Trailer Reaction: “Blade Runner 2049”

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It’s been 35 years since “Blade Runner” first hit theaters and the long-awaited sequel is ready to hit the big screen. We finally got our first good look at what the film will be offering as Warner Bros. released the official trailer on May 8 with a lot to see and enjoy. So I took a closer look at the trailer and broke down a few details that I found to help you guys get excited about the film which will be released this fall.

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First off, the trailer relies heavily on imagery and a few plot hints and reminds me a lot of the trailer for “Ghost In The Shell”, choosing style or substance to draw the viewer in. That’s not to say it’s a bad trailer. There’s a lot to love about this first look at the highly anticipated sequel, I wanted to get that out of the way right off the bat. If you expected answers from this trailer you will be disappointed because instead if posses questions to try and draw you in to see what the answers might be.

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Things start off with our first looks at the Blade Runner world, including a great look at the Tyrell Corporation building, as Ryan Gosling’s LAPD Officer K gets a tour of what appears to be the interior of the facility for manufacturing replicants. We know this film is around 30 years after the events of the first so technology has probably advanced quite a bit by this time, leading to new ways of manufacturing organic beings. Also it appears the rules against replicants have been lifted to some degree, especially seeing as we have a pretty open production system presented in the trailer.

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We get our first look at Jared Leto as Wallace, a replicant manufacturer who provides pretty much the defining line of the entire trailer, and really a line that defines the whole theme of “Blade Runner” in general, “Every civilization was built off the back of a disposable work force, but I can only make so many”. We don’t know the extent of Leto’s character, but it’s clear he will play a big role in the film. Considering that the premise released thus far sees Officer K coming face to face with a threat to humanity, Wallace may be the catalyst to that scheme that could see the replicants begin an uprising. Are there replicants among the people already? Is Officer K a replicant? These are questions I asked myself on just my first viewing and that’s what a trailer should do, create intrigue and make you ponder what mysteries lie beneath what we are seeing. It’s possible Wallace’s scheme goes much deeper as we see what appears to be his henchwoman, played by Sylvia Hoeks, attacking Officer K and Rick Deckard later in the trailer, so we know they have some stake in these two, or at least one of them, which leads me to believe one of them is a replicant vital to Wallace’s plans for humanity.

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We then see Robin Wright’s character, who seems to be a high level LAPD officer, telling Officer K “there is an order to things” keeping in line with the Blade Runner’s missions from the first film, to keep replicants in line. This is followed by a fantastic shot of a bloodied Officer K after some yet-to-be revealed conflict and Wright’s voice over saying the LAPD “keeps order” implying Officer K will possibly come to a crossroads concerning his responsibilities as an officer.

He seems very intense in the shot so whatever happened was not a fun scene for him to behold. It also helps that he is looking down as his gun as if he is amazed or in thought about having to use it. Her voice over continues to explain that the societal structure of their world needs to be intact or there is a risk that those below them, presumably the replicants, will forget their place and a war will break out. This follows a running theme in “Blade Runner” where the replicants were seen as lower beings and covers several real world themes including uprising of the oppressed and control over “lower beings” in society. This could be foreshadowing a full-on replicant uprising that could take place in the film, especially seeing as it fits with Wallace’s statements about every generation using disposable workers to create their empires.

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We also get a shot of Officer K kissing Joi, played by Ana de Armas, who appears to be Officer K’s love interest, which is interesting seeing as she will reportedly be a replicant. This could mirror the relationship that brewed between Rachael and Deckard from the first film. Joi is also an important figure in the trailer for setting up the universe we will be entering. In the previous film replicants are banned from earth, but we see Joi is actually a working model in numerous holograms. Either the perspective on replicants in society has changed, or people don’t know she is a replicant and if that’s the case how many other unknown replicants are there? Were they placed there by Wallace for whatever he has cooked up?

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We get some great establishing shots as Officer K wanders into the desert. Some have said this is Las Vegas, which wouldn’t be much of a stretch considering it certainly looks the part. What I love about these shots is they establish the world outside of LA, where nature has retaken the once bustling societies while cities like LA grew to embrace new technology and left the outside world behind. It’s a neat piece of world building that allows the viewer more understanding of what they will see when they view the film on the big screen and also acts in stark contrast to the much more civilized and organized world within the city walls. Outside those walls is chaos and disorder, a fear that Robin Wright’s character expressed for their own city if the balance is interrupted.

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There Officer K finds Rick Deckard, played again by Harrison Ford, now apparently in hiding after the events he experienced 30 years ago. He monologues about how he was once a cop like Officer K and he “was good at it”. K expresses familiarity with his fellow Blade Runner and says he wants to ask some questions, meaning K is thinking outside the box. The whole concept of keeping order or taking out replicants seems to have worn down the young officer and he sought out the one other officer who can understand his questioning of the ways of the world. Deckard’s legend may have spread over the years and it will be interesting to see if his isolation was due to his fellow officers failing to understand the revelation he had at the conclusion of the first film. Going back to me previous deductions, There have been theories that Deckard is a replicant, but seeing as he has lived as long as he has in relation to the rules specified in the first film this would make him quite a unique version of the artificial humanoids he was once charged with hunting down or a replicant of an older Deckard. Whatever the case we know Officer K goes through quite a bit of trouble and personal inconvenience, leaving the confines of the city, to seek the information he wants from his predecessor.

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One interesting detail that could confirm some of the theories is what appears to be a grave stone, marked 6-10-21, meaning 2021. The original film takes place in a futuristic 2019 so lets assume that maybe this is Deckard’s headstone…what if the real Deckard was killed in 2021 or, maybe, what if Officer K was killed in 2021? Either of these men could have been replaced with replicants to suit Wallace’s plan. We already know Wallace wants his henchwoman to bring “it” to him and we see that same henchwoman with Deckard captive in a car. So why would Wallace call Deckard an “it”? Again, maybe Deckard is really a replicant. Anyways, whatever this grave means, we see Officer K a bit shocked to see it so there is some revelation from this marking that appears to be significant to the character and we have a very strategically placed voiceover of Leto’s Wallace saying something will be “unearthed”. Is this a nod to a potential shocking twist concerning either of the leading men? I bet it is!

We then get a jumble of scenes that show a few quick action shots, including Gosling fighting off David Bautista’s character and Officer K and Deckard actually going at it themselves meaning either Deckard has something to hide or K has a mission to complete. We are shown that K was followed by someone to Deckard’s location so K is not the only person looking for Deckard. As for the fight between K and Deckard, This could also simply be Deckard running from someone he doesn’t know who found where he is hiding and their exchange of question and answer could take place after they duke it out a bit. We see them talking in an old casino, again probably Vegas, so we will get a showdown between these two that will presumably help kickstart the deeper plot of the film, or it could be the end result of it. Who knows?

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Finally we get Joi telling Officer K “you’re special” and we see K examining a book with missing pages. We don’t know what this means. It could be symbolic, but Joi makes it clear there is more to K than even he knows. It also tells the audience that there is more they need to know to the story as well, leaving us hooked for what’s to come. I love thsi ending because it doesn’t tell us much about the film, but it does tell us to expect the unexpected as we await what lies ahead.

Overall I thought this was an intriguing and engaging trailer and one that has me excited to see what’s to come. Did I miss anything that you caught in the trailer? Let me know in the comments below and watch the trailer for yourself, also below. “Blade Runner 2049” will hit theaters October 17.

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