The Human Condition In Ridley Scott’s ‘Blade Runner’

by Gabe Meier

Like many other vaunted science fiction films, Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner is heavily focused on the moral debate over technological advances in artificial intelligence and robotics. Located in a futuristic, dystopian Los Angeles, the plot centers around Rick Deckard, a bounty hunter of sorts who tracks down and kills “skin jobs”, incredibly intelligence robots who look and act exactly like humans. Struggling with his own internal issues of loss (most humans have left Earth for presumably greener pastures), Deckard tracks four skin jobs who have escaped and have already killed several humans. On a simple level, Deckard falls in love with another skin job, Rachael, and struggles with the meaning of human/artificial existence. On a deeper level, the film explores questions of morality in artificial intelligence and technology in general. The human spirit is generally diametrically opposed and supportive of technological advances, consistently wary of each new development, but overtly exited as well. It has been that way for centuries and doesn’t look to change anytime soon.