’s memories are fabricated, but I don’t recall if it is stated anywhere that this is standard procedure for replicants or if her’s was a unique case.

The story is set in the pretty near future, so I assume interstellar travel is not yet possible. Even if it was, it seems like it would still take several years. The life span of a replicant is only a few years, so it doesn’t seem like Roy would have actually had time to travel to Orion and back. Which is what makes me think that his memories of things he’s seen aren’t actual memories.

The Nexus 6 replicants were created for deep space work, as I recall, so it would make sense that he would see such things. I think the false memories for Rachel were a special case, as was she.

Anyway, that’s how I remember it, but it’s been awhile. You could be right…

No, those are real. He is synthetic, but that doesn’t make his factual memories irrelevant.

If your toaster felt pain that changes the relationship you have with your appliances.

ETA: If they were manufactured, it would be strange and unnecessary to implant painful memories on a combat bot.

From the context of the movie, he’s been alive for four years, so I see no reason to assume that the memories he references in his death speech are anything but genuine.

Another vote for Batty is relating memories of things he actually experienced. It sort of cheapens his message if those memories are fake.

I’d say the realness of his experiences is exactly the point; even a synthetic, created being has a life, a unique perspective which helps to make him what he is, and which is lost when he is gone. Replicants are people.

Interesting point. I never considered that before. I can’t answer, but congratulations for asking such an interesting question.

I was under the impression that her fabricated memories are supposed to relate to older stuff - her childhood, anything prior to when she was created, basically.

I don’t know if Roy’s memories being fabricated - though I doubt they were - would ruin the point. His descriptions of what he remembers, the obvious emotion on his face and in his voice, those are him and speak to the ‘humanity’ of replicants.

The world of Blade Runner does have interstellar travel: Many of the ubiquitous ads are for settlers for the colonies on other planets. How this travel works is never addressed, but one presumes that it involves Gates like the Tanhauser Gate.

They are real memories. The implanted memories used in Rachel are to normalize her reactions to emotional stimuli, and let her be more adept in passing as/being “human”. It’s never even stated that implanted memories are used in any other replicants, and if they were they certainly wouldn’t be memories of such exceptional deeds and circumstances, they would be the mundane emotionally grounding type of memories used in Rachel.

It would ruin the point. If the memories were implanted in him, the same memories could be implanted in another replicant; they weren’t uniquely him.

There are “off-world colonies,” but there are no details about how they work, and no particular reason to think they’re outside our system. And we are given no idea at all what the Tannhauser Gate is–whether it is literally a gate or not, whether it’s for travel at all–it’s just a name.

Similarly, we really have no idea what Roy means by “off the shoulder of Orion.” But if it’s a reference to the constellation, that would mean a visual region of the sky, not an actual place in space one could travel to.

Rachael’s memories allowed her to resist the Voight-Kampff test administered by Deckard. But at the beginning of the film Leon is shown reacting to the test after the first couple of questions. So he didn’t have artificial memories to help him resist such testing and I don’t think Roy has them, either. Rachael was a unique creation- it’s almost likely that she was created specifically to test this new technology, especially considering her memories were taken from the head honcho’s very own niece.

Another thing you have to remember is that the runaways had limited lifespans (that’s why they were on Earth- to find a way to increase them) to prevent them from developing emotions and personalities. Giving them false memories would be completely counterintuitive to that goal.

A big problem with the uniqueness of Rachel is what to make of Deckard. The “utility” replicants like Roy Batty are aware of their replicant status. They only have 4 years of memory from which to acquire all the subtle emotional furniture that biological humans acquire over a lifetime, so they fail the Voight-Kampf.

Rachel only failed the Voight-Kampf test after extended testing by Deckard, who reports with apparent surprise that she doesn’t know she’s a replicant.

So - what of Deckard himself? I won’t spoil the details, but if Deckard is a replicant as some suggest, then he too is unaware of it, and he too has sufficient emotional maturity to be able to administer the V-K test. Is he more advanced than Rachel? How did he get to be that way, if Rachel is presented to him by Tyrell to impress? It is at least implied that she is the latest model - surely you wouldn’t try to impress (or test) superior replicant Deckard with an inferior model? In short, where did Deckard come from, and how does he plausibly fit in the history of development of replicants?

Deckard is not a replicant, in spite of what Ridley Scott says. For Deckard to be a replicant would be pointless.

And he’s human in the book.

The idea that Deckard is a replicant introduces a host of conceptual problems, and would dramatically weaken the film for me if I took it seriously.

Frankly, I think that idea represented a severe failure of imagination by some fans when it was conceived, based on the “unicorn dream” in the Director’s Cut release, and Scott was having an ill-advised goof when he “confirmed” that interpretation.

I don’t think it’s pointless at all. His being a replicant is the only way he can remain a hero, albeit a tragic one. Otherwise he’s just another human perpetuating the slavery of an entire race of sentient, sympathetic beings. But if he’s a replicant he’s being used and enslaved himself.

“Is Deckard a replicant” can only be answered in the case of a single-author situation, like a novel. In a complex creation like a movie, where you have actors, producers, writers, studio heads, and the director, each with a differing vision, there can not be a clear cut answer. It must be left for each audience member to come to their own conclusion. That appears to be the case here.

Personally, I like the idea that Deckard is a human, who is losing his humanity due to his job. While at the same time, the replicants are gaining their humanity. They symmetry is delicious.

“Attack Ships on Fire off the Shoulder of Orion” isn’t a reference to interstellar travel, it’s a spatial reference to Orion in the night sky with flaming ships sillhoueeted against it - similar to “just left of that cloud” or “coming in out of the sun”. At least, that makes more sense to me.

Not that I know if they didn’t have interstellar travel, but *Soldier *definitely does, and it can be read as set in the same universe.

Electric Warrior, in my interpretation, Deckard isn’t the hero, tragic or otherwise. Batty is.

Roy’s memories being fake and Deckard being a replicant add more complexity to the premise without making it better; in my book a bad thing.