Los Angeles, November 2019. Extremely polluted air, artificial lights, flying cars. No, this is not a dream; this is how Ridley Scott imagined the world 37 years ago in his sci-fi classic, the Blade Runner.
He found the inspiration in Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sleep and created a movie about the police officer on his mission to hunt down a fugitive group of replicants, or human clones. The story is located partly in outer space and partly in Los Angeles, which makes this movie both futuristic and apocalyptical.
The Blade Runner Is Happening Now
Everyone who grew up with Blade Runner had an ingrained idea of the future based on this movie. Finally, it is caught in real-time, and we are its witnesses. Moreover, we can be pretty cruel judges about whether Scott was a visionary who predicted the future or his fiction was entirely untrue.
Expectations Too High
Well, we don’t have replicants. At least not yet. So Ridley might have hurried with humanlike clones and artificial intelligence.
But we do have humanoid robots, and that can be considered the beginning. For example, Sophia is a replicant prototype with a human appearance. Luckily, far away from the Blade Runner prediction, our robots are not even close to starting the rebellion.
The next red “x” goes to flying cars. Everyone dreams about such a revolutionary vehicle, but we are still stuck in traffic, down on the ground.
Also, unlike in the movie, we haven’t yet established a single colony in space. In real 2019, life officially exists only on planet Earth.
What Did the Blade Runner Overlook?
In the movie, there’s no Internet. In a futuristic 2019, people are still reading newspapers. There are no cellphones, either. The creators recognized some things, like voice control or lie detector, as a useful technology, but it is almost comic to see cathode-ray monitors and TV sets as a part of the future/present.
The movie failed to predict some of the most significant 21st-century discoveries, but perhaps that is the point that makes it even more attractive to watch in 2019. Imagine that you have to fight humanlike androids and robots without the Internet or cellphone. It seems really scary.
What Was Ridley Scott Right About?
First of all, the Blade Runner story brings some compelling ethical dilemmas and a hero who is questioning his own humanity. It focuses on the future of the human race — everything we cause and everything we can prevent.
In Ridley’s year of 2019, the world is polluted in so many different aspects. In the present 2019, things are not much better. Our air has never been worse. The neon lights surround us. We are drowning in a capitalist dystopia, political and ethical bumpiness, dominated by global corporations. We tolerate criminals. Perhaps the movie had a real vision about the future.
Thankfully, we find the beauty in this sci-fi masterpiece, and we find it in our real lives. The Earth is still a home of gorgeous, stylish women, good cops, and fancy drinks. And yes, we are so lucky to have a magnificent Harrison Ford around. Unfortunately, our beloved Rutger Hauer left us at the beginning of the year. Let’s just say he didn’t want to get trapped in real-time, so he became a legend.