Blade Runner – the future – but not as we know it

11 Mar

More than Star Wars

I watched Blade Runner recently, with my young son, thinking that his science fiction knowledge should stretch beyond Star Wars. I was surprised to be reminded that it is set in 2019. That is six years hence, and to in the scheme of things, no time at all. When it was made in 1982, 2019 was nearly 40 years in the future, so they must have thought that they were safe enough in their predictions. Now, the movie stands up, but I told my son to think about it being set in 2119 to make it more believable.

Predicting the future

Ridley Scott seems to have got the hang of Global Warming. Los Angeles is drowning in rain. The growth in muli-culturalism is also spot on, with all sorts of accents and races represented. But the internet and social media being the driving forces are not there. By 2019, we have started mining other planets, created replicants that are so close to being human that they are hard to differentiate.

One of the most surprising things to see (along with many other older movies) is people smoking inside offices and restaurants. No one seems to have seen the speed of change in how the acceptance of smoking has altered. Cars hover, technology and advertising are there, but look like bigger digital screens, rather than being targeted to individual computers that we carry around in our pockets.

Older than the internet

The internet is now 30 years old, so it was still in the future for the Blade Runner writers, and even further ahead for Philip K Dick, who wrote the original story, Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?
It is a great film, a real science fiction movie, not a western set in space, so I would heartily recommend it…but as for the future, it is still as hard to predict as then, and we are still not all wearing tin foil clothes and eating pills for dinner.


blade r


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: