How Can I Stop This – The Pending Tragedy of the Blade Runner Sequel

I am not a hater of sequels. I think this narrative of “all hollywood makes are sequels and comic book movies and those aren’t art” is stupid. But the announcement this week that Dennis Villeneuve is set to direct Harrison Ford in a Blade Runner sequel is, well it’s just wrong. Let me explain.

First, great sequels flow organically from movies that end with a beginning. The end of The Godfather is the beginning of Michael Corleone excepting his destiny as the head of the family. Iron Man ends with Tony Stark telling the world he is the man behind the mask. Star Wars ends with a victory at the beginning of a war and the start of Luke’s journey to being a Jedi. All the great sequels are set up by the original, not just from a world building stand point but from a plotting standpoint. Blade Runner is not that kind of a movie. The movie, a meditation on what it means to be human, to have a soul, ends purposely without an answer. What happens to Deckard and Rachel as they drive off isn’t the point, the point is that they are driving off without knowing what will happen or when or even what they really are. To answer any of those questions is to undermine the entire point of the original.

I enjoyed Prisoners and Enemy very much (Villeneuve’s last movies) and the future that Ridley Scott created will always play well on screen (Blade Runner is one of the few sic fi movies that still holds up visually 30 years later), so maybe they can make a good movie, but they shouldn’t. They shouldn’t because any film they make will lessen the impact of a movie that has stood the test of time, that is truly a work of art and needs to stand alone.

But hey, what do I know? I’m fat.