The 1982 masterpiece Blade Runner allows us to glimpse of a supposed future filled with hope and despair. Blade Runner Rick Deckard is pulled out of retirement in order to catch and exterminate renegade androids, or replicants. During his assignment, Deckard explores what it means to be human and begins to question his original concepts on the subject.

While Blade Runner may not be the first cyberpunk themed media, it certainly created a basic blueprint to the style that is cyberpunk. It has not only influenced novels like William Gibson's Neuromancer series, which was printed just two years after Blade Runner's release, but many foreign films have spawned from its example. Japanese anime like Bubble Gum Crisis and Ghost in the Shell are two fellow cyberpunk series that have become cultural phenomena in Japan as well as America. Increased popularity has even led to the creation of several sequels to both series.

As humanity still transitions itself into the twenty-first century, technology will continue to have a strong impact upon society. Cyberpunk started out as an art form as well as a critique on modern culture. Who knows how Blade Runner will influence future ideas and question the direction of human evolution?


1. What does it mean to be human? Does one's death and/or one's life define the concept life?

2. Many cyberpunk series place a huge emphasis on setting, which is usually a city. What message do the creators wish to convey to the audience?

3. Several people who do not have an interest in cyberpunk have enjoyed Blade Runner on some levels. How has Blade Runner become such a renowned film? 4. During the one of the final scenes of the movie, replicant Roy Batty told Deckard, "Not very sporting to fire on an unarmed opponent! I thought you were supposed to be good. Aren't you the good man?" How does this affect our feelings on who the protagonist should be? Does any scene offer more sympathy towards the dangerous replicants?

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Last modified 30 October 2006