How the Black Lotus animation continues the Blade Runner replicant issue


The sleek 3D animation style reflects Deckard’s exploration of the fine line between human and robot minds.

The visual style of Blade Runner: Black Lotus captures the ambiguity between the human and the replicant first seen in Deckard in the original Blade runner. The new animated series is set in 2032, halfway between Blade runner and its sequel, Blade Runner 2049. However, despite the new setting, the series still deals with many of the same themes and issues raised by the films.

The original films follow Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), an LAPD and Blade Runner detective tasked with hunting down and eliminating escaped “replicants”, biologically modified superhumans used as slaves to build space colonies for humanity. Deckard falls in love with a replicant, Rachael, who was conceived with false memories to make her believe she was human. When Rachael is to be fired, Deckard becomes a thug, escaping Los Angeles with her in the film’s famous cliffhanger ending. But before they escape, Deckard’s former partner gives him a farewell gift of an origami unicorn, just like the unicorn Deckard saw every night in his dreams. Deckard and the audience are made to wonder if Deckard’s own memories are real, blurring the line between human and machine.


Related: How (& Why) Sean Young’s Rachael Died In Blade Runner 2049

Blade Runner: Black Lotus Take this trick to the next level with its sleek 3D animated style. The smooth, even skin textures of the characters make them all almost artificial. The imperfections that viewers would recognize as naturally human are lacking. With the naked eye, it’s impossible to tell which character is a born human and which is a replicant. Dedicated fans might get a thrill theorizing who Black lotus the characters are secretly machines. Themes of suspicion, paranoia and self-doubt, embodied by protagonist Deckard, can be explored through animation Blade runner universe.

Blade runner Director Ridley Scott has always said that Deckard is definitely a replicant and that the film is unambiguous. The suggestion that memories might not be genuine, but designed by powerful forces as a means of control is frightening. For Deckard, the additional implication that he unwittingly stalked his own genre would be almost too much to bear. The following, Blade Runner 2049, reversed the crisis of consciousness with the story of Agent K (Ryan Gosling), a replicant who begins to suspect that his implanted memories might have been real from the start. It’s up to anyone to guess what kind of stories Blade Runner: Black Lotus will talk about memory, but the synthetic-looking animation suggests that the creative team understand the central theme behind the source material.

At its best, the Blade runner the franchise plays with the idea that the difference between real and artificial memories may not matter much. What exists in the mind is not as important as the actions a person takes in their life. The impact of the action is what survives after death, not the thoughts. Rick Deckard’s response to questioning his mind is to change his actions, proving his free will by choosing to stop hunting replicants. Like the world of Blade runner grows with Blade Runner: Black Lotus, it will be exciting to watch the new characters make their own choices no matter how their minds and bodies are created.

Next: Blade Runner: Why Replicants Are Illegal

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