How Science became God in Blade Runner

Blade Runner is one of the most acclaimed dystopian films of all time. Its vision of the future has sparked a great deal of debate in the worlds of film, literature and science. In Blade Runner, we see a post-apocalyptic Los Angeles, full of darkness, acid rain and decay. Within this world are three scientists who, together, paint a very different picture of the science and scientists of the future. Read this article from Tony Schloss which discusses science and science in the film.

There are three scientists in the film, but the most important of them all and also the seemingly most powerful man in the society of the film is Tyrell. Tyrell is the president and super-genius of the Tyrell corporation, a huge company that makes the replicants, the artificial human slaves that have allowed humans to move off-world and colonize other planets. Tyrell is presented to the viewer as having a God-like presence. Only in his office do we see any essence of the sun and a calm space. The motto of his corporation is “More human than human”. He calls Roy Batty, the leader of the rogue replicants, his “prodigal son”. In the movie he is presented as the highest science authority and is constantly referred to by others as a genius. In addition to this he seems to be the leader in politics and other realms. The police seem to work in cooperation with the Tyrell Corporation, and the office of the corporation is the largest building in the city. The whole of society seems to revolve around the Tyrell Corporation, and Tyrell is the leader of it all. It becomes clear very quickly in the film that science and technology are two of the most important factors in this society. By presenting Tyrell to us, the leader of science and also like a God, we are led to believe that science is the work of the Gods. In a new type of creation theory, it is science and technology that has created the world. Without the replicants provided by Tyrell, we can presume that the creation of off-world colonies, which in turn led to the decay of earth, would not have been occurred. Science has become something that has always been feared- the maker and destroyer of worlds, an all-powerful beast, a God, and Tyrell is the head of it all.

Read the rest here.

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